Business Website, digital marketing, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, Nurturing, Online Appointment Booking, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, service contractor leads

Phone Etiquette Achieves Higher Sales

Phone Tips from an Experienced Customer Service Representative

by Devon Osborne

The way you conduct yourself on the phone with potential customers can be the determining factor in whether you get the job or not. Proper phone etiquette may seem straightforward, but it can be easy to slip up and speak to potential customers or business partners as you would speak with a friend. Making an outstanding first impression, in a good way, of course, will help you convert more jobs. 

Dos

  • Answer the phone with a professional greeting. Introduce yourself & your company 
    • Customers want to know whether or not they’ve reached the proper party as soon as possible. Start your conversation off on the right foot with a professional greeting like: “Hi this is [name] with [company], how may I help you?”
  • Return calls quickly
    • Missing calls is something that is bound to happen, but it is important to return calls promptly. A good rule of thumb is to try and respond to missed calls within 24 hours, but the sooner the better! If you have difficulty being available to answer calls, consider hiring a receptionist or using an automated process for responding to missed calls such as this one.
  • Speak clearly
    • Don’t Mumble! You want your customer to be able to hear what you’re saying, don’t you? Speaking clearly and confidently can help avoid unnecessary frustration and build trust with the customer.
  • Listen to what the customer is saying, take notes, & don’t interrupt
    • Why are you answering the call if you’re too busy to actively listen to the customer’s needs? Having a conversation with someone who is not listening is maddening. Agree on a time that you both can speak and call back. 
  • Be kind
    • Would you choose a company to work with if they were rude to you? No. Being kind is an easy thing to do and it goes a long way. Just be nice!
  • Eliminate background noise
    • If you’re in a noisy environment, make it a point to move to a quieter place. 

Don’ts

  • Don’t use unprofessional language
    • This should be a given, but please don’t use unprofessional language like cursing. This is a professional phone call you’re on, so you should act like it. 
  • Don’t make it complicated
    • Asking customers to text you their address or asking them to call YOU back at a more convenient time is off-putting. When you make it complicated for them to get the information they need from you, they will seek it elsewhere.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or chew gum
    •  If you were face to face with the person on the other line, would you do this right into their ears? Hopefully not. Swallow the mouthful of food or drink that’s in your mouth before picking up and take a quick break from eating for the entirety of the call.
  • Don’t use the bathroom
    • If you’re using the bathroom and get a call, please don’t answer the phone. Finish up your business and call the person right back, believe me, they’ll appreciate it. You may think you’re being discreet, but I can promise you that they know.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep
    • It is always best to be upfront and honest with potential and current clients. If there are things that you know aren’t possible, or are not entirely sure of, be very clear about that in the beginning. Making false promises with customers never ends well and can land you a negative review.

digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, SEO, service contractor leads

How to Close More Sales: Quick Strategies for Service Contractors

Try These 3 Strategies Now to Win More Business

Do you notice some of your competitors seem to stay busier than you? You may even know that they cut corners, use uninsured workers, or lower quality materials than you do. Wonder how they manage to get more jobs? First, it may simply be that they are investing more in advertising and lead generation. It may just be a difference in lead volume. If that’s the case, there are steps you can take to compete with them online. 

However, there are also immediate steps you can take now that are simple and effective. Competition among local service contractors is tighter than ever. How can you make your business stand out and stay “top of mind” with your potential customers? 

We’ve outlined three areas where you can have an immediate and substantial impact. Impress your potential customers and win more business by following these guidelines. 

1. Perfect Your Presentation

Your appearance: It may seem obvious, but first impressions really are critical. People often decide within seconds if they find you trustworthy. It doesn’t take much to win over your prospective clients. Always carry an extra clean shirt, a stick of deodorant, and a comb in your vehicle and spruce up before you pay a visit to give an estimate. If you’re a smoker, keep that clean shirt in a Ziploc bag and have a stick of gum handy. Last, don’t forget to greet your customers on time and with a warm smile.

Your pitch: Before you arrive to give a quote, call or text your customer to let them know you are on your way. This not only impresses them, but also reminds them to be there and ready for you. The team at 99 Calls vets the lead calls that our customers receive and we’re always amazed at the number of clients who have to call the contractors because they didn’t show for an appointment. If you end up running late, no big deal. It happens, but keep your prospects informed!

After you introduce yourself, and exchange greetings, be prepared to give a short pitch or elevator speech about yourself and your business. Successful business owners often let the customer know about their experience, any certifications earned, and other points that will put a customer at ease. Do you run background checks on employees? Are you going to be present at the job site? Let them know. If you have a reference list, give them a copy. Some contractors arrive with a 3-ring binder with photos of jobs they’ve completed. 

