HVAC Seasonality: How To Avoid A Bust After The Boom

by , on
June 13, 2017

 

HVAC demand is driven by the weather, so it’s no surprise seasonality exists in the northeast. The beginning of the heating and cooling seasons are often the busiest times of the year for HVAC pros. Homeowners remember that their comfort wasn’t optimal last year and want to do something about it, so your phones ring off the hook and you have assessments booked out for weeks.  This spike in demand is the reason most HVAC contractors aren’t thinking about marketing right now (even though we would argue you should…).

The challenge– you’re incredibly busy now, but the boom will slow down. If you’re not prepared, the boom ends and you’re scrambling to find your next job.  This cycle happens every year, but there is a simple solution to help you avoid it.

We use (405) 447-4381 as one tool to evaluate demand for HVAC products and services. It’s a free tool that allows you to enter keywords or topics to see what the volume of the searches are for specific time periods in specific geographic areas.

Below is a chart for air conditioning in 2016 in the northeast. As you can see, demand spikes very quickly in mid-May with an overall downward trend until it tapers off in mid-August.

When the floodgates open in mid-May, HVAC contractors book home assessments out for weeks and even in some cases even turn work away; most HVAC contractors just don’t have enough trucks or technicians to address the demand all at once.

As the weeks proceed and the focus shifts quickly from sales to operations, the top of your sales funnel starts to dry up just as quickly as it boomed.

Yet, there’s still demand out there that you can capture as shown in the chart above.

To avoid the “boom and bust” cycle that happens every year, Faze1 provides a turnkey marketing solution that allows you to keep an ongoing flow of leads year-round at an affordable price with almost no effort on your part.

Radius Marketing is the fastest and easiest way to reach qualified new customers right near your existing ones.

The important thing about Radius Marketing is that you can select the appropriate lead volume that’s right for your business so you can maintain a consistent and manageable lead flow that works best for you.

Learn how to maintain a consistent lead flow year round using Radius Marketing.

Why Aren’t You Using Your Co-op Funds? Here’s Why.

by , on
January 23, 2017

If you’re an HVAC contractor, you almost certainly know that co-op funds exist to help dealers sell more products and create local awareness about national brands. Most often, co-op is used to put manufacturer logos on your trucks, jackets, and work shirts. This helps to visibly align your local brand with well-known national brands and increase your credibility in the marketplace. It’s essentially free money waiting to be put to good use.

co-op marketing

Free money there for the taking. Why not grab some?

But every year, distributors are challenged to spend all the co-op funds allocated to their dealers. If the funds aren’t used, then then lose them as well as the opportunity to increase their equipment sales. And what the distributors and manufacturers know is that when co-op funds are spent wisely, everyone in the supply chain benefits from it. So, the question is why aren’t you using your co-op?

Once you’ve covered the basics with your co-op funds and have given your brand a facelift with a new truck wrap or a fancy fleece, distributors will often advocate you increase your marketing efforts. There are several challenges we hear about doing this at Faze1 from both the distributors and their dealers themselves regarding the use of co-op funds.

First, running a marketing campaign might not be a priority. Most HVAC contractors are time-strapped business owners who are focused on the things that keep their business operating smoothly on the day-to-day and coordinating marketing campaigns doesn’t always fit in with their priorities. Additionally, they might not be interested in growing their business which means investing in marketing wouldn’t make sense.

Second, if they are interested in running marketing campaigns and growing their business, they’re not being offered preconfigured and effective marketing programs they can easily opt-in to. Running co-op approved marketing campaigns often requires the dealer to work with or source a marketing agency to put together custom designs, go through an approval process, and run the campaign. This process can take weeks to months and dozens of hours to execute.

Thirdly, HVAC contractors sell many different types of equipment and services. From central A/C to ductless, boilers to furnaces, plumbing to electrical work, and service to maintenance contracts, there’s a lot of value they bring to the table. However, when the service offering is broad it becomes challenging to make confident decisions around what to invest in and where from a marketing perspective.

At Faze1, we get all of this and are here to help. More than 90% of the marketing campaigns are approved for co-op and more than half use preconfigured marketing assets. And when you bring our data into the mix to build a marketing strategy, that’s where the magic comes in.

Since we can pinpoint the best homes for very specific equipment installations and service based on the heating and cooling characteristics of a home, we can create customer segments specific to the manufacturer’s equipment you sell. This also greatly reduce the number of target customers in your marketplace. We significantly enhance your ability to leverage co-op, because we can craft the campaign to reach only these target customers with a very specific message marketing a very specific product. Otherwise, you would be running a blanketed marketing campaign, blindly picking a product or service to market, and guessing on what the right message is to reach an opaque audience with.

Faze1 can help you take the guesswork out of your marketing plan, greatly increase the number of qualified marketing impressions, and optimize your co-op marketing funds. Let me provide you with an example.

Let’s say you’re an HVAC contractor based out of Worcester, MA. You want to run a campaign for the cooling season with the goal of generating new equipment installs. You also have the option to market cooling equipment in two ways: 1) central A/C replacement, and 2) ductless heat pump installation.

Your service territory is a 5-mile radius around your office, and it turns out there are 19,229 single family, owner-occupied homes with a median household income over $60,000. Assuming you have the marketing budget to reach all of these homes, what’s your strategy for marketing to them?

