Contractor Leads for Winter, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Uncategorized

How to Utilize Google Ads for Seasonal Marketing

Don’t Let Your Business Go Into Hibernation This Winter

by Devon Osborne

As the weather changes from season to season, everyone’s needs shift with them. If you’re in the dead of winter in New England, you’re likely not looking to paint the outside of your home or have it pressure washed. As fall approaches, contractors typically see their calendars less scheduled out. You may be wondering, “How can I keep my calendar booked with jobs during the winter months to keep my business afloat?”

SEO is not always enough to keep businesses busy in the colder months. Ranking organically takes time and effort and pre-planning. To be successful during “off” times, you need to be thinking about what services you want to push months in advance if you want to be seen on the first page of Google.  

If you have not modified your organic service offerings yet, all is not lost. Changing your service offerings with the seasons is a great way to keep a steady stream of revenue coming in for your business no matter what time of year. It takes just a little planning and strategy.

How Google Ads Can Help

Instead of letting your business hibernate this winter, try running a streamlined Google Ads campaign for your most profitable winter services. Doing so will help get your business to the first page much quicker. Pay Per Click Google Ads are a great tool for boosting your lead volume. By running an ads campaign, you will have the ability to promote your services more aggressively and keep your revenue stream flowing. You can choose exactly what services you’d like to allocate your budget to in order to be seen more often by potential customers and get more calls for quotes.

Some of the most popular services that our Google Ads specialists target for contractors in the winter months include:

  • Snow Plowing
  • Snow Shoveling
  • Roof Shoveling
  • Ice Dam Removal
  • Interior Painting
  • Irrigation Closures
  • Pool Closures
  • Insulation Installation
  • Heating System Checks
  • And More!

If you optimize your Google Ads campaign and are competitive with your budget and bids, you will likely start to see those calls start coming through within a few weeks. There are many components to running a successful PPC campaign. If you’re not confident that you have the proper knowledge to run a profitable ads campaign on your own, consider hiring a PPC agency instead. Utilizing a company with a proven track record of getting leads using this method can save you time and money in the long run and allow you to focus on service delivery.

Google Ads, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC

11 Ways to Optimize Your Google Ads Campaign

by Diane Lovine

If you are like other small service businesses that depend on inbound leads, you likely have some experience with Google Ads, whether from your own efforts or working with a marketing company. Many business owners report having negative experiences with running Google Ads on their own. Other experiences have been downright traumatizing. The most common issue was low return on investment. Contractors overwhelmingly complained that they spend a lot of money on Ads but did not gain many new customers.

The DIY Ads Campaign

If you are not running a Google Ads campaign yourself, chances are you are buying leads from a third party. And chances are they are running an Ads campaign to generate those leads, and then selling them to to you at a huge margin. Buying leads this way can be very expensive for a small business. But so can the DIY Ads campaign if you aren’t optimizing your ads.

Running a PPC campaign on your own can be overly expensive as well. Although Google goes to great lengths to convince people that running ads is simple and lucrative, that is not always the case. Running Ads is not for the novice or the risk-averse. Online marketing is a career path that requires incredible amounts of knowledge and ongoing learning to stay abreast of the ever-changing advertising climate. That said, it is possible to learn the skills to manage your own Google PPC campaign.

There are several things that the average business owner can do if they are determined to run an online PPC campaign for their business.

Here are 11 proven points to review when working on your Google Ads campaign

1. Determine your goals. Some businesses use Google Ads to increase customer awareness of their product. Some are working to build a contact list. If you are a small service-oriented business, you probably have a very specific goal: Get the greatest number of leads possible at the lowest cost per lead. Once you have set your goal, you’ll have a better chance of achieving it because you can focus on the efforts that will get you there and ignore the noise. If you are a service business, you probably will not be investing in display ads, as search Ads produce more consumers who are ready to buy now. You’ll have to determine for yourself the definition of a lead, but the team at 99 Calls defines it as a consumer who contacts you for a quote for a service you provide in an area you service.

2. Build a solid Ad. Make sure you highlight what makes you stand out from your competition. Use compelling verbs that showcase the benefits of calling you. Google recommends creating 3-5 ads. Over time they will show the one or two most often that resonate best with your target audience. Be sure to follow Google’s policies in order for your ad to get shown. 

3. Research what search keywords to use. Although it may seem like a great idea to add as many keywords as possible to bring in as much traffic as possible, that is not the case. Instead, it is better to add in high-quality, relevant keywords. Remember that this is a case of quality over quantity. Pay attention to your quality score, as the higher your quality score, the lower your cost per lead will be. The goal of each keyword is to bring in clicks from people who intend to buy services you provide. Bad keywords bring in bad searches and lead to money spent without a return on investment. 

4. Determine your target pricing. Learn how much leads are going for in your area for your service. If you are a roofer in Miami, do the legwork to determine how much roof repair and roof replacement leads typically cost on Google searches. Knowing what a lead should cost will help you determine your budget.

5. Set a monthly and daily budget you can live with, but remember, you’ve got to invest money to make money. Setting your budget too low is likely to end in a loss because your ad will not be shown frequently enough to generate the lead volume you’re after. Setting a daily budget too high will burn through your monthly budget very quickly. A high budget and keywords that are too broad will result in lots of impressions and clicks, but few legitimate leads. You also should know your close rate before getting started so you can determine your actual cost to acquire a new job. For example, if you know that the going rate in your area is $50 per lead and you close one in every three leads, you will spend $150 on average to acquire each new customer. So if you want to obtain 10 new jobs this month, your budget should be $1500. You’d expect to get 30 inbound leads and close 10 jobs.

6. Remove negative keywords. You will learn a great deal by reviewing what users searched for to come to your ads. It will help you to identify keywords that are generating clicks those that don’t show intent to buy your service. You’ll want to continually review your keywords and add those “bad clicks” to your negative keyword list. In addition, decide whether you should remove your competitors’ names as negative keywords. Some contractors choose to allow, or even promote the names of competing businesses as keywords. There is some logic to this. Some business names are so universal that they are used as household names. For example, people say they are going to buy a Coke, meaning they are going to buy a soft drink. Serve Pro is a name commonly used in the restoration industry. When someone has experienced a water damage emergency, they may search “Serve Pro” because they know they need a restoration professional. They may be just as happy speaking with Joe’s Restoration Service, but that name probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. So, should you use a competitor name as a keyword? If you or your answering service have solid sales abilities and are able to turn that call into an appointment, then it makes sense to include those keywords. If this isn’t the case and you are uncomfortable receiving calls potentially intended for a competitor, then enter all competitor names as negative keywords. You’ll want to do a search of all of the competitors in your area that people may search for. As an example, the team at 99 Calls includes at least 100 names in a negative keyword list after doing research in each locale.

