How would you market a local plumber online?

43 replies
I'd like some help from you guys to help me promote a local plumber online.

Here is my thought process:

1. create direct response website with call to action on every page.
2. Install autoresponder
3. create free report "5 things to look for when hiring a plumber"
4. Use report to give away on website to capture leads.
5. Write 3 follow up messages
6. Do keyword research
7 Seo the site
8. post in craigslist
9. create a few short videos for youtube

How does this sound? Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers
#local #market #online #plumber
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    And -

    local directories, chamber of commerce "new resident" packets, local mailing packets
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  • Profile picture of the author debra
    Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

    I'd like some help from you guys to help me promote a local plumber online.

    Here is my thought process:

    1. create direct response website with call to action on every page.
    2. Install autoresponder
    3. create free report "5 things to look for when hiring a plumber"
    4. Use report to give away on website to capture leads.
    5. Write 3 follow up messages
    6. Do keyword research
    7 Seo the site
    8. post in craigslist
    9. create a few short videos for youtube

    How does this sound? Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Tep...it works. I've done it.

    Your autoresponder is not going to work for like you think it is though.

    Your customer is thinking instant gratification from a problem.

    Video's...I can tell you what works and what doesn't though.

    Craigslist...you'll get ghosted a lot. Present it in a coupon type format. I did a few of those too, including creating and tweating the coupon to get attention.

    I already did a bunch of keyword research. I have it in excel spreadsheets...you can have access to that if you want it.
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  • Profile picture of the author WendellC
    Jan -

    Hi.

    Have you considered PPC? I know Google (and I think Yahoo does too) offers geo targeting so that only people who do searches from within a specific geographic area will see the ads.

    Wendell
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by clickguy View Post

      Jan -

      Hi.

      Have you considered PPC? I know Google (and I think Yahoo does too) offers geo targeting so that only people who do searches from within a specific geographic area will see the ads.

      Wendell
      I don't see why I'd use PPC if I can get organic rankings pretty easily.
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      • Profile picture of the author Seattle Mike
        Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

        I don't see why I'd use PPC if I can get organic rankings pretty easily.
        Depends on the area you are promoting in. Some areas are competitive and the organic listings are pretty far down the page. Especially if google is showing a list of 10 local plumbers already. PPC 1-3 will be right at the top of the page, perfect for people who are desperate for a plumber.

        They want to call someone and get it fixed.
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      • Profile picture of the author WendellC
        Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

        I don't see why I'd use PPC if I can get organic rankings pretty easily.
        Hi.

        You may be able to rank easily when the user specifies the location in their search like "24 hour plumber in Chicago" but what if the user who lives in Chicago only specifies "24 hour plumber"?

        If you use something like local Adwords you can specify the city or even a location within a certain mile radius where the ads will show. So only if the user is within the Chicago area and searches for "24 hour plumber" will your ad appear.

        Right now I'm using Google's local ads for a customer -- in addition to doing SEO on their site -- and you'd be surprised at how many people enter searches for local services without entering the city.

        Hope this make sense.


        Wendell
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        • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
          Guys -

          When do plumbers get called? Same time a dentist does - when a problem happens.

          So doing an auto responder for that isn't going to help.

          Imagine this:

          "Hi my name is Tim and my toilet is overflowing into my living room and soaking the carpet and there are turds everywhere"

          Plumber:

          "yes sir let me get your address so I can send you my special report entitled 7 reasons not to hire the other guy"

          Me:

          <click>

          Your best bet is a coupon or get some local media coverage for them. Maybe have a funny design on the side of the truck or offering free home pipe inspection for the winter and summer months, etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author jan roos
            Originally Posted by TimCastleman View Post

            Guys -

            When do plumbers get called? Same time a dentist does - when a problem happens.

            So doing an auto responder for that isn't going to help.

            Imagine this:

            "Hi my name is Tim and my toilet is overflowing into my living room and soaking the carpet and there are turds everywhere"

            Plumber:

            "yes sir let me get your address so I can send you my special report entitled 7 reasons not to hire the other guy"

            Me:

            <click>

            Your best bet is a coupon or get some local media coverage for them. Maybe have a funny design on the side of the truck or offering free home pipe inspection for the winter and summer months, etc.
            I think if you can get people on a list you can always market to that list in the future. Send them an article explaining how costly it can be if one of thoe old pipes in your kitchen with the expensive floor burst and I'll come and check them for you at a bragain or whatever. Something like that
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            • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
              Perhaps you missed this

              offering free home pipe inspection for the winter and summer months, etc.
              You could do a press release right before the first freeze talking about the importance of proper pipe winter maintenance. Get him on the news, make him a local celebrity, get him to look at a few old ladies pipes for free, etc.

