Feel your plumbing business needs a boost but can’t figure out what’s lacking?
Lead generation is probably the missing link — you’ll have to know the right ways to fetch new customers or leads to achieve the growth you desire. The first step is to understand your target customers and their preferences when it comes to choosing a plumbing service.
Thereafter, you’ll need a lead generation framework to expand your reach to potential customers.
Here’s a bit of a spoiler: devising outreach strategies for the framework can initially seem tricky to any business owner or individual plumber. It needs considering several key factors and adopting a systematic approach.
That’s why we’ve discussed the nine best strategies in this guide to help you out. Go ahead and give it a read.
What Lead Generation Means for Plumbers
Whether you’re new to the plumbing business or have been around for a few years, you surely know that the field is quite competitive.
That’s why generating new customers is tough unless you have a definite marketing plan in place. Seeing your plumbing business run on a loss is the last thing you’d want!
Now, let’s delve deeper to understand what the lead generation system entails for such businesses. To ensure they continue getting new customers, plumbers should employ a diverse marketing strategy. This implies an effective combination of tactics like social media marketing, SEO practices, Google Ads, and email marketing.
Most importantly, the process should fetch high-value plumbing leads that ideally conclude with paid plumbing jobs. There are several metrics to consider in this regard, no matter whether you’re an individual plumber or own a plumbing business:
- Your website traffic
- Reach into the community
- Investments for specific business needs
- Competition within your area
- Existing customers and networking
Also, plumbing lead generation isn’t an activity that you can set and forget. It will need critical thinking and regular monitoring so that you can tweak the strategy when it doesn’t fetch the desired results.
Your plumbing company should stay relevant and in line with the expectation of the audience. So, keep this in mind while adjusting advertisements, interacting with customers on social media or via email, and altering any marketing tactic.
Our Suggested Plumber Lead Generation Strategies
1.) Advertise to the newer generation of homeowners
Gone are the days when business advertising hinged on channels such as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, and radio.
Today’s businesses require using advanced online tools such as Google Local Services and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. After all, most customers look for domestic repair and installation services online, usually through Google.
That’s why experts advise allocating at least half of your marketing budget to implementing these strategies efficiently. Let’s take the example of PPC ads— these appear right above the search results on a Google search page, so potential customers are very likely to spot such ads.
And even if they’ve searched for a particular service only once, they’ll be shown ads by different service providers throughout subsequent browsing sessions. Rest assured that the visibility of your service will improve in the long term. Plus, you’ll only have to pay when a potential customer clicks on the ad.
The success of a PPC ad will depend on the popularity of the keyword it’s targeting. Naturally, the more competitive terms will generate more plumbing leads and will also require stretching your budget. The pricing for these ads is based on a system of bidding that changes with the change in the value of a search term.
In case you’re mainly relying on paid advertising, we’d suggest taking the help of digital marketing experts to perfect your online ads. Some even offer booking integration services with Google Ads to allow customers to schedule online appointments directly.
That’s not all; business owners can get ROI metrics for all Google Ad campaigns, which eases regular and efficient monitoring.
2.) Harness the power of SEO
Want to go for a more cost-effective approach to enhance your reach? Then you can try to appear on the search engine result page (SERP) below the PPC listings when buyers search for specific keywords.
Known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this approach lets companies show up when buyers search for services such as how to fix leakages, water tanks sold online, or appliance repair guides. The better SEO practices you adopt, the higher you rank on a SERP.
To increase the chances of a better rank near the top of the page, you’ll need to use top-ranking keywords in your content. This includes content displayed on the website, newsletters, digital advertising, business directories, and every other online marketing platform.
Also, you can attract plumbing customers in your area of service by including the neighborhood or city as keywords. When customers search for “plumber near me” or “leak repair” online, Google finds and shows the most relevant results as per the geographical location and topic.
Since organic (non-advertisement) results depend on location, relevance, authority, and similar factors, strong SEO can help small businesses appear alongside larger ones on the SERP.
Individual plumbers or plumbing businesses can handle SEO on their own, which makes this practice a low-cost alternative. But make sure you devote enough time to the process, as poor execution will have the opposite effect on your business.
3.) Optimize and redesign your website
After customers find a plumbing business on Nextdoor, Yelp, Google, etc., they’ll want to visit its website.
That’s why a plumbing website will need to be professional and user-friendly enough to convert a visitor into a customer. At the same time, you should optimize it fully with keywords that are most popular for organic searches on Google.
Remember that a poor website design can turn off leads and affect your reputation. So, ensure you’re investing in a website that ranks high in the above attributes.
Making the website mobile-friendly is another key factor when it comes to building an effective web presence. Customers browsing online for local plumbing services probably need one at the earliest and are likely searching from a mobile device.
So, a mobile-friendly website with a simple yet responsive design will rank higher in the Google search results for plumbing contractors.
Following are the most significant features of an ideal plumbing service website:
- Optimized Design: Go for a clean, easy-to-navigate website design and focus on relevant target keywords.
- Personalizing the message: Tell customers how you started the business or showcase your professionals’ work using videos.
- Easy-to-view contact details: Display your contact information at the top of the website.
- Blogs and podcasts: Create online resources like blogs or podcasts on the most-searched plumbing topics.
- Engaging CTAs: Utilize incentives such as discounts and special offers to increase website traffic and conversion rates.
4.) Leverage customer reviews
Verified reviews from customers who loved your service can work wonders in generating plumbing leads. Moreover, gathering such positive reviews is among the easiest marketing methods and the least expensive.
