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Want More Plumbing Leads? These 10 Digital Marketing Strategies Will Get Them for You
Chances are, your phone isn’t ringing as much as you want it to.
Am I right?
You’re in luck—I’m here to let you in on a few tricks of the trade that we’ve proven work to drastically increase leads for plumbers and plumbing companies.
Number one secret? Well—it’s not really a secret since we have dozens of case studies that detail the results and how it’s done, but the number one way to increase plumbing leads is by building and amplifying your online presence. The first rule of marketing is to be where your audience spends their time, and your target audience now spends their time online.
Since you need to focus on running your business, we did the work for you and nailed down the top ten digital marketing strategies you should use to get more leads for plumbers—both residential and commercial. They’re the same strategies we use for our plumbing clients. If you’re worried about your plumbing leads cost, you can relax—digital marketing has an incredibly high ROI. We’ve seen quality, reliable leads as low as $16 (more on that later)!
Keep reading to see what these strategies are and how to make them work for you. Ready to get more plumbing leads NOW? We’re a contact form away.
Learn more about plumber digital marketing:
Top 10 Ways to Get More Leads for Plumbers
Let’s cut right to the chase. Our top ten sources of leads for plumbers are:
- Increase referrals and reviews
- Turn your website into a lead-driving machine
- Learn SEO
- Master local SEO
- Test Google Local Services ads
- Take out PPC search ads
- Invest in a consistent email marketing strategy
- Use Nextdoor to advertise to homes in older neighborhoods
- Blog about plumbing issues
- Remarket like a boss
Below I’ll dive into each one so you can try implementing for your own company.
1. Increase Plumbing Referrals and Reviews
Referrals and reviews have always been and will continue to be the most reliable sources of leads for plumbers. However, where referrals used to happen offline, they’ve moved online to places like Nextdoor, Facebook, Google, Yelp, and other similar sites.
Online reviews are incredibly important—88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 90 percent of consumers say that their purchases are influenced by online reviews. However, you can’t just get a few 5-star reviews and call it good—85 percent of consumers don’t trust reviews more than three months old, and 40 percent only look at reviews from the last two weeks.
If you want more plumbing leads, you need to develop a review generation strategy. Here are a few ideas:
- Ask for them—if your customers like you, they’ll deliver
- Send a follow-up email after each job requesting a review
- Add a custom Google review link to your website
- Add calls to action on your website asking for reviews
- Install a review generation tool
Learn more about increasing reviews:
2. Turn Your Website into a Plumbing Lead-Generating Machine
Your website will most likely be the first interaction homeowners and property managers have with your company. That’s why you need to make sure it isn’t a brochure—if you want your website to generate more (quality) plumbing leads, it needs to be your 24/7 online sales representative.
To do that:
- It needs to be fast: plumbing customers expect your website to load in under three seconds.
- It needs to be frictionless: customers should be able to get what they need from your website in one click and one second. That means clear navigation, a list of services, helpful shortcuts, and content that anticipates all their needs/questions.
- It needs to be mobile-friendly: 60 percent of online searches for plumbing services happen on a mobile device.
- It needs to feature click-to-call buttons: While three years ago a plumbing company could get by without a click-to-call button on their home page, now it’s standard.
- It needs to be full of lead-generating “nudges”: People are procrastinators, especially if a plumbing problem isn’t really an emergency. If you want your website to generate quality plumbing leads have plenty of calls to action, contact forms that have auto-fill enabled, coupons and specials featured front and center, and your contact information above the fold.
- It needs to be secure: 82 percent of people won’t browse an unsecured site. That means it needs to be HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Learn more about how to create a lead-generating website:
3. Learn Search Engine Optimization
When people need a plumber, 97 percent of them go online. Once there, 93 percent turn to a search engine to find what they need. According to Google, there are more than 246,000 searches EVERY MONTH for plumbers in the United States.
How can you turn those searchers into plumbing leads? With search engine optimization, or SEO. It works—for example, one of our clients increased his plumbing leads from search engines by 135 percent in two years with SEO.
