October 1, 2019

Get More Roofing Leads

As a roofing business owner, you know how difficult it can be to get good quality leads.

As much as the marketing firm down the street would like you to think otherwise, the world of roofing marketing is full of empty promises and disappointments.

But it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, generating good roofing leads for your business is easier now than it’s ever been.

In the following sections, we will share some of favorite roofing marketing tips and walk you through the best ways to integrate them into your business strategy.

Before we begin, it’s important to explain the difference between a qualified lead and a lead. 

Just because the phone is ringing or your inbox is filling up, doesn’t mean you are actually closer to getting a sale.

In most organizations, leads are qualified as either:

  • Marketing-Qualified Leads
  • Sales-Qualified Leads

While you may be wondering why we are taking the time to separate SQLs and MQLs, the difference between the two is the source of many headaches when working with marketing agencies.

Basically, a Sales Qualified lead is a lead that was generated by a marketing department or agency, that’s been verified for quality by the sales team.

Typically this qualification is based on the interest level and purchasing capability of the prospect.

Because a contact with no intent or ability to purchase your product or service offers your sales team little to no value, the importance of generating sales-qualified leads cannot be overstated.

Much in the same way, marketing qualified leads are leads that are deemed “quality” by the marketing department or agency that produced them. 

Typically, these leads are qualified based on how closely they match a buyer persona or target audience.

While many marketers work directly with the sales team to define what these personas or target audiences should look like, an MQL is only as good as the sales team says it is.

With that in mind, we will spend the remainder of this guide focusing on tactics and strategies for generating sales-qualified roofing leads.

Cold Calling

No matter how many people try to tell you cold calling is dead, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

While cold calling is difficult and often discouraging, it’s just a numbers game.  With a little persistence and the right strategy, this technique can generate some great roofing leads for your business.

The key to winning with cold calling is found in honing your approach.

Rather than come off as the same nervous and annoying sales rep we all love to hang up on, you need to think of yourself as an important professional who specializes in solving problems for your customers.

By approaching each call as an opportunity to help a business owner or homeowner solve a problem, you’ll start finding people reacting much more positively.

Once you start focusing on solving problems over selling a products during cold calls, the leads will start rolling in!

Two men on a residential roof installing shingles on a sunny day

Door-to-door Canvassing

Knocking on doors may very well be the most tried and true way to generate leads for a roofing business.

Much like cold calling, this lead generation strategy is often written off as ineffective or ‘old school’. But the truth is canvassing is still a very effective way to grow your roofing business in 2019.

Just as success with cold-calling depends on the approach you take, success with door-to-door sales is built on the foundation of strategy you put in place.

While many people are reluctant to open their door and ‘be sold’ by a stranger, few will turn down the opportunity to speak with an expert who is generally interested in offering value to their home or business.

Rather than rely on pushy sales tactics or blanket canvassing, roofing businesses generating leads with door-to-door canvasing in 2019 are using the consultative approach we discussed in the section about cold-calling.

Stop looking at each home or business owner as an opportunity to make a profit. By looking at potential customers as opportunities to offer genuine help, your roofing leads will skyrocket!

Was there a recent storm in the area?

Offer to check a home or business owner’s roof for damage.

If you can’t find any damage, be honest about it. Leave your card and let them know you’re here if they end up needing help in the future.

Not only will the honesty be a welcomed breath of fresh air, it may just make enough of a good impression to grow into a lead when the need arrives. Just because someone wasn’t hit by the most recent storm, doesn’t mean their roof will be spared on the next one.

Maybe they’ll end up having a friend or neighbor who needs a new roof in the future.

Doing business the right way now is the best way to ensure you have a business in the future.

In planning your canvassing strategy, you should make sure to outline specific goals for each interaction (i.e. setting an appointment for an inspection), have a general idea of a script you can follow, and make sure to consistently follow up.

Some roofers we’ve spoken with use apps like the Weather Channel or Weather.com to stay aware of where storms are occurring and plan canvassing routes accordingly.

Event Marketing: Trade Shows and Expos

While many roofing business owners attend the occasional roofing industry trade show or expo, few take the time to get involved in industry events of their ideal customers.

By sponsoring a booth at a trade show of an industry with potential clients, you can put yourself in a great position to find some great leads.

Even if sponsoring a booth is out of your price range, a ticket to attend most shows and expos rarely costs more than $20-30. You will be amazed how many leads you can generate with a pocket full of business cards and a smile at these events.

In planning your trade show strategy, it’s important to consider both the leads you want to generate and your approach to generating them.

Focusing most of your time on the most attractive industries will help make sure you are getting the roofing leads you actually want.

If your primary focus is commercial roofing, you may want to attend a facilities expo. If you’d prefer residential leads, your best bet may be a trade show aimed at homeowners.

Equally important to choosing the right events to attend, planning your actual execution strategy is a critical consideration to lead generation.

In drawing out your attack, you should keep in mind the average length of conversation it usually takes you to close a sale or generate a lead.