7. Keep it relevant. Your ad must match the page where searchers land. If you are advertising your HVAC service and are talking about AC repairs in your ad, be careful not to send users to a heating page or a general home page. If you have a landing page about AC repair services, you are presenting a highly relevant Ad and your chances of it being shown more frequently will improve.

8. Provide an easy experience for your consumers. If someone is searching for a roof repair, send them to a roof repair page. It should be visually appealing. The consumer should instantly recognize that they found the information they were looking for. They should feel confident in your abilities. They should also have easy access to you, either by a simple form or highly visible phone number to call. If you are able to further entice them with a promotion or special price, you’ll likely experience a higher conversion rate (the percentage of people who contact you after landing on your page).

9. Give them a reason to call you. Once a consumer clicks your ad and ends up on your landing page, it should be easy for them to call you with a simple and accessible phone number or form. What’s more, you’ll want to give them a reason to call. If you have images of your great work on the page, you’ll give them confidence that you can handle their job as well. You might also add one or two excellent testimonials that people have written about your service. 

10. ANSWER the call! We are always amazed at the number of contractors who go through the time and expense of setting or paying to have a Google Ads campaign set up, only to not be available to answer when leads call! If you don’t answer the phone, or at least call the customer back very quickly, your efforts are for nothing. You’ve already paid Google for that click, and the potential customer is already calling the next contractor in their search. If you are not regularly able to answer your calls, having a receptionist is worth the investment. Another excellent solution is to employ a lead company to provide a system of 2-way texting, auto-responses and nurturing so that your potential customers are acknowledged instantly when you aren’t available.

11. Know when to hire an expert. Across the board, the average conversion rate for Google search campaigns is 3.17%. This includes everything from the sole proprietor carpet cleaning business owner to the top lead generation firm in the country. However, top-performing online marketing pros can garner 10, 15, or even 20% + conversion rates for service contractors. If you’ve given a DIY campaign an honest try but can’t seem to bring in the return on your investment that you hoped for, calling a reputable lead generation company can help. Check online reviews, ask your colleagues, and be sure to hire a firm you trust can deliver. 

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.

Appliance Repair Leads, Carpet Cleaning Leads, cleaning business leads, Contractor Leads for Winter, digital marketing, Google Ads, How much is online marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, Off season marketing, online marketing, online marketing costs, painting leads, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Leads, service contractor leads

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

Appliance Repair Leads, digital marketing, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC

Effectiveness of Google Ads in Generating Appliance Repair Leads: A Case Study of the First Six Months Using 99 Calls Lead Generation

by Kevin Brenes and Diane Lovine

Background Information and Presenting Problem

The owner of CSK Appliance Repair, Shawn Thompson, initially called 99 Calls lead generation through a Google search in July of 2021. He had an appetite for a high lead volume to support his goals for business growth.  Shawn found 99Calls.com when he searched for appliance repair leads in Georgia and called to learn more about the program.

Shawn was hesitant at first, and rightly so. He had tried several different companies and none performed to his expectations and objectives. He felt they were not listening to him and not willing to consider his input and suggestions. As the owner of CSK, he understood that no one knew his business better than he did. He was looking for a partner who would work with him to help him achieve his goals.

We tracked CSK Appliance Repair’s performance after six months of using the 99 Calls system. We recently reviewed those results with Shawn to gain his perspective on how pleased he was with the quality and quantity of leads generated, as well as any other feedback. He mentioned that 99 Calls’ superior customer service in applying his feedback, following up on performance updates, and actually performing to get him results is what kept and will continue to keep Shawn as a customer.

Google Ads Setup and Campaign Development

Shawn has owned and operated CSK, an appliance repair company in Atlanta, Georgia for 13 years. Because he has an established business and directory listings in place, as well as SEO efforts from elsewhere, Shawn decided to have the lead generation team run an “Ads Only” campaign, rather than adding lead generation via SEO as well, (which produces leads much cheaper at $9.99 each, but takes longer, often many months, to ramp up). 

The primary services he offers and chose to target are refrigerator repair, dryer repair, washer repair, oven and range repair, and all premium appliance brand repairs. To test the waters, he set his initial monthly advertising budget to $500 and raised it to $1500 after the first month, when he was already seeing results and gaining trust with his lead team.

Initial Obstacles and Challenges

Early challenges the team had to overcome were to work within a small monthly budget but also get the volume Shawn was hoping for. Once we established a reliable estimated cost per lead we were able to realistically set an accurate daily budget that could hit the maximum number of leads he was wanting to receive. One other small challenge that required frequent communication and a keen ear was to pinpoint the towns that Shawn wanted to target while staying within 20 miles from home. 

Results: Measurement of Google Ads Performance Over Six Months

Shawn began his lead generation with a small monthly budget of $500, but quickly raised the budget to $1500 in the second month and continued raising his budget as high as his growth rate would allow.  The chart above demonstrates normal fluctuations that we see as we set up and refine a campaign. Notice that the lead generation metrics have evened out in the most recent six months. 

Performance Metrics for CSK Appliance Repair between March 2021 and August 2021 are as follows:

  • Total Investment: $17,152.97 
  • Total Conversions” 982
  • Conversion Rate 30.20%
  • Average Cost Per Click:  $5.27
  • Average Cost Per Lead: $17.47

Shawn is now working with his 99 Calls Google Ads specialist and has trusted him with an unlimited monthly budget and a $250 daily spend, which holds the maximum monthly spend to under $10,000. Shawn worked up to this budget after seeing his lead volume increase steadily month over month while his cost to acquire new customers (CPA) has decreased to a very desirable cost.

Impact of Performance on Business Growth

Shawn is thrilled that he can achieve a high lead volume each month and pay under $18.00 per lead. The rapid increase in leads, paired with expertise and professionalism that allows him to enjoy an extremely high close rate has allowed him to grow his business substantially. Since starting with 99 calls six months ago, Shawn has then hired 6 additional service technicians. He has also increased his territory to 30 miles and has established a closing rate at 90% of all leads generated from his Google Ads.

