1. Provide a great service at a fair price
One of the best ways to generate buzz about your business is to deliver exceptional value. When you do great work at a reasonable price, people talk! When someone asks "Does anyone know a good plumber?", your satisfied customers will jump at the chance to recommend your business. This type of word-of-mouth advertising is the bread and butter of any successful local business. Don't miss out on each and every opportunity to go the extra mile for a customer. It can really make a huge difference when it comes to customer loyalty. Repeat business keeps the lights on!
2. Invest in a solid website
Every plumber needs to have a website. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that anymore
A well-designed, professional website lets potential customers know that you are a legitimate local business that should be taken seriously! The times they are a-changing. More and more people are going online to find and hire local professionals. If your plumbing business does not have a strong web presence, you're already missing out on these potential jobs.
Building a plumbing site is more affordable than ever. In most cases, you can get a basic business website up and running for just a few dollars a month. Most importantly, make sure your contact information is on every single page! Your website won't do you any good unless people have an easy way to get in touch with you. Make it easy for someone to request a quote or schedule an estimate with an online form.
3. Keep a few business cards with you at all times
Believe or not, business cards are still an important part of any plumber's marketing strategy.
If you haven't updated the look of your business card in a few years, it may be time to get some new ones printed. There are so many easy ways to design and print business cards online. Many of these companies even offer free design services.
You never know when you'll meet your next customer. You might be in line at the bank or out walking your dog. If you always keep an extra card with you, you'll never miss out on an opportunity to expand your network.
4. Buy plumbing job leads
Have you recently started a plumbing business? Are you in the middle of your "slow season" and need extra work? Are you trying to expand into a new market? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may want to consider using a lead generation service! Buying leads is just one way to bid on more local jobs and grow your business. You can purchase plumbing leads for a number of different jobs, including 1) unclogging sinks and drains, 2) installing faucets and fixtures, 3) pumping septic tanks, 4) repiping an entire home, and 5) replacing sump pumps. Leads are usually priced according to their potential value. For instance, a toilet replacement lead will cost less than a whole house re-plumbing job lead.
5. Give direct mail marketing a shot
Plumbers can use direct mail marketing to get the attention of local consumers. While it may seem old-fashioned, "snail mail" is a fairly low-cost way to get your name out there. Start by sending a simple postcard to a few highly-targeted zip codes. You could even include a limited-time promotion on the postcard. Nothing motivates consumers like a discount!
6. Try out email marketing
Email marketing is an easy, budget-friendly way for plumbing businesses to re-engage past customers. As you’ve probably heard before, it’s much easier to bring back an old customer than to bring in brand new one. To make your life easier, you may want to consider using one of the many easy-to-use email marketing platforms out there. Using a template can help ensure that your messaging looks great on every screen. Many people check email on their cell phones and tablets now - not just on their home computers. With the help of a service, you can also easily track the success of each campaign. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how many people opened your email and how many people actually clicked through to your plumbing company’s website?
7. Print flyers and door hangers
Printed marketing materials (think flyers, brochures, and door hangers) can still be pretty effective. Head over to your local print shop or even print them at home. Get the whole family involved! Make sure to distribute your flyers in neighborhoods where you have worked before or areas where you would like to generate more business. Be strategic!
8. Expand your network, build meaningful relationships
People rarely get excited about "networking", but it’s so important! Expanding your network and building relationships within your local community is often key to the success of your business. Get to know other plumbing contractors, general contractors, home builders, real estate brokers, electricians, and other professionals in the construction industry. When you make meaningful connections with these pros and they know you do great work, they will be happy to refer you to their customers. In turn, you can do the same for them. Never forget to say thank you! You may even want to take someone out to lunch to show your appreciation for a great referral.
9. Run a pay-per-click campaign
You can use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to get more visitors to your plumbing service’s website. The best thing about PPC ads is that they can be highly targeted. You can pick the exact keyword searches that you feel best represent your business. For example, you can target your ad towards people searching for “plumbers in my area”, “local septic tank contractors”, or “24/7 emergency plumbing contractors”. If you’re on a tight budget, make sure to limit your daily ad spend and monitor your campaigns on a daily basis. With a great landing page and a good lead capture form, you can turn this paid traffic into new paying customers.
10. Take advantage of online reviews
Online reviews are incredibly valuable to your plumbing business. Consumers love to read reviews. Many people trust online reviews just as much they personal recommendations from friends and family. If you do good work and provide excellent customer service, happy customers will be more than willing to write a few good words on your behalf. This is especially true when responding to a plumbing emergency. If you are able to respond with help quickly, they will love you forever!
11. Advertise on a discount website
Promoting your services on a “local deals” website (think Groupon or Angie’s List) can be a useful way to attract new customers. Who doesn’t love getting a good deal? Offering a discount is an effective method of getting new people in the door. Once they are in, you will have the opportunity to upsell them on additional services or become their “go-to” plumber going forward. If you don’t make a huge profit on the first job, just know that there will be other opportunities in the future!
12. Promote your company on the radio
If your plumbing business has established a large footprint in a particular region or metro area, radio advertising may be a good way to build brand recognition. Work with your team to come up with a simple & concise script (most radio spots will only last about 20 to 30 seconds). Do your best to communicate what sets your plumbing company apart from the competition. Most importantly, include a call to action! This might be “Call to get a free quote!” or “Visit our website to schedule an appointment!” Then, don’t forget to include your contact information right in the ad.
13. Wrap your trucks
Putting a vinyl wrap on company trucks and vans is a great way to grab the attention of the local market. The wrap should include your company name, logo, phone number, and maybe even your website URL. Make it easy for people to contact you! While the upfront cost may seem steep, there are no maintenance costs and you’ll get hundreds (if not thousands) of eyes on your brand every single day. If a full vinyl wrap is not in the budget right now, you can go the DIY route. You can buy vinyl decals at almost any home improvement store and do-it-yourself at a fraction of the cost.
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