Written by Todd Bairstow on March 4th, 2014
This week, we present our fifth (and final) homeowner buying persona, the Wired Homeowner. If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.
Of the five online buying personas, this is the smallest. But it’s also the one that’s growing fastest. While more and more homeowners are simply going to the Internet, Wired Homeowners are heading instead right to their online social networks. While there, they are asking for personal referrals from anyone in their online social circles.
Written by Todd Bairstow on February 25th, 2014
This week, we present our fourth homeowner buying persona, the Price Monster. If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.
All home improvement companies secretly loathe prospects who think price first. They’re difficult to set appointments with, difficult to sell and difficult to close. But with the economy what it is, Price Monsters are everywhere.
Your print and broadcast efforts may get Price Monsters interested what you offer. However, you can bet that they’ll do everything they can to understand pricing and potential cost savings before they let you in their homes.
Written by Todd Bairstow on February 18th, 2014
This week, we present our third homeowner buying persona, the Product Geek. If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.
The blessing and the curse of the Internet is that it delivers more information to homeowners than they could ever possibly process. These days, most homeowners can easily drown in the volumes of content homeowners can find on roofing, windows, siding, bath remodeling—you name it.
Written by Todd Bairstow on February 11th, 2014
This week, we continue our dive into online homeowner buying personas. We’ll put another group of online homeowners under the magnifying glass.
If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.
Like the Straight Arrows, these homeowners find you offline. However, they have a very different behavior once they go online. Rather than responding to you immediately, the Reputation Detectives continue their process by investigating your online reputation. They go to Web sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Google. They are looking for reviews others have written about your company, and to understand what your customers think of you.
Written by Todd Bairstow on February 3rd, 2014
Today’s homeowners are a finicky bunch when they sit down their computers. How they find you is distinctly different from how they respond to print, broadcast and trade shows. Ignore the differences at your peril.
If you’re like many home improvement owners and executives, you didn’t grow up with the Internet. Rather, you learned about online marketing only after you established yourself and your business.
Now you need to adapt to a completely new homeowner behavior. Fact is that many homeowners get their first exposure to you through offline advertising (print, broadcast, tradeshows). And THEN head online to learn more about you.
Written by Todd Bairstow on May 22nd, 2013
The Penguin is coming. No, not Burgess Meredith or Danny Devito…or even the venerable Ted Knight. No, Penguin 2.0 is coming—a major algorithm update from Google that will shake up the organic search engine rankings…yet again.
By way of background, Penguin 1.0 was a now infamous algorithm change that Google made last year. This change sank a number of major Web sites in the search engine rankings, many never to return. Google’s intent was to punish Web sites that relied on questionable linking techniques to gain their organic rank.
Written by Todd Bairstow on April 2nd, 2013
It’s not often that I see local online marketing written about in major media these days. It’s even rarer to see it covered from a “real world” perspective.
That’s why Payam Zamani’s recent article in Forbes, “Why Companies Like Groupon, Yelp And ReachLocal Aren’t Dominating The Local Space“ (March 14, 2013) hit close to home. Zamani is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Reply.com Inc., a marketplace for local online advertisers.
I have written in the past about the relative effectiveness of some local online channels, and the futility of many others. Zamani’s takes the discussion a step further – proposing solutions to the very real marketing problems home improvement companies face online.
Written by Todd Bairstow on September 17th, 2012
I’m often asked, “What’s the least-expensive source of leads? Home shows? Canvassing? My own Web site?”
Believe it or not, one of your least-expensive sources of leads actually costs you next to nothing. Yes, nothing. It’s your database of all of the homeowners you’ve talked to, some of whom became your customers, and many of which did not.
Reaching out to them to sell them something—or something more—is a gigantic opportunity that many home improvement companies fail to leverage. And with e-mail marketing, it’s never been easy to stay in touch with these homeowners.
Written by Todd Bairstow on August 7th, 2012
ServiceMagic does a great job with search engine optimization on their own Web site, and at getting affiliates to send out emails on their behalf. I’ve covered these techniques in previous posts. However, there’s yet another technique ServiceMagic uses to generate leads they sell to you – third party Web sites.
Here’s how it works: ServiceMagic partners with owners of independent Web sites. These owners post banner ads, links and videos or and use dozens of other online tools on their Web sites to send visitors to their Web sites over to ServiceMagic. (I’m referencing ServiceMagic here, but Web site owners work with many other online lead generation companies as well, such as QuinStreet and QualitySmith.)
Written by Todd Bairstow on July 23rd, 2012
In my previous post, Where Do ServiceMagic’s Leads Come From? (Part 1), I considered how ServiceMagic uses search engine optimization to drive homeowners to their Web sites…and ultimately generate leads. Now I’d like to consider another channel ServiceMagic uses to produce sales leads: e-mail.
You can read more about using mass e-mail to generate home improvement leads in my previous post, Daddy, Where Does SPAM Come From?
Let’s dig into ServiceMagic’s e-mail program. On their Web site, you can find a simple Web form through which you opt in to receive e-mails from ServiceMagic. Said another way, completing this form gives ServiceMagic the legal right to send e-mail to you on a regular basis.