HVAC Marketing Guide: Marketing Ideas for Business Growth
Maybe you run an HVAC business, maybe you’re thinking about starting one — either way, you’re going to have to start flexing your marketing muscles to compete in this saturated marketplace. Marketing is helpful for all business owners, regardless if you’re on the tech or the business side of the company.
Trying and testing different marketing strategies probably isn’t why you got started, but it’s what’s going to help your HVAC business grow.
It’s likely that you’ve already done some marketing in the past (sending quotes, sharing business cards, etc.) All you need to do is refine your approach and add a few more tactics to your toolkit that will grow your bottom line.
We recommend these marketing strategies for HVAC business owners because of your unique place in the market. Let’s dive in!
The top HVAC marketing ideas for your business:
- Create a strong website for your HVAC marketing strategy
- Understand how to use SEO in marketing
- Make a Facebook business page
- Experiment with social media ads
- Reach clients with HVAC email marketing
- Collect online client reviews
- Create a client referral program
- Bring in more work with a lead generation site
- Test out PPC ads
- Take advantage of Google LSA’s
- Offer stellar value to your clients
- Brand your vehicles
- Use branded stickers
- Invest in business cards and flyers
- Upsell your services by marketing to clients onsite
1. Create a strong website for your HVAC marketing strategy
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when owning an HVAC business is not having a website. At this point in time, if you don’t have a website, you basically don’t exist.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your HVAC website is working for you.
How to build your HVAC website
You have a lot of options when it comes to building a website. You can purchase a custom domain from hosts like GoDaddy or Squarespace, and then use web development websites like AMP on Google (which helps you make an automatically responsive and mobile-friendly website), WordPress, and Wix to build your website.
For a complete breakdown of how to do this, see our step-by-step guide to create your service company website.
If you don’t want to build your site on your own, you can hire a web developer or an agency to do it for you. But keep in mind these professionals can be very expensive, and they might not be able to provide much more added value than a website host that helps you build your own website.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to use your website as a custom lead generation tool. Make sure to embed a work request form on your homepage to help you collect leads and allow prospects to request an HVAC service from you.
People in this industry fail on professionalism. You need a dedicated and professional website. Everybody looks for you online.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
Many if not most of your customers are searching for HVAC services on their smartphones or tablets — 60% of Google searches are done on mobile devices. Just five years ago, it was at 34%.
Your website is one of your greatest HVAC tools so it needs to be mobile-friendly. It might work on a desktop but mobile is equally as important. The harder it is for them to access the information they need on your site, the more likely they are to exit and book a service with your competitor.
To test how mobile-friendly your site is, open it up on your phone and see if you can easily navigate it. The goal is to make sure the experience is seamless.
Make it easy for clients to contact you from your website
A website boosts your professionalism and trustworthiness by adding a level of transparency to your business. It also helps leads find you, contact you, send a work request, and share your information with their friends and family (those are easy, free leads!).
When you’re out in the field, you can’t always answer the phone to answer questions from prospects and maybe you don’t have an office manager to do that admin work for you. You can use your website to answer FAQs, collect emails, and provide leads with some basic information to help them make quicker hiring decisions.
This information has to be easy to find so prospects can quickly and easily get in touch with you. That means including your contact information, service area, business hours, FAQs, and your service list.
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2. Understand how to use SEO in marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that it’s found on search engines such as Google by clients and prospects searching for HVAC services.
Now that you have a website, it’s time to make sure it can be found on search engines like Google.
SEO can be complex and overwhelming but there are a few easy-to-implement SEO strategies you can focus on to help you see results.
Update page titles and meta descriptions
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to win with SEO.
The page title is the clickable headline that you see on the Google results page. It’s Important for SEO because it helps search engines and prospects understand what your site is about
For an HVAC business, you might decide to use your service area, the most popular services you provide like “furnace and air conditioning repair”, or even “24-hour emergency services”. Put your keywords first, don’t use too many, and write with your clients in mind. Think about what questions they’re looking to get answered and how your business will help.
The meta description is the short description below the page title on the search engine results page. A strong description can encourage searchers to click on your website.
For your HVAC business meta description, it should draw searchers in with a description of your services and where you’re located.
Google will also bold keywords in the meta description that match the search query for extra attention. You might want to add a call to action like “call now”, “book your appointment”, etc.
Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing
Another important step is to optimize your Google My Business listing. Before you do that, you have to claim your Google My Business profile.
To optimize your profile, log into your account frequently to ensure all information is up to date and add features to enhance your profile. This can be professional photos of your office, truck, or HVAC work you’ve done. Don’t forget to also include your business hours, company description, and FAQs.
3. Make a Facebook business page
A Facebook business page is a free and easy way to improve your online presence and market your business.
For HVAC businesses especially, local marketing platforms like Facebook are a great way to advertise your business and capture leads.
To get started, use our no-nonsense guide to creating a Facebook business page.
You can also include a work request link right on your profile in the link in your bio, or directly in your profile on some social networks, such as Facebook.
Once you have your page set up, now it’s time to start posting.
Social media should be part of your strategy, which means taking the time to share posts on your page, even just once a week is enough, and keep your page information up to date.
4. Experiment with social media ads
Social media ads can be an affordable advertising channel for your HVAC business. You can get even more specific and targeted with social media ads.
With targeting ads, you can display ads for your services in your prospect’s social feed based on their likes, interests, location, groups, and more.
With Jobber’s digital ads feature, you can create ad campaigns that target existing clients and help you upsell or get repeat business. You can target only the people who are most likely to need your services (ie. homeowners), so you don’t waste any of your advertising budget.
Targeted social media ads also help you get your business to your local market, for less money.
5. Stay top of mind with email marketing
Email marketing lets you send emails to engage with your customers or prospects, build loyalty, and sell more products or services.
Why will your business benefit? Here are a few reasons.
- It’s targeted and efficient.
- Results are easy to track.
- It keeps you top-of-mind.
HVAC email marketing ideas
1. New service campaigns: One of the best marketing emails you can send your client list is about a new service offering. You can announce a new service you’re providing, or remind clients about a service they might not know you provide.
Hi [Insert first name],
We’re proud to have been offering our community heating and cooling services for the last 10 years. We’re always looking for ways to better help families stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
We just wanted to let you know that in response to growing demand, we now also offer:
Carbon monoxide alarms installations to improve your indoor air quality.
To learn more, simply follow this link to our website.
[Your preferred signoff]
2. Re-engagement campaigns: Email marketing is a great way to turn one-off customers into repeat clients — we know how important repeat customers are to HVAC businesses.
You can send customers who have booked a one-off service with you in the last six months any package deals you might have, remind them of the service they booked, or offer them discount if they schedule recurring appointments.
3. Content campaigns to build your brand: You’re an HVAC expert with a lot of helpful heating and air conditioning tips to share with your clients. Why not take advantage of all this knowledge and put it into your next email campaign?
If you notice clients often ask about how to maintain their furnace in the winter months, put together a list of tips to help your clients winterize their homes.
If you send your clients useful and interesting information like this, you’re adding value to your services and building your brand.
When you integrate Jobber and Mailchimp, you can sync your client list, create audiences, and automate all your email campaigns.
READ ON: To help you get started re-engaging your clients, we created this beginner guide to email marketing for small businesses like your HVAC company.
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6. Collect online client reviews
Collecting reviews is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can use. Why? Because if you collect reviews on another website like Yelp or Google, your website will appear in search results, and people will see your customer rating right in the search!
Reviews on your Google My Business account and your Facebook Business page can have a huge influence on consumer buying decisions. So, collecting reviews is worth the time and effort.
How do you get your clients to leave an HVAC service review?
Van Wu, owner of Trust Home Comfort Ltd., is a huge advocate for gathering client reviews and says that his reputation is one of the main sources for getting new business. He suggests using follow-up emails as a method to extract feedback and reviews.
“After you do an install or repair you need to follow-up with an email and answer their concerns. Normally I get review feedback through Jobber’s email follow-up tool. I can ask my clients for a rating between 1-10 and they can add comments.”
Van asks some of his clients to leave Trust Home Comfort Ltd. a review on his site of choice when it’s appropriate.
Next, Van puts his online reputation right on his quotes as a testimony to Trust Home Comfort Ltd.’s service.
Reviews help Van get his company discovered, and they help him coach technicians based on customer feedback.
Another option for getting client reviews is to include a link to your preferred review platform of choice in your automated follow-up email.
READ MORE: Use this 4-step process to get more reviews for your HVAC business.
