Having a strong plumbing lead generation system is key when you’re looking to attract new clients. Especially since 76% of local searches result in a phone call.
The question is, how do you attract those customers while maintaining a profitable return on investment (ROI)?
In this comprehensive article, you’ll learn 14 proven techniques to generate more plumbing leads and attract new customers. These plumbing lead generation techniques are fast and easy to implement. Plus, they offer more value than the traditional print media approach your competitors are stuck with.
Once you’ve read this article, you’ll have a complete toolkit to generate the best plumbing leads. Let’s get started!
When someone urgently needs a service, where do they head to? The answer: Google.
Which is why getting your local listing set up is a critical first step. For example, when you search for “plumber manhattan” you’re presented with a directory of local plumbers:
As well as a list of plumbers on Google Maps:
To get listed, head to Google My Business and click the “Start Now” button. Go through the wizard and fill in your details:
Then it’s time to optimize your listing, starting with My Business Posts. These act as little social media-style posts that appear under your listing:
To add a post, log in to My Business and select “Posts” from the left-hand navigation. Need ideas on what to post? Try some of the following:
You can also let customers book using a Booking button:
There are dozens of tricks and techniques you can use to boost the effectiveness of your business listing. Check out Moz’s complete guide to learn more.
Once you have your local listing set up, you need a website that’s built to convert visitors into customers. What makes a good plumbing lead generation website? Ideally, your website should include the following elements:
In the following example, Mr. Rooter has done a great job of injecting some personality into their website. You can see they include an emergency telephone number, as well as a clear call-to-action:
They also include timely discounts. This encourages new customers to take action by using urgency as a psychological trigger:
Turn your website into a lead generation machine by including offers in exchange for customer details (e.g., email addresses). In the example above, Mr. Rooter uses discounts as an incentive. This will allow you to stay in touch with your plumbing leads, nurturing them into long-term customers.
You can use this same process when generating commercial leads. Have a section on your website set up for businesses looking for commercial plumbing needs. Use this content as an opportunity to build trust with business owners that need your services.
There are dozens of other local businesses with access to your ideal customer.
No, not other plumbers. I’m talking about:
Construction workers: Every new house needs plumbing installed. Many construction companies rely on contractors to get the job done.
Insurance companies: Can write checks, but not get the work done. They need a network of reliable plumbers to call on when things go wrong.
Real estate: When someone buys a home, that buyer is likely to need an upgrade on their pipes and fixtures.
Other tradespeople: Roofers, electricians and landscapers all serve similar clients as you.
Networking groups like BNI can help you forge these relationships. These groups are usually very selective with who they let in, and require you to give as much as you take.
According to the BNI website, there are over 3,700 BNI chapters across the United States:
Head over to their region list and search for one in your area. Tap into this networking opportunity and generate new plumbing jobs today.
People are more likely to believe what others say about your business than what you say about it.
Which is why reviews and testimonials are so important. Acquiring them is a simple process:
For example, Hot Water Guys have a section dedicated to their most authoritative testimonials on the home page of their website:
Having reviews visible on your Google local listing can also help boost rankings and credibility. Instead of asking customers for a testimonial, ask them to leave a review on Google.
These reviews boost trust for prospects searching for your services. As a result, you’re more likely to attract them and convert them into customers.
Content marketing has become one of the most popular methods of growing a business and generating exclusive leads in recent years.
The philosophy behind it is simple: create valuable and entertaining content that solves your customer’s problem.
There’s a right and a wrong way to create content. For example, many businesses focus on content that talks about their business:
This rarely works, as people don’t care about you -- they care about solving their problems.
Another popular method is to create how-to plumbing content. For example, a blog post that shows customers how to unclog their own drains:
While this is better (as it provides practical value to the reader), it’s unlikely to attract your ideal clients.
Why? There are two reasons:
So, what’s the alternative? Create region-specific content that your audience cares about.
This content includes:
This may seem counterintuitive, but by providing local information for those in your target regions, you’ll quickly build trust with your community.
When the time comes to fix a plumbing issue, these people are likely to think of you first.
Everyone and their mother is on Facebook. And it’s likely they make the best customers.
Use Facebook ads to get in front of your local audience on the most popular social media channel on the web. Facebook ads are effective when generating plumbing leads because you’re able to directly target your audience with offers, discounts and content they care about.
So, what makes a great Facebook ad? Here are some guidelines to follow:
For example, Carter’s My Plumber uses fun plumbing-related facts and engaging imagery to lead their Facebook ads:
When driving traffic to your website, make sure you use a custom landing page for your campaign. For example, if you’re offering a discount, make sure that the page you drive traffic to is easy to access.
Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is by far one of the best plumbing lead generation channels for a positive ROI.
Much like Facebook Ads, Google Ads allows you to target users searching for specific keywords, e.g. “plumber new york.” Furthermore, you can target the geographical area that you serve, ensuring you attract only the best clients.
