In the last several years, many trends have come to define the home improvement industry, such as home wellness and saving money while “going green.” As a business owner in HVAC, plumbing, and electrical home improvement and repairs, we’re sure you’ve seen it all (and installed it all!), but how suited is your business for the expected boom in home improvement services over the next few years? Are you ready to capture new customers?
According to industry statistics, 2018 home improvement expenditures totaled around 394 billion dollars. With coronavirus and social distancing requiring many Americans to stay at home in 2020, people are looking at upgrades, repairs, and additions to their homes more than ever. Over the next five to seven years, expenditures might not even be in the billions anymore.
The bottom line to all of this is that customers are out there – ready to get the services they need to fix or upgrade their homes.
But how will they know to look for your business specifically?
How can they find you in a sea of competition in your area?
What does it take to stand out in this landscape?
The answer to all of these questions lies in how well you’ve optimized your digital presence and how easy you’ve made it for customers to find you online.
Online marketing requires a thorough look and understanding of how your website, content, social media profiles, and other channels, such as email, work together for the benefit of your brand. And it all starts with a Google search.
Chapter 1: Build an Incredible Foundation
Not only is Google the number one visited website in the entire world, but billions of searches are conducted every day across the globe. Americans, specifically, search quite frequently via Google: about 3x per day.
So no matter what they’re searching for, whether it’s if they can DIY a home improvement repair or emergency plumbing services nearby, it’s safe to say that your company needs a digital presence.
- Delivering a seamless user experience so as not to frustrate potential customers;
- Creating or claiming a Google My Business account and ensuring it’s optimized for search;
- Creating social media profiles for your company;
- And designing a brand that gives your company its own identity – easily recognizable no matter which channels your customers choose.
Tip 1: Create an online foundation that delivers a great user experience for prospective customers
Much like the homes that your business services, your online marketing must have a strong foundation on which to build. This is where your website comes into play. Your company’s website sets the tone and provides a first impression to customers about your business. It needs to look professional, be easy to use, provide visitors with the information they need to make their decision, and load quickly. And it must also be set up for successful ranking on Google so that those visitors can find you!
Let’s dive into some specifics that separate the average website from a great website.
You can be the best HVAC company in the country but if your website look professional and attractive, you’ll miss out on business. You operate in a competitive space and first impressions matter. Is your website clearly branded and designed well? Is it putting your business’ best foot forward?
- User Experience
When your customers have a plumbing emergency, they need a solution and they need it now. When your customers’ HVAC is broken and they’re sweating it out, they need a solution and they need it now. All of this means your website needs to be easy to navigate and use. If your website is a labyrinth, those visitors will bounce to your competition. A website with a strong user experience (UX) is built with the customer in mind and provides meaningful, relevant, and frictionless experience to users. Group your content and pages in an efficient way, create clear navigation and use intuitive names for items, and make it easy for users to take desired actions on your site. Can your customers, or potential customers, quickly use and navigate your website? Do all of the buttons and links function properly?
When customers are searching for someone to work on their largest investment, their house, they’re going to look for someone who they trust has the expertise. Professionally-written website content demonstrates your experience in the industry and can speak to the level of care you take in providing the best outcomes for your customers. And the best part is that Google loves it, too! While content should be written for humans, it should also be optimized for Google Search. By using certain keywords and phrases, you’ll help your website appear when individuals use those keywords in their Google searches.
- Website Speed
Both search engines and your customers demand a fast website. You’re in the business of providing solutions that are often required as soon as possible. Your customers and prospects covet their time as much as you covet yours. If your customers have to wait longer than 3 seconds for your website to load, that’s a problem. 25%+ of your visitors won’t wait and will move on to another option (the competition). That’s why website speed is so important. No matter how good your marketing is, if visitors arrive on a website that’s sluggish, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Do you have a website right now? Send the link to a few friends or employees and ask for their insights on the following that we’ve discussed above:
- how it looks
- loading time
- the ease of making contact with your business
- how well the site explains your services
Compile the feedback you receive in a document. This document outlines areas where your foundation could be improved. Your website is the foundation for your entire digital presence.
