For HVAC contractors out there, it can be a bit difficult to set yourself apart from the pack. After all, in any given region, there are likely to be a multitude of options for the consumer to choose from with little to differentiate each of them.
That is why it is imperative to have the right advertising plan in place for HVAC contractors. With the right advertising campaign, you can reach consumers far more easily and give them cause to think of your company above all the others in the industry.
There are a multitude of ways that HVAC contractors can achieve this and no one plan is proven to be better than the next. It ultimately depends on your company, its location, its target audience, and a little bit of luck. But having the right advertising plan in place to exercise your strengths to your customers will go a long way towards setting you apart.
Without further ado, here are a dozen different HVAC advertising ideas that your company should be considering for 2019.
Idea #1: Use Seasonal Advertising
Not all advertising is not created equally; there are different tactics and ideas that stand above the others depending on how they are used and where they are implemented. Seasonal HVAC advertising can help you generate a lot of additional revenue.
Whether your focus lies in customer retention or generating new leads for air conditioning and heating repair, timing plays a critical role in your advertising campaigns. The winter and summer months are especially critical to annual sales, and your advertising should reflect that.
Make sure that your marketing campaign begins at least 6-8 weeks before the busy seasons. This will help keep your company in the mind’s eye of the customers that you are hoping to reach.
Companies can have highly successful campaigns if done properly. There are a few success stories of this that are definitely worth noting:
- One Missouri heating and cooling company brings in $30,000 on average with each of their seasonal campaigns. These seasons campaigns have become a crucial part of their revenue stream.
- An Illinois company brought in a whopping $258,040 in revenue with a highly successful winter campaign. They took the opportunity to take a very busy time of the year and turn it into a financial advantage.
- An HVAC business in Arkansas generated a massive 839% return on investment (ROI) using a furnace tune-up winter ad campaign.
Perhaps most interesting of all is that these companies didn’t use the go-to methods of HVAC advertising, such as radio or TV. No, they got it done with a very affordable, simplistic, and repeatable method…
Idea #2: HVAC Postcards
One of the time-tested methods of advertising for HVAC companies is using the direct mail approach. This is a proven method that generates leads with consistency. All of the above companies used the seasonal postcard approach of direct mail.
The term “time-tested” might not sound so sexy, but it generates results. Perhaps more staggeringly, there are studies that have been conducted recently that show that 54% of consumers prefer to receive these kinds of promotions via direct mail. Even more eye-opening is that 79% of those who receive direct mail open them immediately as compared to the 45% who get them via email. And most importantly, 40% of consumers have made a purchase due to direct mail in the last three months.
The numbers are there and so are the results. Direct mail marketing with postcards is a tried and true method for HVAC companies.
Idea #3: Pay Per Click Advertising
That doesn’t mean that digital advertising is not important. Getting on the first page of the Google search results can do wonders for any business and should be a priority regardless of the business. Google has a massive reach and ignoring that would be foolish.
There is a distinct advantage in this type of marketing in that you only pay when someone clicks on it (hence “pay per click”). The only downside is that there will be wasted clicks that do not convert into customers, though that’s true of any form of advertising.
It’s also worth noting that other businesses will be competing for the same keywords. Since you bid on keywords (Google AdWords will suggest an amount, but you can bid whatever you want), you could wind up spending a hefty amount to land on page one.
While you might not want to start with an expensive Google AdWords account, consider investing some money into showcasing your company name and creating a more competitive web presence!
Idea #4: Your Website is Key
The one aspect that has changed greatly in HVAC advertising is getting a lead to call your business. This is because people can now do their own research on a company online and often will do so. After all, wouldn’t you want to know about the business you intend to use before spending the money?
Regardless of the type of marketing that you do, interested leads will likely head straight to your website first. What they find there will dictate whether or not they use your business. An effective website design should have a few features:
- An About Us page that features actual photos of your business and staff
- Your contact information, clearly visible on every page
- Effective lead-capture forms that will encourage info exchange (email and name, generally)
Many website visitors will visit your page before they are ready to transition into buying. Regardless, it is important to have a lead-capture form available. This gives prospective clients a reason to interact with your company. Most of the time, this is in the form of a coupon or discount, but those will help you follow up and turn leads into sales.
Idea #5: Keep it Clean and Simple
As mentioned above, your website is one of your most crucial assets for building leads with prospective clients. Your HVAC website is a focal point for advertising, and should clearly convey the services your company provides.
Using a clean, simple design is important for achieving this. Your website is often the first point of impression for these potential customers and you want to win them over with a sense of expertise and professionalism.
A clean, yet friendly and modern design is the key to attracting positive attention from prospective leads and customers. Make your website the first impression that will leave a lasting mark in a positive manner.
Idea #6: Implement a Chat Feature
Even as technology progresses, timely customer communication is still one of the most important factors in company brand perception. But with that progression of technology, the ways that customers reach your company have changed.
Try implementing a chat feature into your website! This provides a sense of comfort to prospects for a couple of reasons. The first is that making a phone call is simply not acceptable for the younger generations. If they can get it done via email or chat, that is the option they will choose. The second is that it gives prospects the ability to converse with your company without feeling like they are locked into hiring you.
If you decide to implement a chat function to your HVAC website, it is important that you have quick response times as well. For smaller companies, this might not be a great idea, but larger companies can definitely turn this feature into a real asset.
