24 Ways to Grow Your Pest Control Business
Looking for new ways to promote your pest control business? ProMatcher helps small business owners find new marketing strategies and lead generation services. Here are 24 marketing ideas to get you started:
1. Provide a great service
There is no better marketing strategy than delivering a great service. If you are not able to get rid of the pests on your first or second visit, offer to spray the area again. A satisfied customer will call you back in the future (and recommend you to their friends).
2. Invest in a quality website
Every pest control company needs a website. This isn’t optional anymore. A modern, professional website makes a great first impression and gives you immediate credibility. Fortunately for you, it’s not nearly as expensive as it used to be. There are many low-cost website hosting and management options available for pest control services.
3. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile
More and more consumers use their cell phones and tablets to find local businesses. If your website doesn’t load properly on a mobile device, you will be missing out on these customers.
4. Connect with other local business owners
Take time to build relationships with other business owners in your community. You want to seek out people who may be able to refer you to their customers. Landscapers, general contractors, janitorial services, and property managers are often good people to know. Make sure to acknowledge each referral and show your appreciation! You want to build a lasting relationship so they continue to refer you in the future.
5. Respond to calls and emails as soon as possible
If you keep people waiting too long, they will call one of your competitors. It’s important to regularly check your voicemail and email inboxes. Make your voicemail message is a little more formal. You’ll also want to list your hours of operation so an interested customer can call back at a better time.
6. Buy pest control leads
Buying leads is one of the quickest ways to bring in more business to your pest control service. You can purchase leads for a variety of services, including 1) insect control, 2) bed bug extermination, 3) rodent removal, 4) termite treatment, 5) bee’s nest removal, 6) mosquito lawn treatment, 7) bat removal and exclusion, 8) pest damage repair, 9) tent fumigation, and 10) animal trapping.
7. Place an ad in the Yellow Pages
If your target client is over the age of 55, you might have some success with yellow pages advertising. This is particularly true in rural areas and small towns – with less competition.
8. Carve out a niche for your business
What makes your pest control unique? How are you different from other local pest control companies? Becoming a specialist in one area can help your stand out from your competitors. For example, you might want to specialize in wildlife removal (squirrels, raccoons, snakes, etc.) or rodent control (rats, mice, etc.).
9. Sign up for a pest control pay-per-call service
Looking to increase call volume? A pay-per-call marketing service will drive phone calls directly to your business number. The calls are tracked and you agree to pay a fixed fee for each incoming call. Each call will be from someone looking to hire a local pest control service. They may be looking to get rid of a number of different pests, including (but not limited to) ants, mice, bed bugs, cockroaches, spiders, rats, fleas, and termites.
10. Start a pay-per-click advertising campaign
You can use PPC advertising to drive more traffic to your pest control website. When a local consumer does a search for “pest control near me”, your ad can show right above or below the organic search results. Your company will be charged every time someone clicks on your ad.
11. Use “snail mail” to contact past clients
Believe it or not, direct mail still works. Sending out a postcard with a coupon (maybe 15% off the first visit) can really help bring in new business. Make sure your contact information is displayed prominently on each piece of mail.
12. Claim your local directory listings
It’s important to claim on your profiles in the leading internet directories (think Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, Google). These listings help potential customers find your pest control business online. Once you’ve claimed each profile, make sure to keep them updated. If you get a new phone number, make sure to update it on each profile. There are several listing management tools that can help you simplify this process.
13. Optimize your site to rank higher in organic search
Many consumers use search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) to find information on local businesses. When someone does a search for “pest control” in your city, you want your pest management company to show up on the first page! This means more visibility for your company and more traffic to your website.
14. Use social media to engage with customers
Exterminators can use social media to share relevant articles, post before-and-after pictures, run promotions, or answer customer questions.
15. Use reviews to boost your online reputation
Consumers love to read reviews! They want to know they are hiring the best pest control service in town. Highly-rated companies with many positive reviews tend to get more visibility on these review websites. For this very reason, you want to encourage your satisfied customers to write about their experience.
16. Respond politely to negative reviews.
Unfortunately, you may also get a handful of negative reviews. Don’t panic! Do your best to handle the situation professionally and politely. Call the person directly and try to rectify the situation. If you are unable to solve the problem on your own, there are online reputation management services that may be able to help you out.
17. Send out an email newsletter to your past clients
Your past customers are often your most reliable source of new business. It’s important to keep in touch with these people! A simple email newsletter is a great way to do this. The content should be entertaining or educational. For example, you can give advice about getting rid of ants or how to prevent termites. You may also want to offer a discount coupon in your email.
18. Join a pest control association
There are several organizations that a pest control professional should consider joining. While many operate at the national level, you may get more out of the state-level associations and local chapter meetings. Don’t just pay your dues! Take advantage of the conferences, networking events, and social functions.
19. Get a vanity phone number for your business
Don’t you want to make it easy for people to call you? Buying a vanity number is a great option for many pest management services! First, you will have to see what numbers are available in your local area. You might be able to get something like 555-BUGS or 212-TERMITE with your area code.
20. Try vehicle wrap marketing
Vehicle wrap advertising is an awesome way to get your name out there. At the very least, your name and phone number should be your work vehicle. If you’re looking for more, a full-color vehicle wrap with bold text and graphics can help build brand awareness in your service area. People will start to recognize your trucks on the road. When they need to hire an exterminator, they will think to call you first.
21. Offer a discount on the first service visit
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Everyone wants to get a good deal. A 20% coupon can really make a big difference when it comes down to it. Don’t let a few dollars be the reason that someone chooses a competitor over you. If you do a great job, this person will be more than happy to pay full price for any future services.
22. Always keep a few business cards with you
You never know when you’ll meet your next client or referral source. Never leave the house without a small stack of your business cards. If you don’t like the design of your current business cards, get some new ones printed! There are many companies willing to guide you through the entire process for a very reasonable price.
23. Ask for referrals
This one might seem obvious, but it’s important. Ask your friends, neighbors, and family members to refer you. Let them know what type of referrals that you are interested in. Give them a few brochures that they can pass along to an interested party. When someone does send a referral your way, make sure to say “thank you”. For instance, you could take them out to lunch or offer a 30% discount off their next service.
24. Put together an awesome brochure
Old school, printed marketing materials can be very effective for pest control businesses. A well-designed informational brochure can turn a hesitant prospect into your next customer. Don't just tell people what services you provide. Let people know what sets your company apart from the competition. Are you a family owned business? Do you offer environmentally friendly treatments? Have you won any awards?