If this were all the data you had, it’s likely you would have to create a generic marketing message and, if you wanted to use co-op, you would have to commit to one of the equipment manufacturers; you can’t use competing offers or equipment and have them approved for co-op. Based on your instinct, you go with the central A/C replacement, because you believe there’s more of these people in your market that would be interested than ductless. Here are the campaign economics:

  • Campaign Cost = 19,229 targets x $0.45 per postcard = $8,653
  • After Co-op: 50% x $8,653 = $4,326
  • # of impressions = 19,229
  • # of qualified impressions = 4,092
  • Total waste = (19,229 – 4,092) / 19,229 = 78.7% or $3,404

Using Faze1’s data for targeting the best customers based on the heating and cooling characteristics of their home, we can determine the number of qualified impressions. For central A/C replacement, we would only focus on homes that are:

  • Single family, owner-occupied
  • Median household income >$60,000
  • Have central A/C
  • Age of home is >15 years old

Now let’s segment your target customers based on the manufacturer’s equipment you sell and build the marketing strategy the Faze1 way. Using the target profile above for central A/C replacement, below are the details for this campaign:

  • Campaign Cost = 4,092 targets x $0.91 per postcard = $3,723
  • After Co-op: 50% x $3,723 = $1,861
  • # of impressions = 4,092
  • # of qualified impressions = 4,092
  • Total waste = 0

And for the ductless heat pump installation, this is the target profile we would use:

  • Single family, owner-occupied
  • Median household income >$60,000
  • No central A/C
  • Oil or electric fuel

Turns out your instinct was wrong and there are more ductless targets than central A/C replacement. Using the target profile above for ductless heat pump installation, below are the details for this campaign:

  • Campaign Cost = 6,548 targets x $0.84 per postcard = $5,500
  • After Co-op: 50% x $5,500 = $2,750
  • # of impressions = 6,548
  • # of qualified impressions = 6,548
  • Total waste = 0

Now let’s compare the traditional approach to the marketing strategy vs. Faze1:

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Interested to know what your market looks like? Sign up for app.faze-1.com for free and get access to all Faze1 data today.

Fall Ductless Design Test Part 3: How to Measure Results

by , on
October 13, 2016

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This is the third article in our 4 part series. In the second article, we shared the ads that we test and the landing page. In the first article, 2106376998

In this article, I’ll show you how we set the ads up and the terms that we use to measure the campaign. This will come in handy, because we will be using those terms during the presentation of results next Tuesday. If you’d like to RSVP to get the results test that we’re presenting on Tuesday October 17th at 11am, you can do it here.

Here’s a basic model of the elements we assemble for a design test.

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Facebook targeting and bidding strategy.

The first step in the process is figuring out where you want to target and who. We figured out the specific towns we wanted to target in Massachusetts by using Faze1 data. For the fall heating season, we’ve found that targeting areas with a lot of boilers and older homes in best for ductless. These are the homes most likely to have un-even heating and cooling spots.

You can create a Faze1 account and do this yourself at /www.faze-1.com

So, we pick the areas of Massachusetts with Faze1 data. We can’t use Facebook to target specific areas, but we can use it to target homeowners of a specific demographic within areas that we’ve determined.

  • Homeowners
  • English speaking
  • Income $65k+

Bidding strategy.

This topic can get complex quickly, so I’ll try to provide a brief summary here. If you have any questions about bidding strategy, just put them in the comments and I’ll answer them.

Here’s the two things to set up when you set up the bid strategy. What you’re going to pay for and what you’re optimizing the campaign for.

Bidding

  1. Pay for impressions. This means you will pay for every 1,000 impressions.
  2. Pay for clicks. This means you will pay every time someone clicks on the ad. Like Google.

Optimizing

  1. Clicks. This means Facebook will optimize the ad showing that gets the most clicks. Facebook will do this by automatically manipulating the number of impressions shows of each ad, it will show more impressions to the ads get more clicks from the users. This is most common what you want to do.
  2. Impressions. This means Facebook will give equal amounts of impressions for each ad.
  3. Conversions. You can ad something called a “conversion pixel” to your landing page. If you do this, Facebook will optimize the ads for the ones that generate the most number of leads.

Location. Optimizing also includes the location of the ads. You can specify where you want to show your ads. Based on the design of the ad, it will likely work better in different locations.

  1. Desktop
  2. Newsfeed
  3. Sidebar
  4. Instagram

Ad Success Metrics

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So, now that we’ve set up our Facebook targeting and ad strategy, we will want to show the ads.

The key metric that we’re looking for here is the Click through rate, often referred to as the “CTR”

This is a measure of the number of people that see the ad, versus the number that click on it.

For example, if 1,000 people see an ad and 28 click on it, it has a 2.8% click through rate.

A few notes about CTR

  1. On the most basic level, its the level of interest. Higher CTR is better.
  2. With that said, it’s not always true. We’re always looking for a qualified interest, not just interest. If an ad gets lot of clicks but doesn’t convert to a lead, it’s still meaningless.
  3. Without any other data, higher CTR is better. If you have two ads with the same CTR, see which one generated more leads.