Idea #7: Use Follow-Up Ads on Google
What if an interested prospect leaves your website without filling out one of those lead-capture forms? Don’t worry! That client needn’t be lost forever.
With Google follow-up ads (also known as retargeting ads), you can make sure that all of those prospective leads get a second look at your company. This is how it works:
- A customer learns about your business through local search or postcard.
- They go to your website to learn more about your company, but don’t necessarily need HVAC services right away.
- After they visit your website, they will be “cookied” with a piece of coding that tells Google to start showing them banner ads for your company.
- As they browse the web, they will see these ads anywhere they go online.
- This repeated exposure increases the chances of them remembering your business when they have an actual HVAC need.
There have been studies that have shown that this method can improve response rates by up to 400%. It is proven ad strategy, especially when compared with other tools today’s evolving digital world. You can greatly enhance your returns by mixing your current advertising with follow-up ads.
Idea #8: Expand Your Follow-Up Program
This strategy makes another attempt to convert site visitors that have expressed interest through online forms, but haven’t made the jump to client. It is important to note that the first call or contact generally does not lead to a close. The follow-up system can more than double the rate that your company closes on those leads.
It may not always be on the next follow-up – it can sometimes take three, four, five follow-ups before the prospect is ready to make the leap. This can also be something of a long-term effort, but a year of providing follow-up emails, phone calls, and postcards can make that number jump substantially again.
Potential consumers need reassurance about your company’s capabilities and service. Constantly showing these people what your business has to offer and reminding them about your existence are the two best things that you can do to close a follow-up lead.
The key is to find the middle ground between enthusiasm and invasive advertising. Follow-ups work best in moderation, otherwise the marketing simply annoys the potential customer. Find that sweet spot and you will begin to establish a connection with those leads and turn them into a close that will result in revenue for your business.
Idea # 9: Use Testimonials & Reviews to Build Trust
A recent study showed that a whopping 92% of customers will read online reviews for a local business before using them. 68% of the people surveyed said that a positive review makes them more likely to trust that business.
Make sure that you ask for reviews from each of your customers after a job is completed. This is a great way to build trustworthiness with your leads and provide hard evidence a reputable company that deserves their business.
Best of all? This is a FREE form of advertising that can work just as well as any ad campaign you can conjure up. Get those reviews where you can.
Idea #10: Use Referral Programs
According to Nielsen, a research firm, 83% of consumers will trust recommendations from people that they know. And why wouldn’t they? Certainly, people that we know in our lives are more trusted than strangers on the web or a company that is trying to sell something.
As you may have learned by now, trust is the name of the game when it comes to HVAC marketing. This is because HVAC services can be costly and the consumer wants to make sure they are getting the best value for their money, but because you will be entering their homes as well.
Offering perks for referrals is a great way to get those customers to share their experience directly with those in their lives. This will then generate leads for your business, which has the potential to generate even more revenue. It is a win across the board.
Be certain to make sure that your staff on the ground knows about the referral program and promotes it to each customer. You could even create postcards to hand out after a job is finished or a sheet at the end of a receipt. Get the word out that referrals are valuable to both your company and your customer.
Idea #11: Use Consistent Marketing to Close More Sales
Want to hear something crazy? According to sales professionals, 80% of sales will occur after the fifth contact or later. Yeah, you read that right: the fifth contact. The fact is that the vast majority of people do not jump at every single advertisement they see for obvious reasons.
The process generally goes a little something like this:
- A prospect will see your message once via a banner ad, postcard, billboard, or whatever other means you are advertising. If they think they might need your service in the future, they will make a note of it but might not think about it otherwise.
- The prospect sees the message a second time and it rings a bell because they’ve seen your ads before. This is important to establishing brand recognition.
- The prospect sees your message for the third time. Because they are consistently seeing your adds, they get the message that your HVAC company is dependable and stable.
- Now comes the time when the prospect requires one of your services, like needing a new air conditioner. When they Google a related search term, they might see your company name as well as your competitors. But because of the prior messages, they will recognize your company name and you will be come an “established” name in their eyes.
- They will make the move towards HVAC services and because you are the name they see most often; they are more likely to call your business.
This is not an exact science and it might take far fewer or far more steps than the ones outline above before a prospect turns into a client, if ever. But establishing that brand recognition and making the prospect think of your company is an important step towards establishing that lead.
Idea #12: Target Geographically
Advertising online has many perks, but it can be easy to get lost in the mix. Additionally, it can be easy for consumers to confuse your location, making it difficult for them to find you if you don’t have the right services in place. That is why having paid ads set to geographic targets is important. It will target potential customers in your designated location, weeding out those companies that might be across the country.
The caveat to this is that it is become difficult to rank organically for more than one geographic area. But there are a few different things that you can try. You can edit the service area that you serve in the address section of your Google My Business. Instead of having a store-front, this will let you identify your business as one that works on-site with customers.
Ultimately, being able to show your listing in the targeted geographic region that you serve is of the utmost importance. Stand out among those looking for you in your service area as opposed to painting with a broad brush that might not reach 95% of the people who see it.
Team Up With HVAC Webmasters!
As always, our team at the HVAC Webmasters is here to support and empower your heating and cooling business to succeed in HVAC advertising and search engine marketing! If you’ve been looking to expand your business, we’d love to help. Give us a call today at (800) 353-3409 and consult with a seasoned marketing pro for free!