There are so many ways to find new customers — from referrals to lead generation sites. The question isn’t really how to find new leads, it’s what actions have the best return on your investment (ROI). Two main considerations are your time and your budget.
And you probably don’t just want just any lead, right? You want to avoid the price gaugers and attract those with bigger jobs and customers more likely to return for second or third jobs or invest in a recurring service agreement.
Strategies to Find Better HVAC Leads & Secure Their Business
We’ll look at the most common lead generation strategies for HVAC contractors and show you how to use them more effectively to find quality leads and earn their business.
- Best Ways to Get HVAC Leads
- 1) Lead Gen Platforms
- 2) Boost your online presence
- 3) Build your social media platforms
- 4) Strategize your SEO
- 5) Run paid advertisements
- 6) Build your online review portfolio
- 7) Offer referral incentivization
- 8) Outsource the heavy lifting
- 9) Create and plan for realistic goals
- 10) Networking
- 1) Lead Gen Platforms
Best Ways to Get HVAC Leads
There are plenty of strategies you can use to increase the number of HVAC leads you to receive. Check out our top ten tactics and get ready to start answering a lot of phone calls.
1) Lead Gen Platforms
Perhaps the most common online lead generation source for HVAC companies are lead gen platforms like Home Advisor and Yelp. Many HVAC businesses find them a necessary evil, but they can suck your marketing budget dry quickly if you’re not careful.
Try Out Thumbtack
In our 2020 Home Service State of Lead Generation Report, we conducted in-depth surveys with over 140 home service pros about their experiences with lead gen sites, including what they spend on average per month advertising on these sites and what kind of return they see.
Some of our findings were surprising. For instance, plumbing, HVAC and electrical companies found the best ROI from Thumbtack. It didn’t lead to a huge amount of revenue per month, but it was one of the least expensive sites to advertise on, leading to a better cost-per-lead and return on investment.
Keep track of your ROI
For business owners who’ve been in the game for a while, you could easily tell someone where your leads come from. Customers mention where they first heard of your business. But do you know what percentage of your income comes from where?
Or what site or campaign is responsible for your biggest jobs? You might find that 10% of your monthly revenue comes from an unexpected place or that your leads drop off in certain seasons, but you’ve been spending the same each month.
By keeping track of these metrics, you might find your marketing spend doesn’t quite match what you’re bringing in. Making small adjustments can save you money and earn you more.
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2) Boost your online presence
It’s no secret that the digital age has made us pretty dependent on the internet for finding information lightning fast. Keep this in mind, when it comes to accessing a larger market of HVAC customer leads.
Building a stronger and more intentional online presence will benefit both you and your potential customers. Put yourself into their shoes: if you were on the hunt for specific information because you need to schedule service as soon as possible, you would probably do a quick Google search to see who’s available in the area.
Become an online resource
Being an online resource for immediate answers and service solutions will attract HVAC leads and enrich customer experience from the get-go. To make your business stand out, incorporate a blog section on your website and grab HVAC content marketing by the horns.
Writing informative blog posts about common home HVAC issues and fixes will solve the needs of your readers, draw potential leads to your website, and boost the probability that they will contact your business for a consultation or repair.
You’ll establish yourself as an expert in your industry and your clients will be far more trusting of your HVAC brand. Next time they need to get a job done, you’ll be the first one they call.
3) Build your social media platforms
Social media can bring you new leads, but the platform is really better suited to help you win the job once a lead has already found you.
If you haven’t already, you need to create a presence on social media. Someone with a broken AC unit might not care so much if they can find you on Facebook, but when you’re in their home trying to sell them on a quarterly maintenance plan, it helps to have ways to reassure them of who they’re doing business with.
