Looking for Ways to Get More Quality Leads for Your HVAC Business, But Not Sure Where to Start?

Combination marketing

HLM has been getting HVAC companies local visibility and high-quality leads for HVAC companies for more than 10 years. In fact, we cut our teeth on HVAC services.

So, what do we consider to be a sure fire digital marketing strategy for HVAC companies? To grow your HVAC company, we recommend combination marketing: Doing a variety of things, doing them well, and doing them consistently.

As specialists in digital marketing, we provide custom website, SEO, paid search, and reputation management for HVAC companies. We are your digital partner, and the combination of services we recommend to grow your HVAC company is unique to your goals, your market, and your budget.

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Yesterday’s marketing tactics are no longer enough to grow your business.

While HVAC services have largely stayed the same, the HVAC landscape has dramatically changed.
Most residential markets have become saturated with home-based HVAC companies, making it highly competitive and more challenging to find new customers.

What you did to grow your business, getting it where it is today, is not enough to sustain or keep growing your HVAC business year after year. A great example of this is having a website built and maintained by YP.

HVAC web page layout

If you're just starting out and need a modest website to have a web presence, a YP website probably seems like a great solution. YP sites are typically clean, and they include your contact info with some general information about the services you provide. And you'll probably notice a few more calls from people checking you out online. The problem is, your website will look like every other HVAC website they create. And your content will read just like every other HVAC website they write content for. It's very templated and very generic. Customers who come to HLM from YP are typically disappointed in overall performance of their website, and it's not surprising.

Marketing your HVAC company with just a basic, templated website is not an effective, lead-generating strategy.

To get more heating and cooling leads and grow your HVAC business, you’ll need to use both traditional marketing and digital marketing, and you’ll need to dedicate some time and effort to do both.

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing


If you’re like most HVAC companies, you’re probably doing some form of traditional HVAC marketing and advertising without even thinking about it.

Traditional vs digital marketing

Yard signs, lettering or magnet signs on your trucks, business cards, flyers, direct mail, and coupon packs are just a few of the marketing tactics that fall into the traditional marketing category.

Word of mouth or referral marketing would also fall into that category, although with the rise of social media and review sites, referral marketing is becoming more prevalent in digital marketing.

If traditional marketing alone is giving you enough business to lead the lifestyle you want, great! Keep doing what you’re doing.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-phoneIf you want to compete in your market and grow your HVAC business, you’ll need to pair your traditional marketing with a robust digital marketing strategy.

Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business?


Because today’s homeowners start their search for HVAC services online.

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75% of buyers do their research online before taking action*.
*according to Net Marketshare

Today’s homeowners turn to social media sites to find recommendations from friends and families for HVAC companies to use.

Today’s homeowners will research your company online before making a phone call- so you better have a great looking website, and you need to have a great online reputation.

digital marketing has bigger reach

With digital marketing, you can reach and engage a larger radius of homeowners and businesses in your area that are looking for heating and cooling companies to repair, replace, or service their HVAC systems.

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How to Compete Online- and Win!

When someone goes online and searches for "furnace repair" or "AC repair" or "HVAC company near me", the goal for HVAC SEO is to show at the top of search results in the #1 position, in as many places as possible.

And depending on budget and the types of content your company produces and posts, there are a lot of ways to get there: organic search results, Google My Business, Paid Search, Local Service Ads, and Google Answer Box.

By taking advantage of one or more digital channels, you can actually target a specific demographic with a particular service at a specific time of year. You can create urgency, promote a seasonal product, overcome slow seasons, or take advantage of weather-related outages.

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A well-optimized website, a Google business listing with lots of positive reviews, a paid ad, an informative blog, or a how-to video, are just a few of the digital marketing tactics HVAC company will need to use to compete online.

With HLM's digital marketing for HVAC companies, there is no limit to how, when, where, and with what content you can reach potential customers.

Here are the 6 Digital Marketing Tactics You Need
to Grow Your HVAC Business:

Your HVAC website is the cornerstone of all your traditional and digital marketing efforts.

It’s a visible representation of your company, an extension of your sales team, and the first place people go before they decide to trust you.

And guess what, it takes a website visitor less than 5 seconds to decide to trust your business.

So, make a great first impression!

A great first impression and experience can mean the difference between earning a lifetime customer and losing one to your competitor.

65% of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies*

65% of people start with online search

*according to Edelman Insights 2014

The truth is, with all of the Google algorithm updates over the last couple of years, if your website is old or outdated, is not mobile-friendly, is incomplete, has bad content, or is stuffed with keywords, it will have very little chance of showing up in organic search results.

