The HVAC industry, although it is different from most other businesses, when it comes to marketing and promotion should be concerned with two basic goals: 1) attracting new customers and, 2) keeping more of your existing customers. The following is a list of ideas and tools that will help you accomplish these two goals.
Step 1: Attracting New Customers
This step covers two basic areas, direct marketing and indirect marketing.
Indirect marketing today mainly consists of an Internet presence, including a well designed website and an active campaign to garner positive Google reviews. People usually use the Internet for two things; the first, to search out companies to help them solve a problem and the second, is to research a company they are thinking about doing business with. For HVAC marketers it is also a good idea to use a subscription referral service like Angie’s List.
Another indirect marketing tool is yard signs, especially for your new installs. Yard signs help make your customer’s neighbors and passerby’s aware of your company. Yard signs for HVAC are also a good tool to stimulate word of mouth advertising for your company.
The days of running a Yellow Page ad and sitting back and waiting for business to come to you are long, long gone. If you want to grow your business it is vital that you aggressively go out and get business and not wait for it to come to you.
Creating a flow of new customers to your business comes from a robust direct marketing program that includes targeted direct mailers with postcards promoting service and repairs. We like direct mailers for our HVAC clients because direct mail allows you to put your message directly in the hands of prospects cutting though all the advertising clutter from your competition. For example, we have designed, printed and mailed targeted postcards for HVAC with refrigerator magnets on them. This is a good way to combine passive marketing and direct marketing. The postcard is direct marketing and the magnet it delivers is passive marketing and gets stuck on the refrigerator, displaying your name and phone number until there is a need.
The keynote to direct marketing is follow up. Following up on leads that did not buy yet with phone calls, email and thank you notes help you to close more sales. You can follow up with phone calls, or via mail. For prospects who want to think about your estimate before they decide, you can mail them a thank you note with a coupon inside and this will often seal the deal for your company and help you close the sale.
A necessary element of a direct marketing program for HVAC is door hangers. Door hangers allow you to target neighborhoods you want to service. They are inexpensive and easy to use.
Along the same idea of door hangers the USPS a few years ago introduced Every Door Direct Mail or EDDM as it is called. EDDM for HVAC allows you to target entire neighborhoods for postage rates around .16 to .18 cents per postcard. EDDM has proven to be an affordable and effective direct marketing tool for HVAC industry.
Step 2: Marketing To Your Existing Customers
Your competition’s best prospects are your current customers, so anything and everything you do that promotes your company to your existing customers will help you to hang onto more of them. Some easy things you can do are the following:
- Well-trained and competent technicians and installers go a long way to a positive customer experience. Having someone on your staff whose job is to make follow up calls to make sure the customers is happy is vital.
- A new customer welcome pack for HVAC is an important tool that will help you to start the relationship with the customer off on the right foot. A HVAC new client welcome pack lets you promote other services you offer and introduce key players in your company to the customer.
- Regular newsletter mailers to your existing customers sent out at least once per quarter. A well designed newsletter goes a long way to help your company stay in front of your customers and build a strong relationship.
- Take advantage of the holidays and mail a holiday card, Valentines card or other type holiday card to your customers. We have worked with many HVAC dealers that use holiday card mailers as a tool to recover old clients they have not serviced in a while.
Customer attrition, or the falling away of old customers, is a fact of being in business today. People move away, people die off and your competition lures people away from you, so marketing to your existing customers is something you cannot leave out of your marketing plans.
If you have any questions or need help working out a marketing program that makes sense for your business please feel free to call us at 727-536-4173.