Even if you choose to advertise your services, build an audience on social media, or reach out to customers regularly, your website is a critical piece of “owned content.” This content, or digital real estate, can help or hurt your business, depending on how much thought and design goes into it.
Along with evaluating your website, take a look at tools Google set up specifically for small businesses, such as Google My Business.
Tip 2: Claim your Google My Business Account – and optimize it
When you’re opening your business or adding another location for your business, it’s important that you create a Google Business Listing. Not sure if you have a listing? There’s an easy way to find out! If your business has been around for a while, there’s a good chance it has already been listed, though it may not be claimed. Conduct a Google search with your business name alongside your city and state. If you see your business on the right side of Google, click “Claim this listing” and follow the prompts to claim and manage it.
Why is a Google Business Listing so important? It offers tremendous value by complementing your website and providing a listing on the world’s number one search engine. Your Google Business Listing helps you show in Google Maps and in the map section on page 1 of Google when someone searches for the HVAC, plumbing, and/or electrical services you offer. And having a claimed business listing that’s optimized, accurate, and has positive reviews will help you gain more page 1 visibility! And, a Google Business Listing is free!
Interested in setting up a Google Business Listing? It takes a couple of weeks but is a pretty simple process. Go to Google Business Listing and click on Sign In. Follow the steps to set up your business and Google will send you a postcard within 7-14 days with a code. Once you receive the code, you’ll need to go back to your Google Business Listing account and verify your business by inserting the code.
Business Listings and NAP Consistency
Whether you’re claiming a listing or creating a new one, we recommend creating a document with your most important business information, such as:
- the full, legal name of the business
- your website
- contact information
- and perhaps even a boilerplate or tagline used in your marketing
You can use the information in this document to update or fill-in your Google My Business listing and every place online where your company has a listing (Google My Business, Angie’s List, Yelp, etc.). Think of these business listings as your online business card. It’s how your business’ key contact information – name, address, phone – is shown across many online directories. Therefore, the information needs to be up to date, accurate, and consistent across platforms to prevent confusion among prospective customers and search engines alike.
When it comes to creating a robust digital brand, consistency builds trust. And Google “rewards” organizations they trust! Not sure where your business listings stand? Moz and Yext offer some free tools to scan your local listings.
Here are a few ways to optimize your Google Business Listing to take advantage of the benefits it offers:
- Ensure your business name, address and phone number within your GMB matches the name, phone number, and address on your website. Google doesn’t like to be confused; it may just negatively affect your rankings if Name, Address, and Phone numbers (NAP) aren’t exactly the same.
- Update your Business Categories and Services. Within the Category and Service sections you have the ability to add the main services that your business offers. This will help tell Google the services you offer for when someone does a Google search for the services you provide.
- Set-up text messaging so that your business listing visitors can text directly with you. It’s important to optimize your customers’ experience by giving them the tools to contact you the way they prefer.
- Upload your logo and don’t be afraid to upload a large number of images. According to Search Engine Land research, there is a strong correlation between the number of images you have on your Google Business Listing and the number of clicks, website visits and click for directions you’ll receive.
- Consistently ask for online reviews. With more 5 star reviews, your business stands a greater chance to show up in the map section when someone is searching for a practice like yours. These map section clicks tend to be very valuable as prospective customers click to visit your website and/or call directly from Google.
Tip 3: Create Social Profiles
When you search for a particular brand, product or service, did you know that social media handles are among the top search results? That’s how important it is to have a presence on social media.
If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re not taking advantage of this powerful digital real estate that’s available to you free of cost. In addition to Google, one way to help build trust and credibility among potential customers is by creating (and actively managing) social media profiles on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
It can be overwhelming but remember, you don’t have to be on every social media channel. What’s important is to be present on networks that are both relevant to your ideal customers and ones that you can manage or outsource management of. Most local businesses like yours are active on Facebook, Instagram and some on Twitter. These are generally the best sites to begin your social journey.
