If you hop on Google and type in “marketing ideas for a plumbing business,” you’ll be met with a myriad of resources that list out strategies in mad-lib style, such as …
“Build an email campaign”
“Build a great website”
“Utilize social media”
… etc. But what these guides are missing is, well — guidance.
The fact is, there's a lot that goes into creating a marketing strategy. And if you don’t do it right, you could be shelling out loads of money while getting minimal results.
Are you building a marketing plan for your plumbing business? Here are our top six sure-fire marketing ideas for plumbing businesses, plus how to implement them to get the results you’re looking for.
Why Is Marketing Important for Your Plumbing Business?
Simply put, marketing matters.
Plumbing is a competitive industry with a customer base limited to mostly locals. So if you want to be the one who gets the leads, you are going to have to:
- Get your plumbing business in front of new customers
- Build your company's brand and reputation
- Earn people's trust
- Keep your current customers informed of your products and services
- Know what ad spend is working for you — and what strategies to rethink
- Outperform the “other guy”
- Understand how to break into new markets
The bottom line? If you want your plumbing business to thrive, you will need to step up your marketing game.
Consider Out-Sourcing the Marketing for Your Company
Gone are the days of traditional marketing strategies for plumbing companies, like ads on the radio, T.V., and in the morning paper.
These days, much of the focus is on internet marketing for plumbing companies — and if that’s a skill within your wheelhouse, you will be miles ahead of the competition.
But what if it's not?
What if the mere mention of the words “internet marketing” makes your stomach abuzz with butterflies and your knees start to buckle? How is internet marketing even done in the first place, and where in your crazy schedule will you find the time to learn?
Say hello to outsourcing.
By hiring a team of professionals who know how to market a plumbing business, you can let the experts do what they do best, creating a strategy to help your company thrive — while you do what you do best, running your business.
6 Bullet-Proof Marketing Ideas for a Plumbing Business That Will Knock Your Socks Off
#1: Build a Top-Of-The-Line Website
You may have an amazing business website. Or you might still be living in the Dark Ages.
But here’s the deal. If you don't have a top-rate, A-1 website that captures a consumer’s attention and makes them want to learn more about your plumbing business, you're waay behind in the game.
What’s the big deal about a website, you ask?
Having a fantastic website is a non-negotiable part of the marketing strategy for a plumbing company because it:
- Creates a great first impression, and we all know that a first impression is everything
- Allows potential and current customers to find your business 24/7
- Builds trust with your audience
- Lets you easily communicate with your customers about things like sales and promos
- Builds brand recognition
- Gives you the chance to stand out from your competitors
Now, let's make you privy to the key ingredients in the “secret sauce” of creating a killer website that brings in leads.
Optimize Your Website for Speed
Website speed refers to how fast a customer’s browser can fully load your plumbing site — and it’s a huge deal for three main reasons:
- Customers are impressed by fast-loading sites. They consider them to be more professional and reliable. In fact, Google recommends ½ to 3 seconds as the optimal load-time and found that 53% of visitors leave a page that fails to load within 3 seconds.
- Website loading speed is important because Google says so. They have made it crystal clear that if you want your site to rank well in Google’s algorithms, it has to load at the speed of light.
- A fast website gets more conversions, a.k.a. lookers who turn into buyers. This means not only will people stay longer, but they’ll also come back to your site more often.
Make It Beautiful
To better understand the importance of an attractive site, let's look at A Tale of Two Websites.
In your search for a local plumber, here’s what you find:
Website #1: Al’s Amazing Plumbing Service decided to do it themselves. Everything on their site consists of exactly two colors: black and blue — except, of course, for the bright white background. Instead of a logo, AL’S AMAZING PLUMBING SERVICE is typed out in all caps, and the site's overall style appears sad and dated. As far as graphics, there's a photo of a plunger in the top left corner. You quickly become bored and move on.
Website #2: Pedro’s Pipe & Drain knows that plumbing is their specialty, not web design, so they decided to out-source their web design. From the first click, your brain is fully engaged. The colors are inviting, and Pedro’s cool logo makes it clear that he’s proud of his company. He used a variety of fonts throughout the site, and the clean layout makes it super easy to navigate. “This is more like it!” you say to yourself. You spend a few minutes clicking around before picking up the phone and giving Pedro a call.
Need we say more?
Create Killer Copy That Converts
Having a captivating website goes beyond the aesthetic appeal.
You've also got to have amazing content. And to create the kind of killer content you need to get the public’s attention, you either need to be an expert writer — or you need to hire someone that is.
You want to publish copy that:
- Provides value to the reader by informing them about your plumbing company and the services you offer.
