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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't see any marketing threads started yet. I know its a competitive, sometimes secretive subject. What do you guys do to market that works? I am only one year into business, started from scratch building customers one by one. It hasn't been all easy thats for sure.
My number one concern is getting the phone to ring consistently. The plumbing, book-keeping, pricing, etc. thats all fairly easy to me.
I am finding marketing is a complex world where its easy to get take the wrong turn.
•Word of mouth and referrals are my number one lead. But as my customer base is still somewhat small, I can't rely on it 100%.
•Number 2 is a local yellowpages ad. (also the most expensive)
•I tried direct marketing with postcard/coupons with little success.
•Also tried some smalltime advertising with little success.
•Now I am giving service magic a try also.
•I recently made up magnetic business cards as people tend to hold onto them longer than paper ones.
•Also I put a nice sign out in front of my shop which cost little money and yet generated excellent results dollar for dollar as the locals see it every day.
•I had small magnetic signs on the truck but next tuesday I am getting the truck professionally lettered with my logo in much bigger format.

Hmmm... thats about it so far.

I'd be interested to hear what has worked or hasn't worked in your market.
 

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Some things that also worked for me are postcards with coupons. I got 1000 address mostly commercial. I also joined the Chamber of Commerce here. Every month they have business card exchange. I get some commercial work from that.

More or less referrals, YP, Service Magic are my biggest though. Try checking out free advertisements on the NET. I have alot of adds for free that i posted. Most probably dont get looked at, but they bring your name up pretty fast on the Search Engines under different keywords.
 

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residential service
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Rule #1. Once you gain a new client, do everything within your power to make them loyal to your company. That client will be worth a lot of money over the years and if I get the chance I will steal him from you :yes:.
 

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We have been in business for 3 years. I can tell you what didn't work. Newspaper ads, radio ads ($5000.00 worth), and flyers (delivered approx. 1,000 -received two calls). Word of mouth is golden! Ask for referrals when you are in a customer's home. Satisfied customers are your best bet. We also have had some luck with our website - Yahoo hosts it for $11.95 / month. Not a huge response, but it pays for the site and we gain a new mouthpiece!

Also, try cross marketing. We do not do HVAC, so we teamed up with a small A/C company. He refers plumbing to us and we refer A/C to him.

Magnets - we put them on water heaters since most people like to keep their s.s. refrig. looking sleek

Advertising salesman will always try to sell their services as a magic bullet. If you invest such & such amount, they are certain it will pay back tenfold. Yeah, right! If so, everyone would be doing it. Stay away and go with your gut. Remember what they said about a fool and his money . . .

BTW - The huge downside to relying on word of mouth is when times are slow you have no way to generate leads. We would appreciate any ideas that have worked.
 

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We have been in business for 3 years. I can tell you what didn't work. Newspaper ads, radio ads ($5000.00 worth), and flyers (delivered approx. 1,000 -received two calls). Word of mouth is golden! Ask
A1:thumbup:
Word of mouth. We tried the flier thing too. 2,000 of them! 2 calls for estimates only to be told they'd have to wait for other bids:furious:

BTW we even place a card holder on the side of my truck and had a sign pointing to them. They went quick, generated a few calls.
 

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I thought of putting a card / brochure holder on our trucks a few years ago, but business picked up and I forgot about it. How did you keep the cards from getting wet? We are now looking for more business - maybe worth a try.

We are just now trying door hangers, but so many neighborhoods are no soliciting so this is harder than we thought.
 

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I dont have it any more. One of my kids broke it off. I will try to remember exactly whats involved. Its not hard, just used plexi glass. Can not remember the adhesive used to hold it together. Soon as I remember Ill let you know
 

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#1 - Have a website
#2 - Use the website to show pictures of your work before/after
#3 - Get testimonials of your work from people that you took the pictures from.
#4 - Allow people to request work from an online form.
#5 - Use Google Adwords local by zipcode to promote your business for keywords like - 24 hour plumber, emergency plumber, find a plumber, licensed plumber, local plumber, master plumber, plumber, plumber service, residential plumber

Phone book advertising sucks, how many phonebooks have you gotten this year.....so does radio.... the internet is where you can get immediate call to action when the customer needs you.

