Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 30, 2017.
“We’re up to sixteen calls today, and it’s only 2:30! We’ve never seen a response like this before—EVER!”
Sixteen calls by 2:30 may or may not seem like a lot to you, but for Dan, who answered the phone for the little sunroom company in New Jersey, sixteen might as well have been a thousand.
Prior to this, the most calls they’d received in one day was around ten… and that happened years ago.
When the sixteen leads grew into twenty-six by the end of the day—and seventy-three by the end of the first week—the sunroom company was floored.
They had never received more than twenty-five calls from a single ad in an entire MONTH.
What ridiculously simple, yet little-used, change to the same ad they’d been running for years caused this influx of leads?
Instead of only having the usual (and expected) incentive offer—which rotated between twenty percent off, a free heater, etc.—they decided to add an interesting information offer: A complimentary “Sunroom Idea Guide.”
The ad told readers to call in or go online to request the guide. The people who contacted the company supplied their contact info, and they’d get the guide. The guide would show readers the different styles of sunrooms available, photos of thirty-three sunrooms this particular company had built, and a pricing chart.
The massive improvement in reader response is easy to explain.
The incentive offers often used in contractor marketing—including YOURS, most likely!—appeal only to “now” buyers. If somebody is already in the mood to buy a sunroom, a discount or freebie might be just enough to make them call.
But the truth is that most people who see your ads are NOT ready to buy. Not yet.
They may be considering it. They may be planning for it down the road. They may even desperately want or need what you’re selling.
But for whatever reason, they’re not ready to move forward and give you a call.
And that’s where the information offer works its magic.
By creating an interesting guide that people request, you’ve essentially captured all the buyers for the next few months—or years—off the marketplace and into your database.
Sure, it’s disappointing that they don’t want to buy right now. But you now have the opportunity to continually hit them with postcards, emails, and other forms of marketing for years to come.
And you know what the sensei says to the student:
Let me break down all the pesky numbers for you, so you can see how effective the info offer technique is…
- First, determine your current marketing cost per lead deal. If you spend $250 per lead and close 33% of your leads, you’re spending $750 per closed deal. That’s a lot of money.
- Now assume you generate 100 “information offer” leads during a given month. Remember, you’re going to generate these leads IN ADDITION TO (not instead of) your normal leads. So the “cost” of these leads is essentially $0.00.
- Let’s assume you close 10% of these information leads in the next 24 months—that’s 10 deals out of the 100 leads.
- Allocate the same $750 of marketing cost per lead toward these information leads (for follow up), and you now have a budget of $7,500. Spreading that over two years comes to $312 a month.
- Let’s say you use this $312 per month on postcards, and each postcard costs $0.60 to print and mail. You can send five postcards PER MONTH to each of the leads. That’s 60 postcards per year FOR TWO YEARS.
Do you THINK you might close some of them?
The better question: How could you NOT close some of them?
Including an information offer in your ads is surprisingly simple…
Step One: Create a guide with valuable information that appeals to those who would be interested in what you sell. It could contain before and after photos, testimonials, comparisons of materials or brands, or information about how to choose the best product.
Step Two: Give the guide a good name. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Homeowner’s Guide To Replacement Windows; Everything You Need To Know About Gutter Protection; Storage Solutions Ideas & Inspiration Guide; The Metal Roofing Solution. Clear and simple titles like that.
Step Three: Make the offer stand out in your ad—put a picture of the cover of the guide in a conspicuous area, and use the word FREE liberally. Here’s an example:
Step Four: Ensure you prepare your lead handlers—everyone who will have contact with prospects needs to know that information seekers will be contacting you. This might require a culture change for your company. Don’t try to force an information seeker to set an appointment if they are clearly not ready—you risk running them off for good.
A free information offer sets you apart from your competitors because the results (i.e., sales) are not necessarily “immediate” enough for many companies. So they don’t even attempt it. But you WILL get more sales with a free information offer. Not only that, but you also effectively take information seekers off the market and hog them all for yourself.
And here’s the thing…
You don’t have to get rid of the incentives in your ads; “now” buyers will still want and appreciate your discounts and freebies. But if you want to cast a wider net to catch more prospects, and you don’t mind following up with the ones who don’t purchase right away, information offers are the easiest way to get more bang from your advertising buck.