As you create relevant social media profiles, keep in mind these top pieces of advice:
- Choose your username wisely.
When you create a social media page, you’ll claim it with a url or “handle.” You want to pick a username that’s closest to your business name and speaks for itself. Many opt for one similar to their website url. For example, if your website is generalHVACbusiness.com, then you might choose a Facebook url of facebook.com/generalHVACbusiness. If possible, keep your username consistent across all different platforms. Do research on all social media accounts to see if it’s already taken before committing to a name. And keep in mind that there may be a restriction on the number of times you can change your username.
- Pick a profile picture that represents your brand.
Imagine your website being the storefront of your practice and your profile picture being a window to this storefront. You need to build trust with your customers before they call in. And it needs to be easy for them to recognize you. As a simple rule of thumb, we recommend using your logo as your profile picture and using that across platforms.
- Personalize your cover photo.
Businesses often forget about the cover photo. Your cover photo gives you an additional way to tell a story by using a visual. You might feature a vintage photograph to show how many years you’ve been serving customers. Or perhaps feature a fleet of your trucks. Get creative but keep it professional.
- Write a bio that tells about your mission & your key differentiator.
This is your chance to shine in one or two sentences for people visiting you for the first time. Try adding relevant keywords to your industry and a call-to-action at the end. As you fill out additional details in profile information, be sure to be consistent with the content document you used when filling out your Google Business Listing. For example, in your FB profile, list your address exactly as you listed it in your Google Business Listing. Remember, keeping your information consistent across channels is crucial to building trust with Google and your customers.
- Add a link to a specific landing page, website, or content you created.
Depending on what network you are on, the placement of the link may be more visible than others. One additional thing to consider is to include a link that redirects to a special offer on a separate landing page, your website, or a piece of content you created to entice your patients.
- Share a link to your social media pages on your website and/or with customers.
Provide multiple ways for your customers to connect with you and get a feel for the services and level of service you offer your customers.
- Write or share regular updates consistently to engage with your audience.
For example, you might share articles about plumbing tips or blog posts from your website. Sharing information and photos about your business regularly helps you build rapport with potential customers.
- Regularly update and evaluate your social media plans to align with best practices.
If you’re not seeing growth, consider investing in a paid social media strategy. We’ll continue that discussion in a moment.
Social media channels provide a smooth, no-fuss way for customers to interact with your brand in a space where they feel the most comfortable, so don’t “set it and forget it.” Hire someone or partner with someone who can help you make the most of your social media presence and bring in more customers and inquiries organically.
#socialmedia #hvacmarketing #plumbingmarketing #electricianmarketing
Tip 4: Design a cohesive brand that spans all marketing channels
Whether you’re opening a new business or considering stepping up your brand as you grow your existing business, it’s helpful to start with developing your brand standards and assets, and then ensure these are being used across all marketing platforms and channels.
Branding essentially “introduces” you to your prospective customers before they make contact with your business. Your brand tells the story of who you are and what you can do for your customers.
What is the “story” behind your business? Are you patriotic? Are you a family-owned business? Are you involved in your community or a supporter of local schools or athletics teams? You can tell all of these things about a business if they have a strong, consistent brand across multiple channels.
A cohesive brand sets the tone for every interaction your customer has with you. Your website, logo, marketing materials, social media pages, truck fleet, and every potential customer touchpoint should be consistent with that brand.
Evaluate your organization’s branding. If it’s not where it should be (or nonexistent), put some thought into it. Design a unique brand identity that spans all of your traditional and digital platforms and marketing programs.
What assets should you start developing or work on refining?
- Logo – This should be your most identified asset and should be unique to your practice. I know it’s tempting to use simple text as your practice name (and logo) to save money, but crafting a uniquely designed logo is worth the investment.
