Things are even more difficult in the solar industry. While the increasing affordability of solar has been great for installers, vendors, and customers, it’s also meant that everyone is trying to get in on the game.
As a result, solar leads across the country have been bombarded with more marketing than they’re interested in hearing — making them less responsive to traditional methods like door knocking, television advertising, and telemarketing.
So, how are you supposed to find solar and roofing leads in 2022? What’s the trick to reliable, long-term lead generation?
In practice, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re still getting more customers than the competition. And we’ll walk you through these methods right here!
As in most marketing and sales efforts, the key to getting more roofing and solar appointments is messaging.
What this means is that you need to find a way to stand out from the competition. Chances are that there are plenty of other roofers or solar companies in your area — and they’re looking to cater to the same homeowners that your company is after.
You can do this by finding a single key differentiation; for many roofing companies, this is actually offering solar. Or, on the other hand, you could try multiple small ones — like storm damage services, a wider range of products, being family-owned or local, etc.
Generally, streamlining this into one or two crucial ways in which your company differs from the rest is ideal. That way, you’ll be able to clearly articulate this in your lead generation and marketing efforts.
And it’s not just about getting any kind of contractor leads either — many roofers and solar installers run into the problem of low-quality leads. You may think your marketing is killing it, as you keep getting a bunch of leads consistently.
However, once you actually meet with them, it turns out that the homeowners aren’t really looking for the specific services that you provide. If most leads are turning out to be dead ends, you need to qualify them better.
A great way to do this is to ensure your exact services are clearly stated on your website. Also, a submission form that includes certain qualifiers is always a good idea. For instance, you could have potential customers fill out their location, home size, and budget — and give them a way to explicitly state the services they need.
That way, you’ll waste a lot less time on leads that don’t end up panning out — while spending more energy on those that are worth your time and energy.
These days, most people find all the products and services they need online. And that’s why you need to ensure that they can easily come across your business while searching for “roofers near me” or “best solar companies in ____”.
Of course, this is tough — the competition for the first Google results page is enormous, and being on the second one practically means you don’t exist. So, you need to ensure Google “likes” you. And its search algorithm generally favors websites with tons of traffic and continuous posting of relevant content.
Among other things, this means listing your company on the right directories. Here are some examples:
Customers also trust industry associations as sources of information — so being listed in their directories is important as well.
Regardless of how much time you prefer spending on social media personally — you’ll need to harness the full power of these platforms to get more customers as a roofing or solar business.
Social media has become so ubiquitous that people instinctively distrust companies without a rudimentary presence at the very least. Among the sea of reputable companies that maintain active business accounts on various social media platforms, your business will seem sketchy in comparison.
And if you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to social media, Instagram is probably a good place. It’s become the go-to place for companies that are trying to engage with their leads on a more personal and — more importantly — visual level.
When people can actually see the results of your work, they will instantly perceive you as a more trustworthy company. So, post as much content as you can to attract followers through Instagram’s algorithm — start with once a week at first, and gradually ramp up the pace to about three times per week.
Here are some content ideas for Instagram and other social networks that focus on visual content:
As with any other client-based business, your existing customers are your most powerful engine for lead generation. Even in the age of the Internet, word-of-mouth is a tremendously effective avenue for new leads. And referral-based prospects are generally better informed, more inclined to trust you, and more ready to convert compared to most other leads.
Remember, they’ve learned a lot of positive stuff about your company before you’ve even made contact — so they’re already inclined to make a purchase. And that’s important when it comes to expensive investments like solar panels or services like roofing.
Luckily, existing happy clients are typically quite motivated to refer — especially if you throw in even the smallest incentive for them to do so. Even with all the government rebates and various financing options, going solar is still a sizable investment for the average homeowner. So, they’ll try to knock off a bit of that price any way they can.
If you make a few referrals worth their while, you’ll quickly make that money back and then some. Cash rewards and discounts are excellent motivators, and you can make them even more enticing through tiered rewards for multiple leads.
