10 Powerful Strategies For Generating HVAC Leads in 2020

Mike PersingerMay 14th, 2020
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Successful HVAC marketing depends on getting more HVAC leads to book more appointments, gain new customers and close more sales. More HVAC job leads equals better net profit.

Becoming a top HVAC lead generator in today’s digital world requires getting to know your customers online and taking strategic steps to make your HVAC advertising stand out in an increasingly competitive online marketplace. 

Did you know that 90 percent of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33 percent looking every day? Online is where you must market your company, according to this 2019 Local Consumer Review Survey and other marketing experts.

When homeowners with a broken air conditioner search Google for “HVAC near me,” how does your company rank? When they ask friends on Facebook for their best furnace guy (or gal), does your HVAC company get mentioned? Do neighbors on Nextdoor.com recommend you for HVAC job leads?

Get the most out of your HVAC marketing dollars by knowing where to invest them online, from optimizing your website’s HVAC SEO (search engine optimization) and managing your Google reviews to automating your marketing campaigns and lowering cost-per-lead with targeted email marketing.

To learn how to get HVAC leads, we talked to experts working in the HVAC industry and other essential home services to compile this list of the Best HVAC Marketing Ideas

To consistently get that next HVAC lead, they suggest the following:

  1. Revamp and optimize your website.

  2. Leverage online advertising.

  3. Master local SEO.

  4. Manage online reviews.

  5. Train techs on customer service.

  6. Automate customer experience processes.

  7. Invest in targeted email marketing.

  8. Know your market audience.

  9. Utilize an app-based HVAC referral service.

Explore each strategy below to streamline your HVAC company’s operations, boost revenue and grow HVAC service leads.

1. Revamp and optimize your website to become an HVAC lead generator.

If you’re not using your website for HVAC lead generation, you may be underutilizing an important tool to grow new revenue for your business. A website optimized for improved HVAC SEO can also work to capture HVAC leads during slow seasons

A mobile-friendly website with responsive design ranks higher in Google searches. Customers searching online for a local HVAC company probably need one NOW, or sometime soon. Make sure they find you first, and easily convert them into an HVAC lead by:

  • Optimizing your website. Make it appealing with a clean, user-friendly design that’s laser-focused on SEO keywords to grow your HVAC job leads.

  • Allowing customers to easily contact you. Clearly display your phone number at the top of your website and make sure it’s answered 24/7.

  • Personalizing your message. Tell your company’s story or showcase your HVAC techs’ work in a behind-the-scenes video.

  • Highlighting online reviews or customer testimonials. Let happy customers spread the word about your great HVAC service.

  • Writing a blog or starting an HVAC podcast. Become an online HVAC resource for consumers and other HVAC techs.

  • Engaging customers with Calls to Action (CTA). Use special offers, discounts and other incentives to drive traffic and increase HVAC service leads. 

Greg Mericle, owner and president of Hurlburt Heating & Plumbing, says he didn’t know the first thing about HVAC and plumbing services when he bought his home services company in 2014. Technology, on the other hand, was something he did know.

His first major task? Automate the business and optimize the company’s website with a better software operating system to make everyone’s jobs a little bit easier.

“When I got here, the company was very old school,” Mericle says “I mean, old school. Everything was on paper. It was sort of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of thing.”

Mericle employed ServiceTitan’s all-in-one solution software for residential home services, and in five years doubled the original revenue and size of the staff at the family-owned HVAC plumbing company in Wisconsin.

» Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business? Contact our team to schedule a demo today.

2. Adapt HVAC marketing for today’s online shopper.

Traditional HVAC marketing ideas, such as advertising through direct mail, newspapers, radio, TV and billboards, tend to take a backseat role in most HVAC marketing strategies today.

Focus on Google when it comes to online HVAC advertising, says Tommy Mello, The Home Service Expert and owner of A1 Garage Door Services, a $30 million-plus home services business with over 200 employees in nine states. 

Mello advises spending at least half of your marketing dollars on HVAC SEO, Pay-Per-Click digital ads, Google My Business, Google Local Services, and getting more positive customer reviews.

Today’s consumers find 70 percent of all services online through Google searches, he says, so “just understand Google is God when it comes to home service.” 

Mastering the online marketing game increases brand awareness for your HVAC company and helps you build an online reputation. If you’re focused on being helpful and providing great service, customers will remember you the next time they need HVAC services.

Previous A/C customers definitely remembered Jupiter-Tequesta Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric, when the small mom-and-pop HVAC company sent HVAC email marketing using ServiceTitan’s Marketing Pro.

The company’s one-time “We Miss You!” email marketing message triggered a flood of HVAC leads.

“We thought if we get 10 calls out of this, then awesome. We weren’t expecting anything crazy,” says Bill Highsmith, the company’s Process & Procedure Manager. “After one week, the revenue on that one email brought in about $4,000.”

» Need more HVAC marketing ideas? Check ServiceTitan Marketplace for additional resources.