- Color Palette – Your brand identity should include a color palette that has primary colors, secondary colors and a guide for how to use them.
- Imagery – When developing your brand identity, you should think about the type of images you want to use on your website and marketing material.
- Font – Font is often underrated, but is a critical aspect that drives your brand identity. You’ll want to consider choosing a header, sub-header, and paragraph font that’s used throughout all of your marketing channels.
When developing these brand assets, organize them into a single brand standard guide, sometimes referred to as a brand book. This guide brand book can be shared with any employees, website, or marketing partners that may need it in on and offline communications with your prospects and customers.
Customers are searching for businesses just like yours, and your brand helps make those introductions and connections happen.
Chapter 2: Gain visibility at the top of Google
Because so many searches are conducted on Google each day, it’s critical to your success to rank higher on Google search results. Your goal should be to become more “findable” as your website, social media pages, and online listings are optimized. Google should recognize your business, know why your company deserves to be on the first page, and index your website accordingly.
How does a home improvement business like yours get to the top-ranking positions in Google? Isn’t page 2 or 3 good enough?
Page one in Google is where the action happens. Studies show that many people do not search past the first page of results. In fact, a whopping 75% of users never search pages two, three, or beyond.
Your mission is to achieve the highest-ranking position possible and occupy the multiple coveted spots on page 1. We’ve included 5 tips that should get you started on your quest for achieving Search Engine Dominance®.
Tip 5: Develop and implement an SEO Strategy
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process by which you optimize your digital presence to rank higher in search results. Hubspot describes it as “organizing a website’s content by topic, which helps search engines like Google understand a user’s intent when searching.”
If you can organize your business around topics related to keywords about plumbing, HVAC, and electrical services, you increase your expertise about those topics in the eyes of Google and in the eyes of your prospects and customers.
Implementing an effective SEO strategy can seem overwhelming, especially for someone who doesn’t live in the digital marketing world every day. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some key things to consider and evaluate when developing your home service business’ SEO plan:
- Keywords: Take the the first step in SEO by focusing on keywords and topics. Tools such as SEMrush can often help. If someone is searching for your business, what are the key terms or phrases they would use? Cross-reference your list with a list of similar terms using an SEO tool. These search terms, keywords, and topics will be crucial in the following strategies for building out SEO for your business. Include these keywords in page title tags and content you developm but be careful not to keyword stuff.
- Write for Your Customers: Create content such as blog posts, website pages, and more surrounding each of these topics and use them as “pillars” to build upon your credibility and expertise. Think about frequently asked questions your customers have. Incorporate your keywords in the content but be careful not to keyword stuff. Your primary responsibility is to ensure this content is valuable to your prospective and current customers.
- Measure for Success: As you embrace SEO as a business practice, you can measure success by paying attention to the traffic visiting your website. Traffic is one of the primary ways you know if SEO is working or whether you still have work to do.
To take advantage of everything SEO can do for your business, check out the 15 SEO tips for Plumbers in our Ultimate Guide to Grow Web Traffic and Win New Customers.
Tip 6: Work on Ranking in the Map Pack
Local HVAC, plumbing, and electrical businesses can greatly benefit by focusing on the “map pack.” The Google 3-pack is often found in the number one position of the majority of local business searches. This automatically triggers a positive response from potential customers searching for reliable and reputable home improvement services.
Having a top position on Google search helps visibility and cuts through the noise and clutter of an online landscape by providing information to customers more efficiently. Studies show that close to 80% of local searches via mobile devices translate to direct purchases. If a customer sees your business in the maps pack, you’re going to get more inquiries and more business.
This is where having a robust presence on Google My Business can help. Customers click through the maps and can easily access information about your business, as well as how to contact you. You can add links to social media accounts and grow your social following by having this prime position.
