12 Ways to Market Your Plumbing Business
If you are looking for some good marketing ideas to grow your plumbing business, we’ve got them. Here are 12 of the best ways to market your plumbing business:
1. Do good work, be friendly, and be fair.
It does not get much simpler than that. The best way to market your plumbing company is to do quality work. Period. It leads to the most important referrals for your business…word of mouth advertising. You do good work and people will refer you to their friends, family members, and neighbors.
2. Brand your business. This includes everything from naming your company, designing a logo, and developing company slogans. You also want to have printed materials on hand, like business cards and flyers, that you can pass out to your customers.
3. Build a website. A well-designed website with well-written content can be an enormous benefit to your business. It also helps to have a website that is attractive to search engines. This can improve your chances of getting ranked at the top of local search results. You want as many prospective customers to see your site as possible. This can be done through good SEO practices, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, direct mail programs, and various other marketing strategies. It’s also important to make sure that your website should has an effective way for prospective customers to contact you!
4. Send direct mail and direct email. It is important for you to have a regular way to touch your existing customer base. This is best done through direct mail and direct email. It may seem old fashion, but it can be very effective. It 1) reminds them to call you when they need to hire a plumber and 2) it reminds them to refer you to their friends.
5. Online reputation management (reviews). Every year it becomes more and more important to have good reviews of your company online. The era of the “testimonial” is over. The era of the “qualified, independent review” has begun. There are several internet marketing companies that can help you manage your online reputation. If you’re interested, we will help you find one.
6. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC). If you are a do-it-yourself kind of company, then PPC may be right for you. For small plumbing contractors, Google and Bing have easy to use portals where you can establish an account, build advertising campaigns, and drive quality traffic to your website. If you need some extra help, there are also many PPC marketing companies that can assist you.
7. Join a pay-per-lead program. Purchasing leads has become increasingly popular. This can be very helpful if you are short on time. There are several programs for plumbers to purchase leads. Leads are sent directly to your email or cell phone, and you are charged a fixed amount for each lead you receive.
8. Pay-per-call advertising. Purchasing calls has also become increasingly popular. If business has been slow recently, this is great way to get the phone ringing again. Once you sign up, calls are sent directly to your office or your cell phone.
9. Advertise on television and radio. Once you become more of a regional company (you cover an entire metro area), radio and television advertising can be an effective method of reaching new customers.
10. Use social media to interact with your customers. Quite frankly, we are not big fans – but social media marketing can be effective for some companies. We believe that your time can be better spent on other marketing activities (that’s why this is towards the bottom of the list). We want you to spend time on activities that will produce a better bang for your buck (and time).
11. Advertise in the yellow pages. There are still reasons to advertise in the yellow pages. It depends on your business and location. Yellow pages still seem to be a go-to resource for customers, especially in rural and agricultural areas. This is especially true when someone has a plumbing emergency.
12. Coupon and Groupon advertising. For many businesses, providing coupons or offering special discounts can be an effective way of generating new business. If you provide a great service, this customer will be willing to pay full-price next time they need a plumber.
Do I need a website for my plumbing company?
Yes, you need a website. It is your online business card. It is also an excellent marketing tool that you can use to generate leads for your business. This is a great place to showcase your experience and describe the services you provide. When properly presented, the information will help you convert prospective customers into paying customers.
Is SEO important for my plumbing website?
Yes, it is important to have a well-structured and well-designed website with great content. This allows your customers to learn more about your plumbing company. If the primary search engines (Google and Bing) like what you have written, your site could get ranked either nationally or locally. The more visibility you have in the search engines, the more likely you are to get visitors to your site that are interested in your plumbing services.
Can I buy plumbing leads?
Yes, you can join a pay-per-lead advertising program and purchase plumbing leads on a per-lead basis. Typically, you agree to pay a specific amount for each lead type. For instance, plumbing leads may fall into several different lead types such as: 1) unclogging a sink or tub, 2) repairing a leaky faucet, 3) installing a toilet, 4) installing a garbage disposal, 5) replumbing a house, or 6) plumbing for a new home addition. Each of these may be sold to you for a slightly different price. For instance, a lead for installing a toilet would likely cost less than a lead for re-plumbing an entire house.
Can I pay for plumbing calls or appointments?
Yes, you can join a pay-per-call advertising program and purchase plumbing calls on a per-call basis. Typically, you agree to pay a specific amount for each call type. For instance, calls may fall into different call types such as 1) repairing a main water line, 2) repairing a leaky toilet, 3) installing a bathtub, 4) fixing a water valve, 5) unclogging a sewer line, or 6) plumbing for a new home. Each call type is sold to you at a slightly different price. For example, a lead for repairing a leaky toilet would likely cost you less than a lead for plumbing a new house.
Is E-Mail Marketing Effective for Plumbing Contractors?
Yes, email marketing is effective for plumbing contractors. However, people are becoming more and more “blind” to email marketing tactics. If you use email marketing, use it sparingly so that your customers are not overwhelmed. When you do contact your customers via email, make sure that you have a very specific purpose. If a customer responds to your email, make sure that you follow up!
Will Direct Mail Help Generate Leads for My Plumbing Business?
Yes, direct mail can help generate leads for your business. However, we feel that direct mail is best used to market to your existing customer base. It helps strengthen your brand and will help improve your word-of-mouth advertising.
Should I Advertise My Plumbing Service in the Yellow Pages?
Good question. Although the yellow pages have seen a sharp decline in the past decade, it is still a powerful resource for many plumbing contractors. This is particularly true in more rural areas where people still refer to their paper books over their mobile phones when it comes time to find a plumber.
Should I Offer Coupons or Deals For My Plumbing Services?
Offering coupons and deals for your plumbing services is likely one of the oldest marketing tactics in the book. For certain types of services, where you know exactly what the scope of work is, offering a coupon can be effective. For instance, you likely have a good understanding of how long it is going to take you to install a garbage disposal. Ideally, you could offer a coupon for this type of project. However, the cost of installing a main water line could vary significantly from project to project. This is a tougher item to offer a discount on.
How Can I Find Plumbing Lead Sites?
You already have! If you are interested in internet marketing for plumbers, ProMatcher will help guide you to some of the best sites and lead programs. Review through the programs we have on our list and select the ones you feel are right for your company.
How Much Do Plumbing Leads Cost?
The cost of plumbing leads varies depending upon 1) the program you buy them from and 2) the type of plumbing lead you buy. For instance, a lead to unclog a sink is going to cost less than a lead to re-plumb a house. In general, plumbing leads will cost somewhere between $10-$50 per lead. Also, many services sell leads multiple times (to give the customer multiple options). Leads from those services usually cost less than exclusive leads.
How Much Should I Spend Advertising My Plumbing Business?
It’s up to you! Your advertising budget will depend on the size of your business. A company with 20 employees will usually spend more on advertising than a company with 3 employees. There are also many affordable ways to market your plumbing business. We have listed many of them here. Just printing up a few flyers can be very effective.
How Much Should I Budget to Advertise My Plumbing Business?
Plumbers should budget between 5 and 10% of their gross revenue (or projected revenue) for marketing purposes. Wow, I know, 10% sounds like a lot of money. If you are not ready to be that aggressive, then start by budgeting 5%. That is $5,000 for every $100,000 you earn in gross revenue. That leaves you with $400-$500 per month to spend on marketing. That is a healthy and useful budget for many plumbing businesses.