The plumbing industry remains very competitive throughout the nation, and not a single plumbing company claims more than 5 percent of the total market share. Plumbing industry statistics also indicate demand for plumbing services is projected to grow over the next five years.
With so many choices available for consumers, plumbing companies without solid digital marketing strategies, a social media presence, and positive online reviews become just another lost face in the crowd.
To be competitive in a saturated market with historically low customer loyalty, your plumbing company needs to build brand awareness. Brand awareness starts by meeting your customers where they search for plumbers today: Online.
Did you know that 70 percent of home services customers prefer email as the best communication tool to learn about deals, offers, and reminders? They also want to receive personalized emails, much like how Amazon remembers what customers searched for or bought previously.
Digital marketing tools such as TIBINT Email Marketing lets you customize professional email marketing templates to create targeted email campaigns with just a few clicks.
While it’s true you shouldn’t rely on just one marketing tactic, it’s also true that you shouldn’t try everything at once. You have loads of opportunities to spend (and waste) your marketing dollars and, like New Year’s resolutions, you don’t want to go overboard and end up abandoning your goals by February.
In other words, I could teach you about dozens of specific ways to market your shop in 2020. Instead, I’m going to encourage you to stick to the basics—four of which are long-standing approaches and one of which appeared just last year and has quickly become standard practice.
Get the best results from plumbing marketing with these marketing ideas:
I realize “customer service” seems like a completely different topic from marketing. But it’s absolutely not—or it shouldn’t be. Let me explain.
You can probably show me how much money you spent on marketing last year. And you can maybe tell me how many new customers you gained. I wonder, though, if you’ve ever taken the time to do the math: How much money did each of those new customers cost you?
Seriously: Do the math. Add up your total marketing expenses for 2018 (billboards, websites, Facebook Ads, everything). Then divide that number by how many new customers you got last year. That number is your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), and I’m guessing it might have made you throw up a little. If you really want to throw up, figure out what you earned, on average, from your new customers. Far too many shops spend more money than they bring in—a business model obviously doomed to fail.
Having ridiculously great customer service is one of the best ways to bring down your CAC. Why? Referrals. For every customer who comes to you via referral, your CAC decreases by half. Here’s how: Let’s say you spent $1000 to get Customer A. Customer A refers to Customer B. You spent no additional money to get Customer B—so now your CAC for those two customers is just $500 each.
To recap: Referrals happen when you offer the best plumbing experience someone’s ever had. Repeat customers happen that way, too. Referrals and repeats are cheap to acquire. Don’t make the mistake of thinking customer service and marketing are unrelated.
Let’s say you decide to improve your customer service experience in 2020. That’s fantastic. But don’t just sit around and wait for referrals to happen. Instead, be proactive in asking for them. Sure, Happy Customer A is likely to tell their friends and family about you—when their friends and family need a plumber. But what about all of those people out there who need a plumber and don’t know Happy Customer A?
That’s where online reviews matter. Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and personal recommendations convert at nearly 1:1. Reviews are like gold when it comes to growing your customer base.
As many as 97 out of 100 people will research your plumbing company online before they call you. If they can find your website (which I’ll get to in a minute) that website better work. Effective plumber websites are:
- Easy to use and take action.
Notice “cool” didn’t make the top five most important elements of plumber websites. Sure, it’s great to have a nice-looking website. Unlike the fashion industry, though, when it comes to websites, function beats form every time.
As you likely know, it’s not enough to have a website that offers a good user experience. You must also have a website that makes Google notice you. Getting Google’s attention isn’t quite rocket science, but it is crazy-complex, obnoxiously time-consuming, and, perhaps most frustrating, ever-evolving.
The highest-converting customers you’ll have are the folks Googling “plumbers near me.” To guarantee your shop shows up in the top few search results for that query, you’ll have to spend some money (see below, to help improve your chances of landing above the fold organically.)
Similar to traditional pay-per-click (PPC) ads, Google Local Services ads appear at the top of search results — above organic listings.
These ads help more local searchers find your plumbing business, learn about your services, and contact you to take the next step.
Local Services ads for plumbers feature three businesses at the top of the search results.
After clicking on “More plumbers,” searchers will see an entire page filled with local plumbers. At the top of this page, they can filter businesses by choosing the service they need.
You don’t pay when someone clicks on your ad. You only pay when someone contacts your business.
Someone can click on your ad and read all the information about your business without it costing your business a dime. You won’t pay until someone chooses your business and contacts you via phone call or message.
This setup benefits your business greatly because you only pay for leads most interested in your business. You’re putting your budget towards leads that reach out to your business to learn more about your services or book an appointment.