7. Create a client referral program
A basic referral program is a great way to reward loyal customers and get your foot in the door with new ones. When you start your referral program, you can offer an incentive to satisfied customers that’s paid out when they refer a new client to you.
Why you need a customer referral program
Referral programs can be your strongest marketing channel as they encourage more word of mouth sales.
They also help you pinpoint your most loyal customers and the ones who’ve referred your HVAC services to other customers.
This helps you continue to grow those strong customer relationships, plus it’s important for your bottom line; repeat customers cost 5x less to acquire.
Referral programs can also increase your return on investment (ROI) over time. Let’s say you offer a $50 gift card to a coffee shop when a referee books a service. That’s a cost-effective way to get business and a customer who will most likely return. When you get a loyal, returning customer out of it, $50 will seem like a modest price to pay.
HVAC referral program ideas
There are a ton of ways you can offer your clients incentives to provide you with referrals. It’s just about finding the right one for your business.
For example, HVAC business owner Van Wu says he offers $100 in cash or credit per closed sale for client referrals. It’s a way for him to leverage his biggest fans and find new customers who have already heard good things about the business.
You can offer this as an option to all of your existing clients, include it on your website, use it within your contractor network, or share promotional flyers with the details around town.
You can also change your referral program depending on the season. In the summer, you might want to tailor your offer to match the demand: air conditioning services.
For example, you can offer referees $50 off their next AC maintenance and have a similar offer in the summer with furnaces.
Use this customer referral program idea guide to help you get cracking.
8. Bring in more work with a lead generation site
Contractor lead generation websites offer consumers a way to find the best and most trustworthy home service businesses in their area.
Anyone who searches Google for a home service provider in their city has high odds of finding links to lead generation sites, with recommendations from other homeowners.
It works like this: When homeowners search for HVAC services, they could potentially discover your company on any of these sites, do some research on your website, and then book a service with you.
Lead generation sites bring your business added exposure on search engines and it can be a strong lead generation opportunity.
Find the right lead generation website for you
Because there are lots of different sites to choose from and experiment with, it can feel impossible to decide which is best for your business.
Thankfully, we have this handy lead generation for contractors website guide to help you look at your options and decide which lead generation site is right for you.
We also have other resources you can use to compare specific lead generation websites and help guide your decision:
9. Test HVAC PPC ads
Digital advertisements are one of the most effective advertising methods out there right now. They’re great because you can display your ad to the right audience in your geographic location based on their preferences and needs.
For example, you can use Google Ads to display pay per click (PPC) ads to people who search for “HVAC contractor Denver” and try to get them to your website.
One downside to Google PPC ads is they can be pricey for the HVAC industry. For example, if you ran an ad targeting the search term “HVAC Denver,” it would cost $46.04 each time someone clicks on the ad. The term “furnace repair denver” would cost you $70.28 each click!
Remember: you’re paying for clicks, but these visitors might never actually become leads.
10. Take advantage of Google LSAs
Local Services Ads (LSA) are a type of digital ad that cater to local businesses in certain industries, HVAC included. Google LSA appears above organic search results and Google Ads on Google when making a search.
Local Services ads are only available for certain regions in the U.S. and Canada, but luckily Google is expanding this.
Local service ads and Google Ads sound similar but here’s how they’re different:
- You manage each service using a different platform
- You use different advertising budgets
- With Google LSA, you pay per lead, not per click (CPC). So, you don’t pay whenever someone clicks on your ad in search results. You only pay when you have a phone call from a qualified lead.
- Local service ads appear above Google Ads in the search results. That means they are more prominent and more likely to be clicked.
If you’re new to Google LSA and want to learn more, we have a whole guide on how to get started with LSA for your HVAC business.
11. Turn your customer service into a marketing strategy
Although the value that your HVAC business brings to your clients isn’t exactly a marketing strategy at first glance, it can easily become one.
Van Wu explains that his customer service strategy is the main selling point for his customers and leads. It’s what convinces people to pick up the phone and request his team to do their next service call. Trust Home Comfort Ltd.’s value is customer service, and it’s what drives his word of mouth marketing engine.
“Building a good reputation online and offline pays off. I’d say that 40% of jobs come from referrals based on our customer service,” says Van.
“Normally customers are mistreated by tradespeople because they think they know more than them, yet they lack good customer service skills to treat them well.”