One of the best ways to reach highly qualified leads that are practically ready to purchase is to run targeted online ads, specifically designed to reach them.
One of the best methods of doing this is by running Google Ads, which allow you to target the right people with the following methods:
Bear in mind that all of the strategies we’ve mentioned above take time and money. And a small installer or roofer can’t afford to spend as much on online marketing and original content as a bigger competitor can.
These days, even the biggest solar installation companies don’t get most of their leads from their own inbound marketing efforts. Instead, they simply buy solar leads from other companies that specifically focus on solar lead generation.
Mind you, this doesn’t mean you should forgo every effort to generate some leads on your own. You just need to realize that even if you start today, it will take you literally years of publishing original content on your blog and social media to start ranking higher on Google organically.
And while having a clean, functional website will definitely help you convert prospective leads — you still need a way of generating those leads in the shorter term as well. You can and should invest in long-term lead generation strategies, but only while recognizing that a huge chunk of your contractor appointments will always come from buying solar and roofing leads from others.
If you’re interested in quickly scaling your business with highly-qualified leads you won’t find anywhere else — contact us today and we’ll help you grow your solar or roofing company.
LL Media can help your solar team grow. Below is an explanation of Different Types of Solar Leads. There aren’t many sectors that are standing closer to the cutting edge of futuristic technology than the solar industry. Right now, this is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world; quickly gaining a larger and larger market share compared to more traditional power options. In fact, the job of an installer of solar panels is one of the most prospective jobs in the US — saying
that it’s got a sunny disposition would be an understatement.
Jokes aside, there are plenty of reasons why this industry is absolutely booming — from the rising affordability of commercially-viable solar panels to government incentives that favor solar investments.
Naturally, the rising demand for residential solar panels also means that competition is higher than ever before — everyone is looking for their place under the sun (this is the last pun, we promise). With that in mind, a solar company has to ensure that they’re using the most effective way to reach potential leads; the days of door-to-door sales are long-gone, replaced with complex digital marketing strategies.
Still, in markets like these, finding the most prospective leads is incredibly important; seeing as people who are actually ready to make an investment into solar panels know that they’re making a long-term purchase. Even with the falling costs, solar panels are still not cheap; which is why most people willing to buy them are also willing to spend enough time deliberating on the best possible option.
Understanding the different types of solar leads that are available on the market is a necessity for any successful marketing strategy in this industry; which is why we’re going to explain everything that you need to know about leads in the world of solar right here!
Just like any other type of lead out there — solar leads are potential customers that might “convert” to buyers at the end of your interaction with them. Much like traditional leads, you can get them in a wide variety of ways — from website landing pages to local TV commercials, and just about everything in between.
However, before you invest all of your money in an ad running after a morning show on local television stations that no one watches; you need to understand that the name of the game in 2021 is digital leads.
These days, people find all of their required products and services online. And that’s especially true when we’re talking about products that are more expensive, and represent a more long-term investment. You can probably already see where we’re going with this — that’s precisely what solar energy is.
Considering that, you need to make sure that you have an online marketing strategy; it’s basically a necessity. And it’s not enough just to find leads online; you need to have a better lead generation strategy than your competition because you can bet they’ll be hot on your heels. If you really want to succeed in this business, you’d be smart to buy leads online!
Okay, so you know that you’ll need leads in order to get the biggest possible number of customers from your marketing strategy. But can you generate leads on your own and avoid the expenses of buying leads altogether?
After all, as any online marketing expert will tell you — creating the right content, optimizing your website for search engines, and running a proper AdWord campaign should do the trick; plus, it’s cheaper!
In reality, things aren’t as simple. Firstly, everything on that list can take months of hard work before it bears fruit in the form of concrete leads; after all, managing a digital marketing campaign is not simple, and there’s an entire industry centered around that.
