Exclusive home improvement leads are key to the success of any residential contractor’s sales revenue. If they are of high quality and properly leveraged by the contractor’s sales staff, they represent significant future home improvement and remodeling projects. Their worth to a residential contractor can not be underestimated.
A residential contractor’s marketing and promotion activities are investments that need to produce a Return On Investment (ROI). One simple means to evaluate your ROI is by measuring the number and quality of home improvement leads that are generated by these investments. And, of these home improvement leads, how many convert into sales revenue.
Think of exclusive home improvement leads as the coin of the realm for residential contractors. If you have these coins, your contracting business is likely to win new customers. Your marketing and promotional investments should have this primary goal and metric for evaluating.
HOME IMPROVEMENT LEAD STRATEGIES
Let’s look at different home improvement lead generation strategies that you can adopt and personalize for your target audience. In all instances you need to measure the results of your choices over a set period of time to determine which marketing strategy provides the greatest return on your investment.
This article will focus on Internet online marketing activities due to its importance for reaching potential homeowners with interest in residential contractor services. When a homeowner or business begins their planning of these activities, they will invariably turn to the Internet.
Your residential contractor website is your primary online business address. Without it you won’t be found and considered by potential homeowners who begin their investigation using the Internet.
Your Website is the “Hub” of your online presence. Everything revolves from it. Your company website should not be confused for a social media business page in LinkedIn or Facebook.
Your website, domain, Email, etc. are company branded, completely under your control, and provide more credibility to potential clients. This is your primary engine for exclusive home improvement leads.
It is completely under your control and all sales inquiries from your website are exclusively your property and not available to your competitors.
Your initial investment and maintenance costs of your company website are not insignificant. These include:
- Domain Name Registration
- Initial Website Design & Content Development
- Monthly Website Hosting
- Website Advertisement | Traffic Promotion | Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Website Updates (Portfolio of Services) & Content Development
- Monthly Analysis of Website Performance & ROI
Your website is a long-term investment. This is a cost of doing business and keeping pace with your competitors. Don’t skimp on quality or you will likely be disappointed with the results.
Website Return On Investment
As mentioned your company website is your online business address. It helps establish local credibility and branding.
However, unlike Coca Cola, the most recognized brand in the world, you company’s website primary purpose is not to promote your brand but to generate exclusive home improvement leads (coins of the realm) that result in new business. That is it.
So, here are a series of questions that you will need to consider to determine your website’s lead generation ROI:
- Determine your monthly website costs. You should amortize your initial investment over 24 months.
- How many monthly home improvement leads are generated directly from website inquiries?
- How much internal administrative and sales personnel costs are associated with qualifying a home improvement lead?
- What percentage of qualified home improvement leads result in a sales project over a 60-90 days time period?
- What is the average profit of a home improvement sale, excluding the above marketing costs ?
You are likely to find that your company website is not producing the return you expected. In which case you need to take steps to improve it, as you would with any business investment of importance.
Internet search engines “guide” perspective homeowners in their search of home improvement and remodeling information and, ultimately residential contractors. Google controls more than 90% of all world-wide search engine market. So, Google sets the rules by which you and your competitors must face in your struggle to attract potential homeowner clients.
Organic search (your website and blog) and paid search advertisement go hand-in-hand to produce website visitor traffic for your contracting business. This is not an either/or situation, but should be viewed as complementary strategies.
Whether organic search or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisement placement, your residential contracting company will need to invest here to drive visitors to your website.
Organic Search (SEO)
Organic search results are the product of search engine optimization (SEO), or orienting your website so that people can easily find your contracting services on Google. A residential contractor should normally outsourcing this type of service to the third-party company that does the support maintenance for the website.
Organic search engine results take time to mature. They are long-term investments that are cost-effective, last and have high credibility since Google has deemed them to be worthier than others. Patience is required.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Paid search results (Pay Per Click) advertisement come through services like Google Ads or Facebook Marketing. To ensure the best ROI for it’s PPC budget, a residential contractor should use a knowledgeable third-party to design and administer a PPC campaign. It is almost an art form.
PPC search engine advertisement provides short-term results. PPC is rapid, measurable, allows strict control and can be reasonably cost-effective. It allows a residential contractor to bypass it’s competitors for search results that it could not normally be won via organic search.
