10 Proven Strategies to Get More Plumbing Leads in 2020

Mike PersingerMay 7th, 2020
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Plumbers depend on plumbing leads to book more appointments, gain new customers and close more sales. More plumbing job leads equals better net profit.

Finding the best way to get plumbing leads in today’s digital world means meeting your customers online and taking strategic steps to make sure your plumbing brand stands out in an increasingly competitive online marketplace. 

According to this 2019 Local Consumer Review Survey, 90 percent of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33 percent looking every day.

When homeowners with a plumbing emergency search Google for “plumbers near me,” how does your company rank? When they ask friends on Facebook for a plumber referral, does your name get mentioned? Do neighbors on Nextdoor.com, or another plumbing referral service, recommend you?

Get the most out of your plumbing marketing dollars by knowing where to invest them online, from optimizing your website SEO and managing your Google reviews to automating your marketing campaigns and saving money on cost-per-lead with targeted email marketing.

We talked with industry experts working in plumbing and other essential home services to compile this list of the Best Plumbing Marketing Strategies.

To consistently get that next plumbing 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 plumber referral service.

Generate more plumbing leads, book more appointments and close more sales by delivering an awesome customer experience from start to finish.

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

1. Revamp and optimize your website for plumbing lead generation.

If you’re not using your website for plumbing lead generation, you’re missing out on an important pipeline for new revenue.

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

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

  • 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 work in a behind-the-scenes video.

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

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

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

After ditching their paid phone book listing, Absolute Air, Heat and Water gained a competitive edge by optimizing their website with SEO keywords and pushing for online reviews. As a result, the Utah company increased revenue by 10 times in just one year, according to Absolute’s Chief Marketing Officer, Brian Hortin.

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

2. Adapt plumbing advertising for today’s online shopper.

Traditional marketing tactics, such as advertising through direct mail, newspapers, radio, TV and billboards, tend to take a back seat in most plumbing marketing strategies today.

Tommy Mello, The Home Service Expert and owner of A1 Garage Door Services, advises spending at least half of your marketing dollars on 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 plumbing 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 a plumber.

Just don’t ditch those personal relationship-building tactics, says John Akhoian, owner of 10 Rooter Hero Plumbing locations in California and Phoenix, Ariz., with more than 250 trucks and $50 million in earnings this year.

Knocking on doors, introducing yourself to homeowners and leaving a business card for future plumbing jobs still work.

“A lot of people rely too much on digital and don’t do (relationship-building),” Akhoian says. “I think that’s wrong, and we need to continue to do it.”

For instance, Akhoian instructs his entire Rooter Hero team to leave a business card (with a coupon on the back) each time they visit a public restroom in restaurants, bars, etc. His unconventional marketing efforts not only attract new customers, he says, but also entice other service workers to consider plumbing as a viable career option.

» Need better plumbing marketing strategies? Check ServiceTitan Marketplace for additional resources.

3. Master local SEO to boost branding and home service leads.

Mastering local SEO (search engine optimization) requires taking the right steps to ensure your plumbing company’s name or website appears at the top of organic search results on Google and other search engines. Customers with a plumbing emergency must find you fast, and they prefer to hire someone nearby.

To keep plumbing leads constantly flowing, include top-ranked keywords in all content displayed on your website, social media platforms, 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, “Clogged Toilet in Houston.”

When a customer searches “leak repair” or “plumber near me” in Google, 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 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 plumbing business on Google and receive plumbing leads directly from potential customers. When a homeowner searches “Plumber Miami,” 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 plumbers list.

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

4. Manage online reviews to gain more plumbing leads.

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

Positive customer feedback on crowd-sourced review platforms such as Google, Facebook and other social networking 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 build trust in your business—providing a great option for finding plumbing leads for free. 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 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 plumbing techs to get more 5-star Google reviews.

Do your plumbing 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 techs’ 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 by offering prizes for the most 5-star reviews. You can also try to capture that next plumber lead by incentivizing the customer to leave a review in exchange for a discount, gift or cash in return.

Ringe says his CSRs and plumbing 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 a plumbing leak 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.

That’s what the technicians at Absolute Air, Heat and Water try to do, says company CMO Brian Hortin. His techs also use company iPads equipped with ServiceTitan software, which automatically sends an invitation to the customer to leave a review—all from the same app.

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

6. Automate with plumbing software and mobile app for better customer service.

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

ServiceTitan’s mobile app for plumbers 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 plumbing leads:

  • When a customer calls to book a service, know details such as call occurrence, service history, equipment used and even special notes from techs, managers or other CSRs using call tracking software. Greet the customer by name, and turn them into a repeat plumber lead.

  • Good plumbing 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 plumbing issue and add extra value to your brand.

  • Position your plumbing 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 plumbing leads into on-site sales of new products and upgrades.

  • Increase opportunities for on-site sales by setting the stage in advance. Send customers a text when your 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 plumbing advertising campaigns.

Targeted email marketing costs less per plumbing lead than traditional plumbing 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 messages in smaller batches with 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 with links to your blog, or YouTube channel videos. You can send a series of messages, but only send 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.

» Click here for more email marketing tips.

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

Before planning any plumbing advertising strategies, a plumbing 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 plumbing inside.

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 tuneup. 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.

Another email strategy to follow involves segmenting your target audience even further, such as by zip code, age of equipment, membership status, date of last service, or new homeowners. The key is knowing the right message to send to the right customer at the right time.

9. Market with a plumber referral service or on local apps for exclusive plumbing leads.

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 various referral services to get plumbing leads for plumbers, 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 plumbing service.

10. Deliver an awesome customer experience to generate more plumbing 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 plumbers 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 plumbing 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 marketing campaign generates.

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

  • Invest plumbing 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 plumbing company can track what’s working and what isn't so you can make informed decisions on the best strategy for capturing more plumbing leads.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive plumbing 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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