Effective Advertising for Plumbers9
At Best Plumbers® we work with plumbing contractors every day. The plumbing business is unique because customers that call for plumbing service usually need the service right now. Often, it is an emergency, and the first plumber to get to the job is most likely going to get the job.
Plumbing problems don’t wait, and neither do consumers that have them. When a consumer has a plumbing dilemma, they want it fixed immediately. Often, the sense of urgency placed by the consumers set the tempo for a plumbing business. Plumbers are always on the go. They are constantly dashing all over town to try to help people with their plumbing problems.
This rushed hasty pace bleeds into their decision making when it comes to making decisions in marketing their plumbing business.
At Best Plumbers® we have seen the mistakes many plumbing companies have made, because they were sold an advertising product by a pushy salesman, or the advertising was not well thought out.
When promoting your plumbing company, it is important to think local. The thought of broad based advertising to the masses in not effective. Think of your message as one man or one woman reading taking in your message. Think of how you are received by that one individual, and not a crowd of people. Make your message short, and personal. Remember, the consumer should know what you do instantly when they see your brand. Consumers today are bombarded by messages throughout the day. In general, they have short attention spans. To cut through all the noise it is important to have clear and concise message as to what you do. The message of the service you provide should be instant with your brand. As soon as the consumer sees your logo, they should know that your are going to solve their plumbing problems.
Once you have made your message concise, you should have a very clear call to action. Do you want people to book appointments online? If so, a contact form should be right there on the front page of your website. Do you want consumers with plumbing problems to call your telephone number? If so, you should have your telephone number in bold on the header of your site.
Different Marketing Methods in Promoting a Plumbing Company
The key to effective advertising today is to focus on the individual. Think of how to position your company in front of the individual when they need your service.
Below, are some ideas we have seen work for plumbing companies throughout the United States.
- Door-hangers. If you would like to receive business from a specific area door hangers can do the trick. This can be very beneficial to your plumbing company because you can pick your specific market. For example: if you are trying to market tankless water heaters, it is probably wise to target an upper end neighborhood with high income. Consumers that invest in tankless water heaters tend to take the “long run” approach. They think of it as an investment that will pay for itself over time, and have a positive impact on the environment. On the door hanger, offer and incentive. This will produce results in direct proportion to the strength of your offer. For example: “Professional Plumbing Service” is less likely to trigger consumer’s interest in your plumbing company than “Save your household and the environment with are tankless water heater specials”. It is also wise to offer a specific incentive or dollar amount the consumer will save by calling your plumbing company.
- Nighttime silhouette of Your Logo. You may have never seen one, but that is all the more reason you should do it. More often than not, nobody else in your town has seen one either. First, locate a windowless wall at least three stories tall in a part of town that has lots of traffic at night. A lot of foot traffic is good too. Then arrange with the owner of the building to let you install a logo projector. They are unbelievably effective in getting your plumbing brand seen. In certain situaltions you can use an old slide projector to achieve your desired effect.
- T-shirts. Handing out free t-shirts to your customers can be a cheap, effective way to build word of mouth and repeat customers.
- Baseball Caps. Having your logo and company name on your customers head, and in their mind is always a smart, cheap way to stay in front of your customers.
- Press Releases. Watch the news for current topical events and news stories. If there is a drought, then promote a product or service that saves consumers water. These topical issues dovetail nicely into broader stories. If you contact local media about your product being the solution to the problem, your company and service will often be broadcast on the news.
- Write a book. Nothing screams “expert” as loudly as a book written about a specific subject. You can’t imagine the power of your name on the cover of a book. This advertisement will last forever for yourself and your company. Write a book that proves you’re an expert, get an ISBN number, register it with the Library of Congress, pay a printer to print your book, then make it available and distribute it on Amazon.com. You might sell a few copies online, but the copies you give away in your local market can make you a fortune. Most likely, you won’t make money from the sales of the book. You’ll make it because of the book. You will position yourself as the expert. Just think about if you are in the home or business pitching a $5,000.00 tankless water heater system and you leave a copy of a book (written by you) on the subject. Even if your price is higher, the company that comes in after you is at a great disadvantage, because you are looked to as the authority on the subject.
- Truck Lettering & Vehicle Wraps. Best Plumbers® has interviewed hundreds of plumbing contractors over the years. The owners of plumbing companies have informed us that signs on their trucks and vehicle wraps have had a huge impact on their business. This one area of marketing area that is often overlooked by plumbers.
- Newspaper, Radio and Television. For most plumbing companies, this area of advertising could be the biggest mistake they make. It is not that they don’t work, but to be effective they have got to be done over a long period of time. This can be very expensive, and often, the owner of the plumbing company buys media and thinks it is going to have immediate impact. It will have immediate impact in getting your message out, but most plumbing companies want their phones to ring with consumers needing their service, and this is where newspapers, radio and television tend to fall short. They tend to be great for brand awareness, but disappoint in immediate results in sales.
- Yellow Pages. This is one area we see plumbers making the biggest mistake. There is a huge amount of plumbing companies abandoning the Yellow Pages. At Best Plumbers®, we agree the trend is going away from the Yellow Pages, but not so fast. When marketing your plumbing company try to stay out of the herd mentality. If the herd is leaving the Yellow Pages, it might be wise to do the exact opposite and go bigger. The reason, you will get more bang for your buck today, than you did 10 years ago, and you will stand out much more, because all of the competition in decreasing the size of their ads. It is true, consumers are going away from the book, but older consumers (who are a great market) still use the Yellow Pages when making plumbing decisions.
- Plumbing Website. Having an effective plumbing website is the single most effective thing you can do to make your phone ring with customers wanting your service. The reason: consumers are going to the Internet through computers and their mobile devices when they need plumbing. it is that simple. The Internet capture the consumer at the point of sale. If someone needs a water heater repaired, they are simply going to Google, Yahoo or Bing and searching for “water heater repair – Your Town”. Companies that show up in front of the consumer when a search like this is made are getting the calls. When building a plumbing website, it is important to have it built correctly, by professionals that know what consumers are searching. This knowledge is critical to have prior to building the plumbing website, because a good plumbing website should be built in such a way as to show up in front of consumers for specific searches that are relevant and searched regularly.
If you need help in marketing your plumbing business, contact the professionals at Best Plumbers®. We will analyze your plumbing market, and send you a quote on how we can help your plumbing company.