What the CTR is a basic measure of it is how compelling is this message to the target audience. More clicks = more compelling, assuming that some convert into leads.

Landing page success metric

So, we’re generating clicks from the Facebook universe. What happens to that click? When you set up the ad, you have to give them a specific URL for the landing page. So it might be /ductless.faze-1.com

On the landing page, the people only have two options a) leave the page b) sign up for a set visit or to get a quote. In order to do this, they need to enter contact information.

Because there is a such a small amount of things that that can do, we can use the landing page to measure the amount of qualified traffic we’re generating by see how many clicks turn into leads.

This metric is called the landing page conversion rate.

It’s simply a measure of how many people go to the landing page and how many become leads.

If a landing page gets 100 clicks and 2 people become leads, the conversion rate is 2%.

The landing page conversion rate is a tool that measures a few things

  1. How qualified the traffic is from the ads. If there is an ad that have a very high CTR (3%+) and all the traffic comes to the landing page but nothing converts, it could be because the traffic from the ad is low quality. This means that there’s a problem with the ad.
  2. How credible and attractive the offer is. It’s possible that the ads are generating very qualified traffic but the landing page lacks good information about the product, benefits, or is not credible.

Note. It’s really hard to figure out the difference between 1 and 2, the only way to figure it out is to test more and more.

Analyzing results

Here’s the sort of table you will create with each design test. you can look at ads on a group basis, but it’s more valuable to look at them on an individual basis.

With these situations it’s possible to have the group look like it performs poorly, but have an ad that is crushing it. You must look at these numbers on an ad by ad basis.

In the below sample, the entire group of ads did not do well. A .06% conversion rate is BAD. However, Ad 2 was amazing.

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Analysis of results common interpretations

The best case scenario is high CTR (2%+) and high landing page conversion rate (2%+). This mean that you’re ads are generating the right high quality traffic and you’re converting to leads.

If the ads are not generating clicks, the landing page doesn’t matter, so focus on clicks

If you’re generating clicks but no conversions, this where the tricky part is. there’s a lot of potential problems in these scenarios.

  • The problem could with either the ads (not qualified traffic)
  • landing page (not a good offer, credibility)
  • Product mis-match combination of them both (there is a mis-match between the ad and landing page)
  • Right product and landing page, wrong geographic area. The targeting might be a problem.
  • There’s a few other potential here as well.

 

 

The 4 Ductless Ads We Tested for the Fall Ductless Design Test

by , on
October 5, 2016

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Here’s the four ads we tested. We’ll show you how we got to these ads.

In the last article, we introduced the 8197677668 that we ran we’re going to share.

In this article, we’ll review the ads that we decided to test, how we developed them, and why.

RSVP to see get the results and see which one won (Limited to 50 seats)

If you’d like to see the result of which one won, we’ll be presenting the performance of the test live on Tuesday October 18th at 11am. RSVP by entering your information below.

In this article, we’ll describe the methodology for how we got to these ads and what they will test.

When running a test, here’s the basic process.

  1. Figure out the concepts that you’d like to test
  2. Create the actual ads that represent those concepts.
  3. Set up a structure so that you can objectively measure which test won.

In this article, we’ll focus on item 1 and 2, item 3 is for the next article.

Step 1 – Figure out what to test.

When we’re trying to figure out what ads to test, we start with a customer avatar session. This is standard practice in marketing. Here’s a few questions that we might go over in an avatar session.

  • What people are afraid of when buying a product?
  • What are people interested in a product?
  • What makes some want to buy a product?
  • Do people know about a specific product or do they have a specific need and need to be shown a specific product.
  • Do homeowners ask for a specific product or do they want a specific problem solved?
  • What messaging has worked in the past for a successful campaign?
  • What messaging has not worked well?
  • What messaging has never been tried?

When answering these questions, we get an understanding of what interests people about a product, what they’re afraid of and so on. The results are always a number of concepts that we think might get their attention, but need to be tested to be sure.

We call these tests “stories”. They are the basic concepts to test. These concepts will have ads created for them that represent the stories.

Here are the stories we wanted to test about ductless this fall.

  • Customized Comfort. Lately, Mitsubishi Electric has been running a campaign about ductless as a central heating and cooling system to get customized temperature control in each different room. You can see the Youtube video here. We wanted to see if this would resonate with customers.

 

  • Hot and cold spots. When ductless is sold as a supplemental heating system, ductless can solve rooms that are too cold (during the winter) or hot during the summer. We wanted to test if this message would generate a response with direct response marketing.
  • Lower heating costs. Ductless is often sold as being a very efficient form of heating. It’s efficient for two reasons. It has a very high HSPF so it uses a small amount of electricity to move a large number of BTUs from the outside to the inside (during heating mode). It’a also efficient because you can just heat up the space you need to heat up, and not the entire house. Most older homes (like we have in Massachusetts) aren’t zoned well. If you want a room warm, you need to heat up the entire house. We wanted to test to see if this would generate interest.

Other items we identified in the avatar

  1. Rebates and financing are very interesting. In all conversations, we found that the ability to get cash rebates and finance the systems was an important selling point to homeowners.
  2. Everyone is afraid of getting ripped off by a contractor. We also found that the largest fear any customer had was having a bad experience or getting ripped off. Due to this, it was key to build credibility when building the landing page.