This free information has been provided courtesy of Rich Harshaw and MYM.
P.S. We provide information guide-creation as part of our Pre-Positioning package. Visit our Pre-Positioning package page, browse our samples, and view additional details. If your marketing could benefit from this package, use the handy-dandy chat box in the lower-right corner of this website to talk to us about creating these materials for you. Thanks!
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 30, 2017.
You know those parents who won’t shut up about how great their kids are because they think you’re as interested as they are?
“Little Johnny rolled over for the first time.”
“Suzy got a ‘B’ on her English midterm.”
“Billy sneezed seven times yesterday.”
They’re proud of their kids, and they should be.
But outside of their family and maybe some friends, most people don’t care that little Johnny rolled onto his stomach.
That might sound harsh, but you know what they say about the truth.
(Answer: It hurts.)
This apathy applies to your prospects and industry awards you’ve received.
Outside your small circle—employees, immediate family, etc.—no one cares about the awards you’ve won.
Sure, it’s great you won.
But your prospects tune that stuff out.
It may seem interesting to YOU… but no one else gives a crap.
Case in point…
I once had a client who won the Better Business Bureau’s “Torch Award” for the second straight year.
This is actually a pretty great accomplishment—the BBB doesn’t dole out this award to just any company. You have to demonstrate some serious leadership and ethical standards just to be nominated.
Naturally, the client wanted to advertise such a big achievement in hopes of winning more business. So he wrote an advertorial (an ad that looks like an article) about his company’s Torch Award.
Here’s a look:
Looks fine, right?
When the client asked for my feedback on the advertorial, I said, “I’m glad you won the Torch Award for the second time. But I hate to tell you—nobody cares.”
The reason? It’s BORING.
As in, “random stranger in line at Target telling you her kid got his first tooth last night” boring.
Think about it. This is an advertisement that’s supposed to look like an article. Articles are supposed to provide the audience with interesting content that hooks them on every word.
This advertorial does not do that. It sounds like it was written by and for the employees of the client’s company.
So I threw down a gauntlet for the client: Reposition the ad.
Instead of telling people he won the Torch Award, provide an interesting story that helps them understand why he won it.
I asked the client for a specific example of demonstrating the ethics the award requires. He thought for a minute and then told me a story of when a supplier screwed up a door order two times in a row.
The first time, the supplier cut the door too short. The second time, they sent the wrong material (steel instead of fiberglass).
The customer was upset but agreed to sign off on the second door as long as my client gave him a hefty discount.
My client didn’t do that. Instead, he ordered and installed the RIGHT door… and then refunded ALL of the customer’s money.
All told, the client took an $8,200 loss on the project.
Now THERE is a story.
I told the client all he had to do was tell that story in the ad. I helped him write it, and voila…
I’d say that’s light-years more interesting than “Company Wins BBB Torch Award,” wouldn’t you?
Yeah… and here’s the proof:
- The client ran the revised ad at a cost of $4,000.
- The ad returned over $50,000 in sales. That’s an ROI of 12 to 1.
- They spent the same amount of money on “traditional” ad placements in the same newspaper and barely received a phone call.
- Prospects who called after reading the advertorial said they felt they could trust the client more than other contractors.
- The lead quality was significantly better, too—they were able to close the leads at a rate of 50% to 60%, double their usual closing ratio of about 30%.
Getting people to pay attention and engaged in your message is 90% of the battle. When you accomplish that, great things happen.
So the next time you sit down to write an ad, think about what your prospect would find interesting. Don’t just tell them you won an award; give them a concrete example of why you won it—one that’s fascinating and relevant to THEM.
P.S. In addition to our online marketing services, we provide turnkey offline marketing solutions. This includes ad writing, radio, television, and direct mail. We can even plan your media buying and negotiate the best deals on your behalf. So if you’re struggling to create an offline marketing campaign that resonates with your audience and produces sales, get in touch with us. We’ll take care of everything.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 30, 2017.
If you know me even a tiny little bit, you know my favorite band is Rush.