And, if by chance your outdated website does show up in search results and someone clicks to your site, there’s a good chance they won't make that instant connection they need to stay on your site and check you out.

Investing in a professional website design from HLM is the first step to getting more customers and growing your business with digital marketing.

Ask the Experts
How to Grow Your HVAC Business
FEATURING:
Don Marks Senior SEO Strategist, Jon Bowerman CTO, Hosted by Eleanor Krzyzaniak

5 Things Every HVAC Website Must Have:


1. A Highly Visible Phone Number

The traditional (and best) placement for your company’s phone number is in the upper right corner of the header, above the primary navigation. Why? Because that is where people look for it.

2. An Engaging Banner

Your headline should be clear, simple, and straight to the point- like a billboard. The photo should be inviting, and your visitor should instantly feel like they came to the right place. And it should include a clear CTA (call to action) like "Shop Now," "Call Now," "Request a Quote." Your banner is no place to leave visitors guessing at what the next step is.

3. Social Proof

Give your visitor a reason to trust you. Saying you’re the best doesn’t cut it. You need other people to speak on your behalf. Put testimonials, awards from BBB, Angie’s List, or other referral sites, licenses and certifications, and preferred dealer status logos above the fold and make sure they are visible.

4. Relevant Content

Your website is a brochure of your services and an extension of your sales team. To rank with the search engines and keep your visitor’s attention, your content needs to demonstrate your HVAC expertise, show your ability to solve heating and cooling problems in your industry and reflect the culture and dedication of your team. Text is good; videos, infographics, charts, and original photos make you a rock star.

5. Specific CTAs (Calls to Actions)

Clear, intentionally placed calls to action, links, and buttons not only engage your visitor, but they also move your visitor effortlessly through the sales funnel and into your customer base.


For more valuable information about website design for your business, check out these blogs:

Does Your Website Have What it
Takes to Compete Online?

Request a FREE Website Evaluation

Why Does Your HVAC Company Need SEO?
So people can find you online!

The majority of searches for companies, products, and services, like "furnace repair company near me," start online.

In fact, according to a recent report by Net Marketshare, 75% of searchers start their searches on Google.

When you add to that another stat from Zero Limit Web that the first five results on Google get 67% of all clicks, you understand why SEO is crucial to your online success.

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What Exactly is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization, by definition, is the art and science of ranking high on a search engine, like Google, in the unpaid section, aka organic listings.

It is a process that, when done effectively, increases the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page on a search engine like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-plus It includes unpaid or organic results.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-minus It excludes people who type in your web address, or direct traffic/visitors, and Paid Search clicks.

SEO  involves on-page and off-page tactics, or things you do on your website and outside of your website.

On page and off page optimization

On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is all the things you do within your website to help it rank on search engines. It includes content, HTML, page load times, URL structures, site crawls, layout, and more.

But since content is still king when it comes to SEO, we’ll focus on that.

Ask the Experts
How to Grow Your HVAC Business
FEATURING:
Don Marks Senior SEO Strategist, Jon Bowerman CTO, Hosted by Eleanor Krzyzaniak

What is Great HVAC Content: Part 1


Basically, great HVAC content demonstrates value.

But…

who is your ideal customer?

…Who is Your Ideal Customer?

To write great HVAC content, start by determining who your ideal customer is and put yourself in their shoes. What services or information about heating, cooling, furnace repair, AC repair, or smart systems are they looking for?

Become the authority on those topics. Become a valued resource for everything heating and cooling. And make your visitors a competitive offer for trying your service.

Great HVAC content not only demonstrates value and engages your visitor, it also satisfies the search engines.

While you’re creating all this fantastic page content for your visitor, be sure to include content for the search engines.

A good rule of thumb is to follow Google’s quality rater guidelines, or EAT.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-eatEAT is a guideline Google uses to assess a website’s value. It stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

What is Great HVAC Content: Part 2


Creating great content is just the first part of on-page optimization. After you’ve put all this new content into your site, you need to optimize it.

According to MOZ* (and the SEO Experts at HLM) an Ideally Optimized Page Should Do All of the Following:

  • Be hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object)
  • Include subject in the title tag
  • Include subject in URL
  • Include subject in image alt text
  • Specify subject several times throughout text content
  • Provide unique content about a given subject using relevant keyword combinations
  • Link back to its category page
  • Link back to its subcategory page (If applicable)
  • Link back to its homepage (normally accomplished with an image link showing the website logo on the top left of a page)

*On-Page Ranking Factors [2019 SEO] - Moz.