The goal of the ad is to get the attention and interest of a QUALIFIED buyer. If they click on it, it will send them to a landing page. The click on an ad is the most basic indication of interest. Just because someone clicks on the ad, doesn’t mean that they’re interesting in buying.

With in each ad, it requires

  1. Catchy and relevant headline
  2. Catchy and relevant images
  3. Clear call to action in the bottom.

The goal of a landing page is to see how many of the people that show basic interest are serious and are really interested in getting a quote.  In order to do this, the landing page has to have a few things.

  1. A call to action around buying with detailed contact information
  2. Longer form information about the benefits of the system. The ad itself is very small and can only take a single message, the landing page is the place to describe the longer list of benefits about the product.
  3. Much more information to establish trust and credibility. Remember that “getting ripped off” was the most pressing fear, the landing page is where we can identify this.

 Step 2 – Creating the specific ads to match the stories

Now that we’ve discussed what we’re going to build and why, I’ll share the ads and why we developed each one.

Story – Customized Comfort

  • The ad will test the story around customized comfort.
  • We used the image from the Mitsubishi Electric ads. The goal was to piggy back on the TV ads that were already running to see if the ads would work well together.
  • The call to action is seeing if they qualify for MassSave rebates because this is a huge selling point in Massachusetts.
  • For the copy near the top, it’s based on the benefit of the ductless system to provide specific temperatures in different rooms.

primary-heat

Story 2 – Hot or Cold Spots

  • This ad is testing the hot or cold spot story.
  • The “heat any room this winter” copy is targeted at people that might need a supplemental heat source this winter.
  • The top copy is indicating that the heat pump can solve both heat and cool and provide an exact level of comfort.
  • This ad is largely targeted at older homes that are very un-evenly heated (which are very common in Massachusetts) and on homes that have had a renovation where the new room isn’t properly heated.supplemental-heat

Story 3 –Lower your utility bills.

  • During the heating system, ductless is often sold as an efficient way to heat a whole home or part of the home.
  • We wanted to test if providing a specific example of how much you could save would generate interest.
  • We simply took the average heating bill in Massachusetts
  • The image is made to catch people’s attention with an obvious value of lowering heating costs and the copy matches it.

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Story 4 – More efficient heat

  • We created two adds to test the “lower heating costs” story. The first one was specifically about lowering heating costs with a specific amount, this one is more about the efficiency of the new system.
  • We used the same copy “save up to 40%”, but our image changes from the old baseboard systems. This could be electric baseboard, or any oil or gas fired boiler system.
  • It’s very common for these systems to be either expensive (in the case of electric) or heat unevenly (in the case of most forced hot water systems) so we wanted to see if this pain was something that people would respond to.

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Here’s the landing page.

  • You can see that the call to action is “get a free quote”. With this call to action, we can be confident that anyone who fills this out is much more interested then someone that just clicks on the ads.
  • We provided more details of the rebate amount and the top 5 reasons why people buy ductless so that they can read more.

 

designtest_landingpage

So, there are the four ads we tested and the landing page.

In the next article, we’ll talked about how we set up the campaign and the structure so we could figure out which ad won.

If you’d like to see the results from the est. RSVP below.

 

 

Faze1 Fall Ductless Design Test Results – How We Generated Ductless Leads for $60

by , on
September 28, 2016

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SCROLL DOWN TO RSVP FOR THE PRESENTATION ON THE DUCTLESS TEST RESULTS

In September, we ran a design test for companies that use our 917-923-6948 to run radius marketing campaigns around their ductless installations. For each season, we run a new design test to identify the best performing ad that season. Here’s a brief snapshot of what happened in our most recent test. We spent $660, generated 42,689 impressions, generated 11 leads, tested 4 ads, and identified the best performing one. The end result was learning how to pro-active generate ductless leads for $60.

In this series, we’ll show you how we did it, what ads we tested, how we analyzed the results, and what the winning ad was.

When running marketing campaigns, it’s always tough to figure out the messaging and create. Should we pick option A or option B, this image or that image? We run into this problem in all of our tests, so we created something called a “design test”. Yes, I know the name is basic.

Some folks will ask us why we do design tests at all. We are all about using better data to generate more customers and we realized we should apply the same methodology to ad copy and tests. So, instead of using our opinions about which ad is best, we created a process for systemically testing ad variations with real data. We then use this real data to design direct mail pieces for radius and regular direct mail campaigns.

RSVP to Get the Design Test Results 

Presentation is on Tuesday October 18th at 11am.

We will be writing the series that provides a tutorial of how we set up the ads and what we tested, but we will be sharing the results and the winning ad live on Tuesday, October 11th at 11am.

The reason that we’re releasing the results live is simply so that we can answer the questions that it generates.

If you’d like to see the results and winning ad, just enter your email below and you’ll be registered.

3 Part Agenda for the Series

Here’s how we’ll break the series down.

Part 1 (Tuesday – October 4th )  Sharing the ads that we will test. We’ll walk through the process of what messages we wanted to test in the ads and how we set up the targeting. When working with customers, we call this a “customer avatar”. Basically, it’s to figure out what the customer cares about, what they’re afraid of, etc. We will show you the step by step process of building out the ads and landing pages in this series.