Demonstrate that you hear them: Be sure to listen and take notes when the customer is describing their issue and what they would like to do to resolve it. Be prepared to give suggestions on how the issue can be resolved in the most cost-effective and efficient way. Once they have shown you what they want to be quoted, be sure to ask questions to clarify your understanding. Then repeat to them what you heard so there is no miscommunication.

2. Polish Your Proposal

Quick turnarounds impress. Provide your prospective customer with a written (electronic) quote within 24 hours of your visit. If you really want to impress them and have quoting software, work up the estimate on your tablet right after you leave and send it in an email within an hour. If you really, really want to impress them, send a text message letting them know you’ve just emailed their quote! Be sure to include those finer details on the estimate that the customer brought up during the appointment.

Offer 2-3 choices. Rather than giving them the option to go with you or go with a competitor, offer 2-3 options for getting the job done. Order them in terms of cost, time estimates for completion, and complexity and give reasons why each could solve their problem. When giving 3 options, make the second seem the most favorable or the most valuable solution. People like to choose a practical solution, one that will save them money but still give them a quality product. Consumers are always searching for the best value they can find. Make it easy to choose yours.

3. Be Persistent

Persistence pays. Over 90% of contractors do not follow up on their estimates. They wait for the customer to call them. If you are telling yourself, “If they want the job done, they will call me.”, you are missing out on many opportunities! People get busy. They forget. The project goes on the back burner. What brings it back to an urgent issue? Often, either the item finally breaks beyond repair, or a contractor contacts them at the right time and gets the “yes”. How can you be that contractor? Follow up. By phone and email and text.

Yes, people are being bombarded every day with solicitors emailing and texting and the old 7-touch rule of sales may be overdoing it but people still need “touches” or reminders. A gentle nudge that they need the service done and especially that you’re the right person to do it can make all the difference. There is nothing wrong with following up the next day by phone to ensure they received the emailed quote. Then, send a quick text 3-4 days later to ask if they have any questions. Try again in 10 days to two weeks to let them know you’ve got some time coming up on your schedule. Most customers do not find well-timed follow-ups annoying. They often appreciate the reminders. And when they do decide to get the work done, guess which contractor is first on their mind?

On Getting More Leads

The steps outlined here are meant to be simple techniques that can be executed quickly. The results will be immediate. What was not touched on was potentially the most impactful (and most challenging) way to close more sales, which is to get more leads to bid on. If you close 25% of the jobs you bid on and you give quotes on four jobs per week, you’ll likely win one new job each week. Double your lead volume and you’ll double your sales. Here is more information on getting more leads by investing in lead generation

Business Website, digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, Online Appointment Booking, online marketing, online marketing costs, service contractor leads

Should I Add an Appointment Booking System to My Website?

Pros and Cons of Using Online Calendar Booking for Lead Generation Sites

by Diane Lovine

The team at 99 Calls has increasingly been asked about online calendar bookings for lead generation sites. Many service contractors are utilizing appointment scheduling software for their lead generation websites. Most often, small businesses report using appointment-setting features to allow customers to schedule free consultations.

The Cons of Adding Online Calendar Booking Features

Some home and business services contractors choose not to add this new technology to their sites. The main reasons cited are concerns that it will be too complicated to manage by their team and their customers. Often, this stems from the contractor not having technical experience or access to a web consultant or software developer. After all, a calendar for booking appointments on your website will need to sync with the calendar used by office staff so that you don’t end up overbooked. The best remedy is to purchase a calendar booking tool and have someone else manage it. Many lead generation companies now offer calendar booking as part of a service package.

Another concern expressed by contractors is that using an appointment setting feature to book an appointment for a quote is less personal than speaking directly with the customers. If you are a contractor who is available and prefers to answer the phone each time it rings, you may want to continue with the personal touch that you offer. 

The Pros of Adding Online Calendar Booking Capabilities 

Although there are a few valid concerns regarding adding this technology to websites, the pros overwhelmingly outweigh them. There are many reasons why giving customers the option to book a repeat service or an appointment for a quote makes sense.

The top reason for adding online appointment booking capability to lead sites is that it adds convenience both for contractors and their customers. Most service contractors run small businesses and the office staff is not always available to answer incoming calls. Contractors are working in the field and often can’t pause what they are doing to answer calls. The result is missed calls, which results in missed business opportunities and ultimately, lost revenue. 