Sometimes it’s better to limit the length of your conversations to the time it takes to set a follow up in order to maximize your lead volume. In other cases, it may make more sense to spend the time necessary to actually close a deal with a select few targets.

It’s also helpful to think about what your ideal customer looks like and the typical pain points they need a roofer to solve.

Planning your approach with these considerations in mind can help make sure you’re making the most of your time and leaving with the best leads possible.

Local Meetups and Networking Events

Like trade shows and expos, local meetups and networking events are also great ways to grow your roofing business.

If you live in a city with more than 100,000 people, there are probably many meetups and networking events happening around you on a monthly basis.

The best part?

Most meetups and networking events are free! 

Even those with an entry fee typically only cost between $5-20 to attend. Considering how much a roofing lead is worth to your business, this is a small price to pay for a great opportunity!

As if meetups and networking events weren’t already a great opportunity on their own, they also come with the added benefit of huge secondary lead generation potential.

Because the people who typically attend these sorts of events tend to be interested in expanding their professional network, the potential to generate multiple roofing leads from one conversation by tapping into a contact’s network is huge.

As you can probably guess, it’s important to spend some time learning about the businesses and offerings of other people in attendance too.

By taking a genuine interest in the problems they solve, you may end up being able to connect them with potential leads too, building a mutual relationship that benefits both parties in the long-run!

Getting involved in Your Community

Getting involved with the local community is another great way to generate leads for a roofing business.

From sponsoring charity events and youth sports to joining local organizations and volunteering for community initiatives, you’ll find you often get back much more than you put in when it comes to getting involved.

Organizations like Meals on Wheels, The Boys and Girls Club and the Chamber of Commerce are just a few examples of places you can build relationships with like-minded business owners while doing good for your local community.

Not only does this kind of involvement help strengthen local attitudes about your business and brand, the relationships you form along the way can end up generating a ton of leads for your business by way of network referrals.

Direct Mail Marketing

While this lead generation strategy may be less effective than cold calling or door-to-door canvassing, it’s still too effective to ignore in 2019.

Much like the other old school strategies discussed above, the key to winning with mail lead generation is authenticity.

Rather than mail out flyers asking customers to “buy”, focus on sending potential leads valuable information or other free value.

From an offer for a free roofing inspection after a storm to a short list of helpful tips to help businesses and homeowners look for roof damage on their own, showing that you are out to help people is the best way to build the trust necessary to convert a cold lead into a warm lead when the need arises.

Looking for some tips on how to improve your direct mail lead generation strategy?

Check out this direct mail marketing guide from Forbes.

Email Marketing

While this strategy has a much lower success rate, the minimal effort it takes to put in place makes it worthy of mention.

With the help of free email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact, any business owner can put together an email lead gen campaign with very little effort and technical know-how.

If you aren’t already using email as part of your roofing business lead generation strategy, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start.

At the risk of being repetitive, the most important thing to keep in mind is the authenticity and purpose of the emails you send. Rather than mass send a bunch of “buy this now” style emails, its much better to put some thought into sending information your potential customers would actually want to read.

After figuring out a way to add value with your emails, you’ll need to brainstorm a subject line that is most likely to get people to open the email. It’s best to stay away from any subject line that comes off as “selly”, trying your best to make the email seem as personal as possible with the subject line (ex: Great meeting you at [event name]).

Granted, if you don’t know anything about the people you’re sending the emails to, try your best to focus the subject line on communicating the value you are trying to offer as concisely as possible (ex: Is your roof in danger of leaking? Important things to check after a storm).

The content of the email should be similarly concise and focused much more on delivering value than “selling”.

That said, it’s important to include a Call to Action towards the end of your message that helps communicate the next step or best way to get in touch with you should the reader be interested in your services.

Photo of the app bar on a mac computer, showing the email icon highlighted with 3 pending email messages

Paid Social Media Ads

This strategy can be a touchy subject.

Most roofing business owners have been burned in the past by a “Social Media Marketing Expert” and understandably reluctant to waste more money trying it again.

Despite many “Social Media Marketing Gurus” being full of hot air, this strategy is too effective to ignore when it comes to getting roofing leads.

Social platforms like Facebook not only have a ton of users who own homes or businesses, their built-in ability to put together highly targeted ad campaigns makes them a very powerful tool in the right hands.

It’s important to note that social media advertising can be a huge waste of money without the proper strategy in place.

Paying to “boost a post” is basically the same thing as throwing money down the drain.

Fortunately for business owners who don’t have the time to learn how to use social media platforms for proper lead generation, there are skilled professionals available to do it for you.

In the interest of not getting ripped off, its important to do your homework before hiring someone for social media lead generation.

Checking their reviews on Google and Yelp, along with asking for a few professional references is typically all you need to do to they know what they are doing, but the more research you can do before hiring, the more likely you’ll be to maximize the leads generated and minimize your average lead cost.