Part 2. (Thursday – October 6th) Defining success, the key terms and analyzing the ad results. We’ll go over why we used Facebook in combination with Faze1’s app, how we set up the facebook bidding strategy, the metrics of success that we’ll look for, and why you must look at each specific ad’s performance.

Part 3. (Tuesday October 11th) Live presentation. In this presentation, when talking about the results, we’ll show:

  1. Which ad was the best performing and how the data shows this.
  2. You’ll learn how exactly we know we generated the leads for $60.
  3. By understanding how we set up and analyze the results, you’ll learn how to use this technique useful and apply it to other campaigns.

Here are other key analyses we’ll cover in the live presentation.

  1. The total impressions and cost for each ad.
  2. Total clicks and CTR for each ad.
  3. Which ad generated the most number of leads
  4. The cost for leads
  5. Why we’re confident in the results.

Why I think this series is really valuable.

There’s 3 reasons I think this series is very valuable.

First, generating ductless leads in the fall has traditionally been harder than in the spring because ductless has traditionally been seen for cooling by homeowners. Yes, I know the units can provide heat, but most folks still associate them with cooling. This means it should be harder to generate leads and sell for heating. However, this also means that figuring out how to identify a cost effective way to generate ductless heating leads is MORE valuable then cooling leads (assuming they close at the same rate and same amount) because it’s rarer.

You can see from google search data that the terms “ductless” always peaks in the spring and summer and is much lower in the fall.

Here’s the google searches for “ductless” by month in Massachusetts for the past 5 years.

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Second, there is a premium for marketing channels where you can predictably and proactively generate marketing leads. You can split lead generating into either re-active marketing and proactive marketing. Reactive means that you’re waiting for phone to ring. The amazing part of Facebook ads is that they’re proactive. You can proactively generate leads. This makes these leads more valuable.

Third, Testing, testing, testing. As easy as message testing is today, I’m so surprised at how much it doesn’t happen. I hope that simply by showing the methodology of how we tested these ads, that more folks will stop using their intuition and testing more. While we used ductless in this report, you can apply this to any campaign that you’re running.

Part 2: How to Use 3 Free Tools to Identify the Best Towns to Market Ductless In Your Service Territory

by , on
May 13, 2016

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(Image from free HVAC housing data analysis on Faze1. Get free access here: app.faze-1.com)

This is part 2 in the ductless marketing kit: spring edition. In the first ductless marketing kit article we simply introduced what we were working on, who it was for, what you’d learn, and why it would be valuable. In this article, and all articles moving forward, we’ll start to get into the nitty gritty details.

I’ll be host a live Q+A if you have any questions about this content, in order to get this, go back to your email and click on the “Live Q+A” button at the bottom of the email.

If we want to talk about message testing, why talk about targeting?

If you spend money to put ads in the wrong place, you can be 100% confident that you’re wasting your money.

It’s important to remember the elements that make up a success campaign. You must:

  • Send the right message
  • To the right place
  • At the right time
  • To the right person that has real demand
  • With a good product and offer
  • Be able to track the results.

This is a lot to think about but one step is the most crucial, sending to the right place and person. It’s hard to sell baby food to an adult with a child. It’s impossible to sell oil to someone that heats with gas. You can sell ductless to someone that already has central A/C, but it might be difficult. The goal of marketing is always to make the sales process easier by targeting the right people.

So, before we think about message testing, we need to identify where we want to test those messages. We have to identify where the best targets are spending their time and market there.

The goal of this article

We’ll show you how the methodology for identifying the top most valuable towns in a sample area south of Boston. If you want, you can follow along and perform this test with your own service territory.

By following along using your service territory, I guarantee you’ll be saving thousands of dollars by not wasting time marketing in the wrong places. All of the tools and data we’re using are the best in the business, and they’re also free.

Lastly, while we’re using this with ductless, it can also be applied to any HVAC product or for creating your entire marketing plan.

Here’s the end result that we’re building will be to take an entire service territory, find the best 10 towns, and then find the best 3 after that. Here’s what the analysis will look like.

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Click the image to enlarge. You can see this spreadsheet so you can copy it and use it with your business on Google Drive here. 

Why is it so useful to identify your “hot zone” towns?

Once you’ve identified the most valuable towns to target in your service territory, you can invest time and money to increase awareness in those towns because you’re confident that they are filled with very valuable targets. What’s even more amazing? Since the hot zone is just a part of your overall service territory, you can typically LOWER your marketing cost because your marketing is so focused.

Introduction: Free $1,500 Ductless Marketing Kit – Spring Edition

by , on
April 19, 2016

Free Ductless Marketing Kit: Spring Edition

This spring, Faze1 will produce a free ductless marketing toolkit. Between now and May 31st, we are going to create, run, test and evaluate 5 ductless heat pump ads to generate new ductless leads. What’s really awesome is that we’re going to publish and share the entire process, and then give you the ads for free.

This message testing and analysis is something that we charge our customers $1,500, but you’ll get it for free.

We will document the entire process from start to finish. This series will not be for everyone. It will be long and we’ll go into extreme depth and analysis around each aspect of the campaign creation and analysis. But for those of you the love data, you’ll love this.