In addition to more traffic, the maps pack can go a long way in helping establish trust and credibility, as reviews are showcased more prominently here. The maps pack means that you should spend time communicating with customers to generate positive reviews. More on that topic to come.
To improve your chances of ranking in the Google Maps Pack, follow the following tips:
- Claim and Optimize your Google My Business Listing.
- Get more online reviews and respond to them.
- Create location specific service pages on your website.
Tip 7: Invest in Paid Search (also known is PPC or Search Engine Marketing) Strategy
If your home service business is actively working to gain visibility at the top of the first page of Google, investing in a Paid Search is crucial. Prospective customers are searching for services for their largest investments (their homes), and it’s important for your business to have an intentional search engine dominance strategy in place.
When discussing your search strategy, it’s best to focus on local efforts as much as possible. The reason is simple: it’s what will ultimately benefit your business the most. Local search marketing is a way to attract nearby customers to your business or, in your case, attract local customers to call on and have your business come to them. Local search marketing often includes paid and organic search marketing methods like the SEO techniques we’ve discussed throughout this article.
To understand how paid search fits into the picture, let’s begin by discussing the anatomy of the first page of Google. There are three primary sections:
Let’s begin by discussing the anatomy of the first page of Google. There are three primary sections:
- The paid section which can be up to seven placements. Four placements at the very top of the page and three placements at the very bottom of the page.
- The map section which can have up to four placements that typically sits below the paid section. You also have the ability to click a link that will take you to Google Maps where you can see additional options based on the searched service + location.
- The organic section which will have approximately 10 placements that will be listed below the paid & maps section.
Your goal is to drive bookings, appointments, and service calls. We’ll discuss how paid search can help you accomplish that. And the best part? If implemented properly, paid search will help you rank at the top of Google immediately.
- Google Ads’ pay-per-click and cost-per-click (PPC/CPC): With these types of promotions, you can set a budget or bid (the amount you’re willing to pay) to show up when a potential customer searches for a specific set of keywords or search inquiries. However, a Google Ad Campaign can be difficult to create, implement and successfully manage.
- Google’s Local Service Advertising: Service-based businesses like yours can implement Google’s Local Service Ads This can be an effective (and budget-friendly) form of advertising because you only pay when a customer interacts with your ad or inquires about your services. These ads are beneficial because of their location on SERPs – they’re at the very top! One caveat to these ads is that Google expects businesses to reply promptly. Otherwise, you might not be able to take advantage of these types of ads.
Tip 8: Document your Reputation Management Strategy
Are you making the right impression online? When people search for your business or services, what kind of tone does the information they find set? Are you receiving reviews? Are they positive?
Your online reputation is there, whether you carefully manage it or not. People are having conversations about your company, and, if left unchecked, those conversations could slant negative and ruin the chances of you growing your business.
Think reviews don’t matter? 97% of people check reviews before visiting a business, and 93% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. While trust is essential to all interactions online, reviews are one way to build trust with customers before the first inquiry happens.
Google My Business is one platform for managing and responding to online reviews, whether positive or negative. Facebook also provides opportunities for people to recommend your business to their friends and family. You should be monitoring reviews on these pages to ensure your brand is represented in its best light.
Other reviews sites for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical companies include:
- Angie’s List,
- Home Advisor,
- and even places like Nextdoor, where neighbors make recommendations and often ask for referrals.
What can you do to build your online reputation to a level where customers pick you as their service provider?
- Claim your business listings (see Tip 2).
- Grow Your online reviews. If you’d like to receive more reviews online, all you have to do is ask! Take some time to ask existing customers, who you’ve already established a good relationship with, to leave a review on Google, Facebook, or any other channel you’re trying to grow. Many times, people will be glad to help you out.
- Make the review process convenient. Send Satisfaction Surveys to all customers after visits (See Tip 13) and ask promoters to submit online reviews if they haven’t already done so. Proactively respond to survey respondent’s negative feedback to mitigate likelihood of negative online reviews.
