Brightworks Car Wash boosts customer acquisition using DRN’s LPR marketing solution

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DRN data logo - license plate recognition

The carwash industry has always been on the lookout for new ways to attract more customers to professional carwashes instead of driveway washing. While traditional marketing channels such as print and radio ads, and modern social media and content marketing strategies can be effective, many operators struggle to justify the expense of these campaigns without a clear, direct return on investment. Furthermore, because many customers visit carwash businesses based on impulse and convenience, operators often lack visibility on passing motorists or even on their own sites. However, this is changing now.    

In the Lone Star state, one operator is leveraging the power and potential of license plate marketing technology to find, attract and retain new customers. Brightworks Car Wash, with locations in Fort Worth and Granbury, Texas, is using cutting-edge technology to convert passing vehicles into profitable marketing leads.

A brighter future

Boyan Radic, managing partner for Texas-based Brightworks Car Wash, never intended to enter the carwashing industry after he relocated from California to Texas in 2007. For a decade after the move, Radic worked in commercial real estate until 2017, which is when his admiration for the carwash business grew. Joined by a business partner, Radic stumbled upon a carwash location in Granbury that was in foreclosure and had been shut down for six months at that time.

“The initial plan was to put it back together and then off-load it for a profit,” Radic recalls. “However, as many do, we fell in love with the industry and then we eventually built our second location in Fort Worth.”

Building the new site in Fort Worth, which is about 30 miles from the Granbury location, took over a year with shovels going into the ground during the summer of 2021 and construction concluding in October 2022. The state-of-the-art, flex-serve Fort Worth location sits on three acres with a long tunnel and over 40 vac stalls. The site also includes a hand wash bay, high-tech point-of-sale stations, detail center and customer waiting areas.

Customers have three full-serve menu options as well as four wash packages to choose from. The basic wash package, “The Clean,” starts at $10 per wash or $20 for a monthly Brightpass membership. The top package, “The Lux,” which includes hand-applied tire shine, is available for $25 each wash and “The Works” is offered for $20 per wash and $40 for the monthly membership.

Brightworks Car Wash serves customers using high-end products and processes. The flex-serve model and innovative equipment help the carwash handle a wide variety of vehicles and customer needs, from exterior-only washes to high-end detailing. As stated on brightworkscarwash.com, “At Brightworks Car Wash, we’re here to brighten your car and brighten your day.”

One way Radic is committed to his customers is by continually evolving with leading technology that can offer bright ideas.

Just over a year ago, while attending The Car Wash Show™, Radic was introduced to a game-changer for his business. An industry peer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area mentioned a new technology and software solution using LPR technology for marketing purposes.

“We noticed technology used for tracking vehicles focused on the license plate recognition,” says Radic, adding LPR is widespread in other industries, including parking garages and highway departments for collecting tolls. “It seemed to us that LPR was fast becoming the gold standard of identifying vehicles. In fact, our Fort Worth location was already using LPR to monitor cars and retain information. So, when we heard about Digital Recognition Network, it immediately made a lot of sense to us.”

Specifically, Brightworks Car Wash is using Digital Recognition Network’s (DRN) LPR camera system, which includes a license plate recognition camera that can collect passersby’ information. The system is paired with Digital Recognition Network’s opt-in marketing database for rapid customer insights.

Redefining data

According to Radic, one of the key challenges in marketing is knowing who the customers are and knowing who the prospective customers are. Prior to using DRN’s solution, Radic would target large, busy parking lots using generic coupons for free washes. This is inefficient and expensive since that parking lot most likely has a percentage of paying, satisfied customers.

“That is one of the real benefits of this technology. It allows us to segregate our customers from the other vehicles passing our location every day who are not customers,” notes Radic. “We’re now marketing to non-customers in a more direct way without having to cannibalize our brand, reputation and existing customers.”

With the technology, Brightworks Car Wash now has visibility into passing vehicles, and ultimately consumers, at speeds up to 75 mph. In addition to adjusting the speed thresholds, operators have the flexibility to configure the high-tech camera in any direction to gather the data they need. Mounting the hardware is a breeze as well. The LPR camera mount can attach to most poles and to common infrastructure with the included band-ties and lag-bolts. After the quick and easy set-up, operators can start capturing meaningful leads.

“Installation was quick. Set-up happened while I was at a lunch meeting and when I returned, they shook my hand and within 24 hours we were already capturing data,” explains Radic.

Building customer profiles

Once the easy installation process is complete, carwash operators like Brightworks Car Wash are prepared to capture consumer info, drive more traffic to their sites with strategic marketing and monetize their momentum with new and existing consumers.

