Most contractors offer promotions in order to attract attention and leads to their business, but you may be in the dark on how well these promotions actually perform and whether or not they are worth running. After all, this process is often driven by the manufacturer or by looking at what local competitors are offering, rather than having a cohesive strategy. 

Over the past couple of months, the team here at iMarket has been strategizing how contractors can drum up visibility and earn more leads during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that promotions have a huge impact on buyers, and what types of promotions tend to be the most successful, but in order for us to make strategic recommendations, we had to dive a bit further. 

Read on as we uncover the journey into discovering what the best promotion types are, how well these promotions perform, and what factors play into making certain promotions more successful than others. 

Promotions Are a Powerful Tool for Contractors

Promotions have a huge impact on buyers’ decision making, with consumers looking for the best deal without sacrificing value. When analyzing our top 40 most trafficked websites, we uncovered that on average, 45 leads per year are calling contractors directly from their promotions page. Considering that some of these jobs include higher ticket services, such as system installations, we are talking thousands in potential revenue for your contracting business. 

Any contractor not featuring promotions on their website is missing out on a huge market of buyers. In fact, there was not a single contractor that made that top 40 list, who did not offer at least 1 promotion in the last year. To those unsure of the power of promotions or whether they’ll really work for their brand, we refer back to the old adage, where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

If there’s a will to offer high-quality service at a fair price, there’s a way to build a promotion that meets the demand, without selling your brand short. 

“How Do Promotions Fit My Brand?”

Choosing the right promotional offerings can make or break your strategic plan and can ultimately play into whether you’ll win or lose a customer. You want to be able to earn visibility without going overboard, and when you do this correctly, you can increase your direct lead conversions anywhere from .82% to 5.58%! A direct lead is a visitor who has called your business directly from a promotion page, (so this study excludes promotion-led conversions that may have happened in-person or from another page on your website). The key here is to ensure you’re featuring the types of promotions that will inspire your customers to take that next step. 

Not all promotions are created equal. 

This is the first thing you have to understand--depending on your buyers and their needs, you may need to flex your offer types and the value provided. As you’re planning your marketing campaign for the next season, you’ll want to consider what your audience is looking for and what benefit your company can offer to make the purchasing decision easier for them. 

The most popular promotion types among our clients include:

  • $ Off Service/Repair
  • $ Off System
  • Financing
  • Free Service Call/Consultation
  • Trade-in Opportunities
  • Rebates
  • Set Price Tune-Up/Maintenance
  • Reviews/Referrals
  • Maintenance Savings
  • Senior/Military/Teacher Discounts
  • Freebie Offers

Our team evaluated the performance metrics for these promotion types, with an interest in learning which had the best results, and this is what we found:

  • Certain types of promotions had a higher conversion rate than others, signaling they had a greater influence on consumer behavior. 
  • Promotion types with the highest influence include fixed-fee offers, discounts on repairs or a system, the promoted value from maintenance plans, and free consultation or free service call with the purchase of a repair or service. 

You might be thinking at this point, “wait, but I already provide these offers…” And that’s the key--many contractors offer these values without classifying them as a promotional offer! 

“So, Where Do I Start?” 

Whether you’re just getting started with promotional offerings or you want to overhaul your strategy to be more effective, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Get started by featuring the benefits of your business that you already offer. 

When you start posting promotions based on offers you already provide, you’ll save on the cost of the promotion while highlighting what already makes your business great. You may consider implementing this by:

  • Reposting financing information to a promotion, which can increase conversions by 1.34%.
  • Publishing set-price tune-ups, which can increase conversions by 3.01%. 
  • Highlighting maintenance plan benefits, which can increase conversions by 2.47%. 

You might not even need to make any business or marketing changes at all in order to implement your offers, and you’ll double the chance of a user finding this information on your website. For instance, one of the highest converting promos we saw in our analysis was for “20% off repairs with Club Membership Sign-Up,” an offer already available to maintenance club members. By featuring it as promotion, this business was able to generate interest for buyers coming in for repairs. As a result, they saw a high direct conversion rate on that promotion of 4.76%!

This same principle can be applied to feature financing opportunities, which are in high demand at the moment, during the COVID-19 outbreak. If using this method, read the fine print from your lender to make sure your offer is in compliance with their terms and conditions. 

Providing Value without Cutting Yourself Short

No matter what you choose to offer, the key is to hit home on your consumers’ needs without undercutting your sales, and knowing which promotions will give you the most bang for your buck. This is where many contractors struggle. 

In our evaluation of successful promotions, we found that the offerings with the highest conversion impact provided the consumer with a “dollar off” amount, whether it was money off a repair, discounts on specific service types, or a percentage off a system installation, or even freebies provided with system installations, which we’ll touch on in a moment. 

There’s a lot to be said about how valuable “dollar off” promotions are and we encourage you to reach out to our team for more information. It’s important to understand that consumers are typically less trusting of a range since they feel the highest dollar amount requires a huge investment on their part. 

When determining the value of your promotional offer, keep in mind that a set price gives the consumer the feeling that they're in control over what the end cost will be. They'll be more confident to move forward than if the price can fluctuate by the hour or by materials. Anything you can do to avoid concern ahead of time will help to build up your conversion rates. 

Running a Successful Promotion

The most successful “dollar off” system promotions are relevant to the seasonal needs and trends of your consumer. So right now, you may want to consider offering a discount on indoor air quality products to meet the increase in search volume during the COVID-19 outbreak. This may be a loss-leader promotion, but getting eyes on your brand now and setting a positive experience can help you earn lifelong customers. 

Keep in mind, offering a lowball price on an irrelevant system can have the opposite effect and wind up hurting your brand. Be selective when choosing a “dollar off” system promotion to ensure you’re offering true value to your ideal customer and their immediate buying behavior. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of grief by only promoting offers you would look favorably upon if you were the buyer. 

For instance, what about using freebies? Freebies can be a great way to clear out older system models from last season or to offer a smaller item for free in order to make a bigger sale. Examples include:

  • Free thermostat with system installation
  • 1-Year free service agreement with system installation
  • Free duct cleaning with HVAC system installation

Boost Your Brand and Increase Website Performance with the Right Promotions

By offering the right types of promotions with optimized offerings, you can increase your direct conversions by up to 5%. Particularly in this time where consumers are experiencing financial hardship or are less willing to part with their cash on hand, it’s a great idea to meet them halfway for a win-win scenario. 

Stay tuned for our next post, where we continue the discussion around promotions and how you can benefit from offering referral discounts and rebates, and by using social media to your advantage. Hitting various needs to reach your customer base is key to running successful promotions and attracting leads! 

Let iMarket Solutions be your partner in digital marketing solutions for contractors. We are dedicated to contractor success. Contact us today!