Another benefit of installing an appointment calendar is that it makes businesses more accessible to potential customers during off-hours. People are often searching for home services during evenings and weekends when service businesses are closed. Providing them with the ability to book an appointment for an in-home or even over-the-phone quote is simple for them and means their search for a contractor may end with you! 

In order to keep up with today’s consumer demands, the question becomes “How” to add a calendar, rather than “Whether” to add one. Installing and maintaining online appointment scheduling programs can be expensive, so you’ll want to shop around. Some businesses report spending $199 per month on the service. With some research, you’ll be able to find a service that can work with your existing website and provide support at a fair price. 

Due to high demand from our clients, 99 Calls now offers a calendar booking feature that can be customized and added to websites. The maintenance fee of the calendar feature is just $29 per month. Click here to learn more. 

Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, SEM, SEO, service contractor leads

The Importance of Content for Lead Generation

by Devon Osborne

Updating your website and listings regularly with unique content plays a large role when it comes to lead generation. With online competition growing more year after year, businesses need to find more ways to set themselves apart and outrank the others. 

How Does Adding Content Actually Help?

Having an attractive website is only a small step when it comes to SEO lead generation. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant and valuable search results. Therefore, it is recommended that content should be informative, valuable, credible, high-quality, and engaging. More information on the types of content Google values can be found here. Consistently creating relevant content is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle if you want to easily be found by prospective customers. 91% of people will not search past the first page of results. Therefore it is of utmost importance that your website is ranking highly on that first page.

Google rewards businesses that are regularly updating their website and listings with fresh content with higher rankings. When you add new content, Google will crawl your website, giving you the opportunity to increase your rankings each time you update it with quality, relevant content. This is not to say that you should go and make unnecessary, irrelevant changes or updates to your site, that is not what search engines are looking for. Adding relevant content also allows you to add more search keywords which is another great way to improve your rankings.

Search engines are not the only ones that want to see fresh content on your website, consumers do as well. Stock photos alone may look nice on your site, but before choosing someone to do the job, your customers want to know what kind of work you do. Content is a great way to show off your expertise and feature the awesome work that you do. When customers see this, it will help you stand out from your competition.

Examples of Good Content

When it comes to creating relevant content for your website, you may not know where to begin. We have identified a few simple ideas to help you out! 

  1. Photos of your work: Help showcase the great work you do with before/after photos. 
  2. Customer testimonial videos: Show potential customers why they should call you.
  3. Running a promotion: Who doesn’t love a deal? 
  4. Adding an “about us” section to your website: This is a great way to share your story and gain trust with prospective customers.
digital marketing, Google Ads, How much is online marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, online marketing costs, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC, service contractor leads, Uncategorized

Which Service Industry Businesses Perform Best on Google Ads? How Does Your Conversion Rate Compare?

A Study of Conversion Rates for 20 Service Industries 

by Diane Lovine

As a Google Premier Partner that specializes in generating local leads for contractors nationwide, we’ve been keenly observing the changes that have been taking place with PPC marketing. We have monitored changes in the effectiveness of running Google Ads Campaigns to generate leads. Over the past couple of years, we have seen unprecedented fluctuations in levels of success. Some businesses are reporting banner years and others have shuttered for good. 

Pricing Increases Have Sidelined Some Businesses

Several factors have contributed to recent pricing surges for PPC advertising on Google. Increased online competition and inflation are the two main culprits.

Over the past two years, the market has become flooded with contractors willing and needing to get themselves found on the first page of Google. The importance of being seen is critical. The result of this influx of new businesses paying for Ads is steeper competition than ever, which is driving prices up. Many contractors are feeling the effects of the increased cost of doing business using Google Ads. Newer businesses that are not yet established find it even more daunting to get the cost-effective leads necessary to acquire their first customers. 

However, Google Ads is still one of the most effective growth strategies available. The findings in a March 2022 study found that Google Ads was still a less expensive marketing option than Facebook and Linkedin. When done well, Google Ads still produces a solid ROI for service contractors. 

Industry-specific data collected during the first five months of 2022 corroborate these findings and will be presented below.

Measuring Conversion Rate Results

Why do we use conversion rates as a measure of success with Google Ads? Pricing per lead for a given industry varies greatly by region, level of competition, consumer demand, and many other factors. 

Knowing what a contractor pays per lead only gives a small piece of the picture. In order to understand if a lead was a good value, you’d also need to know how much he or she paid for that lead. To get that number, you’d need to know the number of clicks that occurred and out of those clicks, the number of phone calls or forms filled out. That’s the conversion rate. Read more on why conversion rate matters. 