And you need to remember what your competition is doing as well — at the end of the day, it’s a number’s game. Seeing as a majority of leads doesn’t pan out into an actual sale, the safest bet is to try your luck with the biggest possible number of leads in the first place.
However, deciding to buy solar leads online is not the end of the road when it comes to learning about leads for this market. You’ll soon find that there are plenty of different kinds of leads you can buy, each with their own pros and cons. Here are the Different Types of Solar Leads:
One of the main things that you’re trying to achieve by buying leads online is to reduce the amount of work that you need to put in for generating them. And, apart from that — you want to increase the certainty that these leads will actually lead to sales.
Buying leads in the form of preset appointments get you both of those things if you find a source willing to perform lead screening as well. That way, you’re outsourcing the lion’s share of the work to someone else, because they’ll also be handling the appointments.
All that’s left for your in-house team is to close the actual sale. Of course, that’s not easy either — but not having to deal with the prep before that is certainly a relief. This is great in terms of lead acquisition and your ROI; however, this type of lead may be more expensive than the other options in the beginning.
After the pre-scheduled appointments, you’ve also got the next best thing — live transfer solar leads. What you’re buying here is basically information about pre-screened leads that have already expressed interest in obtaining a solar panel solution.
This kind of connection between you and the customers removes a lot of the legwork as well because you won’t have to do any actual prospecting.
One of the biggest advantages of buying Different Types of Solar Leads online is that you have access to many different kinds of leads. However, the flip side of that coin is — so do your competitors. That’s why shared real-time leads are one of the most competitive and hard-to-get leads in the solar industry.
The reason for that may be clear from the “shared” part. In essence, shared leads are those that lead generation companies to sell to more than one solar company. So, yes, you know who’s interested enough to warrant a call — but so does everyone else.
Compared to the Different Types of Solar Leads, which cost a couple of bucks each — you’ve also got real-time exclusive leads. They go from a few dozen bucks to a lot more, depending on the market in question — and as you might have guessed, these are leads that no one else has.
Finally, we’ve got the last type of leads that some other industries may frown upon, but could represent a good choice for solar providers: aged leads.
These are solar leads that have “aged” because they’ve expressed interest in solar appointments before — but not recently. Now, while this might mean a cold lead (and thus, a less useful one) in some other sectors: it’s actually not a bad kind of lead in solar when it comes to cost-effectiveness.
Aged leads are some of the cheapest you can buy, because they’re generally less prospective than real-time, current ones. However, that’s not always the case with solar leads. Remember, people often spend months deciding on what solar contractor they’ll go with; meaning that aged leads are often not cold at all. And yet, their price remains the same!
So, while aged leads are still a bigger gamble; they could very well turn out to have the biggest ROI if they pan out.
When you do buy the leads that are prospective enough — the question is, how do you close them effectively? How do you ensure that you make the largest possible number of sales? Seeing as solar isn’t as old as insurance and mortgages, it requires a relatively different approach.
First of all, you will need more patience. Even the most interested solar enthusiasts may be clueless about the actual technology and the costs involved with installation and maintenance; explaining everything thoroughly is something you need to be prepared for.
And before you go into the explanation, find out what the main motivations and concerns are for this particular buyer. Do they want to use solar to increase their power savings in the long run? Or maybe they just want to reduce their dependence on the local power grid — while also preserving the environment?
All of this will inform your approach to the lead, and ensure that they’ve got a clear overview of the immense benefits of solar energy; ultimately helping you close the deal!
It is a great time to be an installer in the residential solar industry. Driven by falling costs and the ever-increasing public desire to go green, the residential solar industry market has seen solid growth since 2000, with a record year in 2019.
Although the pandemic did slow some of the growth, 2020 was incredibly still able to match the best year the industry has seen yet.
When business is this good, it can be easy to fall into the trap of viewing the landscape through rose-colored glasses. Experienced owners and business people know all too well that people will always go to where the getting’s good.