              BTW, if I saw an email from my plumber 9 out of 10 times I would hit delete.
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        • Profile picture of the author jan roos
          Originally Posted by clickguy View Post

          Hi.

          You may be able to rank easily when the user specifies the location in their search like "24 hour plumber in Chicago" but what if the user who lives in Chicago only specifies "24 hour plumber"?

          If you use something like local Adwords you can specify the city or even a location within a certain mile radius where the ads will show. So only if the user is within the Chicago area and searches for "24 hour plumber" will your ad appear.

          Right now I'm using Google's local ads for a customer -- in addition to doing SEO on their site -- and you'd be surprised at how many people enter searches for local services without entering the city.

          Hope this make sense.


          Wendell
          Makes total sense. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Seattle Mike
    Sounds like a good plan.

    Don't forget "local area only" Adwords ads. Very reasonable and very targeted. Big cities will cost more.

    And if you put his phone number in the ad. Some will call instead of click. So it's practically free.
    Seattle Plumber 24 Hour Emergency Service
    "We Will Be Right There! Call Now -> 800-123-4567
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    • Profile picture of the author Glenn Leader
      Originally Posted by deverell View Post

      Sounds like a good plan.

      Don't forget "local area only" Adwords ads. Very reasonable and very targeted. Big cities will cost more.

      And if you put his phone number in the ad. Some will call instead of click. So it's practically free.
      Seattle Plumber 24 Hour Emergency Service
      "We Will Be Right There! Call Now -> 800-123-4567
      In addition to this, put something similar in the page descriptions too, so you get classified ads in the SERPS.
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    • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
      Originally Posted by deverell View Post

      Sounds like a good plan.

      Don't forget "local area only" Adwords ads. Very reasonable and very targeted. Big cities will cost more.

      And if you put his phone number in the ad. Some will call instead of click. So it's practically free.
      Seattle Plumber 24 Hour Emergency Service
      "We Will Be Right There! Call Now -> 800-123-4567
      MJ - That is a really good tip right there ^^^^

      I don't understand why the OP seemed to dismiss it out of hand.

      Very good thinking imho
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

    I'd like some help from you guys to help me promote a local plumber online.

    Here is my thought process:

    1. create direct response website with call to action on every page.
    2. Install autoresponder
    3. create free report "5 things to look for when hiring a plumber"
    4. Use report to give away on website to capture leads.
    5. Write 3 follow up messages
    6. Do keyword research
    7 Seo the site
    8. post in craigslist
    9. create a few short videos for youtube

    How does this sound? Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Jan,
    I posted about this last year as my one of my first offline clients was a plumber! I basically wrote (outsourced) a couple of short reports for problems related to plumbing like 'how to prevent burst water pipes' and targetted these at the local market via SEO/PPC. He's done really well from it and my ongoing campaign.

    Rich
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by Richard Tunnah View Post

      Jan,
      I posted about this last year as my one of my first offline clients was a plumber! I basically wrote (outsourced) a couple of short reports for problems related to plumbing like 'how to prevent burst water pipes' and targetted these at the local market via SEO/PPC. He's done really well from it and my ongoing campaign.

      Rich
      Very cool, thanks for sharing
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian.expert
      Yes, what I think is that PPC would definitely work for you to get into the major local searches as targeting the local audience would definitely be very helpful to you in the long run. Organic searches would take time and would be at much lower positions initially but for quick results PPC must!
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  • Profile picture of the author j hogan
    apart from an emergency, people need plumbers when they are building, or renovating a house. I would create a couple of reports for those markets as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author AffiliateAfterHrs
      Offers some free service on simple task. This will make your business go viral and help them spread word of mouth making your service even more popular on your niche market.

      I found out video marketing plays a great part on these kinds of business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
    Well, Hi you all, still trying to figure this out myself and once I know, once I get a firm grip, I'll be good.

    I've been reading a lot of the tremendous opportunities in a membership site. If I were a plumber and internet savvy, I would spend and extra 15, 10, 5 minutes with my emergency customers and ask them what it would cost them to replace their BEATUYFUL kitchen floor, in case the dishwasher leaked.

    Get an autoresponder program, sign them up for $3.37 a month, send a message once or twice how to do your regular maintenance, every 4th or fifth time, send them your special, that you will stop by once a month for a check up and instead of paying $4100 for repairs due to a leak, your monthly check-up is only XXX dollars.

    Don't stop with a plumber, many other service professions apply as well. What do you guys think? Did I actually contribute something of value here? Anyway, I hope I did, best of luck. Eva
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by Vikuna2009+ View Post

      Well, Hi you all, still trying to figure this out myself and once I know, once I get a firm grip, I'll be good.

