Tips and Insights For Marketing An HVAC Business
We’ll go over a few tips that will help you build a strong HVAC marketing strategy. Some techniques will be conventional advertising methods, and others will be focused on providing a service that gives you a competitive edge by performing better than other companies or providing something the competition doesn’t provide.
Before we get to the tips, let’s look at two important points:
Proceed Slowly, Test, Make Adjustments, and Retest
The key to finding success with your marketing efforts is to find out what works. You do this by testing and recording results and getting a benchmark so you can accurately measure results. Then, you do more of what works and stop spending money on techniques that don’t. Marketing takes time and effort and a strong strategy.
Throwing money at marketing campaigns isn’t the way to go, and you’ll find that if you invest a lot of money in a campaign, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get results. Therefore test and proceed slowly, make adjustments to improve, and test again. Then, once you have something you know works, you can invest more money to get more exposure for a tried campaign.
With that said, let’s look at it a few ideas for marketing your HVAC business.
Direct Response Verses Brand Marketing
Another important distinction in marketing is direct response marketing versus brand marketing.
With direct response, marketing there’s a call to action in the ad to get the customer to take action, which may place an order, call you, go to your website, come to your place of business, etc. So if you are running a classified ad campaign for $200, you expect to see direct results from your investment.
On the other hand, if you run a brand awareness campaign, you won’t see immediate results because you’re bringing awareness to your business and building a brand. This is because brand awareness takes a large budget, and it takes time to build the brand.
Consider brand awareness like a Nike commercial. They pay thousands of dollars every time they run the ad. However, the ad doesn’t mention anything about specials or promotions they are offering. Instead, they are building an image of the brand in the minds of a customer, so when they think of athletic shoes and are ready to make a purchase, they think of Nike as the brand to buy because they are familiar with it.
Let’s start with a few marketing ideas to help you build a competitive edge.
1. Offering a Robust Guarantee
When it comes to HAVC systems, warranties are very important for the customer during the buying process. However, if they sense they will have problems, that’s a roadblock and may keep them from moving forward.
Offering a no-hassle warranty will get you more sales and provide more lifetime customers.
2. Offer a Maintenance Plan
In addition to a full warranty offering an affordable maintenance plan will attract more sales. You may want to consider one where you provide a regular check-up filter change adding freon, etc., so the customer doesn’t have to worry about maintenance.
Some companies offer maintenance plans, so if the furnace breaks down, the maintenance plan covers it. The customer pays a monthly fee, which serves as maintenance and insurance. As long as their account is in good standing, they are covered for anything wrong with their system.
3. On-Time Emergency Repair
If it’s hot and the air-conditioning goes out people panic. The same would go on a cold winter day without heat.
So providing emergency services is something that will drive sales. You’ll provide the customer with some form of heat by providing a system that can heat the house, for example, a portable electric fireplace or similar, for those repair jobs that can’t be fixed right away.
From your experience as an HVAC business owner, you can come up with creative ways to develop an emergency repair plan.
4. On-Time Service
Many customers hate it when you tell them you’ll be there sometime between 8 AM and 5 PM.
Even though you have a busy schedule, your customers also have one they may have to take a day off of work to meet you. It’s not fair to them rather than take the morning off, a couple hours, or the afternoon. So instead, they have to take the whole day and wait around until you show up.
Find a way to schedule their repair on time and if you’re going to be a few minutes late, be sure to call and say we’re running a little late on a job and will be there at this time. Or even better, send another tech to perform a diagnostic and let the other crew know what’s needed.
5. Become an Expert
One of the best marketing techniques is to become known as an expert in heating and cooling systems.
Let’s use the following HVAC Advertising Example
You’re going to provide tips through an interview on the radio. For example, a heatwave is coming in the next week.
Radio producers crave a new angle on the news. They don’t wanna keep talking about how hot everything is, and if you can come up with a way to put a slant on the current news, the radio station may be open to interviewing you, allowing you to provide something valuable to their listers while offering a plug for your business.