To sum it up, the two main reasons for knowing your conversion rate matter are that you need this information in order to understand your return on marketing investment. You also need to know the conversion rate that your marketing company is delivering and compare that to others to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Ads management budget. Not all online marketing companies are the same, and the ones that can deliver the highest conversion rates for your campaigns are getting you the best value (high lead volume for low prices).

Google Ads PPC Conversion Rate Analysis 

The Team at 99 Calls collected and analyzed data from 20 of its top-performing industries on the Google Ads PPC program. Over 125,000 clicks and 28,000 leads were analyzed by industry.

Professions With the Worst (Lowest) Conversion Rates  with PPC

The good news is that even the industries that use 99 Calls for Ads management that got the lowest conversion rates (HVAC and Restoration) were still seeing conversion rates of 10% and 12% respectively. Cost per lead came in at and below industry averages ($182 and $280 respectively). For the water damage restoration industry, contractors often pay $250 to $500 per exclusive damage lead. It is our experience that HVAC, Water Damage Restoration, General Contractor, and Commercial Cleaning industries see the most formidable competition online, and consequently demonstrate lower conversion rates than other industries.

How Did this Compare With Average Conversion Rates for Ads?

The team found it inspiring that those industries that garnered the lowest conversion rates on our program are still racking in leads at price per lead lower than the industry averages and with conversion rates much higher than industry averages. According to an article by popupsmart.com, the national average conversion rate for all PPC campaigns is just 2.35%. Just looking at Google’s Search network and not Display Ads, which tend to have much lower conversion rates, the average conversion rate increases to 4.4% according to Wordstream and Unbounce. 

These companies recommend aiming for 10% or higher to get a “good” conversion rate. So if the “worst” results are converting above the average, which are the best converting industries on Google Ads? 

Which Industries Get the Best Conversion Rates Using Google Ads?

The 99 Calls team collected click and conversion rate data for its 20 top industries managed using Google Ads campaigns. The chart below shows data for each of the 20 industries. 

Leading the pack with conversion rates were Appliance Repair (31%), Moving Services (31%), Carpet Cleaning (27%), and Pressure Washing (27%). Conversion rates this high bring in solid ROI for businesses because higher conversion rates translate into lower costs per lead. The respective price per lead received from each of the four top performers above were $18, $40, $34, and $34 per lead. 

Are Google Ads a Good Investment? 

Although the competition on Google to be shown at the top of searches has increased dramatically over the past 18 months which has driven up the price per click, we have found that the advertising service contractor business on Google Ads is still an excellent value. 

Of course, results vary widely among online marketing companies. Some charge high monthly fees and some cut into your budget by taking money off the top to cover their services. Some charge a flat monthly service fee, often a percentage of the budget. For example, 99 Calls provides Google Ads management services for $150 or 15% of the total monthly budget. Be sure to shop around and find the best value for your business. If a company can’t tell you their average conversion rates or give clear expectations, keep looking! 

Business Website, digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, SEM, SEO, service contractor leads, Uncategorized

Multiple Business Websites: Harmful or Beneficial?

by Diane Lovine and Danielle Giarrusso

What is the impact of having more than one website?

Does it increase your visibility online? Does it confuse your customers?

There is conflicting information about whether using a multiple domain strategy (having two or more websites) will hurt or help a business. Often, the information is based on assumptions about the content and setup of the sites. Here are the facts:

Some lead generation companies say that a second site is a bad idea. Here are some of the arguments that have been made against having multiple websites:

1.   “Having multiple websites produces duplicate content (a big no-no for Google rankings).”

Having two sites with very similar content (or the same content) is definitely harmful. You will almost surely suffer losses in your rankings for both sites.

However, if you have a lead generation site with entirely different content than your branded site, pages from each site have the potential to rank highly, which improves your odds for a more expansive online presence.

2.   “Promoting multiple websites will confuse your customers.”

When people search for the services you provide on Google, they don’t know about you. A lead generation site is built to rank highly and present you as an option to them. Most branded sites don’t rank as highly as lead generation sites but are useful to your customers who are looking YOU up online.

Once you get that lead (probably through your lead site) and establish contact with the customer, you’ll hand out your business card which will take them to your direct phone number and branded site moving forward.

3.  “Using multiple websites will divide your results, weakening your rankings.”

It is true that having one authoritative presence online is ideal. But if your one presence is minuscule, it pays to make a bigger splash. The 99 Calls team builds sites that rank for a variety of keywords in multiple locations, almost always outranking a business’ primary website. The expectation is that your lead site will rank higher over time, and your original site will stay the same.

Other instances when a second site is warranted include having multiple small offices within a state or region and having multiple products or services that aren’t quite related. In these cases, having a targeted site for each circumstance makes sense.