We asked Shawn in retrospect why he decided to try 99 Calls back then. Shawn said, “If you want a good suit you go to a tailor, and that is what I did, with all the research I did on companies I knew 99 Calls was my tailor”.

For more information about Google Ads for Appliance Repair businesses or for another service area business, contact the 99 Calls lead team at 800-717-4669 or visit 99Calls.com.

Lead Generation for Mobile Mechanic
digital marketing, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC

Google Ads for a Mobile Mechanic: First Month Analysis of a PPC Campaign: A Case Study

By Jake Ramer and Diane Lovine

Background and Information Gathering

Diesel on Demand is an ASE-certified mobile mechanic business located in Nevada. Its owner, Corey, found 99 Calls through an online search of lead generation companies.  He offers niche services that required custom content writing and a creative approach to building a Google Ads campaign to generate highly targeted customers. 

Corey explained the heart of his business in this way, “We have experience working on commercial equipment of most models and engines. We offer on-site services at customers’ facilities. This saves time and is more cost-effective than having them drop off equipment and wait in line. We also offer preventative maintenance services for fleet vehicles, such as oil changes.” The ASE certification means he is fully equipped with tools and knowledge to work on a wide range and variety of vehicles. 

Corey’s goal of generating more business for recurring commercial fleet services was a fun challenge for the content writing team at 99 Calls as we originally thought his business was more similar to AAA or another roadside assistance program. We learned that the primary target market for Diesel on Demand was a bit more focused. Corey strives to earn the business of repeat customers for fleet services and serve as an “on-call” diesel engine expert for contracted fleet services. 

Research and Development of the Campaign

After careful research, our Google Ads team discovered that “fleet service” and “commercial vehicle mechanic” are low-search-volume terms. “Diesel mechanic” is a medium/high volume search term as it is a specialty trade and is fairly competitive. “Mobile mechanic” is a high-volume search term that may be used by people who don’t want to pay for a tow truck or by people in search of a unique experience with a roadside mechanic. 

Las Vegas is an ideal location as there are many major trucking companies and a robust market for large commercial vehicles needing fleet services. 

The Ads team chose the keywords most appropriate for the campaign and sent a request for our content team to write unique page sets around the chosen keywords. In this way, the pages written were expected to have high relevance because we wrote the content specifically with the target audience in mind.

Campaign Results

We built the campaign on June 24th of this year and initially also targeted the broader “mobile mechanic” keywords so that Corey could begin to receive calls very quickly. After just a few days, we turned off the keyword group because the calls were not helpful in terms of building the repeat recurring business that Corey was looking for. It is interesting to note that the CPC on “mobile mechanic” clicks was surprisingly low ($6.43 per click) for this small pool of data. 

Given the typical conversion rate of other 99 Calls Google Ads Campaigns, we would expect that the average cost per lead would be well under $30 for mobile mechanics. We’ll use this data to work with mobile mechanic businesses in the future as the ROI on these one-off personal vehicle mobile calls, would likely be favorable.

July Google Ads Performance

Ad Groups: Diesel Services & Commercial Fleet Services 

Budget: $500/Month

Conversion Rate: 24.62%

The total spend for the month was $440, which reflects the very niche market we targeted. The percentage of time that the ad was shown was actually quite high, indicating that we achieved maximum visibility within the market. Very few undesired clicks were recorded, which means that the goal of hitting the highly targeted audience was successful and resulted in generating the desired exclusive leads. 

The Ads team achieved 16 conversions at a conversion rate just under 25%, with an average cost per conversion (CPC) of $27.50. This number represents the CPC after removing the high volume of mobile mechanic conversions and the total price increased just $6.77.

Examples of July Conversions (Leads): 

  • Church Bus Broken
  • Billboard Truck Repair
  • Mercedes Sprinter Diesel Van Repair
  • Moving Box Trucks
  • Diesel Pickup (transport company)
  • Ram Truck Dealership (manager) 
  • Ford Diesel Pickup
  • International (semi) 
  • Food Truck Services

These are just the calls where we can make a clear analysis of the nature of the call. Our team records all calls for verification of the quality of the leads. However, when potential customers don’t leave a detailed message, we are unable to capture the nature of the lead. Corey’s relatively small initial budget yielded at least 16 qualified leads, averaging $27.50 each. Corey was quite pleased with the results from his first month of lead generation services and has made back his initial investment for setup and then some!

We will continue to follow Diesel on Demand (https://diesel-on-demand.com/) and report on Google Ads ROI as well as on the organic lead generation service that we are providing simultaneously. Spoiler alert: Month two lead volume is shaping up to be 50% higher than month one.

Carpet Cleaning Leads, cleaning business leads, digital marketing, How much is online marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, online marketing costs, painting leads, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Leads, service contractor leads

Are You Just Spending, or Investing in Your Business?

Effective Lead Generation is an Investment – Not an Expense

Are you treating lead generation costs or prices per lead as monthly expenses? If so, you haven’t found the right company to partner with!

Does thinking about setting a “marketing budget” make you cringe? Do you immediately imagine your bank account balance going down, down, down? If you see your lead generation budget as a regular monthly expense, you may be wasting a lot of money! Expenses are car payments, electric bills, and internet costs. Good lead generation is an investment. Something that GENERATES revenue for your business, not an expense.

Most lead generation companies charge a flat rate per month and don’t promise anything in return. Yes, that’s probably an expense. But there are a few pay-for-performance companies out there that can prove their value to you month after month. In addition, many companies no longer require contracts, so you are free to take your investment elsewhere if you aren’t seeing the returns you were lead to expect.

If you want my team to just take care of your online marketing click here for a consultation.

Most Lead Generation May Cost You

The budget you set aside each month for online marketing is probably being considered an expense if you are lumping it in with your other costs. When times are tight, you might think your marketing “costs” should be the first to go. Then you trim other costs to save money. If you could generate reliable leads each month that turn into profitable jobs, your lead generation budget would become a necessary investment (and a sound one, at that!) If you are constantly trying to keep your monthly costs low by cutting into your lead generation budget, you are missing out on the potential to turn your service business into a cash cow. When leads become expenses are when they don’t produce measurable results.

