The home services industry has a projected growth rate of 35.81%% between 2019 and 2026, according to Verified Market Research. And with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more homeowners to work from home (and face that long-forgotten home improvement project), that might be an underestimate.
But as the industry grows, so do advertising costs.
Today’s home services business can expect to pay an average of:
- $53.18 per lead through online search ads.
- $85.47 per lead through display ads.
- $80.12 per lead through social media ads.
Rising ad costs have led many home services providers to rely on lead generation services such as Amazon Home Services, Thumbtack, Angi (previously Angie’s List), and more with moderate success.
5 ways to boost home services leads
While pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and lead generation services can drive valuable leads to your business, you don’t have to solely rely on them to generate leads. These five marketing solutions will help you find new leads without breaking the bank.
1. Make the most of your business cards
Your home services business card is still one of the most valuable tools for your lead generation strategy, even in the ever-growing digital marketing landscape.
One way you can take your business cards to the next level is to tie them directly to your online marketing strategy. To do so, create an exclusive offer for people who receive a business card. For example, HVAC businesses could offer a 10% discount on installation for those who call the number on the card, or roofers could offer an exclusive guide on roof maintenance via a unique URL.
Business cards also provide a range of other benefits:
- Business cards offer the quickest way for your team to exchange business contact information while out in the field.
- Well-made, high-quality business cards signal professionalism and care for your business and image.
- Business cards can be used in a variety of ways, such as leaving them in high-traffic areas, including them with invoices and receipts, and giving them to friends, family, and co-workers to hand out to your target audience.
- You can print hundreds of business cards for a minimal cost.
When your business cards offer real value to your leads and prospects (and don’t just take up space in their wallets), they function as a powerful lead-generating tool that can help keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Related: Use a call tracking number on your business cards to measure how well they drive phone calls to your business.
2. Ask your customers for online reviews
According to BrightLocal, “87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses” before they make contact or buy from them. Additionally, 79% of consumers trust online reviews and testimonials from strangers as much as they do recommendations from their own friends and family. A key component to getting more home service leads is to actively collect and display online reviews and testimonials across third-party sites and on your website.
Make it a habit to ask for reviews from customers after they make a purchase or when you complete a project. This can be as simple as asking in person, placing a reminder on your invoice, or providing them with a link in a follow-up text message, email, or phone call.
The best places for home services businesses to collect reviews include:
Google is the most used search engine on the market. Your Google My Business (GMB) page displays your business contact information, such as your name, address, and phone number, as well as your customer reviews. Getting reviews on Google also helps your search rankings, so make it your No. 1 destination for collecting reviews.
These lead-generating and review platforms are the most used online home directory sites. The more positive reviews you capture on these platforms, the higher your business will rank.
The Better Business Bureau is one of the most trusted online review sites and ensures review accuracy by verifying all customer reviews. The organization also offers a BBB accreditation that can help your home services business build credibility.
We’ll touch on using social media below, but Facebook offers a valuable review platform that can accelerate your home service leads. And with a majority of Americans over age 12 using Facebook, it’s easy to collect reviews from your customers.
Ninety percent of people who use Yelp to review a business or service make a purchase within a week. It’s free to get started with a local business listing.
Once you’ve collected a number of reviews from your customers, take the best ones and place them on high-traffic areas of your website. It will go a long way toward helping your business establish credibility and generate more home service leads.
Related: Easily see which customers you’ve asked for reviews from with CallRail’s Lead Center — an all-in-one business communications platform that keeps each of your lead communications in one organized inbox.
3. Engage with your target audience on social media
With 82% of the U.S. population spending time on social media channels, your business needs to have a social media presence if it wants to organically attract new customers. When you engage with your target audience on the social media channels they already use, you build brand awareness and credibility that can ultimately influence a buyer’s decision.
The largest social media channels in the United States are:
Studies show that professional services that use social media to organically promote their businesses and develop a community around their brands show a 4% conversion rate of visitors to customers.
While having a presence on multiple social media channels can be beneficial, home services businesses should prioritize Facebook for their social media marketing. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is the most popular social media channel among 30- to 64-year-olds — which is also the demographic of those most likely to own a home.
To start, create a Facebook Business Page complete with your business name, contact details, a profile picture, and a call to action informing viewers how to contact you. Then, focus on creating high-quality, helpful, and shareable content. You’ll want to post content that showcases your personality, tells customer success stories, and occasionally advertises any promotions or sales your business offers.
Reliable Plumbing & Heating Services in Monterey, California, uses their Facebook page to showcase positive customer reviews, advertise their services, and book new leads directly through the Facebook platform.
4. Set up a referral system
Satisfied customers make the best brand advocates for any home services business, and setting up a referral system to incentivize vocal customers is a surefire marketing strategy for generating new, high-quality leads. Plus, referrals have a 16% higher lifetime value and are 18% more likely to stay with your business for the long haul — making them even more valuable for business owners.
The best referral systems are easy to implement for both business owners and satisfied customers. Referral platforms like Extole keep everything organized in one place, giving businesses complete control over the look and feel of their referral programs, the rewards and incentives offered to advocates and referrals, and the real-time analytics necessary to measure results.
Vivint, a provider of home security products and installation, used an early referral campaign to give brand advocates the opportunity to earn up to $600 by referring new customers to their business. Not only did the advocates get $50 per referral, but new customers also received $50 toward their first purchase, making it a win-win-win for their business, their customers, and referrals.
A study by Texas Tech found that “83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer products or services” to friends, family, and strangers, but, unfortunately, only 29% of customers actually do. Implementing a referral marketing program can help you close the gap and make the most of your satisfied customers’ enthusiasm for your service.
5. Update your Google My Business listing
Google My Business (GMB) listings are the secret to quickly showing up in Google’s local search engine results and generating organic home service leads. Your GMB listing literally places your home services business on the map, boosts your local search engine optimization (SEO), and makes it easy for potential leads to contact you via your phone number or website.
On average, GMB profiles for local businesses receive 1,009 impressions (how many times it shows up in the search results) per month, with 84% of those impressions coming from customers who are looking for help but don’t have a specific business in mind. If you’re looking to get more home service leads in your local service area, then showing up on Google is critical to your success.
You’ll first need to create (or claim) your GMB profile by logging into the Google My Business website and following the directions. As you set up your profile, make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across each of your online channels (social media, website, third-party review sites, etc.) to help Google keep track of your business’s online presence. Then, start boosting your GMB profile by sending out a special link to your previous customers asking them to leave a review.
In a local “roofers near me” search, Premo Roofing Company in Marina, California, uses its GMB listing to collect and display customer reviews right alongside its contact information. With a 4.7-star rating spanning 44 reviews, you can bet they receive more clicks from potential home service leads than businesses that haven’t optimized their GMB profile.
Source: Local Google search for “roofers near me” in Marina, California
Google considers a number of factors in how your GMB profile ranks, but you can optimize your profile by collecting reviews, including relevant photos, posting occasional updates and promotions, and working on your website SEO. Additionally, consider using a unique call tracking number to measure how effectively your profile is driving phone calls.
Don’t underestimate the power of repeat business
Generating new home service leads is essential if you want to stay in business, but don’t overlook the power of repeat customers and business. It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to retain one. While every home services business should hone their marketing strategy to constantly attract qualified home improvement leads, focus on maintaining good communication and relationships with your existing customers so they’ll come back to you for help again and again.
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