Search Engine Marketing: Bing and Google PPC

Commonly-abbreviated as SEM, search engine marketing is another touchy subject for many roofing business owners.

While there are admittedly a ton of people selling the same snake oil you typically see I the social media marketing industry, the power of Google ads in the hands of a skilled professional is too big to ignore.

As an important disclaimer, this is another tactic that is really important to do your homework on before hiring.

Even so, a skilled PPC/SEM expert is worth their weight in gold when it comes to lead generation.

Considering that the average residential lead could easily make your business $10,000 or more in profit, the average roofing lead cost of less than $100 per lead starts looking pretty good.

Search Engine Optimization

These days, it seems like you can’t turn a corner without hearing the word SEO.

Much like the other digital lead generation strategies discussed above, this is another tactic in which it’s important to properly vet the person you hire to make sure they know what they’re doing.

Above all else, hiring a skilled SEO professional may very well be the most cost effective and successful way to generate leads for your roofing business in 2019.

Because the work an SEO expert does on your website is geared towards increasing your organic visibility on search engines like Google and Bing, the investment you make in their services can often end up paying huge dividends over the life of your business.

Whether you focus on local SEO and ranking in the map pack results, or national SEO with a content strategy, earning a solid position in the search results is the gift that keeps on giving.

That’s not to say you can just pay an expert for a month and be set for life. SEO is a difficult process, so getting solid results in a competitive industry like roofing will take time.

The plus side is that after the 6 months or so it takes a good SEO to get you showing up on Google and Bing, you can drastically cut your investment and still maintain your position.

Assuming the person you hired knew what they were doing, the positions you earn in relevant searches should stay consistent with minimal maintenance work.

As you can probably guess, this strategy can end up being the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to lead generation. Earning a top position for searches like “roofing companies near me” or “companies that fix roof leaks” in your area could easily end up generating a ton of qualified leads over time.

Screenshot of a Google Search Console dashboard showing traffic from a recent roofing SEO campaign

Strategic Partnership Development

You may be surprised to hear such a corporate sounding term in a guide written for small business owners.

Fancy name aside, building strategic alliances is a great strategy for generating qualified leads.

From construction material suppliers to other B2B businesses that work directly with your ideal customers, developing relationships with these types of businesses is a great way to increase your inbound lead flow.

You would be amazed at the huge return a couple boxes of donuts or bags of breakfast tacos can earn you.

Building relationships with people who work directly with people you want to work with isn’t just a great lead generation strategy, its actually a great business strategy in general.

From getting cheaper supplies and more reliable delivery to making connections that end up connecting you to big players in your industry, strategic partnership development is a great way to grow your roofing business.s

Listings on Directory and Review Sites

Industry directories and review sites are not only great ways to increase your visibility online, they are often a great way to find qualified leads for your business.

Because the average person is unlikely to be browsing a roofing company directory unless they’re actively looking to hire a contractor, the likelihood of getting quality leads from these sites is higher than some of the other options listed above.

As if that wasn’t enough reason to add directory and review site listings to your roofing lead generation strategy, many of these sites can also help your SEO as well.

Because Google factors in the amount of traffic your site is getting from other high-quality sites when deciding where to rank you in a search, earning traffic from directories can actually help your site show up higher in the results.

However, it’s important to clarify that not all directory traffic is good for SEO. 

In recent years, Google has spent millions of dollars training its crawlers to identify low-quality directory sites; going as far as to penalize sites that are listed on their pages.

As a general rule of thumb, you should only list your business on reputable directories (ex: Yelp, Mapquest, etc.) and avoid listing it on those that appear scammy (ex: bestroofingbusinesslist.com).

When in doubt, this guide was written to help you separate good directories from the bad ones.

Paid Lead Generation Services

While many contractors we work with have had mixed experiences with services like Thumbtack and Angie’s list, these types of organizations are still viable ways to generate roofing leads in 2019.

Whether or not these leads end up being qualified is a whole different story however.

From complaints about being sold irrelevant contacts to the same leads being sold to multiple businesses, you definitely need to be careful in working with these types of businesses.

Understandably, this is another tactic in which it’s really important to do your homework before hiring.

However, if you take the time to read reviews from multiple sources and ask for professional references, you may find a lead generation service useful in growing your roofing business.

Protecting Your Investment

While you’re probably excited to hit the ground running with these new strategies, it’s important to make sure you are building your business on a solid foundation.

No matter how much we would all love to double our business, rapid growth often ends up bringing increased risk.

Not only does each new client come with their own set of potential threats to your bottom line (lawsuits, injuries, etc.), the risk of outgrowing your current insurance policy and ending up with a coverage gap is all too common.

At Tomins, we help businesses minimize their risks with mindful coverage built around their actual needs.

Rather than offer the same cookie-cutter policies you’ll see from most brokers, we take the time to understand the unique operation of each business we serve, delivering a policy with all of the coverages you need, and none that you don’t.

Want to make sure you’re protected?

Schedule your free policy review today.

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