Off-Page Optimization

Off-page optimization is all the things you do, not on your website, to generate links, build trust, create conversation, improve your rankings, and generate traffic to your website.

For the HVAC industry, we’ve found that posting shareable content, optimizing your Google Maps listing, reputation management, and backlinking get the best results for generating traffic and increasing quality leads.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - image-shareable-content Create Shareable Content:
This means consistently creating and posting content that people looking for your service will react positively to.

Shareable content:

  • Informs or entertains, but most importantly, it is visually appealing, practical, and speaks to your target market’s interests.
  • Resides on a social site, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Forum, or Group, but links back to relevant topical pages on your website.
  • Mentions your brand and leads to a share, mention, or like.
  • Does not push sales or services, but it can be an offer.
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Build Backlinks:
Backlinks are external links from other sites to yours.

High quality backlinks help search engines index your site correctly.

When a high authority website links back to your website, it sends a trust signal to the search engines. It’s like a recommendation from a boss or professor.

Ideally, you want to get backlinks from reputable sites in the HVAC industry, like carriers, directories, associations, and licensing agencies.

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One Clever Way to Get a Quality Backlink:

If you did great work for an established local or national company, ask them to recommend your company with a link. You could offer to create a case study about the work you did for their digital newsletter or blog. When it gets posted, you could ask if they would add a link in the blog back to your homepage.

Remember, SEO is NOT a Sprint; SEO is a Marathon.

To win the race, you need clear, measurable goals, an executable plan, time to get traction, and a willingness to evaluate results and update the plan as needed. You need to keep one eye on your competitor and one eye on the finish line. For most HVAC companies, partnering with an experienced SEO company like HLM is one of the smartest investment decisions they make for their company. 


For more valuable information about SEO for your business, check out these blogs:

Want your HVAC Company to Rank
Higher So You Can Get More Leads?

Request a FREE SEO Evaluation

Wondering How Your HVAC Company Can Dominate Heating and Cooling Search Results?
A good place to start is with Google My Business.

Why? Because Google positions its business listings just below paid ads, above organic search results.

And the information you include in your GMB listing helps
Google understand and index your business.

business listing

Helping Google understand and index your HVAC business starts with your GMB listing. So, provide Google with everything it needs to understand your business, your services, and why you’re a better choice for HVAC services than your competitors.

A complete and accurate GMB (Google My Business) listing not only influences where your business shows up in the business listings, but it also affects where your business shows up in the maps pack. It can ultimately factor into how your heating and cooling services are ranked among other companies with heating and cooling services in organic search results.

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And your goal is to be #1 everywhere results are displayed.

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Do I Need an Office Location to Set Up Google My Business?

Google My Business is a directory listing for businesses that either has a physical location where customers can visit, or that travel to provide service to customers where they are.

That means, whether your company has a brick and mortar location or you operate out of a home office, your HVAC company can (and should) have a GMB listing.

Ask the Experts
How to Grow Your HVAC Business
FEATURING:
Don Marks Senior SEO Strategist, Jon Bowerman CTO, Hosted by Eleanor Krzyzaniak

Tips for Creating a Successful HVAC GMB Listing


HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-accurate Be Accurate

Details including your business name, phone number, address, and hours of operation should accurately reflect how people refer to your business and how and when they can contact you for furnace and AC service or repair. Don’t try to fool Google with phone number links to landing pages or other random promotions. Including unnecessary information in this space could result in a suspension of your listing.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-category Select a Category

Choose the fewest number of categories needed to describe your business. This will help Google index your business more accurately and could positively impact where you rank in Google’s Maps listing for HVAC companies. For example, even if you offer appliance repair as part of your services, choosing a category, such as Appliance Repair Service could inadvertently confuse Google because appliance repair is not a typical service of an HVAC company.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-description Add a Business Description

Be original. Be concise. Provide information that is useful to your customers and helps them understand your business- like services, offers, owners, history, certifications, awards, etc.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-pictures Add Pictures

Google loves original pictures. Customers love to see who they will be working with. Nuff said.

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - icon-reviews Get Reviews

Positive reviews can influence Google when choosing what order to rank businesses. They also help customers choose your company over your competitors. When was the last time you chose a company or a service without looking at the reviews?

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What if my business already has a listing, but I didn't create it?

If it's not claimed, you’ll see a link within the business listing called "Own this business?" Click it and follow the steps.

If you don't see that link within the listing, it means someone already controls the listing. If it's not you, you need to request ownership.

Go to: business.google.com/create and search for your business name. Request access.