Here’s a brief summery of what you’ll learn from following the process:

  • Which ads generated the most leads at the lowest cost.
  • The best messaging that will work in the Massachusetts market this spring. You can use this with any of your existing marketing, especially to existing customers.
  • What metrics are most important for evaluating campaigns.
  • And how to build campaigns so you can effectively track them.
  • How to evaluate campaigns that an agency might be running for you.

When the test is complete, you’ll be able to download all of the ads for free so you can use them for your business.

Yes, I said you’ll be able to get these ads, combine them with your brand, and use them yourself. More importantly, you’ll have a better understanding of the exact messaging that is really resonating with homeowners this spring to use in your other marketing.

When the free ductless marketing kit is complete, it will include:

  1. Process for using free demographic, household, and internet search data to select the best ductless towns in your service area in which to focus your marketing.
  2. 5 free Facebook ad tests. All you’ll need to do is insert your company brand into the ads.
  3. Landing page design that you can use with your business.
  4. The performance results of each of those ads. You’ll get access to the key messages and images that performed the best and worst in the group. With these lessons, you can make your marketing better.
  5. Metric cheat sheet. We’ll walk through how these ads are measured. This will be extremely useful in all advertising that you do, specifically for digital ads.

What will you learn and get by downloading the ductless marketing kit:

  1. What the best performing ductless ad is. This will include both the ad image and copy. By the end of the series, you’ll understand the best performing ad in Massachusetts for cooling. You can use this in all of your marketing.
  2. How to use the best data in the HVAC industry to pick the best towns to market ductless in your service territory. We’ll combine customer interest data with demographics and residential property characteristics.
  3. The specific metrics that you need to track and understand to determine if an ad is successful. This will be useful if you’re running your own ads or having an agency do it for you.
  4. How to trouble-shoot an ad that is performing poorly.
  5. How to create different ads to test images and copy.
  6. How to set up a landing page, Facebook ads, and integrate them with your CRM. At the end of the day, this means you’ll know how to set up a lead capture funnel for your business and see how a good one is set up. Again, this is useful if you’re doing it yourself or even hiring someone else to do it for you.

Who is the guide for?

  • The guide is for HVAC contractors that are actively researching how to add new customers outside of their existing customer base, with a focus on ductless heat pumps. While the guide is about ductless, the same methodology could apply to any service or HVAC equipment installations.
  • This is for professionals and companies that are obsessed with using real data to make better decisions.
  • For anyone running digital ads themselves OR if an agency is doing it for you. By showing you the methodology and the key metrics, you’ll be able to do it better yourself or make decisions about allocating your marketing with an agency.

If you consider yourself one of these people, we’re sure this series will be very interesting to you.

Here’s a step by step breakdown of each part of the series:

Step 1. Define the best towns to market in.

We only want to generate quality leads, so the first test is going to be identifying the areas where the most qualified leads live. Defining who exactly we want to target for ductless, both in terms of the property characteristics and demographics. We do not want to waste money running blanketed, unfocused campaigns. We’ll show you how we use Faze1 homeowner data, demographics, and search data to find the best towns to market ductless in.

Step 2. Define the messaging that we want to test.

We’ll perform what we’ve coined a “customer avatar” session to determine the stories that we want to test. When you think of a “story” in marketing, think of it like a building concept. If we want to build a colonial-style home, there’s a number of stylistic elements that make it a colonial. If our story is about “trust”, there’s a number of elements we can combine to make that ad’s message about trust. We’ll go through the process of understanding the consumer, what ad stories we should consider testing, and how we can create those tests with digital ads to quickly and inexpensively generate feedback.

How to: target and create data profiles for specific products.

by , on
October 21, 2015

Now that we’ve done a tutorial on how to select variables and use the map, it’s time to start applying the data.

The hard part about HVAC marketing is that anyone could be your customer, so the challenge is finding the best potential target for each product in your service territory.

The entire point of using Faze1’s data is that the heating characteristics of a home are a more important variable than demographics. If you want to sell someone oil, the most important characteristic about the home is that they heat with oil.

If you want to sell them a ductless heat pump to lower their utility bill, the most important characteristic is that they heat with electric resistance. The list goes on.

For these examples, keep in mind that these are just how I think about targeting. I know that every company likes to sell and target products differently.

Scenario 1. You’ve hired an agency to run Google PPC ads, digital Facebook ads, and purchase leads from Home Advisor for Oil to Gas Boiler Conversions. You need to tell them which towns to focus their efforts in. You’re based in Plymouth, Massachusetts and want customers within 10 miles of your office so that you can service them as well.

In order to target oil to gas boiler conversions, you’ll need to target the following profile.

1. Single family, duplex, condo. This might depend on your experience, some times folks don’t want to target condos, but single family and duplex’s should be fine.

2. Owner occupied. It’s hard to sell upgrades to renters.

3. Fuel type: Oil

4. Access to gas. Yes

5. Central A/C. Not applicable.

6. Near address. 10 miles of Plymouth, MA

Watch the animation below to see how I entered this filter into the software.

plymouthOil

There were a total of 3,933 targets remaining after applying the filter. See the map below to see where they live.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 2.48.33 PM

By looking at the map in this case, it becomes clear where you should target digital ads in towns with a high concentrations. By targeting towns with a high concentration, you’ll have the greatest chance of getting qualified leads.

