8 Levers That Drive Demand When Search is Down

Gee, I Wonder What This Lever Does?
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Typically, we do a great job of keeping our schedule full, but being a weather-enhanced business, this mild winter in Northeast Ohio has affected all our trades including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.

In low demand months it's really hard to rely on PPC and LSA to drive leads because there is low demand. So that means less people are searching for your goods and services.

Online marketing tends to not work as well because that's a demand driven spend. So right now our LSAs aren't spending and our PPC isn't spending.

8 Levers to Drive Demand

Door Hangers

We printed a bunch of door hangers and sent our techs and apprentices out to hang them in targeted neighborhoods that we want to be working in or that we're already hitting with our other marketing. This brought immediate results and was a guerrilla marketing tactic we hadn't tried before. Very low cost.

It was the wages of whoever dropped them, and then the couple hundred bucks for printing. I thought that was kind of fun. Within 24 hours of starting this, we have already booked two jobs!

Targeted Email Blasts

We segment out our customer list with a variety of promos based on our open capacity on the board. So, if plumbing has too much open capacity, then we'll drop a plumbing promo. If HVAC has open capacity, we'll drop an HVAC promo.

This tactic consistently results in 10-20 appointments booked per email.

Membership Programs

Now this one's tough because you need to build a membership program. So if you haven't, then the news here is that you need to start!

Membership programs have been a game-changer for us, especially during our downtime from February to April. Scheduled contracted appointments help fill our open capacity. Our members receive several services each year, and that helps keep our techs busy!

Postcard Marketing

In low-demand months, we rely on postcards since online marketing tends to be less effective. We can basically spend the budget that we set aside for PPC and LSA that's not going to spend because there's low demand. We're currently increasing our postcard send-outs to compensate for low demand.

We started sending postcards out in December on a monthly basis. I wish we would have started this back in October, because it usually takes a few months of a customer receiving a postcard to take action.

We are just starting to see some of our postcard efforts pay off from December.

Outbound Calling

This is what is currently moving the needle the most for us right now. Outbound calling is huge for us. We book 20-30 appointments a day using this method, targeting previous customers with special promos.

The scripting is a little tight and you have to really train your folks who are used to inbounding on how to outbound because it can be complicated, but it’s worth it!

Yesterday we only received 300 inbound calls, but because of our memberships, we were able to outbound to 700 of our recurring customers to fill the board to capacity.

Inbound Call Promos

You know what's better than one lead is one lead serving up two leads.

So, if someone calls in with a plumbing appointment, we offer them a promo on electrical appointment. If someone calls in for electrical, we offer them a promo on HVAC. And round and round it goes.

This turns every lead into a potential referral source. Though we close only 20-30 percent of these, it's a significant boost to our bookings.

Sometimes we’ll waive service fee on quotes for system replacements if it means that there’s a high chance we’ll show up and get the sale.

Leveraging TikTok or Meta

Leveraging TikTok or Meta allows us to quickly drop promos or talk about our services during our down season. These strategies are crucial for filling our schedule, especially when traditional online advertising such as PPC and LSA are less effective due to decreased demand.

On TikTok, we were able to get some quick leads that were significantly cheaper than PPC by more than 50% of the cost.

SMS Blast

One Thursday morning, we sent out a SMS and within three hours we had 15 calls and five booked jobs! We targeted members who were due for an annual service. These actions are quick levers we pull to fill our schedule, particularly during our down season.

While LSAs and PPCs may not be as effective during low-demand months, these strategies help us maintain revenue and create demand independently.

If you get under the gun and are looking for ways to get revenue moving then look no further than any of these levers. Pull away!

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