Water Damage Lead Generators Vs. Marketing/Advertising Services

Knowing how to handle a water damage emergency call and actually drying out the structure are the easy parts for most water damage restoration companies. Getting the phone to ring in the first place may be a little harder. 

Do you sit back and wait for emergencies to happen and for customers to call or do you actively pursue jobs through marketing and advertising your services? 

If you decide to do water damage marketing, do you do it all in-house, or is it better to hire an outside marketing/advertising firm to do it all for you? 

The questions are endless and thinking about the various scenarios can be exhausting and still leave you waiting for the phone to ring.  Let us breakdown your options to help you figure out what works best for your company to get those water damage and restoration leads.

Marketing is pivotal to getting more water damage leads and in turn growing your business. The problem is that many companies don’t see the value in marketing, complain about the expense, or don’t even know where to begin. Even if a business knows the value of marketing, they may not know how to start effectively start.

Customers have a plethora of ways to find water damage restoration companies including but not limited to Google, Craigslist, Yelp, and referrals to name a few; making proper marketing more important than ever. With the variety of marketing options available, choosing the best one isn’t always easy.

 

The three most common marketing options for water damage restoration companies are:

  • In-house Marketing:  An employee of the company does all the marketing and expenses are incurred regardless of results.
  • Marketing Agency:  An external company markets for your company and expenses are incurred regardless of results.
  • Lead Generation Company: An external company markets your services and you only pay for actual water damage or restoration leads generated.

Selecting the correct strategy or mix of strategies is critical to your success. When comparing the different options, it is crucial to find right balance of cost, control, knowledge, and result to drive your restoration business to success.

 

In-House Water Damage Marketing and Advertising

While doing your own marketing sounds like the safest bet, who knows your business better than you do, it can be the most expensive form of marketing. The cost of hiring a marketer, their salary, costs for marketing materials, etc. Even if you don’t hire someone explicitly as a marketer but decide to use an existing employee or yourself, you’ll have to factor in the opportunity cost of revenue lost from other jobs. Also, if you or the employees you hire are not experts at marketing, you may have slower and more limited results.

The benefits of doing water damage restoration marketing in-house are that because you are doing it yourself or have an employee doing it, you have full control over how your marketing budget gets spent, what information is conveyed, and how the information is distributed.  If there is something being done that you don’t agree with or like, you can easily communicate with your marketer and make changes on the fly. 

There should be minimal loss of time because you can communicate directly without having to deal with the same obstacles as an external marketer.  If you hire someone who has restoration experience to be your marketer or if you are doing it yourself, then you also can trust that the message and services being portrayed are accurate based on your industry experience and knowledge. The downside is that by not using an outside perspective, you are limited to your knowledge and may not have the best marketing principles in mind to resonate with those looking for your services.

Based on Salary.com, a site used for comparing salary averages, the national average salary for a marketing specialist is over $65,000 not including bonuses or other forms of compensation.  Freelance marketers can charge anywhere from $25 to $100 or more per hour.  This financial commitment may seem like a lot to make without the guarantee of generating water damage leads.

 

Marketing and Advertising Agency

The costs for hiring an agency like Stellar-eMarketing are not tied to the effectiveness of the campaigns.  You will have to pay for the work done and not the results or leads generated. The fees may be charged based on various pricing models, but project based billing, and billing by the hour are common ones for marketing agencies to use. Usually, a contract is involved so you will be tied to a certain dollar amount or length of time to use the agency’s services, making it difficult to switch if you are unhappy with results.

One of the biggest complaints by marketing agency clients is the lack of transparency when it comes to how bills are tabulated. The majority of agencies us a term called billable hours and typical invoice will contain line items such as: 5 hours for design work, 4 hours for copy-writing, and 2 hours for trafficking. For someone focused on water damage restoration, it can be difficult to decipher how these billable hours and tasks correlate to your leads generated especially when paying by the hour. The tab can quickly ad up without seeing any quantifiable results.

Another issue that arises is that most marketing agencies work with multiple clients across a variety of fields and may not be familiar with the specific services you offer. The better agencies do their research on the market to understand, however you may still need to spend a significant amount of time communicating with them to ensure that they are marketing your services in the right way for your business.  This time and money will need to be spent outside of your direct business to make sure you develop the most effective marketing plan.

 

Water Damage Lead Generation Company

Pay per lead service providers have the equal knowledge and skills that a marketing agency has, but often understand to a better degree the disaster mitigation business. A lead generation company will create, design, and manage your marketing and advertising campaigns for you to the right audience. The biggest benefit is that they are only paid when you get an actual lead.

Pay per lead companies like Apical Marketing or Service Direct focus on lead generation advertise the specific services you offer through a variety of means such as SEM. By being visible on search engines and other channels, when a potential customer has a water disaster such as a burst pipe or sewage leak, they are more likely to come across your services.  While every lead may not lead to a job, many restoration contractors are able to achieve relatively high closing rates from water damage leads generated by pay per lead companies.

Lead generation companies charge per lead and rates vary by location as well as how qualified the lead is. The costs can range from about $100 to over $700. Most pay per lead companies have a process in place to dispute bad calls as well as call recording for record-keeping.  Some companies offer market exclusivity while other partner with multiple disaster restoration companies in specific location.  If a company offers lead generation to multiple other service providers, be sure to ask how the calls are distributed and what happens to return callers.

 

Your Sales Process

Other important factors to consider when partnering with a water damage lead generation company are those factors you control within your company to increase the probability of calls turning into jobs. These include having an actual live person answer the calls when they come, ensuring the caller is the decision maker, being available 24/7, and clear communication. Some callers may be in the midst of a disaster and could use some reassurance that you are there to help and will get them back to normal quickly.