How to Use Text Messaging and Giveways to Boost Plumbing Sales
Does your advertising work?
Recently I was watching one of my recorded sessions of Chopped (yes, I am a food junkie). An ad for Hill’s Science Diet came on. Usually I fast forward through the ads. However, this one caught my eye.
Blackie, my 60 pound lab/Weimaraner, eats a lot of dog food and I feed him Science Diet. So, I was interested and watched. Within a few seconds the ad said, text [PROMO CODE] to [NUMBER] to get a 50% off coupon on any size dog food. I missed the text the first time so I reversed the advertisement and watched it again. Blackie eats about $45 per month in dog food. Get $22.50 off? Of course! I went to my phone and texted the message. Got the coupon instantly. I had only 7 days to use it.
Was this real? This coupon seemed too good to be true. I had to make sure. I went to Pet Smart with the coupon and bought a 33-pound bag of dog food … only $23.50 including tax. The coupon was real!
Hills can tell that I downloaded the coupon. They also could see that it was downloaded at a time that this segment of Chopped wasn’t live. They could also track that I used the coupon.
Hills has exact data on who downloaded the coupon, when they downloaded it, and whether they used the coupon. They have exact data on the cost of the advertising against revenues generated from the advertising. It’s easy for them to say, “Continue this advertising” or “Cancel this advertising, it doesn’t produce the revenues” because they track downloads and sales from those coupons.
Another great thing they did — limiting the time to use to coupon to one week. It enticed me to go to Pet Smart and get the dog food quickly. So how do you apply this to your plumbing and HVAC business?
Breaking it down
Use a six step process:
1. Advertise during a period when there will be interest. People ignore the ads when they don’t perceive a need for your service.
2. Decide what you are going to give away. You might use something like: Text [PROMO CODE] to [NUMBER] to get your free copy of the book: 21 Critical Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor (go to www.hvactrustbooks.com for more information about the book — one of the coolest sales tools I’ve ever seen).
3. Decide where you are going to advertise. You can put this message in a radio ad, a TV ad, a newspaper ad, direct mail, or even on a billboard. Test different messages and different advertising media. You might find a specific message or a specific medium works best.
4. Create the advertisement and give away.
5. Advertise. You will know instantly how many people downloaded the information.
6. Track the results.
Were your ads cost effective? How much did you spend? What revenues were generated from the advertising? If your advertising revenues exceeded your expenses, then keep advertising using texting. If the advertising didn’t produce the revenues you were hoping for, determine whether it was the offer, the medium you used, or both. Testing different offers and different advertising mediums answers this question. With texting, results are quick. You can immediately tell whether an advertisement worked.
Once the potential client downloads your offer, you have her contact information. Ask how that client prefers to be contacted: continuing to text, email, snail mail, or telephone. The potential client will tell you. Honor her requested communication method.
Texting tells you quickly whether the dollars you invest produce revenue — and how quickly. There is no guessing whether an advertisement worked. The revenues and costs are easily tracked.