If you’re a general contractor, lead generation is essential. As a contractor, building your marketing skills and digital presence can make a significant difference in attracting more potential customers—namely, leads—to your business and its offerings.
A qualified lead is someone who could be a potential customer for your business based on their fulfillment of customer criteria and their willingness to provide information to you on their own volition. Using tactics such as buying email lists or cold prospects does not fall into this category.
Leads can fall into two categories—inbound or outbound:
- Inbound leads are those that actively search and find your business through various channels. Channels range from search engines like Google or Bing, or even YouTube, Yelp, and other social media platforms. An inbound lead can also be a caller who found your business listed in a newspaper or other advertisement. Inbound leads are generally more willing to share information, hence making them more qualified.
- With outbound leads, your business has to actively reach out to these potential customers and engage them through your own efforts. This might be a lead you gained through door-to-door marketing or by making phone calls. Email marketing is another outbound lead example.
There are many ways you can go about improving your lead generation. This includes opting for lead generation services from agencies. Here, your business pays an agency to attract leads to your contracting company. Such agencies specialize in lead generation and charge a fee to provide vital information of the leads (name, email, phone number, address, etc.). Others work on a referral commission basis: If the lead is successfully converted to a customer for your business, the agency is owed a fee.
While paying an agency might seem like a simple way to generate leads, your contracting business can independently attract free leads on its own!
All you have to do is equip yourself with the proper techniques!
How to Generate Leads for Your Contracting Business (without paying an agency for them!)
Before signing a check to lead generation sites or agencies, explore these lead generation options. Some of these strategies will incur a fee, but your business can have much more control of its success! These strategies are often more long term and scalable as well:
Online/Digital Marketing Strategies
Drive more leads with paid ads
Ads are one of the go-to outbound strategies used by businesses to generate leads. When your contracting business pays an agency for leads, you pay them for the information they already have in their database of potential customers. They also retain complete control over the lead generation activities.
However, with paid ads, your business will have control over the marketing, messaging, and the way it is portrayed to customers from the get-go.
Google Ads work on a pay-per-click (PPC) concept where any time a lead clicks on the ad leading to your business, you pay a small commission to Google.
Facebook and Instagram ads work on a campaign basis. Your business develops a digital ad (be it an image, video, etc.), and you can target the demographic you want to appeal to. Your business’s ads will then appear on a Facebook or Instagram user’s feed.
You also have the option of setting up retargeting ads. These ads are displayed explicitly to the leads that have viewed your contracting services but left the site without contacting your business.
Develop a stellar website and landing pages
You must develop an effective and comprehensive website so your visitors can easily find you and learn more about your business. Your website should:
Have clear navigation. Don’t make it hard for your customers to find what they need. You want to make it as simple as possible for your customers to navigate your website’s pages and eventually make it to that point of sale, wherever it may be.
Feature a menu of services. Again, have a concise, but comprehensive menu of all your services. This menu should be displayed on every page if you can manage it.
Be mobile-friendly. Make sure to accommodate all your different users and be accessible in an instant. So many of today’s customers are mobile; meet them there!
Be aesthetically pleasing and up to date. Customers need to feel confident before doing business with you. A fully-developed website will fortify that trust and (hopefully!) grant your business a new lead. Your website is a digital representation of your business. Spend the time to develop an effective and visually pleasing site as 75% of website visitors attribute a company’s credibility to their site’s quality.
Always and appropriately display contact information. Don’t lose out on quality leads because your business’s contact information is hard to find!
Showcase your reviews and testimonials. Add a layer of credibility by including reviews and testimonials on your site. This is an excellent way of building social proof and solidifying your business’s expertise, authority, and credibility.
Once your business has its website up and running, it’s time to join the 68% of businesses that use strategic landing pages to acquire more leads.
Businesses utilize landing pages to track their inbound customers and measure the success and effectiveness for individual marketing campaigns. So, let’s say your business is currently running a Facebook ad and that ad includes a link to one of your landing pages. If a prospective customer clicks on that link and arrives on your landing page, you can then attribute that new lead to the original source: the Facebook ad. This insight is beneficial in terms of identifying successful marketing campaigns and solidifying your overall strategy.
Landing pages are designed to capture visitors’ contact information in exchange for a resource from your company. For example, this landing page is specifically designed to capture leads seeking window replacements. In exchange for an immediate quote, the visitor must submit their contact info.
For more inspiration on effective landing pages, check out this article!
A/B test your landing pages
Is your landing page optimized and ready to go? Now it’s time to test them in real-time.
A/B testing is where you put your marketing and lead generation strategies through the test of efficiency and effectiveness. You test the various elements of your strategy—from the copywriting on your paid ads, the content on your website, the visuals you used on your landing page, and more.
In A/B testing, you create two different models of your lead generation strategy: an independent model (A) and a variable model (B). For this example, let’s say your business is testing a landing page for a painting service.
In model A of your landing page, you decide to go with a design that’s text-heavy (but extremely comprehensive) with your call-to-action listed at the bottom of the page.
In model B, your landing page includes more interactive elements, such as paint bucket icons of all the colors you offer, less text, and the call-to-action is the first thing visitors notice.
You pit the two models against each other for a defined period of time. Then, you analyze which version has more success in generating and capturing leads! In this case, you realize model B has a much higher conversion rate than model A, and continue to utilize this model.
A/B testing may seem like an extensive process, but it can help you refine your target audience and lead generation strategies. In the long run, the pay-off will undoubtedly be worth the effort for your contractor leads.
Track your website’s visitors and callers
Once your business has a website and its landing pages up and running with a steady influx of traffic, it’s time to start tracking the visitors and potential leads!
