There are a lot of options out there for marketing your painting company to get more painting leads and painting customers. Some companies provide an excellent service, and others don't work so well. This is an overview of some services available... but it's just the tip of the iceberg.
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Cost: $35/lead and small leads are free
Overview: You don't set up a profile or anything. You just sign up, and whenever a customer in your area wants an estimate you get a text message and an email with that customer's information. Then you contact them to set up an appointment. Pay per lead with no contract. Leads go out to up to 3 contractors.
Overview: You do need to set up a profile. This service is similar to Painter Choice. The cost of the lead depends on how many other contractors receive the lead, and how quickly you call the lead. They give you a discount if you call within 30 minutes. The only downside here is that you don't get the customers phone number – you get a Craft Jack phone number with a 4 digit PIN that you have to enter to connect to the customer. Also, the lead goes out to up to 4 contractors.
Cost: $30-$70 per lead.
Overview: I don't have a lot of feedback on this service. It's similar to Painter Choice & Craft Jack. I've heard some mixed reviews about Networx. Some people have had great success, others not so much. I didn't sign up with this company because I was treated poorly by their sales person.
Cost: $45-$75 per lead
Overview: They are the largest pay per lead company that exists. The upside is that they can send you more leads than anyone else... the down side is that it's way more expensive. HomeAdvisor gets more 'bad leads' than any other company, and they are very stingy about refunding leads. So you end up paying for some shitty leads. You also compete with, they say, up to 4 contractors. I've heard from many contractors that they are convinced HomeAdvisor matched the lead with more than 4. It's just harder to get a good return with HomeAdvisor. It's not the first service I would recommend testing out – it's probably the last one I'd recommend testing out, because it's more expensive.
Cost: $7 - $11 to send a quote
Overview: This is a little different. Customers request quotes online, just like with other pay-per-lead services. With Thumbtack, you have to pay $7-$11 to send a quote. Thumbtack never provides you the customer's information. You send the quote, and if the customer is interested they can contact you back, give you their information, or set up an appointment with you. We've had good results with Thumbtack, but it can be frustrating. There are lot of low ball prices, customers who never respond to you, etc...
Overview: We don't have any results from Angie's List yet, since we just started using it. The key is you have to get good reviews, and you have to get a lot of them, and you have to get them fast if you want to compete on Angie's List.
Overview: We haven't used Yelp and we don't use it. I know people who have had a lot of success with Yelp, but I also know people who have not had much success. The key here is being able to get a lot of good reviews, and never getting bad reviews. A friend of mine was getting about 30-40 leads per month from Yelp. When he got 1 bad review it dropped to 5 leads per month. Ouch.
Better Business Bureau
Overview: The BBB is a household name. Customers recognize it. For only $360 a year, it's worth being a member of the BBB. We definitely get some calls through the BBB from customers who are searching there, but this is more for credibility than for leads. If you are doing 200 estimates a year, surely some of those customers will check the BBB. It only takes 1 job to make this a worthwhile investment.
Overview: They make a local website on your behalf and try to get it to the top of google for certain search terms. I cancelled this service after 4 months and $600 spent. They just didn't generate any results for me and I didn't like the website they had built for me.
Overview: They provide a similar service to Yodle. I haven't used this company. Please let me know if you have any experience working with them so I can update this.
Website: N/A... Contact me if you are interested and I'll get you in touch with my rep.
Cost: $597 per month
Overview: This is the company we use for our website, SEO, directory listings, and social media. They provide a lot of services... They build your website and will do unlimited changes, ongoingly. They perform all of the front end and back end SEO and keep updating the site to stay up to date with search engine updates. This helps rank your website higher on google. They will get you a 'premium' listing on 50 online directories. They set up all social media pages, and post 2x per week to your social media pages. Basically, it's one stop for everything online. I have one rep that I contact who manages everything for me. It's been nice.
Lawn Signs & Referrals
Cost: $3-$5 per lawn sign depending on how many you order
Overview: You should have a lawn sign at every single job you do.
Door to Door
Website: This website!
Overview: Door to door is how we generated our first $1,000,000 in sales. It's great because when you get a lead door to door, it's only $10 and you are the only company that has that lead! It does not get sold to multiple people. So you usually have less competition. You can also control the number of leads you are getting, because if you want more leads you just need to knock on more doors. You can also hire college students to do this job, and they can get 1-3 leads per hour and make $10-$30 per hour. Great gig! If you want training on how to do this, I teach our door to door marketing system in my course which is $297.
Cost: $70-$250 per lead
Overview: Google is a tough nut to crack. You need to have a well designed ad campaign, good ads, and a good landing page on your website. Google is an auction – so people are putting in “bids” on the ad positions. Large national companies, like the pay per lead companies listed above, really drive up the cost per lead for a local company. We get a lead on google for abour $80 per lead, but it's someone who contacts us through our site directly. We do get a good return on it, but we also have a ton of experience managing Google AdWords through our experience with Painter Choice.
Cost: Based on # homes, # mailings, etc...
Overview: We spent $3,700 for 2 mailings to 70,000 targeted customers. We generated about $28,000 in business from this. Bad return. We may consider trying it again, but that's not nearly a good enough return. Similar services are going to probably generate similar results. Coupon books worked great before you started getting so many coupon books in the mail. Now that there are so many, the returns on individual campaigns are not as good anymore.
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