Rush doesn’t just churn out awesome music; they are a highly skilled, highly technical three-piece progressive-rock band.
In fact, the band is so talented that fans have dubbed them The Holy Triumvirate.
That’s a lofty nickname to live up to. But, boy, do they ever do it.
As I was blasting Rush’s Moving Pictures album in my car on the way to the office this morning (I’ve gotta get pumped for the day), it made me think about another Holy Triumvirate: MYM’s Trusted Partners.
Our three Trusted Partners—Renoworks Pro, MarketSharp, and GreenSky®—are what I call The Holy Triumvirate Of Contractor Marketing.
Each company brings something different to the table… and each one provides a product that can launch your business to new heights of success.
Here’s how each member of The Holy Triumvirate Of Marketing is similar to the original Holy Triumvirate:
Renoworks Pro (Visualization Software)
Rush Member: Geddy Lee (Vocalist, Bassist)
Everybody knows Geddy Lee’s infamous, high-pitched wailing. But he’s also a helluva bassist.
The bass establishes the beat and is the backbone of the music; Renoworks Pro is the backbone of your sales presentations.
You take a picture of your prospect’s home and upload it to Renoworks Pro. You then apply products directly onto the photo from over 250 manufacturer product catalogs. You can then make your presentation in your prospect’s home or online with Renoworks Pro’s robust remote-selling features.
Since prospects can see what their project will look like, they are more likely to say yes… and at such HIGH prices that Geddy Lee’s vocal chords would be jealous.
What Gushing Groupies Say:
“Since using Renoworks Pro, I have increased my close rates and profit by 60%!” –Paul Sacco, JM Door & Hardware
“With Renoworks Pro, I can usually add between $3,000 to $10,000 of product and services to every job!” –William LaMonaca, Colorado Home Exteriors
MarketSharp (Contractor CRM)
Rush Member: Neil Peart (Drummer)
Fans, musicians, and critics alike consider Neil Peart one of the best drummers of all time. His beats and patterns can be so complex that you swear the guy is part octopus.
That’s why Neil and MarketSharp are one in the same. MarketSharp has a hand in almost every aspect of your business: lead generation, office operations, job scheduling, sales tracking, accounting, automated marketing campaigns, and a WHOLE LOT more.
Just like Neil is often considered drumming’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), MarketSharp is universally praised as the best CRM for contractors that’s ever been made.
What Gushing Groupies Say:
“Thank God for MarketSharp. If we did not have this program, our leads and customers would be all over the place. MarketSharp allows us to keep track of almost everything in one program. WE LOVE YOU!” –Julia Falke, 21st Century Remodeling
“If we did not have MarketSharp, I would need at least 2 more people in the office working with me!” –Katlyn Gottbeheat, Gugger Home Improvement
GreenSky® (Financing Program)
Rush Member: Alex Lifeson (Guitarist)
Alex Lifeson is an extremely versatile guitar player. And that’s why the GreenSky Program fills his shoes in The Triumvirate.
The GreenSky Program provides your customers with a large range of financing options—there’s something for practically all of your customers.
And while a lot of progressive-rock guitar players dink around with obnoxious scales, time signatures, and effects, Alex keeps things clean, catchy, and filler-free.
It’s like how The GreenSky Program provides financing WITHOUT all of usual hassles that comes with it. There’s no enrollment fee. Credit decisions are done in seconds. It’s completely paperless. And you get 20% to 50% of the money within 24 hours of your customer’s approval.
What Gushing Groupies Say:
“Your financing options have afforded us the ability to land jobs that we would have lost otherwise. In June alone it was responsible for over $35,000.00 dollars in sales. Around 1/4 of our monthly totals are generated by your financing programs!” –Heath Braley, BullsEye Plumbing, Heating & Air
“This sale was headed straight for a competitor today without the very prompt and professional information from your representatives and the flexibility in your decision process. This sale is a testament to flexibility. I appreciate the great help. It was a team effort all the way.” –Ken Sorensen, At Home Services
If you’re a contractor who is not taking advantage of the Holy Triumvirate Of Contractor Marketing, you’re squandering your company’s true potential to maximize profits. It’s that simple.
