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Tree service leads: 5 low-cost ways to attract new customers

Tree service leads: tree service provider trimming a branch

Key takeaways

  • Identify your target market, then fine tune your marketing strategies and branding to bring in new tree service leads
  • Use SEO tactics on your website and social media to increase your visibility and build credibility, trust, and engagement
  • Leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing through a referral program, customer reviews, and partnerships with complementary businesses to attract new clients 

As a tree service provider, you likely already know the different types of trees in your area and how to properly care for them. You can identify when a tree is overgrown, diseased, or simply needs routine care. But as a business owner, you also need to make sure your tree care business is thriving and profitable. As such, your marketing strategy should bring you a steady flow of high-quality tree service leads that you can turn into sales, one tree at a time.

Getting tree service leads starts with knowing your customers

uprooted tree fallen over walkway

As with any home service, your tree service marketing strategy starts with knowing your target market, then tailoring your branding and services to them. The good news is that the target market for tree service is huge, as residential as well as commercial property owners will all need your services at one time or another.

Think about who your potential customers are—you could even create customer personas—and why they need a tree service contractor. Often people have a large tree that’s blocking their view or is in danger of falling and damaging a house or a car, or even worse, hurting the people inside. Maybe a tree’s roots are growing too close to their house and destroying the foundation. Perhaps they want to build a shed, patio, or ADU and need a tree removal service to make space in the backyard. Sometimes people want to save a beautiful old tree that’s become diseased or simply needs its dead branches removed.

Fine tune your tree service marketing

After you identify your target audience, make sure your brand personality speaks to them. For example, if you’re targeting budget-conscious first-time homeowners, focus on how your prices are lower than other tree service providers in the area. If you’re hoping to attract owners of expensive homes in exclusive areas, emphasize your expertise in caring for beautiful older trees that may have developed problems but can be preserved if given the proper care.

Most tree companies can handle routine services, such as trimming branches and removing dead or badly located trees. But if you or someone on your staff is an arborist, be sure to advertise that fact prominently in all your promotional and lead-generating materials, including your flyers and business cards. Certified arborists are specialists in evaluating the health of trees and determining when a tree can be saved from being removed. They also specialize in preventive care to protect trees from diseases and pests. 

While promoting your tree company takes time and effort, especially at first, the return on investment will be well worth it. Learn how to attract new customers—and keep your existing clients—so you always have tree service jobs lined up. 

5 low-cost ways to boost your tree service lead generation

tree surgeons on a lift cutting branches

There are plenty of ways to get tree service leads yourself at low or even no cost. Each can be used on its own, but combining them will increase your reach even more. For example, you could use social media to gather leads online and also network in person with local, related business owners or landlord associations. Pick the options that best suit your situation to put together an effective marketing strategy. Here are five proven tree service lead generation strategies to try.

1. Create a great first impression with your website

Your tree service website forms the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy. It should look professional and credible, distinguish you from your competitors, and provide all the information potential customers might want. 

Tell them about who you are and what’s important to you, whether it’s eco-conscious tree service or meticulous cleanup after a job. If you are a certified arborist or have other specialized skills or credentials, be sure to state that clearly. Share your contact details and specify your service area. You can gather tree service leads by creating a pop-up form that invites customers to leave their phone number and email address so you can contact them to offer a quote.

Give your site the best chance of showing up in search results by following search engine optimization (SEO) practices. When you use these tactics on your website and social media, your website is more likely to appear higher up on the results pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This makes it easier for customers to find you when they’re looking for the services you offer. Use keyword research tools to identify what (and where) your potential customers might be looking for when they type queries into a search engine. For example, “eco-friendly tree removal Asheville,” “Seattle arborist,” or “emergency tree services Austin.”

You can build a free website yourself, but if you’re looking for something more complex, consider hiring someone to put the basics in place for you. 

2. Work your social media channels to create engagement

an arborist cutting a branch from a tree

Rather than trying to manage multiple platforms, choose one or two social media channels and post regularly on them. Research shows that 70% of people buy from brands that reflect their personal values, so use your posts to share more about your company, your brand personality, and your staff so people can get a sense of how your values align with theirs.

As with your website, share testimonials from satisfied customers and showcase your work with high-quality before-and-after photos or videos of completed jobs. Show off and share your know-how by providing helpful information on topics like the best time of year to trim trees or how to tell if an insect-infested tree needs to be treated. 

You could also invite customers to ask questions and then answer those in your posts or do a weekly or biweekly live stream so people can engage with you in real time.

Always invite customers to subscribe to your channels for useful hints and tips, and invite your followers to share your posts with others who may find them helpful. That way, you can generate new tree service leads with every post.

3. Build credibility with online reviews

Customer reviews from current or past customers are a free and effective way to help you generate free tree service leads. The key is to provide excellent service; when you do, customers are more likely to be inspired to leave a good review for you on online directories and review sites

For instance, when you claim your Yelp Business Page, you should respond to all reviews—whether they’re positive or critical. The latter is especially important, as potential customers read your responses to reviews. Even if a review is critical, a constructive and customer-focused response can save—or even boost—your company’s online reputation.

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4. Implement a referral program to expand your customer base

Happy customers help you sell to others—that’s the bottom line. When they show off their beautifully trimmed trees to their neighbors or mention how you helped them save their favorite tree from succumbing to a disease, you’re reaping the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing. Reward them for singing your praises with a referral program. For example, offer them a discount on their next tree trim for every new customer they refer.

Referrals can also come from networking with other home services businesses. Consider what complementary services your customers might use and work on building relationships with those business owners. For example, you could form a partnership with a garden service or landscaping company. They can refer customers looking for tree services to you while you refer customers looking for their services to them—perhaps even for a referral fee.

Don’t forget about commercial property owners. Owners of apartment buildings, condo complexes, and business properties are responsible for properly maintaining the trees on their property. Landscaping requires a large financial commitment and can be a potential source of lawsuits. Contact your local landlord and other commercial property owners’ associations and ask to be considered as their go-to when the trees on their property require care.

5. Use cost-per-click (CPC) advertising

Cost-per-click (CPC) ads—aka pay per click (PPC)—can be a low-cost lead generation tactic because you only pay when a customer clicks on your ad. When they do, they’re taken to your website landing page, and a certain amount of money is deducted from the budget that you set beforehand. 

To start, identify keywords that your customers are likely to type into search engines—like “tree removal San Francisco” or “tree trimming Boulder, Colorado”—then use those keywords in your ads. If you’re not well-versed in this type of digital advertising, you can find affordable experts on sites like Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your strategy.

You could also consider running Yelp Ads, which places your business listing in a number of key places on the site and app, including above relevant search results and on your competitors’ pages. 

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Low-cost strategies for tree care and tree removal leads 

To thrive, your tree service company needs a regular flow of customers. Using a combination of low-cost online and offline marketing techniques can help you attract new customers and retain existing ones. 

Start by understanding your target audience, and tailor your marketing efforts to them. Make sure your website collects contact information from potential customers and helps convert visitors to paying customers. 

Use social media to generate interest from new and current customers, and implement SEO tactics to boost your online presence on search engines.

Create partnerships with complementary businesses or organizations and make the most of word of mouth through personal referrals. You can also add your business listing to online directories and review sites like Yelp and respond personally to customer reviews.

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.