7 Smart Lead Generation Strategies for Home Service Contractors
Why is home service lead generation essential? The short answer is – it’s the most effective way for small businesses to overcome the competition. According to marketing experts Hubspot, most marketers say that their number one goal is lead generation (61%).
Home service companies and general contractors in all trades use lead generation for selling their services and generating revenue. A good home service lead generation marketing campaign must be multifaceted to help attract quality leads from the local service area
Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation is crucial for home service contractors because gaining new customers is essential for growing business quickly and effectively. However, continually generating new leads can be challenging.
The primary objective of a lead generation campaign is to help home service companies find new clients. Leads are essential for any business looking to expand its customer base.
The setup for this process is as follows:
2. Once a company has all of this information, it can begin contacting leads to generate sales. With the help of an effective lead generation strategy, contractors can focus on other aspects of their business while leads are being generated for them. That is why the right lead generation strategy is critical to business growth.
Lead Generation Strategies
A lead generation strategy will help you optimize your Google My Business profile. It is crucial to have an accurate and complete profile. It helps potential customers find you when they search for local businesses and gives them confidence that they are dealing with a legitimate business.
A lead generation company might offer to list your business in directories, email lists, and publish your business on social media platforms. Unfortunately, there are many lead generation platforms, but not all of them perform well.
The quality of leads supplied from such platforms is a factor to consider before you decide to commit to a lead supplier long term. Careful analysis of lead data will give you a clear picture of how well your lead generation efforts are working.
You’ll need to decide if it’s worth it for you to pay extra money for leads that convert at a higher rate.
What is lead scoring? Lead scoring is a process that assigns “weight” to each lead based on the resulting action. For example, when a website visitor fills out an initial inquiry form, this action will carry less weight than when a potential customer actually requests a quote. The weight assigned to each action increases as the potential customer progresses through your sales funnel.
Assessing your conversion rate data from a few campaigns can help you measure how well your lead generation strategies are performing. The higher the quality of leads supplied, the more money it’s worth paying for them.
Not all leads will convert into sales instantly. Unless you do something with these leads, you won’t get any money back from them. So it’s important to continually add value to these leads until they’re ready to be converted into customers.
Email marketing, which we discuss later, should play a key role in your lead generation strategy, as the ROI is high and results can be tracked. For example, you have an email list of 100 subscribers and send them one email per month. You can track how many of those 100 people hire your services the following month, within 3 months, etc.
When it comes to marketing activities for home service contractors, lead generation and conversion should be top of your list! You need to focus your efforts on getting leads and then the best way to convert those leads into paying customers.
Assessing your lead conversion
For each lead that you receive, ask yourself the question: “Did this person hire us?” or “Did we sell something to this person?” Lead conversion rates help you determine how often leads turn into an actual sale.
How do you calculate lead conversion? The simplest method is to add up the total leads you receive in a period (month, quarter, etc.). Then determine how many of them converted into a ‘sale’ or revenue-generating opportunity. Finally, divide conversions by the total leads. Say you get 50 leads one month, and those result in 10 paying customers. Your conversion rate is 10/50 = 0.2 or 20%.
Lead conversion rates differ across industries and trades. Here are some estimated conversion rates for a general contractor who gets leads from 3 different lead generation platforms:
Depending on the company and industry that you’re in, it can be diffcult for a lead to convert after just one contact. That’s why home service companies need to have a plan to reach out to leads after the first contact. You can use a lead scoring system to determine how likely a potential customer will convert into a paying customer.
The number one reason that leads fail to convert is that businesses are too slow. If you don’t follow up with the prospect within 24 hours, then chances are that they go elsewhere.
What is the best way to follow up on leads?
Some companies try to reach out by email and phone. Many tools are available that let you schedule calls, send emails, and view stats like when a person was last contacted. When someone enters their email in your contact form for a quote on painting their home – you can use a tool that will set a reminder for you.
7 Actionable Contractor Lead Generation Strategies for 2021
Here are 7 contractor lead generation strategies that will help you produce the demand needed to stay competitive in this challenging industry
#1. Optimize your Google My Business profile
The first step in lead generation for home service contractors is to establish a strong online presence. This starts with your Google My Business profile (a free service) and then taking further steps to expand your online reach.
How do I optimize my Google My Business listing?
To optimize your Google My Business profile, you need to complete the following:
Include your website, phone number, and email contact details.
Add all of your relevant service categories.
Complete your opening hours and location information.
Connect with customers through reviews.
What about GMB posts – how do I use them?
Creating blog posts on your GMB profile is a great way to share industry insights with customers and drive them to your website. You can create or link to these articles from the “Activity” section of your Google My Business dashboard.
Once you’ve started optimizing your Google My Business profile, it’s time to start expanding your online footprint through other digital marketing activities.
What about Google Maps – does that link to Google My Business?
