As the owner or manager of a roofing company, your goal is, first and foremost, generating business. That starts with leads. This is one of the most crucial, yet most complicated, aspects of running a business like roofing. An added difficulty is that you don’t just want any leads, you want qualified leads. Tire kickers and people outside your area are a hindrance that wastes your time and resources.
There are a number of ways to generate leads, but they don’t all work. Some don’t generate leads while some will get you unqualified leads. That is why we, with our expertise in marketing in the roofing industry dating back to 2008, put together this guide breaking down each method of getting leads and showing you what is effective and what you need to avoid.
1. Buying Leads
Purchasing leads is the first option I want to talk about because it is such a popular method. Despite its popularity, it’s also the method that will most waste your money.
You may see advertisements for “guaranteed roofing leads” or “exclusive roofing leads” that make the prospect of buying leads sound worth it. The truth is that these leads are rarely ever truly “exclusive”. You will be competing against other roofers for the same lead. To make matters worse, the lead is not expecting you and doesn’t know you. You are truly cold-calling.
Overall Analysis: These leads are not worth the money. They are completely unqualified and incredibly difficult to convert. Not to mention this is a short-term option, with no long-term sustainability.
2. Google Ads
Digital advertising, or PPC, is another popular option to get leads. This form of advertising is a great way of getting people who are truly interested in your website’s offerings, where they can then be converted into a lead. This method is nearly instant. There is typically a review period that throttles back your advertising when you first launch, but once Google “learns” your campaign, you will be on the first page of Google right away.
The only downside is that this is a short-term solution. Once you stop paying, the leads stop coming in. Keep this in mind while you plan your budget.
Overall Analysis: In terms of immediate leads, this is a great option. People that click on your ad learn about you before calling you, meaning that they have already sold themselves on you, at least to some degree, before your salesperson even talks to them.
3. Social Media Advertising
Advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms is another form of digital advertising. While this will get your brand in front of many people, these may not be the right people. If your ad is served up to someone who doesn’t need your contracting services, you have wasted your money.
This is compared to Google Ads, which only shows your ad to people that have looked up certain words or phrases related to roofing.
Overall Analysis: While the impressions per dollar spent sound great, this is not a viable option in your industry. Look elsewhere for immediate leads.
As your salespeople may know, there are rarely leads as easy to convert as referrals. Whether from friends, family, or a trusted professional like their realtor, people referred to your business are already sold on you before they reach out.
The only downside of referrals is that they are almost entirely out of your hands. There is no surefire way of getting a referral. Your best bet is to do the best contracting work possible and forge good relationships with realtors in your area.
Overall Analysis: These are possibly the best leads you get. They convert at a high clip, many times never even getting in contact with other roofers. The only issue is how difficult these are to get. Be sure to establish good relationships with people like realtors.
5. Google Local Service Ads
This is a fairly new service from Google that is just leaving its beta stage. Google Local Service Ads, commonly referred to as Google Guaranteed, is a way to purchase phone calls from Google.
The difference between this and your typical method of buying leads is that the people calling have seen your name alongside a badge that says “Google Guaranteed”. This is a huge step up from the cold calling of standard lead buying.
The payment structure is set up in a bidding fashion. This means that you are competing with other roofers for leads, which can drive the price up. We have found that the success of this method is tied pretty directly to the market that you are in.
Overall Analysis: Though expensive, this can be an efficient way to get leads. We suggest everyone try it, but keep in mind that your market will determine whether it is worth the money.
6. Direct Mail and Marriage Mail
Whether it is a postcard or marriage mail, sending your ad directly to people’s houses is an awareness marketing method that gives your potential customers a clear call to action through a special deal.
This is a method that relies on sending your ad out to everyone. The sheer numbers are bound to get you in front of some people who need roofing services, you just have to determine if the cost is worth it.
Keep in mind that your competitors will also be using this method and also offering deals. As far as the potential customer cares, they just want the best deal. If you go for this method, we suggest not skimping on what you offer with the coupon.
Overall Analysis: This is a great way to offer your services to a good amount of people. The key here is putting together a good coupon. If another roofer is putting out a better deal than you, you probably won’t get much action.
Getting your roofing company’s name in front of people is helpful, but if they don’t need your services, it can all be for nothing. Billboards present the opportunity for awareness advertising, not lead generation.
This type of advertising isn’t ideal, but helpful in some scenarios. For bigger or more aggressive roofing companies with larger ad budgets, you may be able to get your ad in front of enough people that the leads start coming in. However, you will have to advertise through multiple channels for long enough that your name sticks through the crowd as the first option for people when they need roofing repair or installation.
Overall Analysis: While many view this as a source of leads, it’s not. This is building a brand so that, when someone does have an issue, your name pops into their head. Only do this if you have the budget to really get your name out.
8. Television and Radio Advertising
This is becoming more and more of an archaic method of marketing. Both radio and broadcast television are getting fewer and fewer viewers as time goes on. The new thing is streaming, but the advertising is not optimized as it’s still in its infancy.
Even if you do get your brand in front of people, most won’t need your roofing services. While it is still a positive to get your brand in front of people, this is costly, and methods that only target people looking for roofers may be more effective.
Overall Analysis: This is similar to billboards in that you are simply building a brand. Not only that, but this is an expensive way to do it. We suggest this for big roofing companies that want to put their name through multiple channels.
9. Search Engine Optimization
89% of people use search engines when making a purchase, according to research from Fleishman-Hillard. That is why it is so vital to improve your rank with Google through Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
This is a holistic method that includes optimizing your website, social media presence, and overall brand online, among other aspects, to rank higher for certain keywords that people search on Google. The idea is to have people naturally discover your brand, do research, and call you without you having to give a cent to Google.The best part is that people that visit your website organically through SEO efforts stay on your site longer and reach out to you more often.
Overall Analysis: This is the best way to set yourself up for long-term success. People use Google when looking for roofers, and that isn’t expected to change any time soon. You will get better leads without having to pay for them. We suggest using this alongside Google Ads or Google Guaranteed as it takes time for SEO to kick in.