Here’s a simple process to follow when setting up effective plumbing ads:
In the example below, Boris Mechanical put their target keyword at the front of the headline to show relevancy. They then use the body copy to highlight their USP and the services they offer:
It’s important you have custom landing pages for each campaign. For example, Roto-Rooter creates specific pages for every location they serve:
This shows searchers they’re in the right place, increasing the likelihood they’ll contact you.
While direct mail can be expensive, it can also be insanely profitable. Not only that, your competitors won’t know what you’re doing as these “ads” aren’t in the public domain.
The goal is to get your direct mail into the “keep” pile. That is, the pile of mail that people actually want to read.
In this example from Realty Austin, not only do they use compelling copy to get the attention of any potential home-buyers, but they also have a list of interesting events (which is likely to be kept for later reference):
When executing a direct mail campaign, ensure you follow these seven best practices:
Direct mail is a great way to get your message directly in front of your audience. Ensure you’re targeting the right audience with benefit-rich copy and you’ll see great results.
Your customer’s friends and family are one of the most promising sources of new clients you can access. Indeed, it’s likely they share similar traits to your ideal customer segments.
For example, Putman Plumbing creates a win-win referral program for their customers by offering them cash incentives for every new customer they refer:
Setting up a referral system is simple:
If you have more than a dozen interested customers, some tools can make this easy for you. ReferralCandy, for example, provides an end-to-end referral marketing system that’s easy to use:
Video has become a popular marketing channel for businesses. It provides an opportunity to connect with your customers and provide them with value on a personal level.
Furthermore, it’s become cheap and easy to execute. All you need is a smartphone and free editing software to do the job.
For example, Fred Smith uses video to showcase their work and record testimonials of happy customers:
Ways you can use video in your marketing include:
Create a personal connection with your plumbing leads by getting in front of the camera and letting your personality and expertise shine.
While even the newest homes can experience plumbing issues, it’s usually older properties that experience the most issues.
You can identify these homes using the data provided by real estate search engine Zillow. Start by running a search for your geographical target location:
On the results page, select the “More” drop-down and refine the “Year Built” filter to search for homes older than five years (or more):
You now have access to a list of homes that are most likely to need plumbing assistance. Use this data to fuel the targeting for your Facebook ads and direct mail campaigns.
Not everyone who visits your website is going to become a customer. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try and entice them back.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads both have retargeting abilities that serve ads to past website visitors. Here’s how they work:
In the example below, Taz Plumbing uses Facebook retargeting to bring back visitors to their water heater installation page:
Competitions are a great way to build your email list and spread the word about your business.
Use viral contests to attract ideal clients by offering free plumbing services.Use a platform like KingSumo to set up your contest campaign easily. With it, you can create landing pages that take care of email capture and virality for you:
When selecting a prize, make it as relevant to your business as possible. For example, a years’ worth of plumbing services (minus materials and parts) will attract those who are most likely to become customers for life.
Social media marketing can often seem like a dark art. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
By following these best practices, social media can become a plumbing lead generation machine on any platform you choose.
Bob Hamilton uses Facebook to create content around the goodwill they spread in their community. These are causes their audience care about and generate a high amount of engagement as a result:
Tell a story with the social media content you create. This content doesn’t have to be plumbing-related. It must simply focus on what your customers care about.
Digital marketing has become a must-have for every plumber’s toolkit. Using the right channels, you can generate new plumbing leads with a very positive ROI. Unlike traditional media, the techniques shared here are easier to measure and faster to implement. You can supercharge the growth of your plumbing business by trying one or two today.
There are lots of ways plumbers can generate new business. Whatever you do DO NOT buy plumbing leads from a list vendor. Why? Because these lists are usually outdated. Furthermore, it’s unlikely anyone on that list has heard of you, meaning they’ll hit delete. If you ever did come across their list of potential plumbers in the future they’ll likely associate you with “spam”. Stick to the tips and tricks above to help your plumbing business gather new customers.
Feature Image: Unsplash/pan xiaozhen
All screenshots by author. Taken October 2018.
Image 1-2: Screenshot via Google
Image 3: Screenshot via Google My Business
Image 4: Via Search Engine Land
Image 5: Via Xanjero
Image 6-7: Via What Pixel
Image 8: Via BNI AmericaImage
Image 9: Via Hot Water Guys
Image 10: Via Google
Image 11: Screenshot via Harpers Plumbing
Image 12: Screenshot via Wisebread
Image 13, 23: Via Blue Corona
Image 14: Screenshot via Google Keyword Planner
Image 15: Via Roto-Rooter
Image 16: Via Kopy Writing Kourse
Image 17: Screenshot via Putman Plumbing
Image 18: Via Referral Candy
Image 19: Screenshot via Fred Smith Plumbing
Image 20-21: via Zillow
Image 22: via Celltob
Image 23: via Kingsumo