      I've been reading a lot of the tremendous opportunities in a membership site. If I were a plumber and internet savvy, I would spend and extra 15, 10, 5 minutes with my emergency customers and ask them what it would cost them to replace their BEATUYFUL kitchen floor, in case the dishwasher leaked.

      Get an autoresponder program, sign them up for $3.37 a month, send a message once or twice how to do your regular maintenance, every 4th or fifth time, send them your special, that you will stop by once a month for a check up and instead of paying $4100 for repairs due to a leak, your monthly check-up is only XXX dollars.

      Don't stop with a plumber, many other service professions apply as well. What do you guys think? Did I actually contribute something of value here? Anyway, I hope I did, best of luck. Eva
      Thats exactly what I am thinking
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    try to set up a joint venture in a new development sub division and try to get him the entire contract for the plumbing in every him going up
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Turner
    Surprised anyone hasn't mentioned google maps - a must for local businesses
    include a list of local suburbs seviced on a few pages - seo for these
    and fridge magnets with a calender on them - they work well
    google local ads work well - build a page for each specific search term
    as stated above - I don't think listbuilding and auto responders work well in this market
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    There must be a preponderance of plumbers where you are.

    In my neck of the woods I don't know a single plumber who does not have more work than he can handle.
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    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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  • Profile picture of the author David Chamberlain
    Plumbers don't just fix problems as they occur.

    We have just called a plumber to fit us a new bathroom.

    The builder who built our extension needed a plumber to fit all the pipes for the ensuite.

    Look at the wider picture - they aren't just used in emergencies.

    if I were you - I put a mailer out to a number of local kitchen and bathroom outlets, as well as a number of local builders.

    Offer to work with the kitchen and bathroom outlets on a invoice basis, so they charge for installation, and you invoice them (they will get their cut).

    Builders are slighty different, but again, if you just let them know you exist, they have a number to call if they are stuck - that's your way in!

    Some people said that in their area, plumbers are too busy - you could arrange a 'plumber co-op', There a peaks and troughs in every business, now one plumber may be busy, where one has no work. All it takes is a recommendation to another plumber in the co-op, this can be recipricated and keep everybody busy!

    These are just a couple of ideas, and what I would do personally - we all do things differently though!

    Regards

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
    why dont you also find an electrician, a carpenter, a gas fitter (if your plumbers dont do that), a handyman and cross promote between them all.

    That can work on their websites - link them all to each other, you could also create a flyer or coupon that shows each of the trades.

    The plumber may have mates in each of the trades that he can recommend.

    Just thinkin on the go here, Jan - hope it helps

    Stef
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

    I'd like some help from you guys to help me promote a local plumber online.

    Here is my thought process:

    1. create direct response website with call to action on every page.
    2. Install autoresponder
    3. create free report "5 things to look for when hiring a plumber"
    4. Use report to give away on website to capture leads.
    5. Write 3 follow up messages
    6. Do keyword research
    7 Seo the site
    8. post in craigslist
    9. create a few short videos for youtube

    How does this sound? Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Does your plumber have any references like Angies List, or the BBB?

    Also, think about some method of scheduling appointments online, with some kind of bonus for doing so. Or better yet, give away some kind of free service (like a furnace or hot water heater inspection) just for visiting the website and filling out the form.

    If you can incorporate those into your thought process, now you're cooking with gas.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      First off, most of the plumbers I've ever spoken with much prefer remodel/renovation/new construction work to emergency calls. Jan, if that's true for your client, you might want to target your autoresponder campaign (or one of them, hint, hint) at folks contemplating those projects. You could set up JV or cross-sell arrangements with local home stores (like Home Depot), architects, designers, decorators, etc.

      Another possible source of business is property managers, even banks with REO portfolios. With kitchens and baths being such an important consideration these days in home sales, you could make the case that doing relatively cheap cosmetic upgrades increase the value of the property.

      If the plumber has already hired you, you don't have to be concerned with his workload - he wants more business or he would not have hired you.

      You just have to expand your imagination. There's a lot more to a plumbing business than unplugging toilets or fixing broken pipes. Most of those opportunities are more pleasant and more profitable for the plumber...

      Edit: Here's another thought for you, Jan. Rather than writing yet another 'how to hire a plumber' report, look at what the competition is already offering. See if you can come up with an angle that's won't match a bunch of generic articles already online. I just did a quick search for "5 things to look for when hiring a plumber" (broad match, no quotes) and got over 39,000 results.

      Now you've got my brain running...