While there are more than 200 actual search engine ranking signals, here’s what you should focus on if you want to generate more leads:
- Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
- Websites that are mobile-friendly
- Schema markup
- Webpage content quality
- Webpage content length
- Page speed
- Social signals
- Quality backlinks
- Optimized images
- Domain age
4. Master Local SEO
Because your company is most likely a local company, you’re going to want to amp up your SEO efforts with local SEO.
Local SEO is the process of increasing your ranking for local keywords and map listings. It requires a variety of strategies:
- NAP citations – Be sure your business’ name, address, and phone number is EXACTLY the same across all of your online assets like your website, social profiles, and Google My Business/Bing listings.
- Local directory listings – Claim and verify all listings on local directories including Yelp, Superpages, Foursquare, Yellowpages, etc.
- Reviews – Reviews are key to local SEO. Regularly solicit reviews and engage in review-building tactics on social and search profiles.
- Localized website content – The more relevant your website content is to the searcher, the more likely it will show up in search results. This means creating unique geo-targeted service pages, specifying plumbing service areas, and including maps with your location on it.
- Schema markup – Ask your web developer to implement local business schema on your website. It gives the search engines a clearer supply of local information about your business.
The end result? Showing up in Google’s local pack for all your relevant keywords.
Learn more about Local SEO for plumbers:
5. Test Google Local Services Ads
Chances are you’ve seen those ads at the very top of Google that look like this:
Those are called Local Services ads. Local Services ads are pay per lead ads that appear at the very top of the search engine results page. Unlike traditional PPC search ads, you don’t target keywords, you target services. Google approves eligibility, advertisers choose from a list of available services for their industry and their service area. When a person’s online search query matches criteria for those services, their ad will be eligible to show.
These would work great for emergency plumbing leads since they show up at the very top for your services.
From our tests, they work to increase quality leads. Check out the results a client of ours, Jack Lehr Heating, Cooling & Electric, recently got:
- GLSA Revenue: $54,095
- GLSA Cost: $5,745.58
- ROI: 9:1
- CPL: $16.36
Learn more about local services ads:
6. Take Out PPC Search Ads for Your Top PLumbing Keywords
If you don’t want to wait for SEO to start generating more plumbing leads, test PPC search ads. They’re a great way to get leads NOW. Pay per click search advertising (PPC) puts plumbers on the first page of Google for their top keywords, delivering quick results in the process.
The two biggest benefits of PPC advertising are controlled visibility and relevance. Traditional plumber advertising interrupts people. The best plumber advertising strategies do not interrupt a user’s online experience. Pay per click advertising only puts your message or ad in front of people actively searching for your services.
7. Invest in Consistent Email Marketing
You already have a solid source of more plumbing leads: your existing customers. If you want to turn them into lifelong, repeat customers, email marketing will do it by:
- Keeping you in touch with your customers
- Generating more sales by including specials, coupons, and rebates
- Improving your brand awareness
I’ve had plumbers tell me email marketing doesn’t work for their industry.
When they do, I tell them about a client of ours—an HVAC and plumbing contractor in Northern Virginia—who generated an additional 132 quality leads from one email campaign.
You read that right—one email campaign generated more leads than some plumbers see in a month.
The email marketing skeptics usually change their tune about email marketing after reading the case study, which you can download and see for yourself here.
So, how did we do it? We paired an email marketing campaign with a direct mailer they usually send and pushed out two emails in a matter of weeks. That’s the secret—you’re never going to generate a ton of leads if you send one email and call it quits. Your email marketing strategy needs to be consistent, timely and expertly crafted.
It also needs to be helpful and have great content. If you’re targeting residential, help homeowners stay on top of plumbing maintenance and prepare for upcoming weather. If you’re targeting commercial plumbing leads, you should help them stay on top of new regulations, codes, and trends in the industrial and property management industries.
- Learn more about email marketing for plumbers:
- Should Plumbers Invest in Email Marketing?