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Other Local Business Directories to Consider for Your
HVAC Business

More than 70% of consumer searches on the internet are for local businesses, so you want to make sure your HVAC website is easily found. So aside from having a great, user-friendly website that is properly optimized for search engines, it’s important you also list your business in all the local search directories you can. Some are free, and some require a subscription. We recommend taking advantage of all the free listings you can before investing in any paid directory listings.

Many of your customers often use directories like Home Advisor and Angie’s List to find local, credible HVAC businesses in the area. While those are typically paid directories, other options you can get listed on that we recommend include:

Local directories:

**be sure to list your business within the appropriate “HVAC contractors” category with Thomasnet.

Industry-specific directories:

HVAC Digital Marketing - Website Tips & Guide to Get More Leads & Customers - image-monitoringWith every listing you setup, make sure you have a plan to monitor it. When you receive positive feedback, send a quick “Thank you” reply to that customer! If you receive an unfavorable review (it happens, so don’t stress too much over it), respond to it promptly. This demonstrates your genuine concern for the customer’s issue, as well as a willingness to work towards a solution.

FREE Directory Scan

See how Google and dozens more maps, apps, search engines,
and directories see your business.

Scan My Business Listings

How Do I Get My HVAC Company to Show Up in Map Results?

Google Maps marketing starts with a complete and accurate GMB listing, including proper category(s).

Other ranking factors include:

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Reviews

We'll say it again, the more positive customer experiences you can collect, the better you are able to compete in the highly competitive HVAC industry. There are several clever ways to ask for customer reviews. If you don't like being direct, you can ask for reviews via email. 

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Distance from Searcher

How many other HVAC companies are between you and the searcher? If the searcher is looking for emergency service, Google will probably consider proximity to the searcher as a ranking factor.


For more valuable information about business listings for your business, check out these blogs:

No Time to Create Business Listings?

Request a FREE Core 70 Evaluation

PPC Advertising, aka Pay-Per-click, aka Google Advertising, aka Digital Advertising, is Another Digital Marketing Channel to
Get Visibility in Top Search Results for Your Services

ppc ads

Every day your HVAC company is not advertising on Google costs you service leads, and here’s why:

  • People search for heating and cooling services, especially emergency services, on search engines. What’s the number one search engine? Google.
  • Paid Search campaigns get you immediate visibility at the very top of the page for the keywords and services you are targeting.
  • People who click on ads are generally ready to make a purchase decision.
  • Landing pages and campaigns can be highly targeted, resulting in the most qualified leads.
  • You pay only when someone clicks on your ad.
  • When your ad is at the top of the page, and your business is at the top of Google My Business, Google Maps, and the organic search results you’ve achieved complete domination and the lion’s share of customers searching for that service.
  • Your competitors are doing it. Why let them have all those leads?
  • You can reach customers in markets outside of the radius Google would usually show your business in.
  • You can turn campaigns off and on as needed- slow season, emergency weather conditions, big sale… you name it, create different promotions for different reasons.
  • Control your advertising spend, measure results, and dial in your campaigns until you are reaching the most amount of quality customers at the lowest cost-per-click (CPC) possible.
  • PPC ensures you get visibility at the top of search results in any market.
  • PPC settings allow you to choose who sees your ad (based on demographics) and when they see your ad (based on time settings.)
Ask the Experts
How to Grow Your HVAC Business
FEATURING:
Don Marks Senior SEO Strategist, Jon Bowerman CTO, Hosted by Eleanor Krzyzaniak

How Does PPC Help Me Grow My HVAC Company?


The more ways you can get your HVAC company in front of people looking for your service, the higher your opportunity to convert them into leads.

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PPC

Paid Search as a stand-alone marketing channel is GOOD. You'll be at the top of the page for the services you want to promote, and you'll have a lot of control over your budget.

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PPC + SEO

Paid Search paired with SEO gets you visibility. The more places on the search results page your brand shows up, the better. People are more likely to interact with your brand; the more places they see it.

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PPC + SEO + Website

When your goal is total search domination, you need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, and that includes PPC, SEO, and a killer website.

Many of our HVAC paid search customers tried PPC on their own and were surprised how quickly they blew through their daily budget. They weren't getting the quality leads they expected and frankly, they spent way too much time just trying to learn the program basics. Partnering with HLM for professional management of your paid search campaigns will not only keep your cost per click low, you'll find the small management fee we charge pays for itself in quality leads month after month. 