- Lets readers know you’re the plumbing company that can meet their needs by showcasing your skills and the benefits of choosing your team over the competitors.
- Conveys a sense of urgency by encouraging readers to contact you ASAP.
You'll also want to do keyword research to identify what your local audience is searching for on Google. These might look like …
- Plumber in [your city]
- Residential plumber in [your city]
- Commercial plumber in [your city]
Convert Website Traffic Into Leads With Form Submissions
A website contact form is a brief form on your site that allows your viewers to send you a message. They include the individual’s …
- Email address; and
- Phone number
Once a website contact form is sent, you automatically receive an email in your inbox letting you know you have a new inquiry.
Here’s an example of a plumbing web contact form:
Web contact forms:
- Provide a convenient way for your potential and current customers to ask you questions.
- Allow you to answer their queries at a time that is convenient for you.
- Make it easy to keep track of site inquiries.
- Tell you exactly who is visiting your site, when, and for how long.
- Build your email marketing list (more on this later).
- Reduce the number of spam emails you receive.
Create Location Pages
Does your plumbing business have more than one location?
If so, you’ll want to consider creating a separate location landing page on your website for each of your locations.
Location landing pages are a special destination on your website devoted to each of your locations. They make it easy for customers to find the location nearest to them — and let search engines know about the unique characteristics of each location.
Location pages can help ensure that your business will rank for the relevant local search terms your potential customers are typing into Google.
Let’s include a screenshot of a plumbing company that has location pages set up.
#2: Use Local SEO Strategies to Dominate the Google Local Pack
Local SEO can help your plumbing business grow by making it stand out.
And one of the ways local SEO can boost your plumbing business’s exposure and make you the go-to plumber in your area is by helping you dominate the Google Local Pack.
The Google Local Pack is a group of the top three local plumbing businesses that appears when potential customers search for plumbing services in your area. These three listings originate from the Google My Business directory and include:
- A local map of your area; and
- A link to "More Places," which opens up the complete list of local plumbers (Google Local Finder)
Here's what the Google Local Pack looks like:
The only way to show up in the Google Local Pack is through the use of super-focused SEO strategies built to enable you to reach your ideal clients.
It works like this:
Someone in your area needs a plumber ASAP, so they hop on Google and start searching for terms like:
“Best plumber in [your town]”
“Best plumber near me”
“Plumber in downtown [your town]”
And if you want to turn them into customers, you’ve got to show up at the top of their search list, in the Google Local Pack.
But local SEO tactics don’t stop there. It is also important that your business create a Google Business Profile.
Create a Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps you manage your company’s online presence across all the Google platforms — plus, it helps you rank in the Google Local Pack.
Here’s what a Google Business Profile looks like:
What can you do to optimize your Google Business Profile to help you rank in the Google Local Pack?
You have to provide comprehensive information about your plumbing business. You can do this in a variety of areas throughout your site, including
- Your main description
- Your photos
- Your categories
- Your services
- Your products
#3: Invest in Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is a marketing model that’s used to promote an online business. It involves running paid ads on the search engines and paying a small fee each time a potential customer click the ads and lands on your site. One of the cool things about paid advertising is that you’re only charged when someone clicks on your ad.
A few of the benefits of having a paid advertising campaign as part of your marketing plan for your plumbing business include:
- You get quick results
- You’ll see an increase in web traffic
- Your business gets more exposure
- Ads are measurable, so you can see who is clicking on your site, where they are located, and how long they are sticking around
- Ads allow you to be very specific in your marketing
- Paid ads can cover all outlets of social media, including:
- Paid ads enable you to run retargeting campaigns
While all that sounds great, paid advertising can be complex — and expensive!
So if you want to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck out of your paid ads — and actually converting those clicks into leads — this strategy is a good one to outsource.
#4: Increase Repeat Business With Email Marketing
If you think the email is just for communicating with your customers, think again.
Email marketing is a highly effective way to:
- Educate your potential customers
- Stay in touch with your past and current customers; and
- Convert leads into brand-new customers
Email retargeting is an e-commerce marketing approach that's used to reach Shoppers who don't follow through when they're on your site.
For an example of how successful retargeting established clients with email marketing is for increasing repeat business, let's look at Sony’s PlayStation email campaign.
Sony designed a Christmas email marketing campaign to cross-sell the Playstation Vita to consumers who were either already subscribed to Playstation or a part of the Playstation Network.
Sony strategically tailored the content of these emails toward certain subcategories of their audience, depending on their previous purchases and subscriptions. Sony sent their email to upwards of 4.2 million people — and was rewarded with an estimated 508% return on their investment.