3. Master SEO for HVAC contractors and grow your HVAC leads.

Mastering HVAC SEO requires taking the right steps to ensure your HVAC company’s name or website appears at the top of organic search results on Google and other search engines. Customers with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heat wave need to find you fast and they prefer to hire someone nearby.

To get more HVAC leads, include top-ranked keywords in all content displayed on your website, HVAC social media posts, newsletters, business directories, and digital advertising. To gain traction with local customers, be sure to also include your city or neighborhood as a keyword phrase. For instance, “Tampa A/C” or “Furnace Repair Boston.”

When a customer searches “A/C repair” or “HVAC near me” online, Google’s algorithm finds the most topically and geographically relevant results. Since they’re based on relevance, location, authority and other factors, not just ad spend, this gives smaller HVAC businesses an opportunity to be featured as prominently as larger companies in Google’s organic search results.

Google Local Services allows you to advertise your HVAC services on Google and receive HVAC job leads directly from potential customers. When a homeowner searches “Indoor Air Quality Charlotte,” your Local Services ad appears at the top of Google Search results. 

Just make sure your company operates from a physical building (headquarters, satellite office, etc.) in the particular area where you’re advertising your services, not just using a P.O. Box address. Otherwise, Google may penalize your company and remove your name from their local HVAC list.

» Learn more about SEO with this complete beginner’s guide.

4. Manage online reviews to gain more HVAC sales leads.

When customers need HVAC service or repair today, few check the phone book or ask a neighbor for recommendations. They go online to search for trusted nearby HVAC companies with awesome online reviews.

Positive customer feedback on crowd-sourced review platforms like Google, Facebook and other HVAC social media and business review sites can tip the scales in your favor. In fact, 91 percent of consumers said positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, according to the Consumer Review Survey. 

Real customers who leave positive reviews help to build trust in your business. Prospective customers read an average of 10 reviews before trusting a business, and 89 percent of those people—between 35 and 54 years old—trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to the survey.

ProSkill Services, which offers HVAC, plumbing and electrical services in Arizona, boasts more than 3,000 Google reviews with a 5-star rating and nearly 800 Facebook recommendations. Co-owner Travis Ringe says there’s more to getting good reviews than simply asking customers for one.

“If you want to drive reviews,” Ringe says, “you have to deliver a full experience worthy of writing a review.”

You also need to make it easy for customers to leave a review, such as texting the review link directly to the customer before leaving the job site. ProSkill uses ServiceTitan’s built-in survey tool to customize a personal message and ask customers to specifically leave a Google review. 

“Google really rules the roost and I want all my reviews on Google,” Ringe says. 

» Learn how to ask customers for reviews and boost your company’s online rankings.

5. Train your HVAC techs to get more 5-star Google reviews.

Do your HVAC techs grumble about asking customers for reviews? It’s a common problem for many industries, not just home services. 

Stop the complaining by clearly explaining how good and bad reviews directly impact your company’s bottom line—and your tech’s paychecks. Money talks, after all.

Incentivize your techs to get more 5-star Google reviews with pay-for-performance bonus checks or foster in-house competition to win prizes for the most 5-star reviews. You can also try to capture that next HVAC lead by incentivizing the customer to leave a review in exchange for a discount, gift or cash in return.

Ringe says his CSRs and home service techs go the “second mile” to deliver a review-worthy customer experience. His tips include:

  • Make a good first impression, from the moment they call to book an appointment to the follow-up after completing the job.

  • Offer online scheduling to make it easy to do business with your company.

  • Book the appointment today and don’t make the customer wait.

  • Shorten your arrival window and use technology to allow customers to track their tech.

  • Determine customer satisfaction before leaving the job site to mitigate any complaints they might include in a review.

It’s also important to understand a customer’s mindset when it comes to leaving a review. They hired you to fix their air conditioner and they paid you for the service. Many don’t want to hassle with leaving a review, unless you make it super easy and convenient.

» Learn how to get more 5-star reviews with these tips.

6. Automate with HVAC software and mobile app to get more leads for HVAC.

Looking for ways to personalize the customer service experience, but need a more effective and efficient way to do it? HVAC companies on ServiceTitan deliver better customer service by using automation to train and equip their CSRs, dispatchers, techs and sales teams.

ServiceTitan’s HVAC mobile app streamlines operations in the office, and in the field, for a more polished and professional approach. Here’s how some popular features help generate quality HVAC job leads:

  • When a customer calls to book a service, know details such as call occurrence, service history, equipment used, and even special notes about prior HVAC inspections by using call tracking software. Greet the customer by name, and turn them into a repeat HVAC lead.

  • Good HVAC service reviews often depend on timely service. Dispatch the nearest available tech by using technology to monitor the GPS location of your field staff, and never miss another appointment.

  • Online shoppers appreciate instant communication. Empower your techs with a mobile app that offers on-site quoting and estimates. You’ll give customers timely information about their specific cooling or heating issue and add extra value to your brand.

  • Position your HVAC techs as true service experts by equipping them with a visual sales presentation tool. With high-quality product photos and detailed descriptions shown in a good-better-best format on the ServiceTitan Pricebook Pro app, it’s easier to convert HVAC sales leads of new products and upgrades.