It has become common knowledge that the solar industry is forecast to trend upward for the foreseeable future, and with that knowledge comes the big problem for solar panel installers: market saturation.
The stats tell the tale. There are 6592 American solar companies working in the industry, and that number is only set to rise. While California has traditionally dominated the solar market, demand is rising in all 50 states.
This high demand means that solar installers have a solid future ahead of them if they can figure out how to reap the rewards of such a hot market. Unfortunately, trade skills and lead generation are two completely different skill-sets, and some solar installers have faced the problem of trying to learn how to advertise on their own services, without the best results.
Luckily for solar installers, they don’t necessarily have to face this problem alone. Companies exist whose sole objective and specialty is to help these kinds of companies achieve growth, despite the saturation. The expertise of companies offering pre-set residential solar appointments is a huge opportunity for installers to incorporate a customer acquisition strategy with high returns.
Lead generation services are currently securing the future for residential solar installers. Company owners and solar installers that are interested in longevity, will want to read below on the three main benefits of using pre-set appointments to close more deals and grow their company.
1) Focused Growth within your teams Expertise
There is a common misconception among those who have never actually tried it, that advertising is easy, that all you need to do is put up that sandwich board sign and sit back.
The truth is, and many installers who have had to drum up their own business will already know, that marketing is hard. The strategy behind effective marketing and advertising is held close to the chest by the industry, and to their ends, for good reason.
It takes years of training and more years of experience to become well-versed in the art of marketing. Even with all of that training and expertise, marketers must keep updating their methods and strategies as societal trends and behaviors evolve.
For smaller solar panel installation companies who are busy trying to manage installations, accounting, and administration, this presents an obvious problem.
As a result, residential solar installers are often left trying to fill in the blanks when it comes to generating leads. Either hiring expensive salespeople, trying to take the job on themselves, or investing in ineffective advertising channels like billboards and radio ads.
This mismanagement results in few leads and is extremely time-consuming, and above all else, incredibly expensive. Trying to take on your own advertising is a fool’s errand if you aren’t somebody with a background in the field.
As contractors attempt to do it themselves, they find the list of new things to learn and buy only gets longer and longer, and more and more expensive. This is where delegation becomes a solar installer’s best friend. By signing up with a company like Sunlynk and receiving lists of professionally qualified leads, contractors can reap the rewards of professional marketing, without having to learn an entirely different field of expertise.
These services specialize in generating hot leads, it’s all they do. Cold calling, appointment setting, e-mailing, and utilizing lead magnets is how these experts spend their whole day. This means that residential solar installers can be confident that their lead lists will generate sales.
2) Spend more time closing deals and delivering your service
Choosing to hold fast to the idea of generating your own leads sounds very entrepreneurial, even economical at a glance. As we touched on earlier, marketing is a difficult, ever-changing, and time-consuming endeavor. It might be a tired old cliché, but time truly is money.
All that time that is wasted attempting to find your own lead generation solutions can indeed be measured in currency as well. Not just any currency either – it’s your currency.
Hiring sales-teams, investing money in cold leads, chasing down false leads only to have them cancel when it is time for the consultation – it all costs money, and that investment often fails to return on itself for many reasons.
Maybe the sales team specializes in closing, not qualifying, or perhaps your marketing materials are dated. Maybe you’re advertising on the wrong side of the mountain or your prospects are busy doing other things when your ads come on – it could literally be anything. The common factor these situations all share is that they are all costing you time and ultimately money.
There is another possibility to consider. Outsourcing your lead generation. Using a service to qualify leads and only marketing to hot lead lists has many positive ramifications for your company. Spending less time and energy in the front end of the sales department allows residential solar installers to spend more time delivering their service.
When one of the toughest and most crucial aspects of the system is outsourced to a specialist, the whole machine runs more effectively. More time for quality assurance means you can deliver better services for your clients – and faster too.