Younger generations in particular (such as first-time homebuyers) use social media platforms to get a feel for companies—whether they know it or not. Here are a couple of tips on using social media platforms to your advantage:
Include links to your profiles in appointment emails
When people set up new service calls or estimates, encourage them to check out your profile. Instead of just including a link to your profile, consider linking to specific content, such as a video where you explain how to know it’s time to change your air filters or a post featuring your employee of the month. This leads us to our next tip …
Post things that help humanize your company
When you post things about your team, your family, your company values and mission, all of this goes a long way to help build trust. It’s no longer a stranger coming over to talk about air conditioning units, it’s someone they’ve seen playing with their kids or the person that took over their father’s business.
There’s no denying that online marketing has changed the HVAC industry. Prospective customers expect businesses to have an easy-to-use HVAC website with customer testimonials, be found on social media, be accessible via email and not just over the phone.
These basic technology requirements will impact the types of leads that find you and choose you over other businesses. But on the flip side, it has also opened up many new lead sources.
There’s growth to be found by trying new HVAC marketing strategies, but also tweaking what’s already working.
Create profiles for free in just minutes
Creating social media profiles are usually free of charge, plus you can get access to data that allows you to track who’s visiting your profile and the impact their traffic is having. If you shake your head at social media, think again.
Research shows that 50% of business owners reported that they were able to grow sales through social media marketing. If you’re wondering how to get HVAC leads and aren’t already on social media, you’re not doing it right.
HVAC leads social media
Facebook is home to over 2 billion users, so it’s almost guaranteed that locals in your town and neighboring cities leverage this tool to find people, locate services, and read reviews. We recommend maintaining an active status on Facebook to interact with customers and answer questions.
Setting up a free business page on Facebook can be done within minutes and the payoff can be pretty big. With this tool in your toolkit, you’ll be able to use Facebook’s analytical insights, reach your targeted audiences, and capture the desired HVAC lead sources you’re searching for.
4) Strategize your SEO
Another common way that potential customers search for HVAC companies are internet searches.
Do you already have a search engine optimization (SEO) plan in place? (If not, learn where to start). Maintaining an SEO-optimized website can be a costly endeavor, but it has terrific long-term effects.
Here are some ways you can keep it cost-effective and optimize your effort’s payoff.
Create a page for each major service you offer
To show up higher in search results, make the pages on your site be as specific as possible. Focus your SEO work on the services you make $$ from and create individual pages for these services.
See when new customers are looking for service, folks don’t always search simply for “HVAC companies.” Many will search for the specific service they’re looking for, such as furnace repair or installation. And it’s easier to rank for furnace repair or installation.
For each of these services (and related searches), you want your site and company name to be one of the first results they see on Google. Bring in new high quality leads by getting the business of all of the folks searching for specific services.
Partner with other local businesses to link to each other’s websites.
Ranking requires links to your site, otherwise known as backlinks. If you want to show up in local searches, a great way to do it is to have links to your website from other local businesses. If you frequently recommend other businesses to customers, such as plumbing or electric companies, link to those companies on your website and ask those businesses to do the same for you. Everyone wins.
For more insights into SEO, check out our blog post about HVAC content marketing strategy.
5) Run paid advertisements
Google has become the foundation of most small business’s digital marketing strategy. In our 2020 Home Service State of Lead Generation Report, we found that HVAC, plumbing, and electrical businesses saw the highest average monthly revenue from Google (over $80K), which includes both organic searches (see SEO strategies above) and pay-per-click searches (AdWords).
But AdWords budget can go fast, so how can you reduce the cost per lead? Negative Keywords.
Take advantage of negative keywords
When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, the best way to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck is to limit the searches your ad is showing up in.
If you look at your Adwords account, find the keywords that you’re paying for that aren’t bringing in money or aren’t relevant to your business. For instance, folks looking for “HVAC parts” probably aren’t as interested in HVAC services.
Set those as negative keywords to make sure you’re not being shown when people search for them. Follow Google’s instructions on how to do this or call them for assistance.
Double-check your service area
Make sure you’re only showing for users found within your service area.
6) Build your online review portfolio
There’s no doubt that many small businesses have love/hate relationships with online reviews. However, building a portfolio of glowing, happy testimonials can create a ton of HVAC leads. Ultimately, customers want a professional they know they can trust in their home who can get the job done quickly and without errors. Feedback from happy customers is your ticket to convincing them you’re the one who’s right for the job.
