Are you thinking of buying leads from a home improvement lead generation company?
Perhaps you’re already doing just that, but are open to alternatives that will get you better results – after all, as digital marketing agency Three Deep says, most of the leads you’ll get from these online companies will suck.
But, why are they so bad? Let’s take it from someone who’s been there and done that, and see what they have to say (from the link above):
“In most industries, online lead generation is a big business. If you start a company and prove that you are able to generate a steady stream of leads for a particular product or service, you will find a ready market willing to pay you for the leads you generate.”
This pretty much covers all industries, including yours, but the point he’s trying to make (about why the leads themselves are so poor) is also perfected demonstrated by the example he gives in his article:
“Last year I was doing some research on home mortgage rates. I found a site that asked me to register to check rates in my area. Within the first 30 minutes of filling out that form I got calls from 3 mortgage companies; 3 more called me within the first hour. I couldn’t believe I fell for my own lead generation tactics!“
Not exactly ideal, is it? Perhaps this is also ringing a certain bell of truth for you right now. Ask yourself, how many times have you made phone calls to people who were just completely perplexed that you even had their number, and who just weren’t ready to buy?
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But wait a minute… what if I told you there was a better way than simply paying home improvement lead generation companies to get business?These poor quality leads are commonplace in the home improvement industry, and you may have already come to accept that you just have to make the best out of a bad situation.
In this blog post, I’m going to tell you some of the ways you can generate more, better quality leads for your home improvement business, at a fraction of the cost from your current website.
1. Introduce multiple touch points
Touch points, usually in the form of call-to-actions (or CTAs) or contact forms, give your visitors something to do next on your website. I’m willing to bet you probably have one or two touch points already, and they might look a bit like ‘get a quote’ or ‘request a free consultation’.
Or perhaps your only touch point is your ‘contact us’ page – something that’s not uncommon in a lot of websites I’ve looked at.
This is great for the small percentage of people who reach your website ready to buy, or have done enough research to want a consultation or quote from your business. The bad news is, that’s only around 4%.
What happens to the other 96%? They click away and may never return. Perhaps they don’t even know if your solution is right for them yet, or want to find out more about their available options before making a decision. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
That’s why it’s important to introduce touch points for website visitors at every stage of their buying journey; awareness, consideration and decision. ‘Get a quote’ or ‘request a consultation’ may be perfect for those already at the decision stage, but what about everyone else? What might attract them?
Here are just a few examples of CTAs you can create, and introduce strategically throughout your site:
- Download our free Conservatory Comparison guide
- Subscribe to the latest blogs
- Sign up to our weekly newsletter
- Get your winter-ready checklist here
- Sign up here for our latest ‘Hot Tubs Q&A’ webinar!
- Download a free infographic
- Get the ‘Diagnose Your Faulty Boiler’ email series straight to your inbox!
As you can see from some of the examples above, a lot of them contain premium content offers (such as guides or checklists) that people might find helpful or informative. Which brings me nicely onto my next point.
2. Write helpful, premium content
Try to look at your website objectively, and from the perspective of your ideal buyer – or buyer persona – what might they be thinking for their first time on the site? What sort of downloadable content might they find helpful, and where could it be placed?
Ebooks or guides are usually a good place to start, and you can give these away for free in exchange for some simple information (name and email address) they can fill out via a form on your website (more about that part below).
For instance, if you sell conservatories, you might want to use your experience in selling conservatories to write a guide on the top 7 most popular conservatory designs – based on the styles you sell the most! Or perhaps you could write an easy guide comparing the different kinds of materials on offer.
For those who don’t even know if they want a conservatory, you might want to consider coming up with a checklist to determine which option is right for them – be it a conservatory, orangery or extension.
All of the above are known as premium content, and work regardless of whether you’re selling hot tubs, conservatories, boilers or any other home improvement services. Think about it; not only will you be capturing leads, but by educating them, you’ll also help move them further along their buying journey!
3. Create landing pages
Now that you’ve developed some quality, premium content that people are going to want to download, the next step is to create an effective landing page for each one. A landing page should be quite different from the rest of your website, and should contain minimal navigation and distractions.
The main point of a landing page is to entice your visitors into downloading your offer by telling them exactly what they will get for doing so. You may want to tell them what they’ll learn by downloading your guide or checklist, and list the most important benefits in clear bullet points.