For example, if there’s a heatwave coming up, you can contact the local radio stations through a press release offering tips and insights to improve your cooling unit’s efficiency. Some examples may include; keeping your air conditioner clean of debris to improve airflow, which helps keep cool, closing outside doors, closing the basement vents so cold air flows to the upper vents instead of the basement, etc. After giving your tips, you could offer a free air conditioning inspection before the heatwave hits, limited to the first 15 callers.
This will bring a lot of awareness to your business, and many of the people that call obviously had problems with their air conditioner, which could lead to sales and service. In addition, you could use this technique every time the heatwave is about to hit.
You could also use this technique when extremely cold temperatures are forecast during the winter season.
The one thing you want to make sure of is that you have enough service techs that can handle the influx of business.
This technique brings awareness to your business while bringing in new customers, and you start to brand yourself as an expert in the field.
6. Create Your Corporate ID
Corporate IDs can be expensive; therefore, you can start with your logo and business cards if you don’t have a large budget or just starting out. Then create the rest of the components once your business is up and running and you have the budget.
7. Participate in Trade Shows
Trade shows are an excellent marketing opportunity to bring awareness to your business and pick up on the latest trends and products in the HVAC industry.
If you participate in a tradeshow, have an appealing booth showing your products and services and portraying your business as a professional company. Also, ensure you have more than enough brochures and business cards to hand out to people who show interest in your business during the event.
8. Lawn Signs for Completed Jobs
For completed jobs, ask the property owner if they would allow you to place a lawn sign on the property for about 30 days or so to promote your business.
Naturally, you want a well-designed sign and legible contact information. Keep in mind when other people see your sign, they will be driving by; therefore, you want to keep it simple and ensure your contact information can be seen at a distance.
9. Contact Local General Contractors
Contacting local general contractors is another technique you can use to promote your HVAC business.
Naturally, working with a contractor means less profit but more volume.
Therefore you’re getting your name out there when you work with a general contractor. You can also refer the general contractor to many of your client’s customers that need renovations or maintenance to their property.
Conventional Marketing Techniques
Now that we have gone over some ideas to help you gain a competitive edge, it’s time to look at some HVAC advertising examples you can use to market your HVAC business.
10. Newspaper Advertising
People still get the newspaper and still read it. Some people prefer reading the actual physical paper while others well read the paper off their phones or a computer. Newspaper advertising is still active and effective.
You can take out classified ads, a quarter-page ad, a full-page ad, or whatever works best for your marketing strategy.
When it comes to newspaper advertising, the circulation rate is important to identify how many people you’ll be reaching as well as what area the newspaper services.
There’s no use in taking out a nationwide ad in USA Today if your area is in a small city. You get much better results advertising in the newspaper that services your area. See our article on Newspaper advertising tips for more.
11. Radio Advertising
When it comes to radio advertising, a few things you want to consider is creating a quality ad that gets to the point and focuses on benefits.
I’m not a fan of ads that are trying to be amusing unless it’s very tasteful and drives the point. The ad is not meant to get the listener’s attention without providing a purpose for those interested in acting.
You’ll also want to focus on what time your ad will air. Advertising during off-hours is much more affordable, but at the same time, it’s less effective, so you’d be better off advertising at prime times instead of looking for cheaper rates.
Also, you want to create a campaign where you’re spreading out air time. Presenting your radio ad once or twice is insufficient. Instead, it should run for a few weeks at different times of the day. For more about radio advertising, see our article on Radio Advertising Pros and Cons.
12. TV Advertising
Your local TV station is another medium you can use to advertise your HVAC business.
When you’re advertising on TV, in addition to sound, you have visuals that you should take advantage of showcasing your products and services. For example, you can offer a lot of information in a 30-second ad by focusing on the benefits your views review if they use your product or service. By looking at Infomercials, you’ll be able to tell how the ad focuses on benefit after benefit.