A second (and third or more) site would be beneficial when targeting various geographic locations if you have a physical address for each location. If this is the case, having a “microsite” for each satellite office is beneficial. Google loves to show businesses that are extremely local to the searcher.

A second site is also beneficial if you promote multiple unrelated services. For example, if you are a licensed remodeling contractor and you sell real estate on the side, it makes sense to separate those services into two sites so that you can better target each service.

4.   “Promoting 2 sites for the same business will cause you to compete against yourself.”

If you have the same headings or are promoting the same keywords in the same location on two different sites, you are probably competing with yourself.

Would you rather compete against yourself or your competitors? Adding a lead site gives you the potential to dominate the first page of Google, knocking a competitor back to page 2!

5.   “Having two websites will get you in trouble with Google.”

Not quite. Multiple listings in the same town for the same business is definitely problematic though! 

If you build listings, especially a Google Business Profile that use the same address or phone number for the same business, you are putting your online presence in jeopardy. You can only have one Google Business Profile in a given geographic location.

The bottom line:

If your primary website is not generating enough leads, hiring a reputable lead generation company that uses a second site for leads can be a smart strategy for growth.

A multiple domain marketing strategy is more expensive, but if the ROI is high, you are maximizing your marketing budget and your potential to optimize your lead volume! You may own a larger slice of the first-page real estate on Google and enjoy more inbound leads as a result.

99 Calls has been selected as a Google Partner and utilizes a unique SEO strategy to get businesses highly ranked in their local areas for the services they offer.

digital marketing, Google Ads, How much is online marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, online marketing costs, Pay Per Click Advertising, service contractor leads, Uncategorized

What is a DBA and Do I Need One?

DBA stands for “Doing Business As”. It is not the same thing as an LLC or a Corporation. In fact, it’s not a business entity at all. Rather, a DBA is a label. It’s a filing with your state to get permission to operate under a different name than your own. DBAs do not provide any extra liability protection for your business. Sole proprietors and corporations often file a DBA as a means to get permission to operate under a specific name. If you own a sole proprietorship and plan to claim your Google business listing or run a Google Ads campaign, yes, you’ll want to file. The good news is that it’s quick and inexpensive. 

Limitations of DBAs

Filing a DBA will not protect you or your family from liability. A DBA is also not a business entity; you would need to file as a corporation or a partnership with your secretary of state (which is a good idea but not covered in this post). Last, filing a DBA will not block someone else from using the same business name. In order to keep your business name to yourself, you’d need to file a trademark or register your sole proprietorship as a corporation or partnership. 

Why Register a DBA?

So it’s not a separate business and doesn’t offer protection. Why should I file a DBA? There are several benefits to spending a few minutes and a few bucks to file your DBA with your state. Because we are in the lead generation business and work to optimize GBPs (Google Business Profiles) regularly, the team at 99 Calls will tell you that’s the biggest reason to register. Google’s requirements to verify a business profile have become much more stringent. They want proof that you are who you say you are, and showing your registered DBA is one of the documents that will meet their requirements. Keep in mind that the address that you use to register your DBA must be the same one you use on your Google Business Profile. Other benefits to filing a DBA include the ability to operate your business under a different name. DBAs give you an affordable way to increase your flexibility. For example, if you started your business under a different name, but you decided you don’t like it or it no longer fits your branding or you want to run a different service under a different name, filing a DBA is the means to get permission from your state to operate under a different name. Most states charge around $50 to file. You will need to maintain your DBA registration if you plan to continue using the name on legal documents and bank accounts. 

For more information on filing a DBA for your business, see this state-by-state resource or call the friendly lead generation team at 99Calls.com at 800-717-4669.

Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Leads, service contractor leads

How to Get More Roof Replacement Leads

 (Or Why Do I Keep Getting Roof Repair Leads?)

Most roofers set their sights on getting inbound leads for roof replacements, or commercial roof installations: the most sought-after types of roofing leads. What some business owners fail to realize is that roof repair leads can be equally as valuable to a growing business. 

We get these questions a lot! “Why do I keep getting leads for roof repairs when I really want replacement calls? So many calls for cracked shingles or shingles blown off in a storm are a waste of time. How do I get more roof installation or full replacement leads?”

Limitations of Roofing Lead Generation

Is your goal to grow your roofing business? Are you hoping to hone in on niche areas such as commercial only or roof replacement jobs?

