Pennsylvania-based Energy Swing Windows has successfully competed with large national firms for years. The company’s marketing director, Drew Barto, spills his marketing secrets, including how to get more imagery and layering marketing materials.
Watch the video above or read the transcript below.
Barto: I’m Drew Barto, I've been the director of marketing and Energy Swing Windows for 12 years now. We serve southwestern Pennsylvania, which basically is Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. What makes us unique is that we are in a market with a lot of big competitors of big national name brands. And I take great pride in taking a piece of that share, a little bit more of that share, from them every year.
There's room for all of us, but I do enjoy, when we get to the major national competitors, I do enjoy taking some of those leads and sales away from them.
Pro Remodeler: Three favorite tech tools for business?
My three favorite pieces of technology that we use in our business today would be MarketSharp, Hatch, and CompanyCam—that's my favorite, I'll save that for last.
MarketSharp is our CRM, you know that's our quick access to our dashboard for all of our leads. We can see what pace we're on, we also use it for our service department, and it's really improved.
We've had it since day one in our business market chart before it was on the internet, before it was cloud-based, so it's been great for us. I'd recommend it to anybody.
Hatch is something we've just started in the last four to six weeks, however we use this to communicate with our customers after we set the appointment. Appointment confirmations with
our consultants, they'll respond and say, ‘Thank you, Tim,’ ‘Thank you, Chris.’ It personalizes it before we go out to their home they kind of get to meet our guys before we get there, so we're actually finding that we're getting more appointments on the board, we're getting more cancellations rescheduled, and we're building better relationships through Hatch.
My third and favorite thing that we use in technology is CompanyCam. This is a basically an app on our phone that allows us to take photos. So we use it from in from the sales consultants. They go out take photos of the jobs, they'll put those photos and circle and highlight any issues problem issues for customers, put them in the proposal, but then our measuretech and our installers get those photos as well.
But the best thing I think we have with CompanyCam is that our installers are trained to take photos on site before, during, and after photos so we turn around and use those in our marketing efforts. Whether it's on our direct mail pieces or Facebook, but also we reward our installers for good usable photos. We give them bonuses because it saves us the expense of having to hire a photographer to go out there with job sites with good photos.
PR: Top three tips for social media?
B: I love social media for, maybe not personally, but for business, I really like it. Especially Facebook and a lesser degree, Instagram, which is actually starting to work for us too a little bit. But you gotta post a lot of photos. Videos are good too but attention spans are minimal because everybody has everything on their phones. Every app, you get 900 apps on your phone, so photos though get attention, particularly photos with people in them. Say it's satisfied customers holding a sign up saying 100 satisfied customer in front of our door that we just installed throwing a pet in that photo and that's even more it makes people stop scrolling—people love
Pick a budget and run with it, be consistent, have a consistent Facebook budget. Facebook is difficult to get today leads all the time, so you have to have the right mindset knowing, ‘Hey, I might not get X amount of calls from Facebook, but it's all part of the marketing package.” And for us, what we do, we run our Facebook ads in the same places that we're doing other marketing activities. For instance, if we're sending direct mail pieces to these 10 towns this week, we're going to also do Facebook ads in those 10 towns. So we get frequency across platforms, not just one platform, right?
We're maybe doing a home show in town. If we're doing a home show in a part of town, we will also market in the same time so people get to see who we are when they see our logo or our name. The tenth time, they're more likely to trust us than if it was the first time.
PR: Most successful lead source?
B: The most successful lead source still to this day, repeats and referrals. That's a given though, if you're not getting repeats and referrals, you're doing something wrong. But the number one lead source, I call it a cold lead source, that's non-repeats and referrals is still direct mail for us, it really is.
Some people find this hard to believe, but between every door direct mail, high-end magazines, I only buy covers and back covers. I don't go inside the magazine, I pay a premium for those spots because everybody sees those I don't rely on somebody flipping through a book. So it really is treated like a postcard, almost like an everyday direct mail piece for us.
That's our number one lead source. We target people based on home value, incomes that fit our demographics, also where we're doing work that we think our installers will come back and say or consultants come back and say, ‘Hey this is a really good neighborhood this is the first home we've done here but there's a lot more doors than you replaced here, or windows that need replaced here.’
PR: Any closing words of advice?
B: I think if I had any advice for home improvement companies, don't forget—I mean everybody, you're getting inundated with new technology, new lead sources that work really well, but don't forget about some of the more traditional things and how you can make that stuff work together, right? Facebook, social media, digital ads, it works wel, it works better if it's implemented with some old-school tech. You know old school media like magazines, and you know, standard direct mail, things like that. When you can have those things working together, it just builds you up and gets you more more quality leads over and get you more leads over time.
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