The time your ad airs is very important. You will get more benefits from advertising during primetime news than after 11 PM. If you’re focussing on advertising on your local TV station, talk to them about production because you want to make sure you create a professional commercial.
Also, talk to them about who owns the rights to the commercial. For example, if a TV station throws in the production as part of your campaign, do you have the right to use it, or is it their property if they’re not charging you for it. Which locks you into using them anytime you want to use that commercial.
13. Magazine Advertising
Advertising in magazines is another medium you can use. The magazine must have a decent circulation rate in your area. If your customers are local, there’s no sense in advertising in a national publication. Many of the same principles apply to magazine advertising as the ones above.
14. Billboard Advertising
Local billboard advertising is yet another way to promote your business. Billboards offer great exposure, and you could use it to promote a special you have going on or bring awareness to your company.
Another option for billboard advertising is if you live in a city with a busy highway and open land, you could contact the landowner to see if you could place a billboard on their land for a fee. You could also contact owners of large buildings or even old barns where you could place a billboard on the side of the building or paint a large advertisement.
Naturally, you’d have to determine if any bylaws prohibit this before proceeding.
In addition to billboards, there are other methods to advertise your business, such as bus stops and buses, taxis, trucks, your business sign, etc.
15. Joint Ventures
Joint ventures are another option to promote your business. For example, you could refer clients to a home improvement store, and the store would refer clients that want an installation or repair to your HVAC service. Some key points for joint ventures to work consist of the following:
- Partners that don’t deal with competing products or services
- Both partners must benefit
- Joint ventures are not permanent
- Joint venture deals are something that complements each partner’s business.
For more details on joint ventures, see, How To Create A Joint Venture.
16. Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Joining your local chamber of commerce allows you to network with local entrepreneurs. This is an opportunity to get to know the business owners in the area, and when you build relationships with other business owners, you can count on referrals to your business, especially if you provide excellent service.
17. Apply for BBB Accreditation
Accreditation from the Better Business Bureau builds credibility and gives new customers peace of mind.
Trust is a big thing when making large purchases or dealing with service companies. Therefore improving trust can be obtained by being a part of the Better Business Bureau.
18. Advertise on Your Company Vehicle
Your company vehicle is an excellent opportunity to advertise your business. People driving by will see it when you’re on the job; people will see it when you are driving around the area. The vehicle can even act as a billboard for your company when you’re not busy.
You want a professional design, and a vehicle wrap is probably the best way to go.
Contests are another way to bring awareness to your business and attract customers. For example, you could have a contest to give an HVAC tuneup, including an AC and furnace inspection, furnace clean-up, off freon for the AC unit, and a fresh air filter.
When servicing the units, you will probably find systems that need repair and many that need an upgrade. This is a chance to promote your business and educate the customer about their system. Offer a quote for systems that need replacement and a quote for the repairs if needed. This is also an opportunity to sign people up for maintenance plans.
Online Advertising Methods
We have gone over the opportunities to gain a competitive edge. First, we went over a few ideas related to conventional marketing, and now it’s time to go over some ideas for HVAC digital marketing.
20. Developing Your Website
Social media marketing is very popular these days. However, it shouldn’t be your main point of contact. Social media is something that you don’t have full control over. For example, a social media site could change its terms of service, or you could get banned. Another issue is your account could get hacked, and you can’t access it. Even though these examples are rare, they could happen, and your efforts have gone to waste.
Another important point is that you have the freedom to do as you please with your website compared to marketing on social media sites, where you have to abide by the terms of service.
Also, on your website, you can have a developer create programs that can help you market your HVAC company, while on social media sites, you are limited to what you can do.
Your business cards, brochures, and promotional items should display your website address, not your social media accounts. Link to all your social media account from your website for people that would like to interact with you through those channels. Your Online HQ should be your website and your main point of contact.
Content is important. The more content you provide, the better the chances of being picked up by search engines and the higher up you go when you provide excellent content. By creating tips or blogging about the HVAC industry, you build credibility and become an expert in the field in the eyes of your visitors.
