- Create a referral program to encourage word-of-mouth marketing from your current customers
- Use a combination of email and direct mail marketing to encourage sign-ups for your services before the first snowfall
- Update your website and social media accounts to put your business higher in search engines results
Demand for snow removal services is expected to increase about 6% over the next decade, which means your snow removal business is in a good position to grow as long as you can capture the attention of potential new customers.
The good news is that customers are already searching for businesses like yours. You just need to implement a few strategies to help them find your business instead of your competitors.
Try these five techniques to bring in more snow removal leads, grow your customer base, and increase your profits.
Snow removal leads: 5 techniques to generate more business
The best marketing strategy for small businesses combines timeless tactics, like word-of-mouth marketing and networking, with digital marketing, like search engine optimization and email marketing, which will help you reach potential customers in a variety of ways. Try a combination of these five lead generation strategies to reach new customers.
1. Start a referral program
Consider your current customers to be your most valuable marketing asset, whether they’re individual homeowners or commercial properties. Even in our increasingly digital world, 93% of people trust referrals from people they know over all other types of marketing. With this in mind, earning referrals should be one of the top priorities in your marketing strategy.
The best way to earn referrals is to provide incredible service—going above and beyond to impress your customers. When you consistently provide excellent service, your customers are more likely to refer your snow removal company without hesitation.
Since building word of mouth takes time, you can kick-start the process with referral marketing. Offer incentives to current customers for sending new customers your way. Some referral program ideas could be to offer a free snow removal service or a percentage off your standard pricing for each new customer they refer.
2. Send emails to encourage sign-ups
Many people wait until after the first big snow storm of the season to hire a snow removal contractor. But this is when you’re at your busiest and are less likely to have time to follow up with potential new customers. Instead, use an email marketing campaign to remind potential clients to sign up before the first snowfall.
Say your company operates as a lawn care and landscaping business during the summer months. You can use email marketing to contact your landscaping customers and convert them into snow removal leads. In the fall, start sending out emails to past and current customers reminding them that you provide snow removal services and to sign up now for snow and ice removal services before the first snow event.
To grow your email list and reach more potential new clients, add a contact form to your website and use it to collect potential customers’ contact information, like their phone number and email address. This will allow you to follow up with any customers who find your site through a search engine.
After an initial sales call, you can use your email campaign to keep in touch with qualified leads. You can convert more leads into customers when you use email marketing to offer discounts or other incentives (like a giveaway) to customers who sign up for your services before the first snowfall.
3. Update your online presence
A recent survey found that 98% of consumers use the internet to find and hire local businesses. If consumers can’t easily find your company online, they may choose one of your competitors. To help customers find you, set up a website or update your current site and social media accounts with local SEO in mind.
SEO, or search engine optimization, ensures your company appears on search engine results pages. Whenever a potential new client in your service area types something like “snow removal business near me” into a search engine, the goal is to have your company’s website listed among the top results.
To have a better chance of appearing higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), which gains more visibility with potential clients, make sure your company name, phone number, service area, and service offerings (like snow plowing, snow blowing, and de-icing walkways, driveways, and parking lots) appear on every page of your website—not just the home page. Adding this information to every page will help your site rank higher for search results in your area.
You should also include and regularly check the accuracy of this information on Yelp and your company’s social media accounts. Adding or claiming your Yelp Business Page and updating it with your business information can help potential customers find you more easily and engage with you instead of your competitors.
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4. Partner with other small businesses
Every city and town has a small business community, and if you take part in that community, you could make valuable connections with other small business owners who will help grow your business. Check out your local chamber of commerce to see what types of networking and business development events are offered.
Once you start forming relationships with other businesses in the area, you can create partnerships that help you get more leads. For example, you might meet a commercial property management company or an HOA management company that needs your snow removal services. Or you may form relationships with providers who offer other winter services and are willing to refer customers to your business—for instance, plumbers who specialize in winterization, companies that offer gutter cleaning, or contractors who install insulation around windows.
All of these businesses have clients who may need snow removal service. You may even be able to offer an exclusive first-time discount to your partner business’s customers as an incentive to hire you. If you specialize in commercial snow removal, networking with local companies could lead directly to new customers.
5. Try a direct mail campaign
Direct mail comes in many forms, but perhaps the most common and recognizable are the envelopes stuffed with coupons from local businesses, mailers that look like newspapers but feature discounts and advertisements from a variety of companies, and individual postcards that only feature one company.
Direct mail campaigns may seem a bit outdated, but a recent market report shows that they’re still highly effective. The average return on investment is $4.09 for every $1.27 that you spend on your direct mail marketing campaign, and the average response rate for direct marketing campaigns is four to seven times higher than it is for email marketing campaigns—at 2.7–4.4%. So for every 100 direct mailers you send out, you can expect to get two to four qualified leads.
You also have full control over the addresses you send direct mail to, so you can target customers in specific neighborhoods or parts of town where you’d like to do more business.
Applying the snowball effect to your business
Once you’re working with these snow removal lead generation tactics, you may notice a snowball effect. Starting a referral program, updating your online presence, using email and direct mail, and networking with other local businesses can all greatly increase the volume of new customers. And when you get new customers, those customers can refer you to even more new customers.
Whether you’re just starting your snow removal businesses or you’re looking to grow, these tactics will help you achieve your business goals. Check out these 15 marketing tips for small business success for more ways to grow your small business.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.