In our previous blog post, we uncovered how offering the right promotions, especially now in our current climate with the COVID-19 pandemic, can have a huge impact on buyers and can help contractors increase their conversions and leads. 

We described what some of the best promotion types are, how well they perform, and what plays into making certain promotions more successful than others. Now we’re going to dive a bit deeper into a few other types of promotions, or methods for getting your promotions seen, such as by offering referral discounts, taking advantage of rebates, and by using social media to your advantage. 

Increase Website Performance through Referrals and Reviews

Our research shows that discount performance for referrals, social actions, military, education, and emergency service professionals don’t show as much success as “dollar off” promotions, but these brand-boosting offers do have some fringe benefits that hold more weight than the direct lead conversion alone. 

Showing you care for the community is a great way to gain consumer trust and attention. And right now, supporting other essential workers is a good way to go about that as it helps build some positive buzz around your brand. 

Using Social Media for Your Promotions

Another opportunity available to you is to create exclusive promotions that encourage a social action, such as a “like” on Facebook or an email subscription. This gives you another outlet to stay in touch with your customers and also makes that customer feel like they are in on an exclusive deal, again giving them a positive view of your company. 

Referral discounts are something that consumers actively look for when working with local businesses, and encourages them to reach out to their friends to get their feedback. That said, personal recommendations are hugely impactful to consumer behavior against cold-call sales. 

Offering Rebates to Increase Conversions

Do you have the opportunity to offer a rebate? Then we highly recommend you do so! Rebates and trade-ins are almost always driven by the manufacturer or utility companies you partner with, and often offer great value and opportunity not only for your business but also for your customer and the manufacturer--it’s a win-win-win! 

If you’re not sure of the rebate opportunities available for your company, we recommend touching base with your iMarket Marketing Coordinator or reaching out to your local energy efficiency organizations to see if your service meets the criteria. 

Statistically speaking, rebate offers and trade-in deals have a lower direct conversion rate, however, they have a much higher success rate when offered in-person. This is a great way to earn trust from your customer, as they will appreciate you’re doing everything you can to save them money on a quality system or service. 

What Promotion Mix Is Best for Your Business?

Now that part 1 and part 2 of this post have covered the various types of promotions you can offer and which ones are most successful, it’s time to consider what mix is best for your business, and how to optimize your promotions for the best results. 

In analyzing the performance of hundreds of promotions, a few things stood out to our team. First, promotions that included a number in the title performed at a higher rate than those that did not. So rather than using a title like, “summer savings event,” we recommend being more direct. A good replacement for this may be, “$200 off AC Installations During Our Summer Savings Event.”

Next up, you’ll want to include a disclaimer, even if it's as simple as saying, "Cannot be combined with other discounts or offers," or "Some restrictions may apply."  In our analysis of the top 11 promotions for each offer type, 91% included a disclaimer. Promos with the lowest direct conversion rate had only a 72% disclaimer utilization rate.

We can’t underestimate the importance of including a call-to-action and setting an expiration date. Promotions that tell customers to call to redeem had a 2.66% higher direct conversion rate than those that did not. 

Don’t make your customer guess or feel like they need to print the offer to redeem - this may be more work than they’re willing to put in in order to redeem the offer. And by setting an expiration date, you’ll give viewers a sense of urgency, which acts as a call-to-action in its own right.

Generally speaking, customers are not checking in to see if you’ve renewed a promotion, so it’s ok to set an expiration date for a month out and reset it once that deadline has rolled around. For more costly services such as installation, be a bit more lenient on the expiration date so that the customer has ample time to research and procure financing if necessary before using the offer.

And lastly, you’ll want to make sure that promotions are search-friendly, especially during an economic downturn where search behavior for cost-effective solutions is rising. The best way to do this without knowing anything about SEO is to include clear, detailed content that utilizes the types of keywords that people would search for to find the promotion. Think things like, “financing on a new air conditioner,” or “heat pump rebates.” 

Offer a Variety of Promotions to Reach Your Customers for Different Services and Products

We recommend offering a variety of promotions that will reach your customer base for different service and product offerings. For example, if you offer more that one vertical like HVAC and plumbing, you’ll want to add promotions for each so that you’re grabbing all audiences. From there, you will want to organize your promos so that they hit different segments of your business such as installation and replacement, or repair and service.

If a manufacturer is offering a rebate, this will speak to your installation and replacement segments. Now you’re covered for that segment, so you may consider adding a “dollar off” service promotion to reach repair and service customers, and a set-price tune-up to capture maintenance leads. We recommend offering 3-6 promotions that hit different segments in order to give customers the option they’re looking for without overwhelming them.

By offering the right types of promotions with optimized offerings, you’ll be well on your way to increasing website traffic and direct conversions. Particularly in a time when consumers are either in hard financial times or less willing to part with their cash-on-hand, offering promotions is a great way to meet your customers halfway for a win-win scenario. Putting these practices in place will allow you to set your marketing efforts up for success without sacrificing your bottom line! 

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