The benefits of using pre-set solar appointment sources are felt by your customers, and when their neighbors begin to think about getting off of the grid too, your company becomes the subject of the most powerful marketing tool that exists: word of mouth.
The benefits aren’t only felt by your customers.
When your sales team is making sale after sale, and the work is rolling in, the energy around your company becomes magnetic. The salespeople want to work because they aren’t hearing “no” all day long, and your crews are happy because work is steady. These scenarios can lead to great company culture, adding to a positive brand image and ultimately making your company more competitive in every way.
3) Position your company to be a leader in a growing industry
As stated at the beginning of this article, it is a great time to be a residential solar installer.
The solar industry is not projected to slow down any time soon. The solar industry in the US has been forecasted to grow by 43% this year, and with that growth comes the unwanted attention of the competition. Just because things are great now, does not mean they will stay as such.
Optimists are often late, as they say, and accordingly, installers and solar company owners need to be smart if they want to enjoy the benefits of this growth industry. Coasting along on inbound sales and the bit of word of mouth generated by a solar installer’s work is not a sustainable business model, and will become less so as time goes on.
By investing in pre-set residential solar appointments and reaping the rewards that come with the growth associated, companies will be able to leverage their early starts. Pre-set appointments and lead generation are easily the most reliable way for smaller, early-to-market solar installers to stay ahead of the competition, and position themselves as industry leaders.
This is the only way that they can stay out in front of the mega-conglomerates that are surely coming for this industry soon.
Choosing to work with solar lead generation experts like Sunlynk powered by LL.Media, who offer pre-set residential solar appointments will prove to be the best decision an installer ever made years down the road. There is generally no cost to sign up, and these companies aim to prove their worth to residential installers, so that they, like the contractors, may position themselves for growth in their industry, for years to come. The future of energy is solar, and the future of solar is pre-set appointments.
As installers and owners know all too well, in the world of business, and trades like residential solar installation, success is about finding the right people for the right job. When it comes to lead generation, that theory doesn’t change one iota.
Hiring a consistent specialist to provide your growing solar sales team with pre-set appointments has proven to be the most effective way for solar installers to secure their footing in an increasingly saturated and competitive marketplace, for years and generations to come. After all, that is one of the main benefits of the solar energy industry, isn’t it?
The research is in: winning marketing strategies live on mobile. If you want to boost engagement and maximize the conversion of your solar and home improvement leads, a smart SMS strategy is key.
Text messaging remains the number one communication method people prefer. Average consumers check their phones 52 times a day and are more likely to open a text message before any other form of mobile marketing. That’s why more and more solar and home improvement contractors are turning to text as their first point of customer contact.
SMS platforms offer a quick, simple method for reaching prospective clients and converting their interest into business. Here’s why:
1. Text beats email: The numbers don’t lie. Text messages have a 98% open rate whereas email sits at just 20%. Better yet, consumers are 8 times more likely to engage with a text than an email. When it comes to response time email doesn’t even come close. Consumers typically respond to a text message within 90 seconds while an email remains unengaged for 90 minutes. If you’re looking to quickly drive conversion your first point of contact should be on text.
2. Leads text back. Not only are consumers more likely to engage with the content you send via text, they are also more likely to follow-up with questions. Texting gets the conversation started, and gives you the ability to nurture leads and support potential customers. When contractors can quickly communicate value to homeowners, the conversation is more likely to convert prospects into customers.
3. SMS keeps you top-of-mind. Savvy homeowners shop around, meaning competing contractors will always be vying for your leads. Your company needs to be the first option that comes to mind when customers consider a home improvement project. Texting your leads helps keep your brand top-of-mind, whether you’re finalizing the details of a deal or checking in to nurture an old prospect.
Want to get started? Our products make it easy. Using our free SMS platform, solar and home improvement contractors find that 38% of leads click on the link in the first text.
– Deloitte: Global Mobile Consumer Survey (2018)
– Gartner: Tap Into the Marketing Power of SMS (2016)