High summer temperatures can mean only one thing — the HVAC busy season is here.
HVAC businesses may already be seeing a significant increase in calls, especially from customers who have put off service until the summer and now need urgent repairs and maintenance.
The right management techniques can help a company secure even more opportunities this busy season — potentially generating new leads and more work from current customers.
Essential Marketing and Sales Techniques for the HVAC Busy Season
Many HVAC company owners think marketing is only necessary when they have few leads, but they can draw in even more business during the busy season with the proper techniques.
Even simple changes to a marketing strategy can have a positive impact on the business’s bottom line. Here are some things HVAC companies should consider.
Email Marketing During the HVAC Busy Season
Email marketing can be an extremely effective way to advertise business services and keep in touch with previous customers.
Businesses in the home and building services sector — including HVAC companies, landscapers, and cleaners — report that their customers open emails a little more than 33% of the time. This is significantly higher than the average rate across all industries.
Creating and sending emails is generally worth the time and effort if a business’s customers are more likely than average to open them.
HVAC companies can use email marketing in various ways. Email service reminders let customers know how long it’s been since their HVAC system was last serviced and the maintenance they may need. These companies can also use emails to advertise summer deals, service updates, new offerings, and sales.
Email is also one of the best ways to keep current customers engaged. In general, it’s more expensive and less profitable to find new clients than to secure repeat work from existing ones. Offering deals and email campaigns can help a company strengthen relationships with existing clientele.
Certain marketing emails can perform better than others. Emails with news about contests and giveaways generally attract more attention. Businesses that want to grab customers’ attention on their mailing lists should consider holding a contest or giveaway.
Don’t Forget About Branding and Company Image
How customers perceive local HVAC companies can significantly impact the contractor they ultimately decide to work with — especially in competitive markets where there are many options to choose from.
Good branding tells customers a lot about a business, including the services it offers, the expertise it brings, and what sets it apart from the competition. Optimizing this can make people more likely to trust that company over other area HVAC contractors, generating new leads.
Taking advantage of best practices for HVAC branding will help a business get the most out of this busy season. Investing in a professional company image by redesigning its website, emphasizing quality customer service, and prioritizing communication can make a brand seem more trustworthy.
Technicians that seem organized, professional, and knowledgeable when they help a customer make the overall business appear easier to trust. Technicians should be able and willing to answer questions about maintenance, service, and repair. That includes everything from electrical wiring code when installing a new system, to how often people should service their particular HVAC system. Additionally, if they offer smart thermostats, they should also explain the pros and cons to homeowners so they can choose an option that suits their needs.
It’s also important to keep HVAC busy season marketing consistent. Inconsistent branding can make a business seem less professional or confuse its customers.
Businesses that advertise a new deal or promotion should do so across all the marketing channels it uses — like social media, print, phone calls, and email marketing. The company’s owner should also ensure content and branding elements are consistent.
Customers may get confused if promotion details differ on a company's website and emails. That makes it less likely they will take advantage of it.
Review HVAC Busy Season Pricing
The busy season is also a good opportunity for HVAC businesses to review their pricing and sales models.
Just about everything is more expensive this year than it’s been in the past. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all types of services and goods across the Consumer Price Index rose in 2021. They are likely to increase again in 2022.
HVAC companies should consider increasing their rates in response to rising prices but also offer financing and payment plans that can make their services accessible to a wider customer base.
According to a recent study from Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), just 35% of HVAC contractors offer financing at every consultation, and 26% admit to never offering these services at all. However, homeowners increasingly demand contractors provide financing services.
The HARDI report cited a 2,000-person survey from Mosaic that found 35% of homeowners consider financing to be an important factor in hiring decisions and that they could not take on projects without it.
Financing can generate additional administrative overhead for a business. However, they are a great way to expand the accessibility of an HVAC company’s services and ensure that as many customers as possible can schedule work as soon as it’s needed.
Offering promotions, deals, and sales can also help encourage customers to buy HVAC equipment or invest in services they may have put off until later in the season.
For example, new client promotions offering special service rates for new clients can help HVAC companies generate leads. Referral programs, where a business offers discounts to customers that refer their friends and family, can encourage people to talk about their experience with a company with the people they know.
Use Local Search Engine Marketing
Local marketing is key to an HVAC business’s success. Generally, businesses that use search engine marketing provided by companies like Google are trying to reach as many people as possible. On the other hand, the average HVAC operation needs to target potential customers in its service area.
The right ad targeting settings will help these companies keep their search engine marketing local — ensuring ad spend is optimized to attract people likely to work with their businesses.
HVAC companies can combine local ad targeting with local SEO for their sites and web content. Local SEO will help ensure their websites are most visible to potential local customers so site traffic is from their service area.
Optimizing a site for local searches will help improve the site’s rank on searches like “HVAC companies near me” made by people in the company’s service area.
Local SEO strategies are often easy to implement — as simple as including contact information on a site or adding a business to local directories. This means they can produce a large return on a small investment.
How Contractors Can Take Advantage of This HVAC Busy Season
The HVAC busy season offers some major opportunities — but many of these businesses could lose out without the right sales and marketing strategy. Email marketing, new branding, and local search efforts are all useful advertising tools HVAC businesses can use to attract new customers.
It’s also a good time for HVAC businesses to review their pricing models and consider offering financing. This can help customers pay for HVAC services they wouldn’t have considered otherwise — potentially increasing revenue and driving new sales.