Example: Say you have allotted $500 each month for online marketing of your remodeling business. If you hire a lead generation company that charges a flat rate of $500 each month and tells you they will promote your business online, get you onto the first page of Google and get calls coming in, but then doesn’t produce, this would be an expense.

If you hire a different company and they tell you that you’ll only pay for qualified leads that come in and you get to determine what a qualified lead means to you, you won’t be paying an expense, you’ll be investing in those customers who call you for a quote. And the higher your close rate, the more money your business will make from that marketing investment!

Return on Investment is the way businesses measure the net increase or decrease that comes from investing money. Return on investment, or ROI is the amount of revenue you bring in, minus the amount of money you invest to make it. So if you invest $500 in lead generation, and that turns into 6 qualified leads, and you win 4 new jobs, and each job is worth $1000 in profits, Your return on investment is $4000 (profits) – $500 (investment), or $3500. Imagine if you could invest $500 every month and watch it turn into $3500. Now that’s a solid investment!

Online Marketing and Lead Generation as an Investment

Customers use online searches more than any other means to find service businesses they want to hire. If you’re not there, front and center, with a great reason for them to call you for the quote, you probably won’t get called.

Good marketing entices customers to call you for a quote, which results in jobs, which means revenue for your business. When online marketing in the form of lead generation works in this way, it is considered an investment in your business. Even when times are tight, you don’t want to stop investing in good marketing, because it’s probably your best chance to build your revenue stream back up. Instead, start slow and build as you land more jobs. And don’t spend your excess profits. Keep investing in your business and watch it grow.

How to Increase Your Lead Generation ROI

So how can you spend less money per contractor lead? What is the best way to lower online marketing costs? Get seen and called more often and win more sales from your monthly lead budget!

  1. Improve Your Visibility and Get More Calls

The more phone calls and emails you get from your monthly marketing budget, the higher the return on your marketing investment will be.

When you sign on for services for online marketing and lead generation, be sure to find a company with a complete package: Highly optimized lead generation sites that will rank well on Google, Bing, and other search engines and the ability to customize the lead generation site and listings with your unique branding.

As important as getting found is for getting calls, making your business attractive to potential customers is also critical. Entice your customers to pick up and call you by displaying high-quality photos of your work and pictures of yourself or your team on the home page. Offer a special promotion to motivate them to call you rather than your competitors.

For other tips on improving visibility and making waves with an online presence, see this article: https://blog.99calls.com/2021/03/16/maximize-digital-marketing-returns-on-a-small-budget/

  1. Improve Your Close Rate

The higher your close rate, the lower your costs per lead and the more leads you can get for the same monthly investment.

Here are the top 5 things you can do to increase your close rate, and thereby increase your returns:

Always Answer Your Phone: It seems so simple, but we see it all the time. Customers are impatient. They identify a need, search online and call the first contractor they see who looks legit. If that’s you and your phone rings, you are LOSING MONEY every time a call goes to voicemail.

Quick Quote: If you’re able to give a ballpark figure over the phone, go for it. Otherwise, schedule a visit within the next 48 hours to see the job and give a quote. Get in there before your competition.

Professionalism Pays: No, you don’t need to show up in your Sunday best, and actually, arriving in some work clothes lets potential customers know you’re a busy person who other customers already trust. Just change into a clean shirt to change and be prepared with pen and paper to take notes. Listen to what they are asking you to do, and repeat it back so they know you heard it right.

Offer Options: When you offer 2 or even three options for getting the work done, you’ll asking your potential customer not to choose between you and someone else, but between two or three price points from YOU. Offer a budget option, which less expensive materials and less expensive detail, and then one with the best quality. This also lets them know you are versatile and can work with different budgets.

Follow Up: Don’t drop an estimate and run. People appreciate a friendly reminder that you are available to schedule their job. Maybe even give them a discount if they can fill an opening you have in a given month. Persistence pays!

For more information on improving return on investment, learn why combining SEO with pay per click gives contractors the best bang for their buck: https://blog.99calls.com/2020/07/20/benefits-of-combining-seo-lead-generation-with-ppc-advertising/

Summary

If you’re ready to really start growing your service business, start viewing your marketing budget as a smart investment, rather than a monthly expense, then find a quality lead generation team to make your monthly lead generation investment work for you. For more information on getting the most from your online marketing investment, give the team at 99Calls.com a call at 800-717-4669.

Carpet Cleaning Lead Generation
Carpet Cleaning Leads

How Combining Google Ads with SEO Lead Generation Boosted Revenue for a Carpet Cleaning Business: A Case Study by 99 Calls

Does Adding a Google Ads Campaign Amplify Overall Lead Volume?

It is known in the online advertising community that running Google Ads does not increase the organic rankings of web pages. However, it is often speculated that running a Google Ads campaign gives a boost to organic results. 

The team at 99 Calls has often seen this phenomenon, and decided to highlight one example in a case study. 

Carpet Care Now is a carpet cleaning business located in Ohio. They are a  small business with under 15 employees and five work trucks on the road. Four trucks are for carpet extraction and one is used for carpet dry cleaning. They first approached the 99 Calls lead generation team in August 2020 because they wanted to increase their inbound lead volume and keep their crews busy. In fact, Danny, the owner of the business filled out an online form through the 99 Calls website and noted that he was looking for “real carpet cleaning leads”. He expressed frustration with the pricing increases of other lead sources and the diminishing value of the leads he was receiving. He also was looking to establish a personal relationship with an account manager who would be responsive to his questions and requests. 

When asked what his expectations were upon hiring 99 Calls lead generation, he didn’t have specific expectations, but did mention that he had done his research and noticed the large volume of positive reviews this company received online. 

Carpet Care Now chose to get set up on the Bundle program beginning August 1st with a total setup payment of $349.00. 

The bundle program includes the following:

  • Set up an organic website
  • Provide customizations of the SEO site
  • Set up Google Ads Campaign
  • Set up, manage, and optimize listings such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and others
  • Manage online reputation and respond to posts from customers

Google Ads Results – First Four Months

They had an initial budget of $1400 for Google Ads. During their first four months of service, Carpet Care Now received 175 total leads; 165 from their Pay per Click campaign and 10 from SEO / organic leads. 