Focusing a Google Ads or even an SEO campaign to exclusively target people who have an insurance claim or those calling from a business is near impossible to get right 100% of the time. Why? Because people often don’t search that specifically for what they are after. They have a problem or question in mind and they type it into their Google Browser. Things like “Roof repair” or “Roofing contractor near me” or “roofing services” are commonly used search terms. Also, keep in mind that many people are wishing that their roof troubles will require repair work rather than a full-blown reroof job! 

Roof repair leads are far more prevalent than preplacement

That’s where the expertise of the roofer (like you) comes in. If you aren’t willing to accept that pesky call about roof repairs, you may miss the fact that the roof is 40 years old or that it’s leaking in multiple places. All of these facts would come out during the phone investigation, or when you’re on-site taking a look at the damage. 

The purpose of online advertising is to put your company front and center, on the first page of a Google search for a good majority of times in the top position of searches in the paid ads section if you’re going that route, or in that coveted top position in the maps section or in the organic search results. A great online marketing company will get you there, positioned above your competition. They will include a compelling call to action, help you post social proof in the form of some great customer testimonials and include photos of your work – anything to build confidence in the potential buyer so that you are seen as the guy who can solve his roofing problem. 

Why Take the Roof Repair Leads?

Once that call is made or email is sent (AKA you got the lead), the rest is up to you. You’ll use your professionalism to ask the right questions to determine the size and scope of the roofing job. You’ll want to know the age and status of the roof and what occurred. You can then decide if you’d like photos sent or whether it makes sense to go out and have a look. You’ll also be first in line if it is determined that the roof has served out its useful life and it’s time for a replacement. And if you’ve been easy to work with up to that point, you will probably land the job. 

Why Waiting For Replacement Jobs Leaves Money on the Table

Of course, those re-roof leads are gold. The lifetime value of a replacement job is way higher than a couple of repairs. However, the ROI on your investment may be just as good.

For example, for a reroof, you’ve got to send a whole team, cover transportation and breaks for all of them. It’s big money and usually done within one day or two. Roof repairs can be done by one tech or a team of two, faster and with less down time and travel time. If charged appropriately, the return can be just as high. 

 

Factors to Consider With Roofing Jobs

Lead Cost: The average lead for a roof installation is Roof repair leads are often far less expensive to buy than installation leads. For example, the nationwide average lead cost for roof repairs is between $42 and $64 each. The average cost of a residential roof replacement lead with most lead generation companies is $100 – $180. The team at 99 Calls generates exclusive organic roofing leads for a flat rate of $49 each, whether repair or replacement. Why the lower flat rate? We don’t expect you to trust marketing companies to develop customer relationships! That’s your area of expertise! We leave it up to the professional contractors to answer the live calls and close the deals. 

Lead prices using PPC are far less predictable than with organic channels. The average cost of a roofing lead via Google Ads PPC campaigns with 99 Calls is $97.

Revenue: It is very true that roof installation jobs generate much more money than roof repairs. The average roof replacement brings in $12,000, where the average roof repair comes in at $980. And those small repair jobs generally bring in just $350. That said, you’d much rather handle a reroof a day than go out on 5 repair jobs, right? It all depends. Revenue alone doesn’t give the whole picture. What matters at the end of the day is the amount that stays in your bank account (AKA profit margin).

Profit Margin: By the time you pay your labor force and the cost of supplies, many contractors have little left. An article posted from roofing.com claims that the biggest problem roofing contractors face is underbidding jobs and not making enough profits. The average profit margin on a new roof is between 6% and 10%. There isn’t much room to raise pricing on a roof installation. The competition is fierce and many people underbid themselves because there’s always someone willing to bid lower to win the job. Many commercial jobs, especially if they are municipalities, are required to go with the lowest bid. When a roofer wins a job with a low margin, they’ve got to go very lean on labor and supplies and the temptation to make cuts is very real. 

How to Win With Roof Repairs

The bidding for roof repairs is often different. According to Forbes, the price to complete roof repairs is often a fraction of the cost for installs. The cost of supplies is far lower. There are also many times more roof repair jobs available than replacement jobs, and competition is much lower. A professional roofing contractor who goes after roof repair jobs can often name his price, and it’s usually bid based on an hourly rate + materials. By charging by the hour (or at least basing your bid on an hourly rate), you get to set your own profit margin. You know what your labor costs are per hour, and you can add the cost of materials needed. 

What does all this mean? That you can earn more money with less time and a leaner labor force by working those roof repair leads. Completing 4 roof repair leads can bring in close to $4000. Completing one roof installation can bring in $10,000. But what if your profit margin is 25% on the repairs and 10% on the installation (which would be typical)? Your profit on the repairs and on the installation is $1000. In the end, roof repairs offer less revenue by higher margins. 

