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HVAC Advertising Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
Ever get a call from a “Meta Expert” who wants to help you “improve your campaign”? Let me ask you this: when was the last time you trusted Facebook? Are they your pals? You think they have your best interests at heart? You think they give a flying fuck about your HVAC business?
These people–the ones who contact you to “better your campaigns”–they have never run a campaign in their lives. They know NOTHING about what ACTUALLY works, and what doesn’t. They haven’t studied Facebook’s algorithm, they’ve only been taught what the algorithm SHOULD do. Two very different things.
Don’t ever listen to Facebook about how to run a quality Facebook campaign. Got that? Okay, let’s proceed.
Rookie Mistake #1 - Boosting Posts
Don’t boost your posts like a noob. That’s like a homeowner YouTubing how to fix their water heater and getting electrocuted. When you create a campaign, it’s created in the backend of the Meta Business Manager. Should look like this:
And before you start parsing through the data–stop. You’re looking at a small portion of a live account. Which brings us to rookie mistake #2…
Rookie Mistake #2 - Looking at the Wrong Metrics
Don’t look at the wrong data. Here’s what you might think is important:
- Quality score
- Cost per lead
- Cost per lead
- Cost per lead
Stop worrying about the damn cost per lead! If the leads are GREAT leads then you WANT to spend more for them! Any dickhead with an ad account can get low cost per lead by going after schmucks who won’t pay a cent.
Here are the metrics you need to pay attention to:
- Unique Link CTR
- Call Quality (of the leads)
You might look at the screenshot above and see that some ads brought in $15 leads. But we let the other one that was pushing $40 run, and we let it run till it got to nearly $60 per lead and only then did we switch it up–but not because of the cost. It was simply a frequency surge that needed to be rectified.
Those leads led to installs and replacements. Who gives a shit whether it’s a $30 lead or $100 in that case?
Rookie Mistake #3 - Obsessing Over "New" Leads
Confusing the meaning of a NEW LEAD. This is where most people really veer off track. They think that new leads mean new people. No. That’s absurd. Just keep getting new people? What are you gonna do, erect more houses and bus people in from three towns over?
The definition of a lead: An individual interested in what your business is selling or providing.
Not a new person. Any person. This means old leads that never bought, and old customers you haven’t spoken to in a year who raise their hand again and say: I’ll need something else.
Your customer database should be your #1 audience that you’re retargeting on Facebook and Instagram because they have the best chance of coming back and buying new shit. If a prior customer fills out a form for a quote on a new boiler, THAT IS A NEW LEAD!
Rookie Mistake #4 - Using HVAC Terms in Your Ad Copy
Talking like an HVAC company. Nobody gives a shit about the manufacturer’s warranty or the energy efficiency a heat pump will bring to their home. Don’t speak HVAC; speak marketing.
Coca-Cola doesn’t go around advertising the most efficient way to quench your thirst.
What worries them at night? Okay, now talk about that.
“Fighting about the electric bill again? Don’t worry, in one visit we can show you how to reduce your costs by 50% this year. Interested? Click here.”
Here you’re tapping into their marriage, the fear of being alone, the anxiety of their partner leaving them for someone with more money. But what you’re REALLY doing is promoting your HVAC business.
Rookie Mistake #5 - Advertising the Product Rather Than the Solution
Advertising specific products or services. You’re an HVAC business owner, so you tell me: are a lot of people dumb? Of course they are. So why would you ever think a prospect knows what they need? They don’t!
The goal of the ad is to get them on the phone with an enticing offer so that you can diagnose what they actually need (which might be very different from the ad that got them to you in the first place.)
In general, it’s better to promote the little things that get the phone ringing. Just get them on the phone and then you can decide whether the job is big enough, close enough, or worth it enough.
The goal of an ad is not to make a sale; it’s to get them on the phone so you can see what they actually need.
Rookie Mistake #6 - Not Retargeting
How does advertising work–not just HVAC advertising, but any type of advertising? It works by wearing the consumer down, little by little, till they give you a call. Sound aggressive? Nah, not at all. Just a little math and psychology. Here’s the basic gist of how it works:
- First time you see an ad, what happens? You ignore it.
- Second time you see an ad you find it annoying.
- The third time it’s really pissing you off.
- Fourth time you wonder where they get the money for all these ads.
- The fifth time you begin to respect the tenacity.
- The sixth time you wonder what it even is they’re selling.
- Seventh time you assume they must be somewhat good if they have the money to continue advertising.
- On the eighth time you finally check them out.
- Ninth time you conclude this company must be doing something right.
- Tenth time you wonder if it’s worth meeting with them.
- Eleventh time you decide to finally give them a call.
And that’s how marketing works (psychologically). So what happens if homeowners only see ONE ad a few times? They only make it to step three: they find you annoying and you’re starting to seriously piss them off. What happens if they see you ten times but it’s all the same ad? Annoying and uncreative. Do yourself a favor and hire someone who knows how to set up a proper advertising campaign.
There should be at least three levels to your campaign:
- Top of Funnel (TOF) Campaign
- Middle of Funnel (MOF) Campaign
- Bottom of Funnel (BOF) Campaign
TOF – Build your brand awareness and capture a retargeting audience.
MOF – Show the same people the same ads a few more times.
BOF – Show the same people different ads with different offers over and over.
This is the recipe for success.
Try those six suggestions
Remember not to design ads around the products and services you sell, but rather around the family values you promote. Homeowners want a happy home, so sell them that first before you say anything about an air conditioner.