When you master your value add, you can use it as a marketing machine. You can go beyond expectations by being helpful, completing extra services for free, and giving product recommendations (which is also a valuable opportunity for your team to upsell).
12. Brand your vehicles
Vehicle decals are essential for HVAC professionals who are constantly running between service calls. You’re always out in the field, so why not make that work for you? Your van could be a free ad billboard for you when you’re on the road, parked at a grocery store, or in your client’s driveway for a service call.
You can design the decals yourself, or get a professional to design vehicle decals for you. First decide what you want to include on the vehicle: your business name, logo, contact information, slogan, and your best selling point (i.e satisfaction guarantee or financing).
Next, get accurate vehicle measurements (make sure you know what car model you’re driving!). This will help you avoid driving around with a cut off or illegible decal.
Next, choose the color scheme. Use a bright color that contrasts well with your vehicle color, yet remains legible. For example, green writing on an orange background won’t be easy to read. Stick with a white or black background and a couple of other colors in the foreground.
Finally, look for a local design and print shop that can either design or print the project. A professional designer will be able to create a well-rendered, accurately designed decal for you to use. They might even be able to install it for you too!
If you’re willing to give it a go (and are experienced with graphic design or know a great designer) you can actually complete the vehicle wrap or decal project on your own. Take some advice from this vinyl decals expert if you decide to try it out.
13. Use branded stickers for heating and cooling systems
One of the best ways to market your HVAC business for repeat customers is to use plenum stickers. Vinyl stickers are easy and cheap to print, and you can stick them right where it counts and where your clients will see it: on the plenum!
Make sure to include your contact information and company name on the sticker so your client always knows to contact you when they try and troubleshoot their furnace or AC. Stick your stickers whenever you complete a service call, maintenance visit, or arrange a service agreement with your clients.
14. Invest in business cards and flyers
Handing out business cards is a no brainer, but don’t forget to invest in a well-designed business card that stands out. The same goes with flyers. The only difference is the level of convenience.
If you need some tips on how to create an HVAC business card, check out our detailed guide.
Flyers take a bit more time and dedication to drive around town and place them strategically (in community centres, on community boards, in hardware stores, on the perfect light post, etc.)
Business cards are pretty easy because you can simply keep a few in your wallet and hand them out if you’re around town, at a networking event, or when you’re in a new neighbourhood.
Flyers are relatively cheap to print out––you can do it at home, or have them printed professionally (which would be a bit more expensive.) Business cards are also an inexpensive marketing tactic (depending on what you decide to print and the quality of your prints).
There are tons of great graphic design websites online that offer free templates, like Canva, Looka, and some of these services also offer printing too, like Vistaprint, and Moo. These templated options will take the guesswork out of the design process for you.
For a less hands-on approach, don’t be afraid to go local and reach out to a few of your city’s local print shops for business print and design quotes.
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15. Upsell your services by marketing to clients onsite
Upselling your services is not exactly “marketing,” but you can use upselling to replace some marketing efforts, and also use it to market your services. Upselling costs less money and takes less time than ads and promotional marketing materials do.
Marc Brewer, the owner of DALCO HVAC, believes that upselling should be a crucial part of your HVAC marketing strategy. In Mar’s opinion, upselling is an opportunity to showcase other services for free. Van Wu believes that upselling can contribute to the majority of your company’s revenue.
It’s great because you’re able to market your services right to your customers, answer their questions, and convince them to buy a higher-priced package or service.
Plus, you’re catching your customers at a good time because they might not be shopping around for more services at that moment.
Marc gives his expertise on two upselling strategies for you to try:
Quote higher than your competitors but always offer price matching.
“If you come out with a higher-priced quote you can try and maximize profit dollars. You can always offer competitor price matching. Rather than just offering a cheap deal right out of the gate, you can negotiate towards it. Negotiating makes you look easier to work with and more professional down the road. Plus it opens the door to upselling services down the line.”
Get your service techs to sell rather than ads or salespeople.
“I can get more out of service tech lead in comparison to a marketing lead. People trust techs more than salespeople. Techs can sell right at the front door, and on the job site. Plus, there’s no competition with a service call lead. Either the tech was called to come over, or the tech calls the customer to do a maintenance update.
Marketing leads come from ads, and that’s when prospects are shopping around for service providers. These leads are trying to maximize their bang for buck. Marketing leads are way more expensive and you’re dealing with informed customers.”