Additional benefits of taking on roof repair leads: 

  • Saying “yes” to the job gets your foot in the door to get called back for additional work. This will build your customer base and work pipeline.  
  • Roof repair jobs can keep bringing in a good flow of revenue, even during the slower times of the year.
  • Profit margins may still be robust if you’ve got smaller, more agile crews
  • Keeping great workers on your payroll by filling days up with roof repairs will keep them happy and gainfully employed.
  • Roof repairs are great for the bottom line of a growing business
  • Is your team equipped to install gutters, siding or windows? If you provide other kinds of exterior remodeling this is your chance to upsell the customer or give them the benefit of your expert services.

Sometimes waiting for the perfect job to come along causes us to pass on lucrative opportunities in front of us. Next time you receive a call for a roof repair, think twice before turning it down. Give those less than idea leads that come your way a chance; you never know what can come of them! 

For more information on local lead generation for roofers, contact customercare@99calls.com.

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Don’t Freeze Your Leads This Winter:

3 Mistakes Contractors Should Avoid as the Slower Season Begins

Fall marks the beginning of the slower season for many contractors. The period between Mid November through the New Year yields far fewer consumers looking to remodel, move or expand. People are gearing up for the holidays and the new year ahead. Add to that the uncertainty that COVID has unleashed, and the supply chain issues that have slowed the market even further, and you may be looking at a lean winter. 

There are several common mistakes that contractors make when tighter times approach. It may seem to make sense to cut back, lay off and lay low to avoid any unnecessary expenses, but savvy contractors utilize these quieter months to build. This keeps revenue channels open and puts businesses in a prime position to enjoy exponential growth when the hot season begins.

Top Three Slow-Season Mistakes: 

  1. Scale way back on marketing – It might seem prudent to cut your marketing budget as the season comes to a close. However, when the number of booked jobs on the schedule begins to decrease, this is an excellent time to review your marketing strategy and trim out the efforts that aren’t yielding results. 
  • If you are losing money on print, it may be time to pause or halt that marketing.
  • If you are paying more for leads that you are making in jobs, it may be time to find a new lead company.  There are lead generation businesses that only charge for their performance, meaning the leads they actually produce. 
  • Google Ads may also be a viable short-term option for increasing lead volume into the winter. The team at 99 Calls is still seeing a 15 – 20% conversion rate on Google Ads campaigns. Google Ads marketing allows contractors to target specific services in selected areas so that you can get more done with a smaller budget. 

There are plenty of opportunities there to gain some leads, win new jobs, and keep your team on the payroll. 

  1. Cut back on labor – Because there is a general shortage of qualified, motivated laborers in the workforce nationwide today, if you are lucky enough to have them on your team, now is not the time to furlough or lay them off. 
  • Do what you can to keep those smaller jobs coming in, even if at lower profit margins to keep your valued workers gainfully employed.  
  • We all prefer the big jobs and/or recurring business, but those smaller gigs often lead to larger, more valuable jobs in the future.
  • Not only are you contributing to your employees’ livelihood, but you are building trust and loyalty. See #1 above for ideas on getting those smaller, one-off jobs to keep your calendar full and your people working.
  1. Take it easy and chill for the winter – It may be tempting to take a long winter nap, but here are a couple of things to do before you decide to take that much-needed vacation or rest after a busy summer. 
  • Take a look at your SEO efforts. Are you promoting the services that you offer in the winter months now? It takes time for new content to get indexed and start ranking on Google. Now is the time to promote the services you want to offer in February and March. 
  • Contact current customers and offer a discount when they book winter services. 
  • Plan your 2022 budget. What are your goals for the new year in terms of growth, revenue, advertising? 
  • Take time in the slower weeks ahead to review what’s working, what isn’t and see where you can trim the fat. 
  • Take some of your summer profits and invest them in some solid targeted online marketing. Remember, smart online marketing is an investment, not an expense!
  • Once you’ve got these things in place, take a quick break – you’ll be recharged and ready to reap the rewards of your efforts!

If the thought of laser-focusing your marketing dollars and finding low-cost, high-value leads seems out of reach at the moment, consider trying the bundle program with 99 Calls. For a $349 price tag, you’ll get set up on SEO marketing which will grow over time, and a Google Ads campaign that can start working for you immediately. 

Get Started Here

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How to Maximize Roofing Leads: A Case Study of the First Three Months of Lead Generation for a Roofing Contractor in Ohio 

by Kerri Wilkinson and Diane Lovine

Background Information and Presenting Problem

The owner of Northcoast Roof Repair, Tabetha Pierce, found 99 Calls in April of 2021 during a Google search of roofing lead generation providers. After reading about the company and checking out the positive reviews, she decided to call and learn more. Tabetha reported frustration with other roofing lead companies she tried in the past. She had not found success with any of them and felt that her direct needs were not being addressed. Her goal was to maximize the number of quality inbound roofing leads for her company as quickly as possible. 