- Monitor your online reviews. Monitor all your listings for activity. Leverage tools such as Google Custom Alerts to notify you of mentions of your business.
- Be responsive. Respond to and interact with customers who take the time to leave a review or recommendation. Thank them for positive reviews, and tell them you’ll address any problems mentioned in reviews that are less than stellar. Showing that you listen to your customers is an important first step in building stronger relationships with those customers.
- Know how to respond to negative reviews. Negative reviews will happen, but you know what? A few will show your customers that you’ve not altered feedback. However, it is important that you respond to them following a few best practices: (1) respond in 1-2 business days (2) Acknowledge, Apologize, and Thank the Reviewer (3) If the conversation continues, offer to take it offline.
- Build on the positives. Mitigate the impact of negative reviews by gaining more positive reviews. Over time, new positive content will push down the negative reviews to build on positives, consistently ask for reviews and post informative blogs about issues your customers care about.
Tip 9: Develop your Home Service Company's Content Marketing Plan
It is important to entice potential customers to your business’ website by showcasing your expertise and thought leadership. Customers want to understand their house problems. They want to read about how to fix them. They want to hear what your technicians have to say about the best way to prevent problems, fix problems, and optimize the home experience. And they want to know how your services can help them enjoy their homes. One of the most effective ways to do this is to produce regular and frequent content, usually in the form of blogs, additional website copy, and even video content.
Content can accomplish many goals for a successful home services company:
- Blog content can showcase your thought leadership on solutions and outcomes. Whether explaining a before/after scenario of a willing customer’s home, or describing how a certain service is efficiently, conveniently, and effectively provided, you want to show your customers the extent of knowledge of your business and its technicians.
- Blogs and videos can cover a large list of frequently asked questions, common myths, and purely educate in your industry of expertise. Think of your DIY crowd. Many want to know how to do something themselves and, when shown and perhaps try, will often find it more difficult than expected and will call you and your technicians to do it for them. These blogs can be showcased in the form of monthly newsletters, posted on social media channels, and even distributed via paid ads.
- Content signals to search engines what your business website is all about, thereby making it easier for them to index your content and show it to the right people organically at the point they’re searching for your information. It is important that you use the right keywords in the content that you develop. Regularly updated blog content, covering relevant and helpful topics, will become a means by which people discover and gain confidence in your company to the point of reaching out for a service visit.
The best blogs are the ones that show expertise from the experts themselves. That said, it’s no secret that your technicians and specialists are extremely busy and out in the field. To overcome this, there are ways to effectively produce lots of valuable content each month.
- A Content Calendar is a Must. best practice for a blog is to sit down once every 5-6 months and plan out what you’re going to write about. Bring in several subject matter experts into a room, and do a 20-30 minute brainstorming session about topics customers most want to read. Identify which topics can be written by which person in the business.
- Speed Rounds of Blogging. Once you’ve prepared your 6-month content calendar with 12-18 different topics, you should have assigned who will be the “expert” on each blog post. Let’s say you have a plumber who will be the expert on three of those blogs over the next six months. Have someone interview that plumber in a quick 30-minute session at a time when they’re not seeing servicing houses. Ask them pertinent questions about the blog topics, and record the conversation. Later, you can transcribe the conversation, clean it up into different blog topics, allow the owner to proof them for accuracy, and you’ve knocked out three really powerful posts without taking up too much of your plumber’s time.
And if you don’t have the bandwidth to develop content in-house, reach out to a trusted marketing provider that specializes in the home services industry.
Tip 10: Build Local Pages and Services Pages
Once your business has a website that’s lightning fast, delivers a great user experience and offers great content, you’re off to a great start. However, to gain great rankings on page 1 of Google, it’s likely you’ll need to continue investing in building new pages on your website.
Let’s discuss the types of pages you’ll need to develop and why they help.