Scenario 2. You’re looking to form affiliate relationships with retailers and you want to identify the towns that you should target. You’re selling roof top residential solar PV. You’re looking to target the north shore of Boston.

1. Single family. I don’t select duplex or condo here.

2. Owner occupied.

3. Solar proxy. Yes. This is our proprietary algorithm which uses LIDAR data to pre-screen residential solar roofs in Massachusetts. It identifies residential roofs that are large, southern facing, without shading that can fit at least 3kW on the roof.

4. Utility territory. No municipals. In the eastern part of Massachusetts, municipal light departments are typically tougher to deal with than IOUs.

Watch the animation, below, to see how I input the filters to target these customers.

nothShoreSolar

Here’s the output.

(212) 461-1040

The average concentration of good solar targets is 25% in Massachusetts. With this data, I’d focus on developing retail partnership in areas with a 40% concentration or higher.

Other Queries

Now that you understand how I think about targets, here are a few other standard profiles I use and an explanation of why I’ve selected them.

Oil to Gas Conversion

Plan: In this query, we want to find homes that heat with oil, are close to gas lines, and have either a boiler or a furnace. If you sell both boiler and furnace conversions you don’t need to specify boiler or furnace, if you want to split them up, you can. Here’s what the data profile looks like:

Data Profile:

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Fuel type: Oil

Heat type: Boiler (Baseboard, Forced Hot Water, Radiant, Steam) and Furnace (Forced Air, Central Forced Air)

Access to Gas: Yes

Ductless heat pumps

For this profile, I’ll assume we want to focus on folks without central A/C, because they’re likely using window A/C units, and folks with expensive heating sources (oil and electric) and distribution systems that tend to create un-even heating. This is just how I’ve run the query before, you can specify how you want to target ductless opportunities.

Data profile

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Fuel type: Oil or electricity

Heat type: Boiler

Central A/C: No

Ground source heat pumps

For targeting ground source heat pumps, we’ll target people that heat with expensive fuel source, have central A/C already because the savings tends to be better if they have central A/C, don’t have access to natural gas, and have at least 1 acre of property. With larger properties it tends to be more possible to do both standing column well systems or horizontal loops, both of these are the lowest cost geothermal opportunities.

Here’s the is the data profile:

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Fuel type: Oil or electricity

Heat type: Furnace

Central A/C:  Yes

Access to Gas: No

Land square footage: 45,000+

If you run this query in the towns that you want to focus on, you’ll see where the best opportunity for geothermal are.

A few more thoughts.

In this query, I said that they do have central A/C, if you want to sell it based on GETTING central cooling and lowering the heating costs, you could specify that this will a no.

Biomass Conversions

Biomass conversions are becoming more popular these days, especially with the substantial cash grants and financing from the new MassCEC program. Biomass conversions can get up to $12,000 in cash rebates and 0% financing. For folks that heat with oil and don’t have access to gas, there’s finally a low cost alternative.

For biomass, we’ll focus on homes that heat with oil, that are NOT close to natural gas lines, and have a boiler. There is one firm that has a biomass furnace, most the easiest retrofit is a boiler, so we’ll keep this for now.

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Fuel type: Oil or electricity

Heat type: Boiler

Access to Gas: No

One of the items that tends to make biomass hard is the availability of basement spacemen space. If you want to make this profile more focused, you can go under “add filer” and click “basement square footage”, you can then specify a square footage for basements. For example, if you wanted to target homes that have basements of at least 600 square feet, you can do this.

Early Replacements – Boilers, Furnace, A/C

The replacement market is a great opportunity for the HVAC market, there’s a huge number of customers, there’s real need, and it tends to be an easy sale because maintenance costs are increasing, the equipment is out of warranty, and there early replacement rebates are huge. However, the hard part of targeting those folks. This is especially true in Massachusetts where the housing stock is very old. If a home is 120 years ago, it’s very difficult to figure out how old the boiler or furnace is. The one way that we can reliably and highly target homes is based on the fuel type, heat type, if they have A/C, and age of the home. We can be 100% sure that there was new equipment installed when the home was built, so by using the date of construction, we can target very high valuable replacement targets. This number will tend to be small in a given service territory, but it’s very accurate.

Here is how I’d target gas boiler replacements

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Fuel type: Gas

Heat type: Boiler

Age of home: Built between 1980 and 1985. This ensures that the equipment is between 30 and 35 years old, a perfect candidate for replacement.

Here’s how I’d target gas furnaces that have equipment ages between 12 and 15 years old.

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Fuel type: Gas

Heat type: Furnace

Age of home: Built between 2000 and 2003

Here’s how I’d target central A/C units that have equipment ages between 12 and 15 years old.

Property type: Single family, duplex, condo.

Occupancy: Owner occupied

Central A/C: Yes

Age of home: Built between 2000 and 2003

This gives you a sense for how we’d target these. If you’re looking to find people with oil and gas boilers, can you just include this fuel type.