During the first few weeks of a Google Ads campaign, Ads specialists review the account daily to update negative keywords and run A/B testing on the Ads to achieve optimal results. Inbound calls are listened to daily and results are reported in order to “train” Google to send leads from prospects with a high intent to buy. 

As with any new Google Ads PPC campaign, initially there are unwanted, or “low intention”, clicks received from people searching for carpet cleaning related information, but not necessarily looking to purchase a service, or from people searching for competitors and getting the business being promoted on Ads instead. An example of a “bad” click would be someone searching for carpet cleaning chemicals or stain removal chemicals. These people aren’t necessarily searching for a carpet cleaning company, but for advice on how to do the cleaning themselves. 

99 Calls Ads specialists work to minimize low intention clicks out of the gate and strive to target good results very quickly. Vigilance in these things results in customers receiving a higher lead volume for their budget and a high overall lead conversion rate, which is the number of people who call for a quote vs the total number of people who click on an ad. The chart below shows the process of refining the Google Ads account over for Carpet Care Now during the first four months of service. Notice that the cost per lead declined significantly over time.

Organic Lead Results – First Four Months

When we set up a site for organic lead generation and build and/or optimize listings such as Google My Business, Manta, Yelp and more, the first few months are usually quiet. We tell people to expect one to five organic leads during the first three months of service. Why so low?  With online competition for service contractors at an all time high, there are already pages and pages of contractors ranking online as a new site is built. Our job is to build an online presence and credibility over time so that new customers can overtake positioning of businesses already being featured. It takes time and vigilance to muscle in and gain some of that market share, often 10-12 months!

However, we’re noticing that customers who combine organic lead generation with Google Ads PPC start getting organic leads more quickly. Carpet Care Now is a great example of this phenomenon. In month one, they received their first lead. They received 2 leads the following month and one in month three. In the fourth month of service, they received six leads. Receiving 10 leads during their first four months was a great supplement to their overall performance.

Why Organic Leads Are More Desirable

Organic leads are less expensive than those received through Google Ads ($24.90 vs $30.00+) and are often higher quality because customers still strongly prefer organic results to paid results when searching for a contractor. We speculated that seeing the business on the first page at the top and then again down in the organic section adds an element of familiarity that results in more clicks (and therefore more leads).

Less expensive, higher converting leads make a big difference in overall return on investment. That’s why when people come to us looking to “get leads quickly”, we recommend a Google Ads PPC campaign, but also recommend that the customer get started on an SEO site that will help build inbound organic lead volume as a longer-term strategy.

As mentioned above, the 99 Calls lead specialists have noticed that when organic and Google Ads campaigns run concurrently, customers benefit from a boost in organic lead volume earlier than expected with organic results. Often, we don’t see leads via SEO efforts for 2-3 months after starting service, but when Google Ads are run at the same time, organic leads are more abundant and arrive sooner than with SEO lead services alone. 

Why is this? Although Google states that using Google Ads does not affect the SEO of organic placement, there is a phenomenon of clicking on something you’ve seen prior. Being found on the first page of Google immediately using Google Ads allows customers to gain prominent first page placement very quickly. Often, though, that top Ad is not clicked. But as the eyes scan down and the business is also listed in the Maps section or below in the organic results, the consumer is more likely to click the link. In this case, they are more likely to click the less expensive organic result than the Google Ad above. Click here for more information on the benefits of combining SEO with Google Ads PPC advertising

So, What’s the Verdict? Does Adding a Google Ads Campaign Boost Overall Lead Volume?

We have demonstrated that the Google Ads campaign ramped up quickly for Carpet Care Now and that the lead cost was reduced month over month, from almost $37 down to about $29 per lead, which led to a total increase in return on lead generation investment with each passing month. In addition, during the first four months on the bundle program, Carpet Care Now achieved 3x the expected organic lead volume.

The image below shows were Care Care Now can be seen when searching for “carpet cleaning” in their service area:

After four months of service with 99 Calls. Carpet Care Now reported that they gained 150-160 new customers. They canceled the secondary lead source that they were using and plan to use the extra funds to increase their Google Ads budget this spring. Danny reported that he most liked that the calls delivered by 99 Calls are live and exclusive. Other lead generation services he has tried have required him to call leads back, which often ended in not connecting and wasting his time. Because he has a high close rate of 65 – 70% of his leads, he has enjoyed success simply by answering his phone and being ready to offer fair pricing over the phone. This has increased his bottom line, because he spends much less time on the road, providing live, in-home estimates. Carpet Care Now is an excellent example of a successful “bundle” campaign. They started an SEO site and a Google Ads campaign from the beginning. 

You May Be Asking, “So How Do I Get The Most Lead Volume for a Small Budget?”

We would recommend starting with a website that is optimized to rank on Google. At a minimum, the site should be clean and clear. It should state what you do and where you do it. Avoid flash and fancy apps that will slow download time. Google prioritizes site speed when ranking pages, as well as user experience. 

From there, try a low-budget Google Ads campaign. We recommend starting with a budget between $500 and $1000 for best results. Because of the normal issues with bad clicks, or low intent clicks, in the beginning, you will spend a portion of your initial budget on making adjustments and fine-tuning the ads. 

Sample Investment of a $650 per Month Budget for Lead Generation with 99Calls.com:

Month 1:

Set up a bundle program that generates leads via SEO efforts and a Google Ads campaign for one low price of $349. Budget $300 for a PPC account. The SEO leads will be billed per qualified lead and there is no monthly service charge for SEO/Organically generated leads.

Total Cost: $650

Month 2:

Google gives first-time Ads users a $150 credit to be used in their second month of advertising after they spend $150 on a campaign. We would predict that zero to two organic SEO leads will be achieved in month 2. 99 Calls’ Google Ads service fee is priced at $150 per month or 15% of the prior month’s Ads spend. Budget $450 and you’ll get $600 worth of Ads with your credit. 

Total Cost: $600 ($450 Ads budget + $150 Service Fee).

Following Months:  

$550 Each (Including your Pay Per Click Budget)

The SEO services offered include all necessary behind-the-scenes work to increase your online presence and get important keywords ranking on Google above the competition. This includes social media management, assistance with getting positive online reviews, lead generation site hosting and management and live customer support. You’ll pay only for the qualified leads you receive. Generally, contractors receive 1-3 organic leads per month during the first 3 months, and then we see an increase in volume from there, especially when contractors periodically send us content that can be used to promote their business (running specials, sending photos, etc.) 