Using Digital Recognition Network’s solution, Brightworks Car Wash collects crucial data at its Fort Worth location. This information includes such insight as to when the customer last visited the location. The make, model and year of vehicles are also captured as well as the owner of the vehicle’s name. The consumer’s known mailing address, phone number, email address and history of passes/visits is also easily accessible through DRN’s opt-in marketing database platform. These examples are just some of the over 100 marketing data attributes the system can capture.

After identifying leads, Brightworks Car Wash sends postcards through the mail to draw in new customers. “With the postcard, there’s no envelope to open and they see it right away,” educates Radic. “The front reads ‘free carwash’ and the back has our address and a QR code. It’s very easy for them to use and come try us out.”

DRN has developed a database platform that is easy to use and offers the following features:

Contact details: The platform converts passing vehicle plates into customer profiles that include name, address, phone number, email and various marketing attributes.

Overview of data collected: You can view the total unique records and the percentage of collected addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

Buyer signals: The platform displays the total and unique key performance indicators, such as the number of plates captured, the number of VIN matches, marketing identity matches and marketing data conversion rate.

Visit/pass analysis: This section lets you track how many people passed the site and how many visited, and you can adjust it using a range slider.

Data export: This feature lets you export a list of contacts into a CSV file with all available marketing attributes, which you can instantly use in your marketing channels.

LP marketing

With this unprecedented access to consumer information, Brightworks Car Wash can now capture success with license plate marketing, a unique and effective competitive advantage. Having the camera system paired to Digital Recognition Network’s exclusive opt-in marketing database, this carwash company is now building valuable customer data profiles and effortlessly identifying perfect-fit buyers.

“We send DRN our current customer list, they sort and clean up the captured data on their end so we don’t have duplicates, and then once we get that refined information, we send the captured data to the postcard company,” explains Radic. “It’s a simple process that has a remarkable impact.”

Brightworks Car Wash understands the number of times a vehicle drives by and messages these consumers directly about offers and services. The operator also has a clear view on the frequency of returning customers to upsell a card-less loyalty program. Brightworks Car Wash is learning about the number of unique customers at its Fort Worth location and offering these customers more incentives to drive additional visits.

What else can carwash operators do with license plate marketing data? The answer to this question is multifaceted, including:

Paid search advertising: Appear on Google/Bing searches of your top buyers.

Email marketing: Run cost-efficient campaigns to target accounts and contacts.

Native advertising: Increase site traffic with budget-friendly ad placements.

Direct mail: Boost loyalty and repeat sales by sending coupons and membership discounts.

Display advertising: Drive awareness and engagement with granular targeting and efficient reach.

Facebook ads: Drive conversions with key buyers using granular marketing attributes.

Video advertising: Maximize brand reach and scale among target audiences with programmatic video advertising.

Texas hold ’em

Once the customer receives Brightworks Car Wash’s coupon in the mail, he or she can either use it at face value for a free basic wash or put the value of the coupon toward a higher wash package or detailing job. These customers can also become Brightworks Car Wash members for as little as $20 per month, as mentioned. Now on the platform for the past 11 months, Radic reports some eye-opening key performance indicators.

“It’s fascinating to us,” remarks Radic, “about half the people we draw upgrade to a higher package. The capture rate on these individuals is phenomenal as well in terms of the customer returning within a week for another wash or to sign up as a member. Compared to what we saw 11 months ago, our car counts have increased by over 45%.”

As a relatively new brand in the market, Radic continues, the company expected the numbers to grow organically. But, he says, that rate of climb prior to implementing DRN’s software was in the 10% to 12% range.

“So, it’s been quite exceptional, especially when it comes to reaching out to people we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach,” asserts Radic.

At the Fort Worth location, Brightworks Car Wash’s previous use of LPR and the information it had already collected on current customers prior to using DRN’s program proved to be important, notes Radic. Prior use of LPR helped, he adds, in order to differentiate existing customers from prospective customers.

“When our Granbury location opened in 2017, LPR technology was new, and we didn’t quite understand its full potential. The technology has come a long way since then. We’re renovating that Granbury site and we’re installing LPR. We’re absolutely going to utilize the Digital Recognition Network system on that site as well,” concludes Radic.

From LPR data capture to actionable and unprecedented insights, carwashes like Brightworks Car Wash can now pinpoint their marketing and maximize their reach. Through Digital Recognition Network’s leading technology, Brightworks Car Wash has transformed its marketing processes and revenue expectations. 


DRN specializes in License Plate Recognition (LPR) Data & Analytics solutions, offering invaluable insights for carwash businesses. Capture passing vehicles for your carwash using our cutting-edge LPR camera system paired with our exclusive opt-in marketing database. Build valuable customer data and effortlessly identify perfect-fit buyers. Imagine effortlessly obtaining customer information like names, addresses, phone numbers, emails and insights into store passes/visits — a game-changer for targeted marketing campaigns. Elevate your carwash business and turn every pass-by vehicle into a customer. For more information, visit www.drndata.com/marketing.    


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