Visit our Trusted Partners page to discover more about incorporating their services into your business.
I’ll see you in the limelight.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 27, 2017.
Since No-Risk PPC Lead Generation is so innovative and different than any other PPC service out there, contractors naturally have questions about it.
In a nutshell, No-Risk PPC Lead Generation lets YOU set the number of monthly leads you want. We deliver those leads at no more than $200* per lead. You pay for the leads only AFTER we supply them.
For the nitty-gritty details, read this list below of the most common questions contractors have about the program. (Or, if you’d like to speak to someone directly, email us at email@example.com.)
Q: So, how is No-Risk PPC Lead Generation different from the 742 other PPC services out there?
A: We focus on LEADS, not just clicks. You tell us the amount of leads you want every week. We deliver them to you at no more than $200 per lead. You pay for the leads (and ONLY the leads) once you receive and approve them. It’s completely no risk.
Q: How do you guarantee leads for $200 or less?
A: Because we’re dang good at what we do. Unlike other PPC companies that dabble in the remodeling industry, PPC for remodelers and contractors is the ONLY PPC we do. We use special technology that allows us to determine not only the amount of PPC leads you receive, but also the exact cost per PPC lead.
Q: What if the cost per lead comes in above $200?
A: Then you pay $200 per lead, and we cover the rest. So if your cost per lead comes in at $250, we pay the extra $50 per lead. Just know that we are very good at generating high quality PPC leads for less than $200—you should expect your leads to cost about $110 to $170, depending on your market.
Q: Are the leads high quality?
A: Yes! Our clients report that the closing ratios from their PPC leads are very similar to their other lead sources.
Q: How many leads can I get from you in a month?
A: As many as are available in the market. We will give you an estimate before we start. Naturally, the bigger the market, the more leads will be available. The range varies from about 30 on the low end to as many as 500 a month for some services in some markets.
Q: What do you consider a lead?
A: Anyone who contacts you expressing interest in your service. We don’t count service calls, hang-ups, repeat callers, and telemarketing calls as leads; the person must be looking for the kind of project(s) you provide.
Q: When do I have to pay for my leads?
A: We will invoice you every two weeks for your leads, and you will pay via automatic ACH from your checking account. If there is ever a dispute over an individual lead quality, we will compensate by giving you a free lead in the next cycle.
Q: What if I don’t like the quality of the leads you send me?
A: Discuss it with us. We can possibly adjust the campaign to fix the problem. Or you can simply quit the program. Both scenarios are extremely rare, but please know that we won’t deal with folks who nitpick every single lead (sorry!).
Q: How is this different than buying leads from Angie’s List, Home Advisor, etc.?
A: These are leads that are coming from YOUR website… so you are the only person who will get the lead. You won’t have to beat 5 or 10 other contractors to the punch. Also, since the prospect went to YOUR website, they will already know who you are, and why you are the best choice to buy from.
Q: Is there a monthly management fee?
A: Yes, we charge a $1,000 a month management fee… BUT we waive the fee for the first 3 months to prove to you that our program works.
Q: What are the requirements for participating in this program?
A: 1.) You must be able to handle at least 30 leads a month, both financially- and capacity-wise. 2.) You must pay promptly. 3.) You have to be good about answering your phone—we DO count missed calls generated by PPC as leads. If you meet these three simple criteria, you’ll likely be a good fit for the program.
Q: How long is the commitment?
A: There is no commitment, but please be aware that it does take 60 to 90 days to “optimize” your campaign. That means that during the first month or two, your lead costs will be higher (still never more than $200)… and you can expect the lead cost to fall over time.
Have more questions? Great! Due diligence is a quality I like.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to discuss No-Risk PPC Lead Generation in more detail with you.
* In some instances the Guaranteed Cost Per Lead may need to be as high as $300.00. The increase is typically rare and usually due to things such as ultra-competitive geographic areas, out of the norm competitor efforts in the pay per click services arena or extreme seasonal competition. Fortunately these max lead cost increase is usually required for large metropolitan areas, however if this increase applies you will ALWAYS be notified in the initial discussions with us regarding your individual companies situation. In other words, if an increase is required we will let you know up front before any leads are generated.