- Individual Service Pages – Do you specialize in more than one home improvement area? If so, make sure you’re taking advantage of digital real estate opportunities by building individual service pages with robust content focused around your core services. You’ll send a strong signal to Google that you offer that service and thereby have a better chance of ranking for that service in your local market. Examples of service pages in your space include: HVAC, Air conditioning and heating, Plumbing, Emergency services, Lighting, and Electrical (or any other service your company provides).
- Local Market Pages – Let’s In addition to these service-pages, you should create pages for the primary cities or metro areas you service. HVAC, electrical, and plumbing companies who travel to customers’ homes for business purposes are the definition of a single-location service area business (SAB). You might have a business address or physical location, but you certainly don’t do business by letting customers come to you. Chances are your business services multiple zipcodes and maybe even multiple cities. You increase the chances of showing up in specific city-related searches by creating “local” pages on your website.
Yes, it can be time-consuming to create these additional website pages, but the ROI is often worth it. Your website needs to reflect what people are searching for. Developing local or service-specific landing pages on your site helps you increase visibility when people are searching for those services you offer nearby.
Chapter 3: Build brand awareness and connect with potential customers.
Brand awareness is how consumers recognize and remember your business. The greater the brand awareness you have, the more audiences will be familiar with your logo, messaging, and products. This definition is broad and somewhat vague, but so is brand awareness. It’s an all-encompassing term for how aware and informed people are about your brand. And it’s very important to creating a successful business that can be found online.
Brand awareness takes time and is the result of numerous efforts working together to build a cohesive story about your business.
Why is it important for your business? It helps audiences understand what you do and who you are. It allows audiences to remember you the next time they’re in a pinch or need your services. And it enables you to cast a relatively wide net in terms of potential customers.
Many people who could potentially be customers spend a great deal of time online. Use this to your advantage by creating brand awareness on the right channel through social ad campaigns, email, surveys, and more!
Tip 11: Create Social Ad Campaigns that Reach the Right Audience
Social Media Advertising is so effective because it provides a unique opportunity for small-to-medium sized businesses like yours to get in front of your ideal customers.
Are you trying to grow awareness? Drive traffic to your website, landing page, review site or other places where you can track success through a real world interaction? Drive service calls?
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram provide the following targeting options to help you accomplish these goals:
- Geographic targeting: specific cities or a mile radius capturing your service areas;
- Demographic targeting: age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, and education level;
- Interest targeting: serving your ads to individuals whose interests broadly align with your targeted audience;
- Custom: creating a custom audience using your email list (the more emails the better), fans of your page, or information from a past campaign who performed well; and
- Lookalike: to refine your targeting, you can create a lookalike audience from that custom audience you created, to deliver your ad to people who are similar to them.
Chapter 4: Re-Engage your customer base
Once someone is a customer, your attitude should be that they remain a customer for life. But how can you re-engage someone who doesn’t need your services right now? Check in with them from time to time and continue to provide value.
Your customers likely receive hundreds of phone calls and emails in a given day. The last thing you want to do is bother them or annoy them. Find the right opportunities to connect with existing customers.
You can do so so through an email or newsletter that ensures that your company stays top of mind. In tips 12 and 13, we explore how and with what you can engage your customers.
Tip 12: Email Your Current Customers (Think Maintenance Plans & Increasing Lifetime Value).
Brands are built on repeat customers. Repeat customers are also the most cost-effective way to increase your sales revenue. It is why understanding your Customer Lifetime Value is so important to determining marketing ROI.
Are you collecting email addresses from your current customers? Those addresses are the keys to increasing the lifetime value of your average customer. With the vast majority of adults utilizing email, developing an email newsletter strategy can be great way for your business to stay front of mind to your customers. In fact, the number of email users globally is 3.9 billion and is expected to grow to 4.48 billion users by 2023!
If you provide a positive, efficient, and effective experience for a client who called you with a home problem, there’s a good chance they’ll call you again when they have another problem. But how about prevention of those problems? And using you for other services that they may not be aware you offer?