This will let your visitors know exactly what to expect once they have downloaded your premium content, but you also want to concentrate on being helpful, so avoid sounding overly salesy or ‘too-good-to-be-true’ – for instance, don’t say it’s going to solve ALL their problems. Make it specific.
Your landing page should also include a simple form for them to fill out their contact details before downloading the offer, but this should be kept as minimal as possible; a name and email address will do. You could also include a tick box to subscribe to your newsletter or blog.
TIP: Creating an effective landing page can be tricky when you’ve never tried it before, so my advice is to sign up to the free 7-day lead generation landing page course from Unbounce. Enjoy!
4. Publish regular, quality content
Most of the people who land on your website are going to have questions, and the best place to answer these questions is on your blog – so if you don’t have one already, you should definitely introduce one on your website. Check out the Learning Centre on the River Pools and Spas website as a great example.
Again, just like your premium content, your focus should be on providing your visitors with helpful content and information to help them make a decision.
A great idea to help you come up with content for your blog is to sit down with your entire team (and anyone who deals with your customers) and write down all the questions your ideal customers ask on a regular, day-to-day basis.
Some of the biggest questions they might be asking could include:
- How do I know this is the best solution for me?
- What are the alternative options?
- How long will it take to install?
- What are the common problems with this solution?
- How much can I expect to pay – and what can affect cost?
- What are your competitors offering?
It’s important to address issues such as cost, competitors and product comparisons/reviews – as if you don’t, I can guarantee you someone else will. These are often the questions your customers will want to know the most, and shying away from them could actually send them into the arms of your competitors.
Your content should, wherever possible, be matched to your premium content offers – which can also be included at the bottom of each blog post. This is so your readers always have something else to do next – otherwise, they may just click away happy and go off to find something else.
Once your blogs are published, promote them on your social media channels.
5. Nurture your leads with emails
Once you’ve got all of your bases covered, with multiple touch points on your website that include downloadable, premium content offers, and helpful blog posts that match up where possible, you can now move onto the next step – nurturing those leads into customers.
By writing a few clever follow-up emails and providing your leads with even more useful content at the right time, you can help them to eventually become customers. Just remember, these emails should also focus on being helpful. Separate them to a small series of automated emails, maybe once a week.
These should be different for each piece of content they’ve downloaded, and you should start off by simply thanking them for downloading the guide, and if they have any questions – include a handy link just to ensure they managed to download it okay.
From there, you may wish to try and encourage the conversation, and send them other content they may find helpful at different stages of their predicted buyer’s journey. So, perhaps a case study, or a blog on what can affect price – these should be personalised, and various tools can help you do this effectively.
TIP: Here are 13 examples of email series or ‘workflows’ that HubSpot recommends you try.
6. Test and optimise for best results
Now you’ve done all of the above, you can pat yourself on the back – great work! However, it doesn’t stop there. You should be analysing and testing your landing pages and emails to see which ones get the most conversions and responses, so you can always be improving on what you have.
For instance, by running A/B tests, you’ll be able to see which emails are being opened and clicked on, and which are being ignored – as well as which opener and wording is converting the most visitors on your landing pages!
How? An all-in-one marketing/sales platform such as HubSpot can do all of the above, as well as helping you set up email automation in the first place. You should be able to tweak various aspects of your landing pages and emails (but only one part at a time), and optimising until you get the results you need.
7. Engage with your leads
Finally, don’t ignore comments on your blog and social media interactions – by taking the time to engage with visitors and valuable leads, you can help nurture them into customers. Sometimes it’s as simple as answering a question on Facebook or responding to a problem on Twitter. It DOES make a difference.
Doing this can also help convert these followers into brand advocates, who will in turn be more than happy to share your content with their friends, family or colleagues.
TIP: Don’t know how to encourage engagement? Try posting questions along with your content to get the conversation flowing. Ask people for their opinions, and be interested in what they have to say – this is also good when it comes to developing your buyer personas!
By following the 7-step process above, you CAN generate leads and sales for your business without the need of home improvement lead generation companies. This is not a gimmick, or a miracle I’m only part-sharing to gain your interest – the above 7 steps is really all you need.
Any good inbound marketing agency will be able to help you with some of the points above, as well as to plan out a strategy for the content you need to create – however, hiring one is not absolutely necessary. You can try these steps for yourself, and there are plenty of online resources out there to guide you.
If you have any specific questions or are looking for more advice on home improvement marketing ideas for your home improvement company, feel free to give me a shout, or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!