  • Increase opportunities for on-site HVAC sales leads by setting the stage in advance. Send customers a text when your HVAC tech dispatches to let them know who's on the way and when they’re expected to arrive. It’s a good way to prepare for a more comfortable customer interaction.

» Learn more about ServiceTitan’s Pricebook Pro.

7. Invest in targeted email marketing for effective HVAC advertising ideas.

Targeted email marketing costs less per HVAC lead than traditional HVAC advertising channels and keeps your brand top-of-mind for customers, according to Megan Bedford of Mugyver Consulting, which works with the skilled trades. It’s considered one of the most effective marketing channels, earning $40 for every $1 spent.

Email marketing works—as long as it’s targeted, designed for your business, and delivers a message that’s relevant to your customers.

In a recent webinar, ServiceTitan shared new features released in Marketing Pro, including pre-filled email templates to get you started, along with best email marketing practices. Among the highlights:

  • Don’t blast your entire contact list with information. Send smaller batches of targeted, automated campaigns to specific customer groups, such as a “We Miss You!” campaign to homeowners you haven’t heard from in a while.   

  • Provide engaging, educational content about HVAC safety and indoor air quality with links to your blog or YouTube channel videos. You can send a series of messages, but only email subsequent emails to people who haven’t opened the first email. 

  • Clean up your lists regularly by removing inactive and unengaged email contacts. Marketing Pro will soon include an Automated Opt-In Feature to do this automatically.

  • Keep your subject lines free of spam triggers! Using the word “free” or exclamation points in your subject lines typically garner a bad grade.

Cody & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air saw a clear ROI after using Marketing Pro to send targeted email marketing campaigns to specific groups of customers. After 90 days, the company was averaging about $3,000 a month in direct revenue from the email campaigns.

“I love ServiceTitan,” says Marketing Director Robin Cody. “Marketing Pro helps me capture the customers we could potentially lose. It’s easy to use and easy to build audiences.”

» Click here for more email marketing tips.

“I love ServiceTitan. Marketing Pro helps me capture the customers we could potentially lose. It’s easy to use and easy to build audiences.”

8. Know your market audience and when to reach them with the right marketing message.

Before planning any HVAC marketing strategies, an HVAC services business needs to know how to target the right audience. That means learning everything you can about your customers, beyond knowing they own a house or business with a furnace or A/C unit that needs to be serviced.

Know specifics, such as your customers’ age, gender, average household income, and credit score, then you can focus on a direct response to build your branding, says Tommy Mello.

Mello takes a unique approach to marketing by asking new garage door service recruits to email family and friends to offer a free service call or tune-up. It not only helps the new recruits become comfortable with using the company’s tools, but also helps to build positive reviews for the company’s brand.

HVAC companies wondering how to get HVAC leads can also take lessons from Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing. He championed his service techs to continue providing essential HVAC and plumbing services during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and he even bought them all UV germicidal lights for their homes.

Goodrich says he always turns up the heat on his HVAC marketing strategies in times of crisis. Despite the coronavirus concerns, Goettl is already 16 percentage points up on its business plan for 2020, with 38 percent more earnings year-over-year.

“Do not retract. Retracting is death,” he advises. “Remain optimistic and stay focused on your goal.” 

» Want to learn more HVAC sales tips from Goodrich? Read more.

9. Connect with HVAC lead generation companies or on local apps.

Ben Stark, a trades consultant and owner of a Texas HVAC company, enhances his company’s online presence by staying active on Nextdoor.com, a host for closed social groups in individual neighborhoods, and Alignable.com, a small business networking group that generates referrals from other nearby businesses.

Companies can also sign up with an HVAC referral program to find electrical jobs to bid on, such as Google Local Services, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, or even Lowe’s and Home Depot. Just be careful not to spread yourself too thin and lose sight of your company’s mission to provide great electrical service.

10. Deliver an awesome customer experience to generate more HVAC leads, book more appointments and close more sales.

The right home services management software can help you do all of the above. At ServiceTitan, we want to help HVAC companies and others in the home services industry cut costs and streamline operations with a wide variety of automated pro tools to make the job easier. 

For instance, you can track the number of calls, how many jobs your CSRs booked from those calls, and sales made from those jobs right in your ServiceTitan dashboard. 

Calculate true ROI on HVAC advertising campaigns by tracking how much revenue each advertising source generated and total cost per lead.

By measuring the marketing ROI for each campaign, ServiceTitan helps companies: 

  • Know how much revenue each HVAC marketing campaign generates.

  • Measure how well their staff converts leads into appointments and sales.

  • Invest HVAC marketing dollars in all the right places and in the right proportion.

  • Stop wasting money on ineffective ads and digital marketing platforms that don’t perform.

Whether you’re investing in SEO, Pay-Per-Click ads, social media, email marketing, or any other kind of advertising campaign, your HVAC company can track what’s working and what isn't so you can make informed decisions on the best strategy for getting more HVAC leads.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

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