At this point, the expectation would be that you’d have received a healthy number of leads through the Google Ads campaign and a handful of quality leads from SEO efforts. The lead volume for SEO results increases over time and Google Ads results can be turned on or off based on your needs and business goals. Budgets can be adjusted in real-time, allowing businesses to ramp up as slowly or as quickly as they desire.

Want to learn how our strategies for lead generation can help your business? Schedule a free consultation

Carpet Cleaning Leads, cleaning business leads, digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, online marketing costs, painting leads, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Leads, service contractor leads

What is PPC Conversion Rate and Why Does it Matter?

Are PPC Leads Worth the Expense?

Turns out the cost per lead varies widely depending on the effectiveness of the marketing company you hire to run your campaigns.

Utilizing Google Ads PPC campaigns is the fastest, most versatile method of achieving a high volume of leads for service contractors. However, buyer beware; not all PPC marketing firms produce equal results. In fact, differences in performance are alarming and could mean the difference between enjoying a robust return on investment and blowing your advertising budget with little to show for it. 

There is an enormous gap between average and superior Ads performance. According to a recent article by Wordstream, a trusted authority in measuring PPC conversion results, a full 25% of PPC users report conversion rates under 1%.

Unlike SEO, or organic lead generation, which takes many months to ramp up and achieve first-page placement on Google searches (and let’s be honest, if you aren’t being found on the first page, you most likely will not be found), using Google Ads PPC to generate exclusive leads yields much faster results.

Google PPC is an auction-style platform for showcasing businesses on the first page of searches. Rather than showing in the maps (GMB) section, or the highly regarded organic results section, Google PPC ads are displayed at the very top and the very bottom of the search page.

PPC Explained

Ads are about scarcity. There is only room for 3-6 PPC ads on a page, about half posted at the very top and half at the bottom, under organic results. In order to achieve first-page placement on Google, you’ve got to be one of the top bidders. A high conversion rate is achieved when a large percentage of people who click on an Ad call for a quote (a lead). The more leads you receive for your monthly budget, the better your return on investment. 

With Google Ads, contractors are bidding per click, meaning, they are telling Google what they are willing to pay each time a potential buyer clicks on their Ad. The goal is to pay the lowest Cost Per Click, or CPC that you can but high enough to make it into a top 3 position, at least for a decent percentage of the time. Google doesn’t place 3 companies there and then walk away. The top 3 are rotated throughout the day. What gets companies up there? First and foremost is being a top bidder. 

Achieving visibility on a search is just one piece to the puzzle though. Equally as important are your click-through rates (CTR) and your conversion rates. Click-through rates are the percentage of times someone clicks on the link in your Ad to visit the landing page compared to the number of times your Ad is shown (aka impressions). If the Ad is compelling and relevant to what the person is looking for, the click-through rate will be higher. If your CTR is low, you will likely also have a low conversion rate. 

And finally, let’s talk about conversion rates. A conversion for some industries may be the collection of information (email or phone number) from a potential buyer that can be added to a telemarketing or email nurturing list. In service contractor industries, a conversion is a lead. Better, with 99 Calls, it is an exclusive lead that is delivered either through a live phone call or email. The better your conversion rate, the more leads you will receive for your monthly budget or advertising investment.

Average Conversion Rate and Why it Matters

The average conversion rate for service contractors using Google Search PPC advertising is 2.35%. This means that out of every 100 customers who click on your Ads, only two to three will actually call you for a quote. 

The worst-performing (bottom 25%) campaigns receive a 1% or lower conversion rate. One in four campaigns falls into this bottom category. In fact, nearly half of all people who use Google Ads have a conversion rate lower than 2.5%. Included in these numbers are the do-it-yourselfers who don’t think it’s worth paying the service fee to have a marketing team manage their accounts.

Imagine that your monthly Ads budget is $1000. If the average click for your industry costs $5.00, at a 2.35% conversion rate, you’d get 4-5 leads with your budget if you hire an average marketing company. 

The best performing marketing businesses, those in the top 10% of all companies, are averaging an 11.45% conversion rate. If you were using one of them to manage your Ads campaign and had the same $1000 budget and click cost at $5.00 each, you’d achieve 23 leads. That’s over 5x the lead volume for your marketing dollars! That’s why conversion rate matters.

How to Maximize Your Conversion Rate

There is a bright side to Google Ads marketing. People and businesses in the know are able to achieve excellent results with PPC advertising. The best performing marketing businesses, those in the top 10% of all companies, achieve an 11.45% conversion rate. This is far better than the average performer with 5x the lead volume for the same budget.

A small study looked at 124 customers using Google Ads campaigns managed through 99 Calls with a monthly budget of more than $300. The Google Ads specialists at 99 Calls were able to use their in-house PPC advertising system to achieve an average conversion rate across all service contractor (restoration contractors, carpet cleaners, painters, landscapers, appliance repair technicians, electricians, plumbers, HVAC, etc.) industries of 20.43%. Using the same scenario above, these contractors would have achieved 40 leads per $1000 budget, 10x the average PPC customer.

Conclusion

With the increases in online competition, SEO alone often isn’t enough anymore for a growing service business. Many service contractors have turned to PPC advertising to increase their customer base and their revenue. However, with the huge discrepancy between top-performing PPC management firms and low performers, it’s no wonder that many companies have become frustrated with PPC. They have lost trust in Google Ads. They complain that they have burned through their budgets too quickly without results. When every dollar counts, it is crucial that contractors find a top 10% company to handle their Ads campaign. Using a trusted, experienced Google Partner to manage an Ads campaign can literally make the difference between getting one lead for every 100 clicks on your Ads or 20 or more! 

Want to learn how our strategies for maximizing Google Ads PPC conversion rate can help your business? Schedule a free consultation

painting leads

Top 10 Painting Leads Providers for 2022

Updated October 2021 by Devon Osborne

When re-evaluating lead generation services for the painting industry for 2022, we found that there are several components that have remained the same with the lead generation vendors over the years while others have changed. 