All you’ll need is a strategy to encourage customers to leave reviews, and a handful of them may take the initiative themselves. It’s simple — just ask them for a review after finishing the job. You can also send a text message with the review link.
Now, you can’t rule out negative reviews altogether, and responding to them wisely can actually help your business. Be attentive, upbeat, and direct in your reply to dissatisfied customers, and offer to rectify the fault, if possible. With such an approach, you can gain the trust of potential buyers.
5.) Take advantage of referrals
Also called word-of-mouth marketing, referrals are just as easy and effective as reviews in fetching more leads. A study found that 92% of potential buyers trust referrals by people they know personally.
As such, leads that you get through referrals are more likely to close compared to others. These are also more valuable — the customers are likely to spend considerably more than the non-referred ones.
So, how do you earn referrals? The most effective way is to encourage your customers to help. After finishing a job, ask the customer to have you in mind if their family or friends need a plumber. Just make sure to keep your tone friendly and casual, as you wouldn’t want customers to feel pressured.
Another effective alternative is to devise a customer referral program — you can offer happy customers referral incentives and create social media posts to spread the word.
While referrals are quite effective and low-cost sources of leads, you shouldn’t expect lots of them to come your way overnight. It takes time to build a consistent and strong marketing funnel exclusively based on referrals.
6.) Create a social media marketing plan
Nearly everyone around you has an account on at least one social media platform.
In fact, Americans spend an average of more than one hour every day on social media. No wonder leveraging these platforms is a highly popular lead generation strategy among today’s businesses.
Coming to the cost involved, since anyone with a social media account can use it for advertising, this form of marketing is technically free.
But there’s a catch: creating engaging posts on social media requires a specialized skill, so not all businesses can successfully achieve this on their own. That’s why setting up a budget is essential for hiring professional help.
Other significant factors at play are time and consistency. Social media marketing requires more time than business owners usually think. Alongside, posting relevant content regularly and remaining active with the audience will improve the chances of conversion.
This marketing strategy is a great method for generating quality plumbing leads if you’re already very active on social media.
7.) Automate business operations with mobile apps
Streamlining your business operations is key to maintaining a professional and polished approach and, in turn, attracting quality leads. Fortunately, many online service management companies can help you out in this regard.
They offer mobile apps to provide customer service teams and technicians with essential details of people calling to book a service. The details include their service history, notes from the technicians who handled the job and call occurrences. By using such software, businesses can adopt a more personalized approach while talking to customers and convert them easily.
Another excellent tool for efficient service management is dispatch software, which can help businesses dispatch suitable plumbers nearest to the customer. Not only that, you can monitor the GPS location of the field tech in real-time, which can reduce missed appointments and delays.
8.) Tie up with a lead generation partner
A relatively straightforward alternative is to pay plumber lead generation partners for the legwork. Here’s a word of caution: it can be expensive, so you’ll have to see if the cost suits your marketing budget and then go ahead.
By handing over the job to a lead generation expert, you can save the time needed to generate plumbing leads. This will allow you to focus on other vital aspects, such as closing deals and running the business efficiently. It’s also worth noting that the new jobs generated will provide the funds you’ll need for such a service.
That said, we recommend you properly vet the service/professional you’re hiring before signing the papers. Also, ensure you clearly understand the billable terms and scan the contract carefully so that you can be aware of any hidden charges.
9.) Monitor your marketing efforts
While applying the right marketing strategies is vital for generating leads, you’ll also need to know how well they’re working for your business. The Return On Investment (ROI) is the best indicator in this regard, as it represents the income you’ve generated for your investment in a particular marketing platform.
That way, you can focus on what’s working for the business and avoid wasting money and time on campaigns that haven’t generated much revenue.
Other crucial factors to monitor are the number of customers and leads you’re generating and their source. To figure these out, analyze website data regularly and identify where most leads are coming from. You can then work on consolidating those sources, such as PPC ads or social media posts.
Where to start if you’re new to online advertising?
Online guides are, of course, the easiest way to learn online advertising for your plumbing business, and there are many free and paid alternatives to start with.
However, if you aren’t confident about handling the advertising part on your own, hiring a marketing or advertising consultant isn’t a bad idea. Make sure to opt for a reliable consultant you can pay on an hourly basis since that will cost you less.
Which type of content will be most effective in generating leads?
Research has shown that adding a blog to your website can increase conversion rates considerably. You can find relevant topics for blog posts by searching the most common questions customers ask on different plumbing issues.
That said, make sure you’re updating the blog regularly based on the most-searched plumbing queries at any point in time. Content pieces such as videos and infographics can also effectively engage potential buyers.
How do you deliver a better customer experience to generate more reviews?
Here’s how you can ensure customers are happy with your plumbing services:
- Make a good impression while engaging with customers
- Don’t make them wait
- Shorten the arrival window
- Determine how satisfied they are with the job after it’s done
Final Thoughts on Lead Generation for Plumbers
Hopefully, our guide has helped you get a grasp on lead generation in the plumbing industry. So, go ahead and craft an effective strategy as per your business needs. It won’t be long before you score big with many loyal customers and stellar reviews.
Also, know there isn’t a right or wrong way to create your own strategy. It all depends on the time you want to devote to lead generation, your goals, and the budget.
Lastly, we’d like to remind you about the importance of knowing the service area well and what your competitors are offering. This will help you devise better ways to stay ahead in all respects.
With that, we’ll call it a day, but watch this space for more informative guides on marketing. Till next time!