How to Market Your Home Performance Business in the Summer

Reposted from the Energy Circle blog -- http://www.energycircle.com/blog.

We hear from residential energy efficiency pros around the country that spring and summer are particularly challenging times for their home performance businesses.   When temperatures warm up, homeowners tend to start thinking more about gardening and landscaping and less about energy efficiency.  Obviously, this timing is not ideal for your business, because summer is, after all, a great time for home energy upgrades.   So, how do you make your business thrive during the warm seasons?

For this post, we've revisited a concept we've discussed in the past - how to minimize seasonal business swings with seasonal marketing ta... - and come up with a few ideas to help your home performance business boom this summer while spending your home performance marketing budget wisely:

Step One: Craft Your Message Around Common Summer Problems.

First and foremost, you need to make sure your key message aligns with the consumer mindset about home performance..., particularly in your region. Here in Maine, for example, the summertime is easy, breezy; and most folks aren't concerned with comfort issues or energy bills. They are, however, still concerned about the health of their families, the value of their property, the potential problem of bugs and critters entering the home, and a whole slew of other building-science-related issues. 

In the South, however, the summer is a great time to sell energy savings and improved comfort. So, as they say, it really depends.

But as a general rule, while your summer marketing efforts should focus on those issues that people in your region are concerned with, it is key to emphasize things other than energy efficiency and lowering cooling expenses. Here are a few other common building problems that you can address in the summer:

  • Mold
  • Wet Basements
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Critters, bugs

It's important to remember, too, that when people have a problem like mold, or poor indoor air quality, one of the first things they typically do is hit Google or another search engine. If you want your website to show up, be sure to include a page for each of these problems.  If mold is an issue in your area in the summer, for example, create a page about how your company addresses mold issues. If the content isn't there, people won't find your business, and you'll be left sitting on your thumbs while your competitors "clean house," so to speak.

Step Two: Hitting the Gas with Seasonal, Focused Marketing Efforts.

There are a number of marketing initiatives which allow you to create some quick leads.  The top three candidates are pay-per click advertising, email marketing campaigns, and local speaking engagements.

PPC campaigns around specific, seasonal topics. 

Consider starting a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign based on seasonal topics.  Take into account the fact that in the spring many people are dealing with flooding basements and the resultant moisture and mold problems. Try a PPC campaign based on search terms around those topics (eg: "Moisture problems in your house? Eliminate the problem at the source through the "whole house" approach: call XYZ Home Performance today.")

Send seasonal newsletters via email.

Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with existing customers and convert new leads into customers.  Not only does email typically have a low cost-per-acquisition for new customers, email blast providers offer affordable plans for software that is easy to use.  Now is a good time to look through your email account, or database if you have one, and see if there are any old leads that didn’t convert (i.e. received an energy audit but no improvement) or whether there are any phased projects that haven’t gone to completion.  If so, add them to your email list.

What to write about?  We recommend providing concise, helpful information about how homeowners can fix their seasonal problems with the “whole house” approach to building science.  Other fruitful topics include updates on local rebates and financing options, case studies, as well as as special offers (i.e. discounts, package upgrades, free consultations, etc.). 

Speaking to chambers of commerce and other local organizations.

What better way to spread the good word of home performance than by connecting with local thought leaders in your community? Chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, and other local organizations are a great, low-cost way to connect with influential members of your community. You might even sign up a couple new customers right there.

Any other ideas for marketing home performance in the summer? Let us know in the comments.

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Tags: Circle, Energy, Home, Marketing, Performance, Summer

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Comment by Joshua Moore on June 23, 2015 at 9:30am

Hi Johnny - nice to see good big-picture tips, thanks. Sorry I'm 3 years late :)

Other ideas: How about asking partners to spread the word about an organization's energy efficiency program through newsletters and social media?

The DOE provides promotional kits when they have a marketing initiative they want others to help promote - bullet point top-level descriptions, sample email and social media text, and some accompanying graphics so partners can copy and paste and easily promote the campaign. I can imagine it being effective to strategically pinpoint partners and send them simple promotional 'kits' to help spread the word.

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