For more valuable information about PPC for your business, check out these blogs:

Are Ready to Add Paid Search to
Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Request a FREE Paid Search Quote

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It Takes Years to Build a Reputation and Seconds to Ruin It

Between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Google and Yelp reviews, and a plethora of other places for people to vent or comment in, managing your HVAC company’s online reputation can be exhausting.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are 2 things you can do now
to monitor your online reputation:

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Set up Google Alerts.

Want to see what people are posting about you?

Log into your Google account and set up Google Alerts for words and phrases you want to monitor, like your company name.

Google will send you an alert immediately after it recognizes the mention.

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Monitor your social media sites daily.

Respond to all comments – good and bad. This lets everyone know you care, and you are paying attention.

Send out an occasional survey or poll to your customers or post on your social media sites. Most people who engage with your brand are happy to participate. Just limit your questions to less than 5.

Ask the Experts
How to Grow Your HVAC Business
FEATURING:
Don Marks Senior SEO Strategist, Jon Bowerman CTO, Hosted by Eleanor Krzyzaniak

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Have a less than perfect reputation on line? All is not lost.

Nobody expects an HVAC company (or any company in a service industry) to have perfect reviews. In fact, having all 5-star reviews with no details looks a little fake. As consumers, we expect to see a variety of ratings with real information about the experience the reviewer had with your company.

And, more often than not, we look at the bad ones to see what went wrong and how you responded.

What we’re hoping to see is a personal response with a genuine intent to correct the issue. Or, in some cases, a professional response to a bad review that may have been written by a competitor.

But there’s a fine line between what consumers want to see and what Google wants to see.

As a recommendation engine, Google will only put companies in top search results they trust- and part of building trust with Google is to have an excellent reputation, including reviews. Lots of them.

How do you get more reviews for your HVAC company?


Ask for them!

Whether you are out in the field or you have technicians, it's almost bad manners not to ask your client to leave you a review on Google or Facebook. Wrap your request in a "thank-you for your business" and "client feedback is really important to us" conversation.

Ask through email. Send a thank-you email or a survey email with a link to your Google My Business listing. If you aren't already sending emails to your client base, HLM has an automated email platform called ACE™ that is affordable for small businesses and available with any of our SEO packages.

How likely are you to recommend our business?

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As consumers, we are asked to leave reviews about everything we buy, from Amazon to towing services. If you don't ask us to leave a review, it's almost saying you don't care about our opinion. And you want to show you care, don't you?


For more valuable information about reputation management for your business, check out these blogs:

Is Your Reputation Costing You Leads?

Request a FREE Online Assessment

Traditional Marketing and Advertising is an Important Component of HVAC Combination Marketing

Business Cards

It’s true. Make it easy for your HVAC clients to get ahold of you. Including a business card with your invoice helps ensure next season they call you for a tune-up- especially if you have a seasonal tune-up discount on the back of it. Including a few with your invoice makes it easy for your customer to recommend your company to friends and family.

Service Stickers

A simple service stickers with your logo, phone number, and date of recommended maintenance keeps your company front and center when seasonal service or HVAC issues occur. Place it on an inside panel or in the corner of the outside panel. If your customer knows where to find your number, they won’t get distracted by your competitors by searching online. You can buy stickers by the roll and give a roll to each technician.

Vehicle Signs

Whether you wrap your vehicle, have a good size vehicle magnet, or custom lettering, make sure your company name and phone number are highly visible on both sides of your truck. It’s good advertising and practically a referral to friends and neighbors. And think of all the people who will see your name and phone number driving to and from jobs. If you don’t have company vehicles, magnet signs are great for technicians you employ. They can easily be installed and removed every day.

Collect Emails

Get in the habit of asking for emails. Asking for it on the intake along with the address and phone number is practically expected. It’s a little harder after the service was performed. Even if you don’t have an email program now, when you ramp up your marketing and include monthly promotions in your marketing combination, you’ll be glad you did.

Ask for Referrals

Always: In fact, start a referral program. Satisfied customers are your best salespeople. Create referral cards with first-time customer discounts. Offer the referee a free filter or discount off the next service when a friend uses your service.

Ask for a Recommendation

People want to know you care, so why not ask if they were happy with your service as you shake their hand goodbye? The perfect conclusion is how much you’d appreciate him or her sharing your experience in a review online. Include the request on your invoice, on your receipt, and in a follow-up, thank you email. (Great use of those emails you’ve been collecting at the intake.)

Direct Mail

Valpak, coupon books, inserts, and other direct mail marketing is surprisingly affordable. The key is to have a great offer. This kind of repetition marketing keeps you in front of potential HVAC customers, so when they need heating or cooling services, they either know your name or know they saw an HVAC company and will look there first.


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