Not bad, right!?
But how can you make email marketing work for you? We cover the top tips below.
Determine Your Goals
The number one step towards boosting your repeat business through email marketing is to decide exactly what it is you want to achieve.
- Are you trying to better distribute your workflow?
- Do you want to focus on a few specific services your company offers?
- Is your goal to educate your current customer base?
- Are you strictly hoping to bring in more leads?
While it may sound tempting to choose “all of the above,” you actually want to start by keeping it simple. That way, you can stay focused and do a better job of tracking your results.
Collect Emails and Build Out Your List
Next, you will need to gather your emails.
The best plan is to stick with customers and contacts from the past two years or less. By doing so, you are decreasing your chance of having your emails bounce.
If your bounce rate is high, you could be at risk of being marked as a spammer, damaging the reach of your campaign.
Create Email Copy
Once your list is created, it is time to write your copy, keeping these considerations in mind:
- Be sure to format your copy for both desktop and mobile devices.
- Follow the CAN-SPAM Act, which requires there to be an ‘unsubscribe’ link in the content of every email you send. Violating this act means you could be reported to the Federal Trade Commission and made to pay a fine.
- Shoot straight. Don't use misleading subject lines to entice people to open your emails.
- Be sure you are sending relevant messages to the right people.
Measure Your Success
A cool thing about email marketing is that you can quickly see how well it is doing.
Email platforms generally give you trending reports and insights into things such as:
- Click-through rates
- Open rates
- Bounce rates
Most email platforms also give you the ability to forward your results to a spreadsheet — which you can then use to cross-reference your leads and determine whether you are meeting your predetermined goals
#5: Get Direct With This Oldie But Goodie — Direct Mail Marketing
If you think that the age-old method of direct, snail mail marketing is a thing of the past, get this:
One recent study determined that direct mail marketing campaigns yield purchase rates five times larger than email campaigns.
And a study done by Canada Post found that 53% of homeowners read direct mail — as opposed to only 26% who read promotional emails.
The best part is that direct mail marketing doesn't have to be fancy. Postcards are cheap and easy to make and may be just the tool you need to get great results.
Here are a few tips for creating some out-of-this-world postcards:
- Keep it simple
- Make the design eye-catching
- Coordinate the ads on the front and back of the cards
- Make them big (11 x 6 inches is a perfect size)
- Make the content personal and relatable
- Use a high-quality picture
- Present a strong call to action
#6: Collaborate With Other Businesses
Don’t overlook or underestimate the power of collaborative marketing strategies for growing the customer base of your plumbing company.
Collaborative marketing is when your company teams up on marketing initiatives with other companies that are aligned with your audience, such as building contractors or electricians.
Partnering with other local businesses to pool your marketing resources can:
- Add authenticity to your brand
- Expand the reach of your plumbing business
- Help get a new business off the ground
- Give you an edge over your competitors who may be going it alone
Join a BNI Group
BNI, or Business Network International, is a business and professional organization that focuses on networking and allows one representative from each profession to join.
The purpose of BNI is to increase the business of its members, based on the concept that what goes around, comes around. You refer customers to me, I refer customers to you — and both of our businesses grow.
By getting to know other local businesses, you can refer your clients to them, and they can return the favor.
BNI is a great way to get new business, and you can join by following these steps:
- Register to visit a local chapter meeting (it’s free!)
- If you like what you see and the members of the chapter agree you’ll be a good fit, they will invite you to apply for membership
- Pay two initial fees:
- Application Fee of $249.00
- Participation Fee of $599.00 for 12 months, or $999.00 for a 24-month membership
Create a Business Card Sharing Program
Many businesses within the contractor/construction industry have the same type of clients. Someone who is remodeling a home or just bought a new home is going to need an array of services, including a plumber.
For example, a couple walks into a paint store to get supplies for their fixer-upper. While waiting in line, they peruse the collection of business cards on the counter. It just so happens that they're looking for a plumber to fix a leaky faucet — so they take one of your business cards off of the counter.
Business card sharing programs are a highly effective marketing strategy. Talk to a few other businesses in your area about creating a card-sharing program. You’ll have the opportunity to build a new customer base while helping other nearby companies, who aren’t in direct competition with you, succeed.
Reach Out to Local HOAs
Collaborating with local homeowners associations (HOAs) is another terrific marketing idea for your plumbing business.
HOAs generally have well-established communication with the homeowners and renters in their neighborhood and are always looking for reputable businesses to recommend to their members.
Reach out to them and see if they'll put you on their list as the go-to plumber homeowners can call when they encounter a plumbing emergency.