We’ve identified a few factors that have remained constant during the past three years. The first, is that painting contractors continue to express an overall goal of having a steady flow of quality painting leads and the companies reviewed below offer painting lead services. We also know that pay-per-lead services continue to be an excellent means of lead generation for painters, and are being used more frequently in conjunction with SEO or other lead services. The third factor is that painters can still count on many of the same lead generation companies that we evaluated back in 2018 with just a few exceptions. For example, the team at 99 Calls reports the same pricing for exclusive painting leads and the addition of Google Ads PPC to provide more leads faster. A couple of the companies we reported on in 2018 appear to be out of business, but almost all are providing similar services and with similar pricing. 

The whole world was shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Everything we once knew was suddenly completely different. Homeowners suddenly had to take additional precautions when it came to who was in their house, some even opting to take the DIY route. Thankfully, many businesses were able to make it through the hardships and consumers are once again calling contractors for house painting.

As we continue moving towards a post-pandemic world, the revenue of the painting industry is expected to grow 3.2% over the next year. (“Painters Industry in the US – Market Research Report”) In order to make the most out of the market growth. You will need to determine what lead generation company is right for you.

There are several different pay-per-lead providers for painting contractors, but the ways in which they operate differ.  In order to ensure that you get the highest return on investment (ROI), you’ll need to do your research to find which lead generation company works best for your business model. We took a look at several reputable pay-per-lead providers to help you get started.

Exclusive Leads

Lead Verification

Lead Source(s)

HomeAdvisor

No

Yes

Homeowners submit their information to HomeAdvisor (now called Angi)


PainterChoice

No

Yes

Homeowners submit leads to PainterChoice

CraftJack

No

Yes

Homeowners submit leads to CraftJack

Networx

No

N/A

Third-party data sources

Thumbtack

Yes

Yes

Homeowners submit leads to Thumbtack

TruBids.com

?

?

Do not appear to be operating at this time

eWebify

Yes

Yes

Drive prospects to contractor’s website

Connexion Solutions

Yes

Prospects contact contractor directly

Drive prospects to contractor’s website

Porch

No

N/A

Referrals from Porch, Lowe’s and Wayfair

99 Calls

Yes

Prospects contact contractor directly

Drive prospects to contractor’s website

Figure 1: How each pay-per-lead website handles lead generation, verification, and distribution

What To Consider When Selecting a Pay-Per-Lead Vendor

To select the best pay-per-lead vendor for your painting business, you should consider the following:

  • How does the vendor generate painting leads?

  • Does the vendor verify each lead before selling it to a contractor?

  • How many contractors are sharing each lead?

  • What is the price per painting lead?

There’s a lot to consider. Here’s what you should know about these specific terms:

Lead Source

If you have heard of contractors complaining about getting bad leads, then you’d understand the importance of lead source.

  • Some pay-per-lead vendors deliver higher quality leads that are more likely to turn into clients so you’d want to focus on getting prospects from those sources.
  • There are many lead sources – some from third-party data sources or come directly from homeowners while others are referrals.
  • Keep in mind that vendors who offer leads from third-party data sources are essentially buying and re-selling leads, which could mean an increase in cost.
  • You may need to experiment to see what works best for your business. Keep track of where the leads come from so you can focus on sources that send you the highest quality leads.

Lead Verification System

No smart business owner wants to waste his marketing dollars on bad leads. That’s why having the ability to verify leads before you pay for them is a smart way to make sure you’re spending your money on prospects that are most likely to turn into clients.

  • Look for vendors that have a lead verification system in place, or provide an easy and fair way to dispute bad leads, so you can be sure that you’re spending your marketing dollars most efficiently.
  • In the case where a lead vendor has prospects call you directly, find out how to dispute a lead. Often direct leads are recorded and reported. This allows you and the lead vendor to post-qualify leads. You should not have to pay for unqualified leads.

Exclusive Leads vs. Shared Leads

When you share leads with other contractors, the likelihood of winning a client will decrease. You may also get into a bidding war, which can negatively impact your profit margin.

  • The ROI of shared leads is often not as high compared to exclusive leads, which may cost more but give you a better chance of closing a sale at a higher profit.
  • Shared leads can work well if you’re looking for an immediate influx of new businesses and have the time and resources to compete (e.g., when business is slow).
  • Exclusive leads are particularly effective for established painters who have a solid reputation. Many consumers now use the internet to research painting contractors online and pick a winner based on quality reviews rather than price.
  • It’s not one or the other. Painting contractors can get painting leads from multiple vendors. For instance, an established painting business is likely to use 99Calls.com to generate exclusive painting leads throughout the year and use HomeAdvisor to provide shared leads during slow periods or for select high-value jobs.

Price-Per-Lead

Ultimately, you want to make sure that the money you invest in lead generation is paying off. Price-per-lead is an important piece of your customer acquisition cost, and you need to take it into consideration to properly optimize your ROI.

Here is the price per painting lead from our top 8 vendors:

Price per painting lead

Note

HomeAdvisor

$45-$75 / shared lead

Plus $350/year

PainterChoice

$35 / shared lead

Small leads are free

CraftJack

$12-$75 / shared lead

Networx

$30-$70 / shared lead

Thumbtack

$7-$68 per lead / Varies by location

You are only charged for the leads you receive

Trubids

Appears to no longer provide leads

eWebify

Varies based on package

Connexion Solutions

Included with monthly subscription

Packages start at $497/month. You arealso responsible for your Google Ads monthly budget

Porch

$20-$45 / shared lead

Plus $35/month profile pro subscription

99 Calls

$29 / exclusive painting lead

Pay only per qualified organic lead, PPC with Google Ads is also available as a separate service

Figure 2: Price-per-lead comparison

Top 8 Pay-Per-Lead Services for Painter Contractors

After reviewing the information above, you likely have a good sense of which vendor is the right fit for your business. Below you can find more details about each vendor as well as the pros and cons of working with them to help you make the best decision:

1. HomeAdvisor / Angi

Cost per lead (painting job): $45-$75 per lead.

Additional Cost: $350/year.

Lead distribution system: Leads shared by several contractors.

Lead source: Forms on the website and third-party data sources.

Pros:

  • It’s the largest and oldest contractor-matching service.

  • It has the largest number of contractors doing business on the platform, compared with other services.

  • It has a strong online presence.

  • It offers a user-friendly interface.

Cons:

  • Shared leads … you’ll compete with other contractors on every lead.

  • The refund policy isn’t the most satisfactory. May get some bad leads and not be credited.