Make sure you ask for reviews
After servicing a client, ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review on Facebook, Google, or Yelp (these three sites are some of the most frequented for business reviews). The more positive reviews, the better. But hey, you can’t please everyone. If you don’t get a 5-Star rating, it’s not the end of the world. You just have to learn how to respond to negative reviews to retain those leads.
7) Offer referral incentivization
Creating an incentivized program encourages clients to spread your company brand name. You can extend your network by offering discounted service rates to those who successfully refer a family member or friend. It’s a win-win for all parties.
Include this information on any email campaign you send out to make sure your loyal customers are reminded of it whenever they open one of your emails. (New to email marketing? Learn the basics in just eleven minutes in our video-based apprentice email marketing course.)
8) Outsource the heavy lifting
Strategizing how to get HVAC leads and pinning down reliable HVAC lead sources takes a lot of planning, organizing, writing, and financing. If you and your small business would rather leave it in the hands of experts to boost your visibility and smooth out those painstaking kinks, outsourcing to a marketing team is an easy fix. Search for marketing companies online that specialize in your industry and look for successful case studies of businesses they’ve helped grow. You might have to pay anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, but you’ll be able to work with a team of experts who can make your marketing vision a reality.
Meanwhile, you’ll be able to kick back and let the marketers do their thing while you take care of the rest of your business. Smart marketing companies might suggest utilizing HVAC software to better organize your business. From online booking to follow up email marketing, this specialized software presents a number of simplified advantages.
Housecall Pro is the all-in-one software to run your HVAC business. From online booking, custom text, schedule & dispatch, invoicing, payment processing to follow up marketing, this service can help you grow revenue by 30% in your 1st year. Start your free 14 day trial with Housecall Pro today.
9) Create and plan for realistic goals
Running an HVAC business requires plenty of hard work, planning, and problem-solving. Running a successful HVAC business takes all of the same attention, but with a keener sense of target goals and a thorough understanding of your company’s position within the market
Before tackling how to get HVAC leads, you should have a firm grasp on what your business is capable of and what your financial goals are. Consider the following:
- How many service calls will be needed to fulfill revenue goals?
- How many technicians will you employ?
- How many installers will you employ?
- How many salespeople will you employ?
- What adjustments must be made for the holiday season?
- Which months are your busiest? Which are your slowest?
- If at all, how will you modify your service price list?
Planning with these questions in mind will give you a sharpened understanding of your labor requirements and expectations—making future planning less abstract and more rooted in bottom line costs. Once you have a sure grip on labor as well as your company blueprint expectations and expenses, you can launch your plan of action.
The HVAC market is full of hungry entrepreneurs like yourself, but in order to nab new HVAC leads, research will go a long way when figuring out how to grow your HVAC business. Customers who have exceptional experiences with you, your technicians, or your company are far more likely to dial you up again the next time they’re in need. Giving them a reason to believe in your company and have faith in your services is a marketing strategy within itself. A company that looks, feels, and performs as well as it promises is already on a clear pathway to success.
Networking is especially important for those offering commercial HVAC services. Strategies might include industry meetups or cold contacting new businesses. Even now with fewer networking events happening in person, there are still virtual opportunities to connect to other business owners.
Sponsor an Industry Event
If you already have ins to a specific industry, consider sponsoring an event that gets you in front of similar businesses. Sponsor a luncheon or virtual seminar. Reach out to your area’s Better Business Bureau or industry associations to ask about sponsorship opportunities. Good things can happen when you offer a gesture of goodwill and simply leave your email and phone number for anyone interested in following up.
Include a Case Study in an Introductory Email
If you’ve done something truly impressive for one commercial client, ask if you can share your success with others. Include this win in an email to businesses in the same or similar industries. Introduce your business and what you have to offer and see if they are happy with whoever they’re currently working with.
Save the phone calls for follow-ups once a business has shown interest. Emails are less abrasive ways to introduce yourself to new businesses.