Yes! By optimizing your Google My Business profile, you’ll have a better chance of getting found through location-based searches on Google Maps.
#2. Implement local SEO strategies
With more than 76% of consumers using search engines to find “near me” services, you must implement local SEO strategies for your home service business. The most effective strategy is to rank number one in local search results.
How do I begin local SEO strategies for my home service business?
It’s important to identify the keywords that your ideal customers might use in searches.
For example, if you are a landscaper in Denver, you may want to begin with SEO strategies for keywords like “Denver lawn maintenance” or “Hire a landscaper”. We
recommend checking out Google Trends for ideas on popular search terms.
Another local SEO tactic is to include your address on all of your digital assets, like the footer and About Us page on your website. Also, include a link to Google Maps (and directions!).
Can I do local SEO myself or do I need an expert to help?
In the age of Google, it’s quite easy to do basic local SEO yourself – if you have the time. Most platforms have built-in tools that will help you with your citations and backlinks,
which are two important aspects of local SEO.
If you’re not well-versed in digital marketing or don’t have a lot of time then it is probably best to leave local SEO to an expert!
Is local SEO expensive?
Local SEO isn’t necessarily expensive, it just depends on the company you hire. For example, a home service contractor probably won’t pay as much for their local SEO strategy as a big-box company trying to compete with other national businesses. Your best bet is to start building your local SEO strategy and then adjust based on search performance results. Remember, you’re investing in lead generation!
#3. Create a review strategy
How do I begin local SEO strategies for my home service business?
Besides asking for online reviews from clients, you should also invite them to leave reviews on local rating sites like Google and Yelp. If you own or manage a company profile on these platforms then take advantage of the ability to ask existing customers for reviews!
Requesting 5-star ratings from your customers can help boost your search engine rankings. If you feel uncomfortable asking for reviews directly, there are review apps and platforms to consider investing in.
The better your reviews and online ratings look, the more Google will promote your business on its search engine results pages (SERPs).
Consider this; a potential customer searches for a service provider like a house painter. They see ten five-star reviews on the first page of Google, that’s a powerful reason for them to pick up the phone and call for an estimate!
When your competitor builds their online presence in this way, how will you beat them?
Review solicitation isn’t as easy as it looks and could end up alienating clients rather than encouraging them to write a good review online. If you ask customers for reviews too early, they may not have had enough time or experience with your company to say anything meaningful. It’s better to follow up later, especially if it was a major project that took weeks or months to complete.
What if I offer an incentive?
You may be surprised how many customers will leave you a review when they receive something in return. Even though it might give them a positive experience, the reviews could reflect poorly on your company’s service unless they are all glowing 5-star ratings! Customers shouldn’t feel forced to rate your business your goal should be to deliver such excellent service that they WANT to give you a positive review.
You also might want to consider how much of a product or service you give away as an incentive. If you offer customers $50 for a review, you’ll probably get their attention, but their opinion may be biased by your compensation. Instead, the incentive should reflect the value of your service offering and leave them satisfied even without any incentive to write a review.
#4. Supplement organic search with paid ads
What is the difference between organic search and paid search results?
Paid ads appear above organic search results and are limited to a certain number of characters, usually 30.
In contrast, organic search results are driven by website traffic and other ranking factors – not by how much you pay for ads. Organic search results show the company name, text snippet, and a link to its website or Google My Business page.
So why do I need paid ads as well as local SEO?
It’s not enough to just have a well-optimized Google My Business page. Without paid search, you can expect to compete against the first page of results for your most important keywords with companies that already have a strong online presence. This could result in losing 50% of potential leads.
Your goal is to rank #1 on the first page of Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) for high-intent keywords like ‘plumber near me’ or ‘landscape design Denver’.
Building authority through dozens of citations, reviews, and other local SEO factors will help you rank higher in search results. But even with major online reputation management efforts, it can be diffcult to outrank your competitors without using paid ads strategically.
#5. Nurture leads with email marketing
How do I do email marketing for my home service business?
Email marketing is an extremely effective way to reach your current customers and generate more quality leads. Once you have generated interest from a lead, you want to nurture that relationship until they become a customer. This can be done through regular email drip campaigns.
Sending customers follow-up emails is an easy way to follow up, build rapport, and remind them that you’re still there when they need you.
What are the basic steps of email marketing for a home service business?
There are a few basics that you need to build your email campaign around.
What is a lead nurturing campaign?
A lead nurturing campaign allows you to guide the customer through their journey with your company and convert people from prospects into customers. You do this by marking them as interested or qualified, then giving them reasons to use your service and stay interested regularly.
For example, local lawn care specialists might send out a series of emails with tips and recommendations for using their lawn care products. Then they could create a special offer or promotion to drive sales of their products and services.
Another example involves emailing customers following a purchase, or after they have hired you, then following up after the transaction to check in about satisfaction.