These numbers will tend to be low, on the absolute number of contacts, but we can be highly confident in them. However, if you can laser focus on the best 5,000 to 10,000 homes in your area that are the best potential candidates for boiler replacements, it will be very cost effective to target them.

Rooftop Solar

For rooftop solar, we want to target single family homes, in areas of investor owned utilities that have large, southern facing roofs, with out shading. To find the best roofs, we created a proprietary script with publicly available LIDAR data so we could pre-screen all of the residential roofs in Massachusetts. With this data, we can help you focus on roofs that we know can go solar. While the rule of thumb is that 25% of homes in Massachusetts can go solar, we can tell you the towns where 50% of the residential roofs are good for solar. Here’s what the data query looks like.

Property type: Single family

Solar Proxy: Yes. This means that the house has been serenade with LIDAR and it has been approved.

Utility Territory: All except for Municipals

Ground mount solar

Many solar companies are focusing on ground mount solar projects in areas that are less densely packed outside of Boston. We can help to target these areas by using the average lot size of the of the property. If they have a larger lot size, it’s more likely that they have a good “solar lawn”.

If you want to search for solar lawns, here’s the data query

Property type: Single family

Lot Size: 45,000 square feet +

Utility Territory: All except for Municipals

How to: create free market reports with Faze1’s software

by , on
October 21, 2015

Thanks for your interest in Faze1, we’re excited about sharing our software with you, teaching you how to use it, and teaching you how to optimize your existing marketing with this data. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at chris at faze-1 dot com (I wrote it like that to avoid being spammed by bots, replace “at” with “@” and “dot” with “.” and remove all spaces).

This is the first article in a series that we’ll be writing to teach you how to use the Faze1 mapping tools, data, and our free advice to help focus your marketing.

Before we begin, I want to show you an example of what you can do with this FREE software. Download this market report I wrote for a customer focusing on oil-to-gas conversions: SAMPLE_HVAC_MarketReport

Marketing in HVAC is hard, everyone could be a customer, so it means that finding the best potential customers for each specific product can be very hard. We have a solution for this. By targeting homes based on their heating characteristics, in addition to demographics, we can help you laser focus on the best targets for each product that you offer whether it’s ductless heat pumps, biomass, oil to gas, replacements, you name it.

In this article, I want to outline what we’ll be teaching you to do, the questions you’ll be able to answer about your business, and what sort of decisions this data can help you make.

Here’ the information that you can know.

  1. The target market size for your entire service territory and for specific towns. Is there $100 million dollars of work out there, $500 million? How large is the target market for ductless vs oil to gas boilers?
  2. Where the towns with the highest concentration of targets that you’ll have the most potential of getting access to.
  3. You’ll be able to find towns where there are clusters of good prospects.
  4. What towns will be the cheapest to market to.

Here’s a sampling of decisions it can help you make.

  1. Where should you focus your digital campaigns.
  2. If you have any business development campaigns, where you should focus on developing partnerships with other companies.
  3. Where you should think about hiring.
  4. Where you should stop buying leads.

Let’s start by defining what type of customer makes for a good target for oil-to-gas conversions:

  • We should focus only on single-family, owner occupied homes because they’re the most incentivized for upgrading or changing HVAC equipment.
  • Targets should currently use oil as a heat source but have access to natural gas lines. We look for homes on the same street within 250 ft that use gas as a heat source to identify if a customer probably has access to natural gas lines.
  • We can break the system types down by boiler and furnace to target each individually.

Click on the animated image, below, to see how I would use our software to filter for such customers.

oilToGasPreview

You’ll notice that out of a total of 1.8 million properties in MA, we were left with only 209 thousand properties after filtering for our target customers! That’s only 11.5%! Think about what this means for a typical direct mail campaign. If you spend $5,000 on an every door direct mail campaign with the USPS to send ~10,000 postcards, only 1,150 of those 10,000 postcards will reach potential targets! You’ve wasted $4,425 of your $5,000 budget marketing to people who can never buy your product!

How large is the market in MA for these oil to gas conversions? If we assume that an average conversion costs $12,000, we can estimate that the total market size is therefore ~$2.5 billion dollars (209,000 targets x $12,000)!

But not every town is created equal. For example, the top three towns of Springfield (7,327 targets), Quincy (5,467 targets) and Brockton (5,142 targets) have a total potential of 17,936 customers for a total potential market size of $215 million. Other towns like Westfield (1,732 targets) and Leominster (1,895) are attractive but don’t have nearly as many targets as our top three towns.

Take a look at the image below to see how each town compares.

(802) 296-3170

Let’s now consider what impact this information might have on our digital marketing strategy. Most digital marketing platforms like Facebook and Google allow marketers some control in who their ads will be shown to. However, none allow you to focus on house level HVAC characteristics like fuel and heat type. This means that we want to focus on towns with high percentages of targets. In this way, we’ll be more effectively spending our ad dollars.

Watch the animation below to see how we can further use Faze1’s software to now find the concentrations of our target customers.

778-969-8051

Our top three towns are now Malden (41.8% concentration and 2,152 targets), Melrose (41.1% concentration and 2,406 targets) and Medford (41.0% concentration and 2,900 targets).

If we choose to focus our digital advertising dollars around these three towns, we can be certain that nearly 40% of every impression that we make will be to a qualified customer!