      How about targeting do-it-yourselfers with a 'top 5 mistakes DIY plumbers make and what they risk' report? Or, to be contrarian, how about 'top 5 plumbing jobs that don't need a plumber', planting the seed that anything NOT on the list does require a plumber?
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        One secret.

        Include the phone number of your plumber and his working hours in the meta description of his website pages.

        eg.

        24 emergency plumbing service call xxxx now.

        Many people use local google search results like a phone book calling the first business they see that looks like it can help them.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • Profile picture of the author jan roos
          Thanks for all the great input guys. Now I have a lot to go with.

          Cheers
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        • Profile picture of the author Jagged
          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          One secret.

          Include the phone number of your plumber and his working hours in the meta description of his website pages.

          eg.

          24 emergency plumbing service call xxxx now.

          Many people use local google search results like a phone book calling the first business they see that looks like it can help them.

          Kindest regards,
          Andrew Cavanagh

          Good point Andrew...

          Including the Zip Code in your meta description works also.

          eg.

          Smith Plumbing Tucson AZ 85737 - 24 hour emergency plumbing service call xxxx now.

          A lot of times people will search something like "pizza 85737"...looking for the closest pizza parlor....

          Same would go for plumbers...your not really looking for ones that are all the way across town if your having an emergency...and need immediate service. You want to find ones that are close by...in your area.

          Adding zip codes & phone numbers help "geo-target" your searches. I always use them in all clients meta info.

          Good Luck,
          Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
    Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

    I'd like some help from you guys to help me promote a local plumber online.

    Here is my thought process:

    1. create direct response website with call to action on every page.
    2. Install autoresponder
    3. create free report "5 things to look for when hiring a plumber"
    4. Use report to give away on website to capture leads.
    5. Write 3 follow up messages
    6. Do keyword research
    7 Seo the site
    8. post in craigslist
    9. create a few short videos for youtube

    How does this sound? Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Locate twitters based on the locality where the plumber is. Have him follow them and send twits from time to time.

    Create how to articles and create a blog for the plumber, add some pics of local clients/projects post in blog and promote the blog via twitter.

    Currently, there's no other service that's both web based (multinational) and local like twitter.

    If you plan on creating videos, let me warn you. It's not that easy to get it viewed. You or He, will have to work on promoting it, just like articles.

    oMar
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy LaPointe
    Hey Jan,

    One way to really get some buzz around the local area for this niche is to write a quick report entitled:

    "What not Flush" It would be how to report of what not to flush down the toilet. You would then include a list of foods and objects your wouldn't flush down the toilet.

    Some examples would include:

    Whole pickles
    Turkey pieces and bone from the Thanksgiving dinner
    whole hamburgers
    watermelon rinds, etc.
    newspapers, etc.

    I'm sure the plumbers would have a whole host of stories they could tell. But the point of the matter is, this would be funny way to get the word out and since many people perfer humor, this may be a huge hit.

    Also, as a small business owner myself, the best thing to do is to put yourself in the mindset of the niche you are marketing to and have several creative ideas when you prospect these niches.

    You want your presentations to "explode" in the mind of the small business owner. You need to be prepared to rattle off several ideas when you meet with an SBO. By approaching the offline business owners with this mindset, you'll stand out from all of the other offline consultants prospecting their business.

    Thanks,
    Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      I see that plumbing related keywords on adwords is running between $2 and $5 per click. It seems a bit high. Would it be worth it to pay that much if i geo target my campaign?

      Cheers
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      • Profile picture of the author debra
        Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

        I see that plumbing related keywords on adwords is running between $2 and $5 per click. It seems a bit high. Would it be worth it to pay that much if i geo target my campaign?

        Cheers
        Nope!

        Most of your leads other than organic search will come from databases like servicemagic and yelp. Yelp is a big one for leads.

        Other than that Google Maps and look into Google Base.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
    That seems really high. Is that the Adwords estimate or actual results of a campaign? Google Local and a coupon would be where I'd start.
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by AmyBrown View Post

      That seems really high. Is that the Adwords estimate or actual results of a campaign? Google Local and a coupon would be where I'd start.
      Thats what market samurai shows
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  • Profile picture of the author CDawson
    Banned
    Put out a press release on your site. Social bookmark your sites pages/posts for more traffic/backlinks, write articles on plumbing and submit them to ezinearticles. This will get you more traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Another site to get listed on is angieslist.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Mynt
    Just have him ask Obama a controversial question =)
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    • Profile picture of the author CDawson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Mynt View Post

      Just have him ask Obama a controversial question =)
      I could write an E-book on his failure but I won't go there.
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by Mynt View Post

      Just have him ask Obama a controversial question =)
      LOL, thats a good one. Can't believe I didnt think of it
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
    I'd create a video with the plumber sitting on the sh$tter.
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