- The Worst Email Marketing Mistakes
- The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide (with Examples)
8. Use Nextdoor to Advertise to Neighborhoods with Older Homes
What if you could target ads to older neighborhoods with homes ripe for new pipes? Or a neighborhood with new construction? Or a neighborhood where the average plumbing job is five times bigger than what it is in other neighborhoods?
Well, now you can.
Nextdoor is a social networking app 90 percent of American neighborhoods are using to get recommendations and find local service providers. There are two reasons it’s a great source of leads for plumbers:
- To sign up for the platform, homeowners must go through a verification process. That means every single person on the platform is a real person in a real neighborhood. Because all members are verified, Nextdoor’s user base inherently trusts the reviews and recommendations from neighbors.
- It’s a hub for local recommendations—24 percent of all posts are homeowners asking for local business recommendations, and 91 percent of recommendations on Nextdoor are home services recommendations.
9. Blog About Plumbing Issues. Then Blog Some More.
Your blog can be a great lead generator—small businesses with blogs get 126 percent more lead growth than small businesses without and adding a blog to your website can increase ranking by over 400 percent.
Homeowners and property managers have a LOT of questions when something goes wrong with their plumbing. Most likely, they’ll Google their question. For example:
“How do I fix a leaky pipe?”
“Should I get new pipes in an old house?”
“Why won’t my toilet stop running?”
Show up in the search results for these types of questions, and you’re already down to road to more plumbing leads.
10. Remarket Like a BOSS
Only two percent of website visitors, on average, will convert into plumbing leads. Remarketing goes after the other 98 percent.
Have you ever visited a website and all of a sudden you see ads for it everywhere? That’s remarketing. It allows your company to seem like they’re “following” people around the internet by serving ads on the websites and platforms they use most.
Another great reason remarketing is such a great source of leads for plumbers is that there are TONS of different kinds and platforms to choose from:
- Video remarketing (Google Ads): Your ads are shown as pre-roll video ads on YouTube and other Google display partners to people that have previously visited your site.
- Search remarketing (Google Ads): Your ads are shown at the top of the search engine results when someone who has already visited your site searches for specific terms or services.
- Display remarketing (Google Ads): Your ads are shown as display ads on other websites within the Google display ad network.
- Social media remarketing: You can use LinkedIn remarketing, Facebook remarketing and Pinterest remarketing to serve ads to people who have visited your website while they browse those social media channels and partner websites.
- Customer list remarketing: With both social media marketing and Google Ads remarketing, you can upload lists of contact information that your customers have given you. When those people are signed into Google or that specific social media site, you can show them ads across different websites or on that social platform.
Learn more about remarketing:
How to Convert Your Plumbing Leads into Lifelong Customers
The #1 most effective long-term growth strategy for plumbers is amazing customer service. Think about it. Say a previous customer calls asking if you can install a GE water heater, but your company only installs Rheem brand water heaters. Many CSRs would simply tell the caller the company can’t perform the job and that she’ll have to find another company to do the work. Then they hang up. They just lost YEARS of repeat business, plus all the referrals that would come with it.
The CSRs that will increase your plumber leads say something like this:
“Can I ask why you’re looking at GE? That might now be the best one for your home. We do have Rheem products, which are just as reliable. Let’s figure this out together.”
Even if that customer is dead set on having a GE water heater installed and goes to another company for that particular job, she’ll remember the friendly service she received from your company and is more likely to come back for another job in the future or recommend your company to friends and family.
Having Trouble Generating High-Quality, Consistent Plumbing Leads? Let Us Handle Your Lead Generation Strategy
If the above seems like too much for you to do on your own, you’re just like the hundreds of plumbing companies we’ve helped over the years. You need to focus on running your business.
So—trust us to help you out. We market your business as if it were our business—meaning we strive to truly understand your services, products, sales process, competitors, industry, and markets to effectively market your services on the web, all while tracking and measurably justifying your investment in our online marketing services.
To sweeten the pot, we have extensive experience helping plumbers just like yours get more leads and sales from the web, and we have a plumber marketing playbook we KNOW works. Call us today and we’ll refer you to our happy plumbing clients!
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's in-house Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod