iMarket Solutions Blog : Posts Tagged ‘promotions’

Making the Most of Your Promotions to Attract Leads: Part 2

Monday, July 20th, 2020

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!

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Making the Most of Your Promotions to Attract Leads: Part 1

Monday, July 6th, 2020

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!

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