21. Create a Google Ads Campaign
Google ads are an effective way to market your HVAC business. From my experience, it takes time to get a campaign fine-tuned, but once you do, you can have an automated system to get new customers.
You can set up your campaign on autopilot once it’s optimized. For example, you set your daily budget, and if you run out of funds for the day, the campaign stops and starts back up the next day. For more on creating a Google Ads Campaign, see How To Advertise on Google Using These Tips and Insights.
22. Facebook Advertising
Advertising on Facebook is another option to promote your HVAC business. Facebook has a lot of demographic data. So they can easily target customers to the demographics. Facebook advertising is another advertising system that, once optimized, you can set up a budget and specify when to run the ads, and the system is on autopilot. For more see, How to Advertise on Facebook
Creating videos offering tips about the HVAC industry allows you to bring awareness to your business. You don’t have to give away trade secrets, but you can promote tips that you would give during a service call, so your customers operate their equipment effectively.
You could also highlight repair and maintenance jobs to show customers how you operate and how tidy everything is once you leave the job.
You could put your contact information and a link to your website for each video.
You can publish videos on YouTube and TikTok. Keep in mind TikTok videos have time restrictions, while YouTube allows you to publish long videos. You can also embed videos from YouTube on your website.
24. Set up Google Business Profile
Setting up a Google Business Profile is something you should do early. Then, when people search for your business, you will show up at the top with a short blurb of your business, hours of operation, a map, and a link to your website.
This listing shows authority, and it’s something you need to take advantage of. See, How to Create a Google Business Profile, for setting up yours.
25. Joining Angie’s List
Angie’s List is a popular site for consumers looking for general contractors, and this is a site you definitely want to get listed on. Many people refer to Angie’s List to find a contractor and get feedback about the companies and contractors.
Take some time to see how the platform operates because you’ll want to have an optimized listing and great feedback to attract new customers.
In addition to the above marketing tips, I’ve included a few resources to help you expand your knowledge of marketing your HVAC business.
Many of the resources lead to search results so that you always have the most popular and latest information any time to use this page.
Now you have a few ideas for marketing your HVAC business, but you may not have the desire or time to do it yourself. However, it doesn’t hurt to look into what agencies specialize in HVAC marketing if you have a budget. You may find an agency that will take care of everything for you.
Earlier, we talked about testing marketing campaigns. If you hire an agency, make sure to test the results to know if the agency’s marketing brings the results and if their return on investment is good enough for your business.
There are many books in the market related to HVAC marketing.
With non-fiction books, one tip I’d like to pass on is that you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover; instead, you can jump to the table of contents or the index and go to the chapter that contains the information you’re interested in.
Do you want to take a few minutes to see what books are published on the topic of HVAC Marketing?
Another way to market your HVAC business is to take a course specializing in it.
Naturally, you want someone experienced in the field because they can create marketing messages and are experienced in what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t mean you have to have someone in the field of HVAC to give you guidance for marketing your business, but it does give you the advantage because they understand your product services and the industry.
I like using online courses because I can review the information. After all, most online courses offer lifetime access.
If you want, check out Google’s search results related to HVAC marketing courses.
Google’s News site provides the latest and archived news stories covered by the media.
I believe when the media covers a story, then it has some merit, which is why I take a few minutes to look at each one.
YouTube has a large selection of tutorial videos. I use the site for information more than I do for entertainment.
One of the benefits of YouTube is that anyone who has something to offer can publish a video for free.
Some of these videos are diamonds in the rough, and you can usually tell within a few seconds if the video is a valuable use of your time or a time-waster.
More Marketing Tips
Well, there you have it, my list of marketing tips to help you promote your HVAC Business. Don’t try and implement too many at once. You are better off taking those tips that you feel will work best for your business and implementing them one at a time. Be sure to make to test your results and optimize as needed. Do more of what works and stop doing those techniques that aren’t working well.
If you want even more tips then see our marketing tips section from A Touch of Business
Thanks for Reading!