A contractor’s PPC investment is limited by two factors: 1) it’s knowledge of how best to advertise for the “right” type of Internet visitor; and 2) the size of it’s advertising budget. Similar to other advertisement media, PPC advertisement does not offer any guarantee of results.
It is relatively easy to generate visitor traffic to a contractor website. Getting the “right” visitor traffic who then ultimately converts into a paying customer, at a reasonable cost, is the challenge. Caveat emptor.
Approximately over 223M Americans use social media in 2019 with no increase in growth over the last four years. This trend is likely to continue to decline with US demographics trends.
Residential contractors can benefit from a social presence as part of their home improvement lead generation strategy. Unlike your website and using search engines, the purpose of your company’s social presence is related to building your brand and credibility (authority), not direct marketing. Lead generation eventually follows indirectly to your website from your social presence activities.
While there are a variety of social media channels, a residential contractor should focus on those that have a track record for supporting business marketing activities that ultimately lend themselves to home improvement lead generation. You should consider the following social media channels:
- Facebook Business – Facebook provides companies a variety of tools and services to increase brand awareness. While Facebook is the largest social media channel, it has lost more than 15 Million users in the last year. However, the demographic group of Americans 55+ years old, is now the the fastest growing segment and is a prime market for home improvement services.
- LinkedIn – While LinkedIn is primarily a business-to-business (B2B) social network, a LinkedIn Company Page allows you to brand your contracting company as a reputable business, respected by peers and also other industries.
- Twitter – Twitter is THE social media channel that facilitates the rapid exchange of information among its own members (and those that belong to other social media channels). Creating a Twitter account allows you to participate in a local community where potential clients may be members.
- YouTube – This social media channel is now more popular than cable television, and continues to grow. The video format, ease of production, and multiple use within your website and other social media channels allows you to present your contracting company in a visual walking tour format. You can emphasize your service portfolio, tips on homeowner maintenance and customer testimonials.
Social media will not be the primary source of your home improvement leads However it will complement and increase the visibility and usage of your other marketing activities. Your marketing content should be personalized to each audience, which is different based on the media channel, to increase your investment return.
CONTRACTOR SALES LEAD SERVICES
Residential contractor lead generation services is essentially outsourcing a portion of your marketing activities to a third-party provider. You should view this type of home improvement lead generation option as complementary to your company’s overall marketing investment plan.
Subscription Contractor Sales Leads
Subscription contractor sales leads are provided by service providers aggregating home improvement project inquires via Internet forms. The Internet form request quality will vary and is normally limited to automated processes of address and telephone number verification.
The number of contractor buyers for any given form request will vary. Exclusivity of a residential contractor leads is virtually non-existent. You will have many contractors competing for the same homeowner project..
The cost for these sales leads will vary based on project type and age of the inquiry. They are likely comparable to the cost of search engine advertisements.
Telephone-Verified, Exclusive Contractor Sales Leads
Telephone-verified, exclusive home improvement leads are provided by service providers by aggregating home improvement project inquires via Internet forms coupled with call center agent verification with the homeowner. The Internet form request quality is much higher since it entails human interaction with the homeowner.
The call-center agent process involves verifying:
- homeowner contact information;
- home improvement project details
- interest level, wants and concerns;
- time frame to start project;
- available financial resources
At the completion of the dialog with the homeowner, the call center agent will set the expectations for scheduling the initial telephone conversation with a residential contractor as a prelude to the scheduling the home site visit.
The cost for exclusive home improvement leads that have been telephone-verified will also vary based on project type and age of the inquiry. They are likely comparable to the cost of search engine advertisements. The cost per sales appointment however will be less given their higher quality and homeowner interest level.
CONCLUSION – EXCLUSIVE HOME IMPROVEMENT LEADS
A variety of home improvement leads generation strategies should be part of your company’s overall marketing strategy. No single lead generation method is “all-inclusive”, nor provides the same quality or exclusivity. Instead you should have a complementary mix of lead generation sources that meet your financial budget and return on investment goals.
For additional information on telephone-verified, exclusive home improvement leads for residential contractors and how they can help you grow your business, please Contact Us for a free, no obligation conversation.