There are multiple ways to do email marketing for a home service business. For example, you can use automated tools to send out marketing emails at various stages of the customer lifecycle, or you can create custom campaigns using email autoresponders.
Why is email marketing critical? Let’s take a look at some email marketing stats: According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 87% of marketers say that email marketing is still effective, just behind social media at 90%.
That means that if you’re not using email marketing for lead generation, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
What kinds of emails should I be sending? Here are some suggestions:
Sales Progression Emails
Create an email series that sends messages at different stages of the buying/selling process to keep customers informed and interested in what you offer.
Thank You Emails
Send an email to thank customers after they make a purchase or hire your services.
Deliver targeted offers and discounts. Make sure you use clear calls to action in your emails, so each offer directly fulfills the next step in your sales funnel.
Create custom content for each of your leads based on their original inquiry. This helps you gain a better understanding of your leads and their preferences.
A simple follow-up email reminding your customer that they haven’t yet purchased anything or responded to your quote details can be extremely effective at stimulating sales. Try to send this within one or two days of the inquiry being sent out to keep it fresh in your customers’ minds.
If you want more customers to become repeat customers, you need to forge a strong relationship with them. When they are making buying decisions about home services, typically they will turn to those whom they trust for advice.
Why are trust and branding critical for business growth?
If your home service business is not the first they think of then you will have to work a little harder at branding yourself and connecting with people.
One of the best ways you can build trust is by being honest. If you make a mistake, admit to it quickly and ask if there is anything you can do to rectify the situation.
When a customer asks for quotes to compare prices, respond quickly and be prepared to send alternative quotes so that they can choose the best option.
You can also include a CTA (call to action) at the bottom of your email to convert leads into customers. Already have a link in your emails? Great! But did you know that using a call to action “button” can increase lead acquisition by 45% instead of just using plain hyperlinked text?
If a customer has purchased from you before, chances are they will use your service again – but it’s not always a sure thing. You need to find ways to make your product or service stand out above the rest
#6. Build rapport between the leads and your company
How do I build rapport with potential customers?
The customer should never be able to tell that your business is trying to force them to buy. They will pick up on the difference in your tone and approach if you come across as “sales-y”. However, if you are friendly and engaging then they won’t feel like they are being sold to. This will help you build rapport with potential customers so that when they decide to buy a product or hire a service they think of you!
Great! But how do I do it?
Send them personal emails! Email is one of the best ways to build rapport with a potential customer.
Don’t be pushy when you write your email. Be personable and leave some sort of lasting impression on your new lead or customer. Send them information that they might find interesting but don’t try to sell anything at first. Become a trusted source of information and they will come to you for whatever it is that you are selling.
Here are 3 steps to help build rapport with a lead inquiry:
1. Introduce yourself, your business, and your website.
2. Highlight a relevant blog post on your site or recommend an article for the customer to read. You can say something along the lines of “this might be helpful to you”. People love free information that they think will help their lives, so sending them a short informative email could put you ahead of your competitors.
3. Conclude the email by providing a link to contact you for further information or conversation and thank them for their inquiry. This is just one example of what you might say if you are trying to build rapport with email leads. There are many other ways that you could do this as well.
#7. Run a referral program
What is a referral program?
A referral program lets your customers refer their friends to you in exchange for some sort of reward or benefit. How do you know if one would be right for your home service business? A good referral program should track referrals, have unique referral links, a referrer sign-up page, and an automated reward system.
How does a referral program work for a home service business in Denver?
This is an extremely powerful tactic for home service contractors. Word-of-mouth referrals are responsible for 19% of all buying decisions. People are more likely to use the services that their friends and family members have used. Why? Because they trust them and know
that they will only recommend businesses or people who are honest and reliable.
How do I set up a referral program?
The first step is to set up a referral program by signing up for one of the many referral software tools available. Or include a referral submission form on your website. It doesn’t take much effort once you’ve set it up, and it can result in more leads.
There are different types of rewards you can offer for referrals:
Hand out referral cards to all your satisfied customers.
Run a referral contest on your social media pages.
Gifts for referrals.
Discounted products or services for multiple referrals.
When someone refers a new customer who books work with you, you effectively get more leads for almost no effort!
Leveraging Lead Generation
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any home service business. Getting the right kind of leads is as crucial as having a quality website in place. With these strategies in hand, you’ll be on your way to becoming a lead generation machine!
In this article, we have discussed the importance of tried and tested strategies to generate more leads. Let’s recap what lead generation is.
Lead generation is when a potential customer fills out your lead capture form or clicks on your custom link to express an interest in your service. Closing the loop means that you’re able to respond and convert these leads into paying customers.
Is lead generation an ongoing process? Yes, if you want to grow your business because you can never have enough leads. It’s not an overnight process, but with the strategies we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll be able to boost your lead conversion rates.
What action are you going to take now? Let us know in the comments below