For many people in the solar contracting industry, generating leads seems to be a hit-or-miss prospect. Digital marketing can feel a bit awkward for those used to working with their hands, which leads many businesses into one of two places:
- Struggling to find leads at all.
- A boom-and-bust cycle.
If either of those sounds familiar when you’re looking over your campaigns for solar lead generations then you’re in the right place.Read on and I’ll show you how to bring in predictable leads, allowing you to focus on the nuts-and-bolts of your business rather than having to rework your entire marketing strategy every quarter.
Not All Leads Are Equal
One of the biggest mistakes which people make when they’re gathering leads is not paying attention to the quality that’s being brought their way.
If you get brought a thousand people, but only ten end up becoming customers you’re spending more money than you would if you’d only attracted a hundred people and ended up with the same amount of people converting.
How does this manifest in real world marketing?
A focus on traffic instead of quality traffic can put you in this whole pretty easily. Many of the systems that solar contractors use lead to high marketing costs with a lower conversion rate. More money per lead ends meaning less profit per lead, which is the beginning of the end for your ROI in advertising.
There’s another factor that’s often neglected as well: are your lead generation sources exclusive?
You can’t blame the customer for comparison shopping, but many leads end up just window shopping while they’re looking for the lowest rate.
And you’ll still be paying for those leads.
So, when you’re breaking down your leads you want to look at the following:
- Number-Without traffic and leads coming in, you’re out of luck with the rest of the valuable metrics. The number of leads you’re generating is the baseline figure for the rest of the process.
- Quality-Quality is a subjective measurement of how many of your leads are actually following up. To determine the quality of a lead source you’ll want to calculate the number of leads that turn into actual customers.
- Exclusivity-A service which puts you in direct competition with other solar contractors while you’re paying through the nose doesn’t sound attractive. It’s also something which many people fail to check on, as we’ll see in a moment.
- Cost per Lead-Your ROI is dependent on how much each lead costs you. Cutting your costs per lead down, while maintaining high quality and exclusivity, is the best way to up your revenue.
The final factor is predictability. Too much of marketing can feel like an all-or-nothing affair, but bringing in new customers in a predictable manner is important: it lets you grow your business at a comfortable rate.
You’re better off generating a consistent number of leads than having to scramble your team of technicians to fill out a suddenly busy schedule before things drop off again. Or, even worse, not generating enough leads to keep your employees busy.Take a look at to see if we’re a good fit for your business.
The Failure of Third Party Leads
The go-to platforms for contractors seem pretty attractive at first glance.
There are some hidden problems lurking around the corner, however. Sites like Angie’s List or Home Advisor allow you to list your business for a fee to generate leads. They handle the advertising through their own site and you just have to kick back and wait.
The problem is that you’re not the only one who’s getting those leads. Every solar contractor in the area who’s signed up for the service is getting them as well. And, frankly, when people comparison shop over a huge business aggregator the cheapest service is always going to win out regardless of quality.
That ends up being a lot of money spent per lead, and the leads are low quality and non-exclusive.
Being listed has some value. It can raise brand awareness and make people know you’re there, but in the end you’re out an average of $200 per month without any guarantee the people who click will end up buying from you. Or you’ll be forced to less attractive organic search listings, depending on the site you use.
Many contractors have found themselves frustrated with these services.
High costs, low conversion rates, and almost being forced to sign up just to have basic information show up?
It’s not a winning proposition for most contractors.
What About AdWords?
Google AdWords places you at the top of Google searches.
That’s an immediate win, right?
While you’re at the top, so is everyone else working in the solar industry in your area. AdWords is attractive to most people since the advertising doesn’t have to be complex and Google is the largest search engine in the world.
Return on investment is the key to growth. Since most people will be comparison shopping when they hit Google there’s a good chance they’ll click on your ad. There’s also a good chance they clicked on another ad or two as well.
Then there’s another segment of users that virtually never clicks on AdWords. Those who grew up with the internet often scroll right past the ads at the top of any given Google search.
AdWords can also get expensive. Each person who clicks on your ad will end up costing you money, whether it was a comparison shopper, a potential customer, or someone who got sloppy with their mouse after making a search.
The exclusivity is a bit better than third party business aggregators but the cost is around the same or higher.
So what about SEO?
Shortcomings in Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the primary way that people bring organic traffic to their businesses. You’re not paying per click, but you need to run a tight campaign to make sure you show up.
SEO is time consuming. It’s also not free, you’ll either be using your time or money to get the content you need to get ahead. Then you’ll need to work on link building strategies, outreach, and generally find yourself with a complex mess.
And all of it can change at any moment. Google is notorious for enormous algorithm changes that alter the entire digital landscape. These are often released without any notification and if you’re not on top of things then you may be surprised when your traffic suddenly drops 90%.
Is SEO valuable?
Should most businesses have a basic blog in place to target keywords for organic traffic?
Is it the be-all, end-all of digital advertising?
No. SEO has numerous shortcomings that prevent it from being the “perfect” tactic. Experts are notoriously competitive, the algorithms change, and running a full-fledged SEO campaign takes more time than most business owners have.
Even worse, when you do hire someone else to do SEO you have to be extremely careful. Not every agent or agency out there uses modern tactics and if you go with a cut-rate, fly-by-night service you can actually end up getting hurt by blackhat techniques and outdated tactics like keyword stuffing.
Taken as a marketing tactic on it’s own, SEO isn’t the best method for contractors to gain leads.
It shouldn’t be ignored, of course, but focusing all of your marketing budget into this one area simply isn’t going to accomplish as much as most of us are hoping.
The ROI on SEO can also be hard to calculate. There are simply too many factors that go into organic searches you can’t account for.
So, What Works?
Any marketing effort which succeeds is going to focus on the following four concepts:
- Audience targeting
- The medium used
- The overall message
- The systems in place
Tight audience targeting leads to higher quality leads. The medium which you’re using affects how you find people and what options for targeting are available.
Your overall message is a big factor in conversion rates. You’re not just a solar business, after all, you’re promoting a cleaner environment and self-reliance.
Finally, the systems which are used will affect how hard all of this is, how much time you need to devote to your campaigns, and the overall ROI of the entire marketing setup.
Achieving Consistent Results
The systems which you put into play are a huge factor in your final success. A properly implemented system also brings a level of consistency to your business.
Retargeting, finding the right audience, and then using the best possible copy to draw them in.
The problem for most solar contractors comes from finding their audience, running their ads at the right time, and bringing people in from their advertisements. That takes a lot of time and know-how, even if you can successfully implement a marketing campaign without taking away from the daily running of your business.
It’s a time consuming process and requires the ability to accurately read data and make the right decisions. Since you’ll be developing based only on what you know at the moment, it may take weeks, months, or even years before you begin to see a positive ROI.
That’s where we come in.
Unlock High-Quality, Consistent Leads for Your Solar Business
We’ve developed a system which brings in leads on a predictable basis.
You can spend your time trying to unlock the formula or you can opt for a professional who’s work in this niche speaks for itself.
We’ve helped solar contractors just like yourself receive an increased ROI and tinkered with our formula to keep the cost of your leads low. Best of all, if our company is a good fit for you, we’ve also been able to achieve consistent, repeatable results.
Don’t let cloudy skies and bad campaigns get you down.our free case study