After discussing her goals and concerns with a roofing lead generation specialist, Tabetha decided to try the less expensive SEO lead generation services, for roofing leads, knowing that it would likely take several months to rank on Google and other searches and begin to receive leads. 

SEO and Organic Lead Site Development and Setup

Tabetha decided to give SEO Lead generation a try in early May and was very excited for help with growing her Ohio business. We reviewed her service offerings, business hours and specialties. From there, a site was built (https://northcoast-roof-repairs.com/) and made live within a couple of days. 

They wanted to focus on roof repair services in Ohio for all kinds of roofs including shingle, flat, and slate. They also offer 24/7 emergency repair services. The SEO site was customized around their goals with service pages that reflect their offerings, and a design to incorporate their brand. A logo, photos, and reviews from happy customers were placed on the site and within a couple of days, the site went live. 

99 Calls also took on managements of her listings, such as Google My Business, Yelp and Bing in order to fully optimize her total online presence and help the business rank highly on Google searches. Within just a few weeks, Northcoast Roof Repairs received 3 organic leads, which is rather uncommon, but can happen. Tabetha was so pleased that she called her lead specialist to inquire about the 99 Calls Google Ads PPC program in the second week of June. 

The organic lead generation performance between May 1 and August 30 are as follows: May: 3 leads, June: 1 lead, July: 2 leads and August: 3 leads. As of this writing, they have received 8 leads so far in the month of September. These results are just a bit higher than typical for an SEO lead generation program. It is our experience that over time, rankings increase and lead volume follows. 

Google Ads Setup and Campaign Development

After seeing the quick results of 99 Calls’ SEO campaign, Tabetha signed up for Google Ads as well in hopes of ramping up even faster. She started with a modest budget of $500.00 and wanted to specifically focus on roof repair leads for shingle and slate roofs. We set out to build a highly targeted campaign to focus on her goals and because of the low initial budget, had to be very careful to construct a comprehensive negative keyword list. Northcoast was thrilled to receive a lead on the very first day that the campaign was launched. Throughout the rest of the first month, they were able to garner 17 leads. They achieved this by increasing the budget several times as it was hit and had the confidence to do so once they were able to confirm the high quality of the leads and close several jobs. 

Initial Obstacles and Challenges

During the first month of the PPC campaign, Northcoast quickly received roofing leads and hit their $500.00 budget within the first couple of weeks. When customers reach their budget limit, the Ads campaign is automatically paused and they have the opportunity to keep the account paused or add more money to the budget. Once a positive ROI was established, Tabethy became more and more confident that she could safely increase the budget, but there were stops and starts as trust was established initially. 

PPC Roofing Lead Results

As Northcoast Roof Repairs found their footing and realized that their ROI was solid they decided to continue their progress throughout the month of June with an increased monthly budget of $1,000. Knowing that August is often a busy month and feeling solid about having enough help to handle the uptick in new customers, Tabetha decided to trust her instincts with 99 Calls and increased her budget to $1,600.00 for the month of August. This decision yielded a  total of 27 exclusive qualified leads in August and “raised the roof” for her expectations of what 99 Calls was able to do for her company. From 15 qualified leads with a late start in June to 21 exclusive leads in July, their August month was the best yet. 

Google Ads Performance Metrics for Northcoast Roof Repair June 9 – Sept. 11, 2021

  • Total Investment:     $4,755.17
  • Total Conversions:     63
  • Conversion Rate:     34%
  • Average Cost Per Lead: $75.47

For more information on Google Ads typical and exceptional conversion rates, see this article: https://blog.99calls.com/?s=conversion+rate

Summary of Results and Plan for Business Growth

During her first four months of organic lead generation services and her first three months of running Google Ads, Northcost received 9 organic leads and 27 leads from Google Ads. 99 Calls charges just $49 for exclusive roofing leads and was able to achieve PPC leads at $75 each. At these prices for qualified roofing leads, they would love to increase the budget and double, even triple results. However, the biggest obstacle at this time is labor. Tabetha states that she is constrained by the number of qualified roofing employees she can hire. Her immediate plan is to continue to service the leads she has while building her workforce. Once armed with enough roofers to service the leads coming in, Tabetha states that Northcoast Roof Repairs will be ready to increase their budget even further, and the lead team at 99 Calls is looking forward to the challenge!