Your website should also pop up in Google for searches that include: plumber, city state.
 

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The only problem I have with internet advertising is this:
I am in Richmond, VA
I need plumber
I go to google and type in : Plumber, Richmond, VA
Results: 1 - 10 of about 580,000 for plumbers richmond, va. (0.18 seconds)

580,000? Five hundred and eighty thousand? man, thats some slim odds they'd find you. If I were a homeowner and had a leak, I would call the first one. If you are AAA Plumbing and not Zack's plumbing you may be ok!
 

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The only problem I have with internet advertising is this:
I am in Richmond, VA
I need plumber
I go to google and type in : Plumber, Richmond, VA
Results: 1 - 10 of about 580,000 for plumbers richmond, va. (0.18 seconds)

580,000? Five hundred and eighty thousand? man, thats some slim odds they'd find you. If I were a homeowner and had a leak, I would call the first one. If you are AAA Plumbing and not Zack's plumbing you may be ok!
Instead of having a major city listed, you may try smaller communities in key words. In our area, our website pops up in a good position.

Warning on using websites for email requests- spammers love to use them because they know it is going to a 'live email address.' We shut our order form off and request customers to call direct. One monday, I checked our email and had over 100 junk emails.
 

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Plumcrazy, thats ok to think that way for us, BUT you must think like a home owner does. When their toilet is overflowing, or their basement is turning into the biggest swimming pool in the neighborhood they dont think like that.
 

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Plumcrazy, thats ok to think that way for us, BUT you must think like a home owner does. When their toilet is overflowing, or their basement is turning into the biggest swimming pool in the neighborhood they dont think like that.
I stand corrected. I was thinking more along the lines of non-emergency calls. Larger projects (remodels, repipes etc).
 

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I stand corrected. I was thinking more along the lines of non-emergency calls. Larger projects (remodels, repipes etc).

No, I stand corrected. There are 2 types of plumbing and I only addressed the service work aspect. You are correct too. So, I guess it depends on what area of plumbing you specialize in. service work, or new/renovation work.
Sorry about that!
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
#1 - Have a website
#2 - Use the website to show pictures of your work before/after
#3 - Get testimonials of your work from people that you took the pictures from.
#4 - Allow people to request work from an online form.
#5 - Use Google Adwords local by zipcode to promote your business for keywords like - 24 hour plumber, emergency plumber, find a plumber, licensed plumber, local plumber, master plumber, plumber, plumber service, residential plumber

Phone book advertising sucks, how many phonebooks have you gotten this year.....so does radio.... the internet is where you can get immediate call to action when the customer needs you.

Your website should also pop up in Google for searches that include: plumber, city state.
I have all that stuff. Funny for every 8 people who say they saw me in the yellowpages, maybe one or to says they found me online.
Besides referrals, Yellowpages works the best for me so far. Online marketing is only mediocre...at least in this area.
 

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Plumber Manhattan Beach
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828 Posts
My wife does all the marketing for the company. She just designed the brochures, and the coupons which we laminate it. She designs postcards made my website and she is taking care of the blog. She did Adwords, She is currently reading search engine optimization for dummies for google). She did the blog with wordpress which is very popular blog and after she did it she bought wordpress for dummies book to stay on top of everything. She is also researching website marketing how to configure the right content with the right keywords and inbound and external links, page rank etc...she is also researching what is important to our local customers..

This is the coupon she designed..I give it to my customer at the end of the call, I tell them to use it for the next service call and also to pass on the second one to a friend or a family member along with the company brochure, pen and the magnet. Gift card.jpg

All coupons are laminated.

I get calls from local plumbing services. Like they type plumber gardena and I'm #1. They type plumber manhatan beach and I'M 3rd or 4th on 1st page of google. Or water heaters redondo beach and I'm on 1st page of google..thanks wife!!:)My wife tries to put the company wherever she can.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update!

Jsut wanted to tell everyone that my new yellow pages ad design came out this past week and the phone is ringing off the hook!:thumbup:

On the plus side, my marketing dilemma is solved for now. But I probably won't be posting nearly as much. Its hard to keep up with the all the work and a new baby is coming soon!

Anyway, see ya soon.
 
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