For these reasons and many more, it is important to stay top of mind with clients by sending them emails.
Email marketing provides opportunities for your business to:
- Reward Loyalty: Perhaps you offer a discount for renewing a service plan? Or an incentive for using more than one of your services? Customer loyalty programs make customers feel valued by enabling them to receive discounts or promotional offers that are not offered to other clients. It also reduces friction for repeat clients by creating an incentive for continued use of your business over the competition for home services.
- Share Company Announcements: Perhaps your business has a specialty or a few key services it is known for in the area. While that awareness is an asset, the challenge is informing your existing customers that your services expand beyond such that scope. Perhaps you’ve begun offering a new electrical service like outdoor landscape lighting or another service? Notify and educate your existing customers about your new service offering.
- Share Timely Promotions & Educate Customers: Perhaps you’d like to incentive customers to sign up for your HVAC maintenance plan during the busy season in preparation for the winter season? Via email, you can educate your customers on the energy and cost savings associated with being on a regular maintenance plan as compared to waiting until there’s a problem. Consider including a blog you developed. Email marketing provides an avenue to educate and inform existing clients about your expertise and the variety of solutions you offer them, along with why yours is superior to the competition.
- Send Birthday and Anniversary Emails: Go the extra mile by showing your human side and wish you customers a happy birthday and/or happy house anniversary.
Cadence and Consistency are the most important aspects of email marketing — it can’t be too frequent or too sparse. Finding the right communication balance can be tricky, but there are plenty of ways your customers can benefit from receiving emails from your business.
In order for all of this glorious email communication to take place, you must maintain accurate records. During a service visit, have your technician ensure that the information on file is up to date and accurate in order to have a complete customer profile for marketing purposes.
Track your success by measuring open rates, click-through rates, and engagement rates in order to determine how well your emails are received. If you notice upticks with certain types of emails or vice versa, listen to that. It’s important to pay attention to what your customers want.
Tip 13: Send Satisfaction Surveys & Solicit Feedback
Whether it’s via email or a link made available on your website, the simple act of sending a satisfaction survey to clients once you’ve finished the job can provide opportunities for your business to grow and evolve to meet the needs of customers.
If there is negative feedback, consider it a learning experience and a chance to improve. If the feedback is positive, reviews and testimonials can be generated and made live on your website, Google My Business profile, Facebook page and beyond.
Want to know how your customer surveys can make the most impact?
- Keep them short. Your customers are busy.
- Send them at the right times. Ideally, you should send surveys soon after a job is completed.
- Make sure it’s optimized for mobile. A lot of people check emails and conduct these types of surveys on their phones, so you should make it easy for them to fill it out via mobile.
- Keep the ultimate goal of the survey in mind. Surveys offer you a chance to improve, and, if positive feedback is received, it can provide you with content for your marketing materials.
Create and test your survey first and make sure there are no bugs before you begin sending it out. Better yet, enlist the help of your employees so you can get accustomed to receiving feedback electronically.
It Pays for Home Service Businesses to have a well thought out Marketing Strategy
Throughout our explanation of marketing your home services business, we hope it’s become clear that there are many components that come together to form a successful marketing plan.
It isn’t enough to build a website and expect sales to come pouring in. You must actively market your business in order to build your customer base and increase your sales. With all home improvement businesses, such as plumbing, HVAC, or electrical companies, there is stiff competition.
How will you be able to reach the right customers?
A smart marketing strategy helps you show up when your customers are searching for your services and reach your ideal customer profiles across social platforms. It allows you to tell your story and sets you apart from “the other guy.” Once someone becomes more familiar with your business and what you can offer, a relationship can be created.
The best part about pursuing online marketing for your business? It works even while your business is closed.
Do you have any other questions about marketing your home service business? We enjoy helping companies just like yours dominate search results and increase sales and customer conversions.
Contact us now to hear more and connect with one of our home service marketing specialists.