By tracking visitors (using Google Analytics, visitor tracking software, etc.), your business can find out valuable information about who they are. Where are your visitors coming from? Are visitors local? Statewide? How long are they spending on certain service pages? At what point are they leaving your website?
You also have the option of tracking callers—that is, qualified leads who directly reach out to your business to find out more. By purchasing a phone call tracking software, you can quickly determine your lead’s general location, organization, phone number, and more.
By keeping customer call records and website visitor information handy, your business can build a goldmine of data to lean on when building your marketing strategies.
Integrate SEO and develop high-quality content
Content marketing can have a great influence on your leads.
By creating a blog on your website, your business creates a space to showcase its expertise, establish authority as an expert in your niche, and also share important news and updates with customers.
It’s crucial to not only develop high-quality content but to post regularly, too. Establishing a content calendar can help your business maintain that consistency that shows your leads how dedicated you are! Can you recall visiting a business’s blog and seeing their most recent post was years ago?
Lastly, share your blog post on various social media channels! Build a community of followers interested in your business’s content and dominate the digital space.
Pro-tip: Keep SEO (search engine optimization) top of mind and make sure you integrate the right keywords into your blog posts. You want to make your website searchable and easy to find. For example, take a look at Hoosier Contractor’s blog post below.
By optimizing for “roof damage” in their blog post title and including keywords such as “leaks” and “storm damage” repeatedly in the following paragraphs, they make it easier for customers affected by this problem to find them!
For more information on on-page SEO optimization, check out SEO expert Neil Patel’s video here.
Offline Marketing Strategies
Implement a robust referral program
Implementing a referral program is one of the best ways to grow your leads.
Referral marketing is often used by businesses to grow their customer base by incentivizing their current customers to recommend their services to families, friends, or other interested parties in their circles.
There are many ways you can build a referral program as a contractor, including structuring rewards in the following forms:
Charity or non-profit donations in the name of the referrer
Referral contests with cash prizes
Contractor service upgrades or discounts
A mystery gift box
Gift cards or certificates
Run a newspaper or print ad
Although the digital marketing space has become more prominent over the years, running print ads or advertising in the newspaper or local magazines is still a popular way to capture quality leads.
Print ads are an excellent way of capturing leads that aren’t as tech-savvy or keen on reading digital sources.
Consider circulating an ad about your contractor services in a newly developed community or a neighborhood with new homeowners. Or, perhaps run a print ad in a magazine in an area undergoing renovations!
Utilize pamphlets and business cards
Why fix what isn’t broken? Business cards and pamphlets might be old-school, but they’re still effective marketing strategies! This is especially true in the home services industry, where word-of-mouth marketing is a tenet to a business’s success and can help secure more leads.
Business cards allow you to make quick and powerful introductions of your business to potential leads. By distributing business cards, you also make yourself accessible to them, and it acts as a token of your business that they can save and refer to whenever the need arises.
Business cards are meant to consist only of top-level information regarding your business and contact details. It’s important to keep it brief and to the point.
Check out the example template below of a roofing contractor’s card:
Now, if you wish to provide additional information that you can’t fit onto a business card, consider opting for pamphlets.
With your pamphlets, make sure you provide a complete picture of your business. Include attractive visuals, customer testimonials, an overview of your contractor services, and the corresponding rates.
Automated Marketing Strategies
Use automated email marketing/email notifications
Email marketing is a tested and true strategy that your business can use to connect with its customers directly through their inboxes. 53% of marketers actually claim email as the most effective channel for early-stage lead generation.
Even better, you don’t have to worry about drafting and writing each email to every individual customer on your own. Technology has allowed the automation of email marketing campaigns and also better management of email lists.
Through automated email marketing practices, you can build email workflows that save time, leverage templates that fit your contractor lead sales process, and more!
Signpost’s marketing automation allows you to create custom marketing campaigns, track their progress and keep your customers engaged. Send curated messages to your prospects, share important updates, and immediately connect with your leads!
Integrate texting and web chat
Remember that fantastic landing page and website you worked hard to build? You can take it to the next level by adding interactive chat!
Chat is a valuable feature to automate engagements with potential leads. A potential customer looking for your contact information can directly engage with your business and get the answers they need through chatbots.
Through Signpost’s chat platform, your business can connect with customers instantly and make the best of your website leads. If your business hasn’t integrated a texting or website chat solution yet, it’s not too late!
Generate Leads Through Online Review Platforms
Managing your business’s online reputation is integral to its digital marketing success. You want the best representation for your business online, and review management plays a massive role.
Ensure your business is on various online review sites and actively tracking the reviews and customer interactions on these platforms. Some platforms to consider are:
Yelp: An online review platform and community for a variety of local businesses. Users rate businesses on a five-star scale and leave reviews for the public.
Google My Business: Google’s platform for businesses to drive customer engagement through the search engine’s supported Maps and review systems.
Facebook: A popular social media platform that enables businesses to create their own Pages and Groups to interact with customers actively. Users leave “recommendations” and can share when they’ve even visited your business location.
Nextdoor: A social networking service for businesses and residents, with a hyperfocus on local neighborhoods.
HomeAdvisor: An online search engine that connects users with local home service businesses. Users can then leave ratings and reviews of the home service providers or professionals.
With all of these different platforms, it can become overwhelming to manage all the reviews. Luckily, you can generate and track your reviews through Signpost, ensure you respond to all of them on time, and boost your 5-star ratings!
How Signpost Can Lead Your Contracting Business to More Success
Whether you’re just getting started with lead generation or are already invested in lead generation strategies, there’s always room for growth and improvement.
Help us help you.
With Signpost, you can take your contractor leads to the next level. Book a demo with us today, and we’ll show you just how to get more leads and more business.