The Landscape of HVAC Leads in 2020?
I’m an HVAC business owner in 2020, so I want to know where do I find my best leads? Face it, 2020 is a year we will never forget. We are all dealing with the Corona Virus, and it has made sweeping changes to how we do business. The weather has been up and down in the southeast; cooler temperatures in May and June, and now finally consistent hot weather in July and August.
As a heating and air conditioning company owner; where do I get leads from today? Where do I put my money today? Let’s start with where we were and where we are going.
What worked even a couple of years ago may be outdated?
We all know it is a fast paced world these days, especially when it comes to marketing your HVAC business! So, what is important to helping your business grow? It is definitely a digital world, that’s where the eyes are today. What still works today and what is trending? Let’s take a look…
- Your website is still at the top of the list, but there are some new contenders
- Google My Business
- Google Guaranteed or Local Service Ads
- Google Pay Per Click Ads are still producing quality leads at an affordable price.
- Google Local Pack Maps section
So where are “YOUR” HVAC leads coming from in 2020 and do you know?
Do you really know? It’s tough to determine the source of your leads for a heating and air business. At most HVAC companies, the person answering the phone asks the question; “So how did you hear about us?” or “Can I ask why you chose us?” This will give you insight, but does it really tell the true story? Our customer is trying to tell us the truth and be helpful, but often times they are not giving us accurate information. We’ve had many HVAC companies tell us the consumer said, “we heard your commercial on the radio.” When the dealer had not run radio spots in 3 years. Or “we saw you on TV”, but the company had never done television commercials. So, what do you do?
It’s best to ask the follow up question:
- How did you find us or how did you hear about us?
- Whatever the answer is, ask the follow up question: Consumer: “I Googled you and called”, You: “What made you go to Google to search and what did you search?”
What Generates HVAC Sales Leads in 2020?
The right message always provides quality leads. You must give them confidence and trust in your company. You must speak to your customer in terms they will understand and point out their pain. Then you must provide the solution for their pain.
What is the right message?
What does your potential customer want from you? They want to Trust your company! They want Value in their purchase, and they want it done fast….Fixed Now!
- Guaranteed Repairs
- 24/7 Service or Extended Hours
- Same Day Service
Speak in your customer’s words
When a home or business owner’s air conditioning is out, it’s a stressful situation. Let them know you’re there to make them comfortable again. It’s best to keep your conversations simple and don’t use industry terms, use consumer terms. Let them know what the repair is in the simplest terms and give them their options.
Provide their solution
They are looking for a solution to their problem. Show them that doing business with your hvac company is the right decision for them. Show them you guarantee your work and repairs. You provide priority service for your customers. You provide better warranties over your competition. Let them know you have their best interest in mind, and you are going to take care of them and their family from here on out! You’re an HVAC Hero!
Where do you get the Best HVAC Leads today?
There are so many HVAC lead sources today, from good ol’ word of mouth to social neighborhood sites like Nextdoor. So, how do you decide as a contractor? How do you invest your money wisely? Like the old saying, “What gets measured, get’s done!” You must do your best to track your lead sources. This will help you determine where to best apply your marketing dollars. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective lead sources in 2020…
Referrals still dominate!
These are typically your best and most affordable leads. If your heating and air company doesn’t have a referral program in place; we would highly recommend you start one today! So where do we start? It’s super simple! You can leave a referral card each time you perform a service call, maintenance visit, or new equipment installation. Give your customer an offer they will use towards future services with your company:
- Discount off repair
- Free diagnostic visit
- Dollars towards a new system
- Thermostat upgrade
- IAQ analysis
- Ductwork analysis
Be creative with it! Your goal is to strengthen the bond with your existing customer and get new referrals!
Organic Digital Leads
This is probably your second best lead source after referrals. These can come in many forms.
- Website: Your organic rankings on the search engines through SEO work
- Google My Business: Make sure you have a complete profile and drive them to your website
- Google Local Pack: This is the organic maps section on Google, correct information here is a must!
- Social Media sites: Facebook Groups, Nextdoor neighborhood groups
- Local associations: Better Business Bureau, BNI groups, Neighborhood groups, Teacher’s associations
Paid Digital Leads
There are many avenues on the paid side of leads for HVAC companies. Here is a list of some of the popular ones in 2020.
- Google or Microsoft PPC (pay per click) ads
- Google Guaranteed or Local Service Ads: The “Guaranteed” carries weight with the consumer
- Home Advisor
- Angie’s List
Any and all of the above can be great lead sources, but you must track where your leads are coming from. It is not a perfect science, but the more insight you have into where your customers are coming from, the better marketing decisions you can make for your contracting business. Dynamic Call Tracking through companies like CallRail are a must in this day and age! You can assign different phone numbers to different campaigns.
Call Tracking Example:
You can assign different phone numbers for your website. The number called is determined by where the lead came from on the internet. You assign numbers to multiple organic sources (Google, Yahoo, Bing), so the number displayed on your website is determined by what search engine or website they came from to reach your website. You can even use them for paid lead sources such as Google Adwords, Yelp, Angie’s List. Trackable numbers can even be used for traditional campaigns like TV, Radio, and Billboards.
Like we said before, “it’s not a perfect science….”
Someone’s air conditioner is not working, so what do they do? They use their smart phone or tablet to search for an air conditioning company nearby.
Here is what the consumer sees today. At the top are the Google Guaranteed ads, the traditional text PPC ad or ads just below, and then they see the local maps section. The would-be customer recognizes some of the companies, but they may not know why? Your HVAC marketing has created impressions either intentionally or intentionally; such as, your television or radio spots, your well-lettered vehicles, or your job site signs. All these play a role in what the consumer clicks on……So, back to our “not a perfect science” discussion. If the Google Guaranteed ad gets clicked; that takes credit for the lead ultimately, but there may have been many factors influencing their “click”.
And the Million Dollar Question, How much do the leads cost?
In 2020, the range varies across a wide spectrum. It can range from a couple of dollars to several hundred for a quality hvac lead. The raw cost of the lead is just the start. You must burden that cost with everything associated with acquiring that lead. Let’s look at an example:
So, let’s take a look at the above figures. If we look at the simple math, the average cost per lead is $26.75 correct? This is the raw unburdened cost, but we have to compile everything that was associated with the cost of this lead. We won’t use actual numbers; because every HVAC business is different, but let’s take a look at the overhead items:
- Utility costs for the business
- Wage cost for employee taking the phone call from the lead
- Management wage costs
- Technician wage costs
- Employee benefits
- Insurance (Workman’s comp., liability, health, short-term and long-term disability)
I’m sure we’ve missed quite a few items in the above list, but I think you get the picture. So, the burdened cost of the list can easily be as much as 3 times the raw cost above. This is an inexpensive lead for a heating and air conditioning company in today’s market. Think about the cost of network television, billboards, and radio? It’s a complicated puzzle. So, commit to your marketing platforms, your budget, measure the results, and you will succeed over the competition that is not stedfast in their path or plan.
As always, Go Luck and Good Selling!