Our company uses a mix of advertising with the most successful being online search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising on Google.
With regards to advertising to the existing home retrofit market, what have you found to be most successful?
i.e. an insulation company that works only in existing homes and looking for more leads and quotes for their sales team.
what is pay per click?
Pay-per-click is a form of online search engine marketing. Specifically, when you go to Google and search for almost anything, the pay-per-click advertising is what you usually find as the top three results and the right side column of ads.
You only pay for those ads when someone clicks on them and if done correctly, these can yield high quality leads at fairly reasonable prices.
Chris, How do you know that these two advertising methods are the most successful for you? Have you done a stratification survey with your clients to see how they came to you originally? If not, do not rely on some other party's Web site statistics as true success for your firm (i.e., clicks does not equal revenues to you).
Most of the business our firm receives is either from partner referrals (mostly energy companies) and word-of-mouth. We are continuing our CRM approach by keeping in fairly constant contact with past customers via email newsletters (so that the word-of-mouth traffic increases). We have also done some SEO work with our Web site and do get some customers through this, but not lots. Most other common forms of advertising (phone book, generic mail flyers, etc.) really do not give the results the advertising sales people promise. Find "progressive" neighborhoods (just because there are neighborhoods of huge energy hogs doesn't mean they really want to invest their disposable income in changing the status quo) and offer to hold free seminars. Write articles for popular local publications (note that you may also need to advertise in it to get accepted).
I am an appraiser and developer of green courses. Has anyone tried including an infrared camera photograph in the MLS photo gallery? It seems to me the picture tells a thousand words and would be a real eye opener to the public. The picture backed up with the average energy bill for the past year. This is great information for an appraiser in comparing properties as well.
Who places photos in the MLS? Real estate agents. What is the real estate mantra? "No house is a bad house, it just needs the right customer" regardless of how terrible the condition or how large an energy hog. No real estate agent wants a potential customer to suspect that the house in question is "bad" - especially in comparison to others. This is one of the reasons the RE industry is so adamant against Zillow.com (valuation independent from agents) and why they would prefer not to work with any type of outside/independent inspectors (general building inspectors are grudgingly accepted only because mortgage institutions generally require them). But advanced methods for energy efficiency (and inspections/IR images to that end) are not generally accepted by the RE industry East of the Mississippi. Some progressive RE agents West of the Miss. have figured out that they can show product differentiation to some discriminating clients in a buyer's market but since the real estate industry apparently is improving we will see if even that continues. Hence no IR images on the MLS.
Now if you want to start an addendum/similar tool to Zillow that would show the general public IR images/additional condition/energy usage/neighborhood police reports/etc. of houses independent of the MLS...
Our company offers a product, so it might work better for us than for you, but having a profile at Houzz.com wouldn't hurt.
We found MANY clients through Houzz.com just by participating in the discussions and contacting other homeowners and professionals.
Try advertising on Houzz.
Thanks so much for the link to Houzz - I was completely ignorant of it until now. Huge repository of remodeling info/photos/contractors. But I wonder how visible it is to the general public, and it doesn't look like many home performance/energy efficiency contractors have signed up (another visibility issue)?
My company has been selling window shutters nationally online for over 16 years. I find the web is more cluttered than ever with poorly operated businesses taking up real estate. Homeowners don't know where to look and what information is reliable. They are also becoming extremely visual, which makes Houzz so popular.
I suggest using your resources to build the most informative, easy to navigate, visually appealing website possible. Put a strong emphasis on SEO, then post to places like Houzz, Pinterest, etc. You will get found.
We do put a strong emphasis on the energy efficiency of solid wood window shutters vs. other window coverings. Most homeowners are receptive to the education.
In our experience, many of our clients also opt for a marketing mix. The PPC campaigns often give good results in the short term, and as it generates profits, meanwhile you can invest in SEO. According to the business model and other characteristics (location, size of company, services) you need to think long-term strategies. In our agency Nexo Creativo, we are green marketing specialists, we can give you more information free of charge. Best regards.