5 tips for securing better home improvement leads
- Home improvement is a multibillion dollar industry with even more growth expected in the coming years
- Leads are people who have expressed an interest in your company and what you have to offer
- Tactics like search engine optimization, hosting a video blog, and revamping your email marketing can generate more qualified home improvement leads
In 2021, home improvement sales in the United States amounted to $538 billion with growth expected to reach $620 billion by 2025. Whether you’re just starting your contractor business or you’re a seasoned home improvement contractor, this is great news as the market shows incredible growth potential with people looking to upgrade their living spaces.
As you likely know, new leads can eventually lead to new customers, which are the lifeblood of any small business. With that in mind, use this guide to learn how to obtain high-quality home improvement leads so you can stand out from the competition and boost your bottom line.
What is a lead and what is lead generation?
A lead is a potential customer who has an interest in what you’re selling. In the case of your home improvement business, it’s probably a homeowner who is interested in the renovation services you offer.
Lead generation is the process of creating consumer interest in your products and services, which occurs after the marketing stage. For instance, let’s say you send out an email blast, prompting recipients to download a free resource guide about the latest trends in the home improvement industry.
While not everyone on your distribution list will engage with your email, the people who do download your guide can be considered qualified leads. By downloading the white paper, these individuals have expressed an interest in what your company has to offer. These people are likely closer to doing a home improvement project than the person who deleted your email.
Lead generation is not easy—60% of marketers say that lead generation is a key pain point for their company. But if you can figure out how to generate (and convert) home improvement leads, you have a better chance of improving sales and efficiently growing your small business.
5 tips for finding home improvement leads
Investing time and resources in your lead generation strategy can pay off for your home improvement business in the long run. Whether it’s honing in on your business model or focusing on your online presence, here are five ideas to drum up more home improvement leads.
1. Evaluate your business model
Many home improvement businesses make the mistake of wanting to do a bit of everything. They may double as roofing and HVAC specialists, or maybe they do kitchen remodels but are also service providers for stoves and microwaves. Part of this stems from the need for cash, and when first starting a business, it can be tempting to take a variety of jobs to improve your cash flow.
However, if you try to do too many things, you can spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on one service specifically and do it exceptionally well. For instance, let’s say your niche is roofing. Instead of being a mediocre home remodeling company, focus on being the best roofing company in your area.
If you perform exceptional work for your existing customers, you’re more likely to receive qualified leads via word of mouth from those satisfied customers. They’re more likely to recommend your services to friends, family, and neighbors. Following a great experience, they may also be more inclined to write reviews about you online, generating more buzz for your business.
2. Optimize your website for your service area
Imagine there’s a homeowner in your service area interested in completing a renovation. They might use a search engine to look up a phrase like “home improvement contractors in Baltimore.” They come across your website and are impressed by what they see. The person enters their name, email address, and phone number into a contact form on your website, asking for more information about your services.
You just secured a lead.
To make this scenario a reality, you need to optimize your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making sure your website contains the keywords that homeowners in your area use when searching for contractors. If your website contains these keywords, you’re more likely to rank higher in search results, therefore increasing the likelihood that a prospective customer will go to your website. As such, SEO is essential when promoting your local business online.
Furthermore, you can also indicate your exact service area and more on your Yelp Business Page which can improve your local search engine results. You can enter your business description as well as your contact information (i.e., mailing address, phone number, email address), and photos. More than 90 million people visit Yelp each month to find businesses in their area (comScore, October 2019), and 90% of people make a purchase within a week after visiting Yelp.
Yelp can also serve as a place for virtual word-of-mouth referrals. Positive online reviews can be a form of lead generation, as 70% of consumers say it’s rare for them to go to a new business without first checking out the reviews.
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3. Revamp your email marketing
In the example we used earlier, a lead occurred when an interested homeowner downloaded a resource guide from an email. If you want to convert more home improvement leads, develop and optimize your email marketing. Too often, small business owners send generic emails that don’t resonate with specific customer needs or interests.
Instead, the first step is segmenting your email list. By segmenting your list, you can better target certain sets of subscribers. For instance, perhaps you have a group of customers who completed a renovation within the past five years. You can specifically target them with a message along the lines of: “It’s time for your next home improvement project.” Segmented campaigns can lead to as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
A targeted email campaign can go a long way toward improving your conversion rates (think more people opening and engaging with your emails). Along with being geared toward specific subscribers, your emails should:
- Be digestible and easy to skim
- Contain photos of work you’ve completed recently
- Be mobile-friendly, as most people prefer opening emails on their smartphone
An email that contains bright, vibrant photos and a few client testimonials will grab a homeowner‘s attention much more than an email filled with dozens of lines of generic-looking text. If you’re not well-versed in email marketing strategies, consider hiring a professional. There are freelancers and contractors available on sites like Upwork, who specialize in email marketing. Hourly rates can range anywhere from $10 to $200, depending on the person’s experience.
4. Host a webinar or vlog
Another creative tactic to generate home improvement leads is to host webinars and video blogs (vlogs). Perhaps you can host a webinar on what homeowners need to consider before starting a renovation. Or maybe you can host a monthly YouTube video series demonstrating small DIY renovation projects homeowners can do on their own.
Webinars and vlogs are effective for a few reasons. For one, they are far more personal than text advertising. They put a face to the business and allow you to showcase your personality, thus establishing trust and credibility. They also allow your expertise to shine, convincing customers that you know what you’re talking about.
Sharing helpful content is also a show of good faith, and potential customers are more likely to remember your name for the future. For example, if you provide homeowners with small renovation projects they can do on their own, you as the business owner might miss out on a bit of revenue. But let’s say the homeowner completes this project with their family, they have a fun time, and they come back to your vlog the following month. When it comes time for the homeowner to complete a full-scale renovation, they’ll likely remember you and call you for the job.
5. Boost your online and social media presence
Another way to gain home improvement leads is to set up and maintain online and social media profiles for your business. This will boost your business exposure and increase the likelihood you’ll be found by new customers. Plus, you can not only target people in your own town, but you can also expand to neighboring areas.
These platforms also have a number of paid advertising options, like Yelp Ads, to help you target high-intent customers that are ready to buy. Many offer flexible budget options that only charge you when you receive a click.
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Home improvement leads can grow your business
There are many home improvement contractors you’re competing against, so securing high-quality leads is essential in the home improvement industry. Home improvement lead generation ensures that qualified, interested customers remain in your pipeline.
To improve lead generation, be sure to:
- Evaluate your business model
- Optimize your website for your business area
- Revamp your email marketing
- Host a webinar or vlog
- Boost your social media presence
Lead generation takes time and effort, but in the long run, it can help drive profits substantially. For more ideas on growing your company, check out our guide on how to attract more customers to your small business.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.