  • They have a strong online presence, but they won’t help you build yours.

  • You may pay for more leads than you can handle.

Advice: For every lead that you receive, the corresponding amount will be charged to your account. Manage your profile carefully and remember to turn off the paid leads feature every 14 days if you can’t accommodate clients to avoid paying for too many leads.

Reviews:

133965312_1981976715168505_2520767154140217344_o

1

Source: BBB-Better Business Bureau

2. PainterChoice

Cost per lead (painting job): $35 per qualified shared lead.

Introductory Price: $175 for the first 8 leads, plus free small leads. Afterward, it costs $175 per 5 leads.

Lead distribution system: Leads shared by 1-3 contractors.

Lead source: Local advertisement to generate traffic to PainterChoice website.

Lead Verification System: All leads are pre-screened to make sure they’re actual customers.

Expected leads per month: 15-40 painting leads per month depending on the service area.

Pros:

  • Small leads are free.

  • You get a full refund for invalid leads.

  • There are no additional or hidden fees.

Cons:

  • Shared leads … you’ll compete with other contractors on every lead.

  • The job often goes to the lowest bid.

  • You aren’t building your own online presence.

Reviews:

1

2

3

4

Source: shopperapproved.com

3. CraftJack

Cost per lead (painting job): $27-$74 per lead.

Introductory Price: $100 to start receiving leads.

Lead distribution system: Shared by 1-4 contractors.

Lead source: Homeowners submit a request on CraftJack website.

Lead Verification System: As soon as homeowners submit their requests to CraftJack, the system gives them a call to verify that they are in fact real customers. Any lead that contains an invalid or disconnected phone number is automatically rejected.

Pros:

  • It utilizes a patent-pending Speed-to-Call discount. When you call a lead within 30 minutes of receiving it, you’ll get 20% off.

Cons:

  • Shared leads … you’ll compete with other contractors on every lead
  • You will often have to be the lowest bid do win the job

Reviews:

5

6

1

Source: BBB-Better Business Bureau

4. Networx

Cost per lead (painting job): $30-$70 per lead.

Lead distribution system: Shared by 1-4 contractors.

Lead source: Third-party data sources.

Pros:

  • You can set up a custom profile to showcase your services.

Cons:

  • Shared leads … you’ll compete with other contractors on every lead.
  • You will often need to be the lowest bid to win the job

Reviews:

1

1

Source: BBB-Better Business Bureau

5. Thumbtack

Cost per lead (painting job): $7-$25 to send a quote.

Additional Cost: No additional cost.

Lead distribution system: Shared by several contractors.

Lead source: Forms on the website.

Lead Verification System: The company reviews each customer to make sure the request is legitimate.

Pros:

  • The site provides you with a detailed description of each job or project.

  • There’s a large number of homeowners sending requests to Thumbtack.

  • There’s no additional or hidden cost, you only pay for each quote you send.

Cons:

  • It’s very competitive for quality jobs since many many contractors receive the same opportunity to provide a quote.
  • You have to quote jobs without seeing the job site.
  • Your company’s contact details are not visible to potential clients so they can’t contact you directly via your Thumbtack profile.

Advice: Create an outstanding company profile to help you beat your competition. Collect and import excellent reviews on the profile and write compelling descriptions of your services.

Reviews:

1

1

1

1Source: BBB-Better Business Bureau

6. ConnexionSolutions

Cost per lead (painting job): Included in monthly cost

Additional Cost: Packages start at $497/month. This fee covers unlimited exclusive leads. You are also responsible for the Google Ads spend.

Lead distribution system: Exclusive.

Lead source: Leads generated through your website.

Pros:

  • The company builds your website and does the advertising, SEO, and social media marketing for you.

  • You will be the only contractor in your category within your town or city.

Cons:

  • It’s more expensive than many other pay-per-lead sites.
  • You pay a fixed fee each month regardless of the results

Reviews: Very little is known about what consumers think. They only have 1 review on Google and none on Yelp.

Image source: Google

7. Porch

Cost per lead (painting job): $20-$45 per lead.

Additional Cost: Porch Plus subscription costs $35 per month, which gives you added visibility, an enhanced profile, and project/profile support.

Lead distribution system: Shared by up to four contractors.

Lead source: Leads come from local homeowners through word of mouth, organic searches, or Porch’s partnerships with Lowe’s and Wayfair.

Pros:

  • 10% credit back on leads you respond to within the first hour.

  • Porch partners with Lowe’s and Realtor.com, from which you can get referrals.

Cons:

  • You’ll compete with other contractors for every lead.
  • It an be difficult to dispute unqualifed leads
  • Contractors often have to be the lowest bid in order to win the job

Reviews:

1

1

1

2

2

Source

8. 99 Calls

Cost per lead: $29 per exclusive lead.

Additional Cost: None. Only pay per qualified organic lead (SEO)

Lead distribution system: Exclusive live leads, sent directly to contractor.

Lead source: 99 Calls creates a proven Google optimized website for your painting business that gets you in front of local customers searching for your services.

Expected leads per month: Lead volume is low in the first couple months but steadily increases over the next 2 years. Customers who follow the 99 Calls system can expect 50-150 leads in the first year, and 100-300 leads in the second year.

Pros:

  • Exclusive painting leads – customers call you directly.
  • Additional complimentary services such as managing online listings and reputation management. Your business is listed on prominent directories including Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Bing Places, Yellowpages.com and more.
  • Free call tracking and monthly lead report to prove you are receiving quality painting leads.
  • Simple and easy to dispute unqualified leads.
  • Now offers Google Ads PPC for faster results for an low montly fee. Contractors set their own budgets.

Cons:

  • Lead volume is low in first few months while SEO builds up

Reviews:

2

2

Source: BBB-Better Business Bureau

Also see:
Google reviews for 99 Calls
Facebook reviews for 99 Calls

Conclusion

Selecting the best pay-per-lead vendor for your painting business can take some trial-and-error. While some painters get great results through one lead provider, others may have a less-than-satisfactory experience with the same vendor.

It’s therefore important to understand the needs of your business and find a painting leads vendor that meets your criteria.

Don’t forget to monitor your marketing metrics to ensure that you’re getting the highest ROI for the resources you invest in lead generation. A reputable vendor should be able to provide you with lead reports to prove you got the painting leads you paid for.