5 of My Highest ROI Marketing Ideas

The residential service industry is unlike any other in the world.

There’s TONS of home service businesses in the world, but luckily, we don’t have very many large corporate competitors. Also, for the residential services industry, customers are generally geographically concentrated.

Let me be blunt for a second:

I’ve never been remarkably clever.

I’ve never been very creative.

But there is, thankfully, one thing I’m really, really good at.


I managed a plumbing, HVAC, and rooter company in Kansas City for the better part of a decade.

During that time, I systematically implemented several massively successful, geo-targeted marketing initiatives.

Do I want a cookie?

Yes. I do. Cookies are delicious.

But I’m not telling you this to feel good about myself. I’m sharing my experience because I know it works, and I want you to be successful. So there it is.

Here’s 5 of my highest ROI, killer marketing initiatives:

Giveaway Email Newsletters

This is amazing. Email marketing is extremely cost efficient but getting permission to market to someone and keeping them is difficult. In the “newsletter” you must give away high value items… something people really want. Each item given away resonated with a different target audience. Our wide variety of giveaway’s included a lawnmower, a Tiffany’s gift card, a swing set, toolbox, trampoline, washer and dryer set. The giveaway was smack-dab in the center of every branded e-newsletter, and was followed by the company’s promotional material.

The link to the giveaway was through Survey Monkey and it was simple: Name. Phone. Email. And one question. The question would be something like “What is the age of your A/C?” The beauty of this giveaway is that it was shared often on social media. Every time someone shared it, the email capture grew and the newsletter list grew too – Dynamite! This campaign costs $12,000 per year for the giveaways excluding an email program like Mailchimp.

Sewer Warning Door Hangers Campaign

Although this idea only applies to rooter businesses it’s still fantastic. I ‘m sure one of you smart readers can figure out how to make it work for HVAC installs too… So, the idea is simple. Every time your technicians complete a sewer job, have them place door-hangers on each of the neighbors front doors. This should be the helpers’ job to go to the houses nearby (10 on each side of the job location on each side of the street). The door hanger should be yellow and black diagonal lines on it like warning tape.

The flyer explains that they have an open hole for a sewer job, and your company would like to warn area homes to protect children and pets that may be playing nearby. The backside of the content contained some education on sewer age and replacement (with promotional material). This is awesome because it’s not intrusive like many other door hangers. It’s perceived purpose is to warn residents, which adds value to the door hanger, and encourages residents to actually, you know, read the content.


Ever thought about adding complimentary meeting space? At a small scale, a company can rent out space in their office conference room at no charge and on a large scale a company might actually build out nice meeting spaces in multiple high traffic areas of town. Uptown Plumbing Heating and A/C used this tactic in Minneapolis.

They have 3 different build outs that are branded and rentable through their website. Whether you let people use the conference room in your existing office (and maybe have them all walk through the showroom on the way) or build out a space in a high traffic area across town, make sure your branding is everywhere.

Finding a cheap place to meet is hard for organizations and you can save the day by providing a solution to their problem. This activity further entrenches your community-centric brand image. You’ll be surprised how many people book appointments on their way out the door!

New Homeowner’s Letter 

Year after year, as I managed our company, I tried to figure out how to tap into the new homeowner market. I tried pretty much every program available. This was the problem.

These programs include WAY too many pieces in a SINGLE contact with the customer (I’m talking about Merry Maid, Chinese delivery, Plumber, Landscaping, etc.). That creates ear-numbing whitenoise for the homeowner. I’m telling you, we tried EVERYTHING. We even sent out a beautiful box with a letter, and guess what? Sadness all around.

The ROI was sad. I was sad. The homeowners who could’ve had our services were sad (or they would’ve been if they’d known what they were missing).

But then, one glorious sunny day, it hit me. I decided to send our own letter instead of being in the unopened, screaming-mute pile of other promos.

The letter was a typical welcome from the owner of the company, but enclosed in that envelope was the magic…

► Business cards

► Magnets

► A certificate for a free system check of A/C and furnace

►A certificate for a free camera inspection of their sewer

Isolating our letters from the noise and making them more than just a single letter paid off.


It was an investment, but it got us into a lot of homes and a raised our flag in that new homeowner territory.

Try it out. Send out new homeowner kits twice a month. Cost is about $1.15 per kit with postage and $30 for buying the new homeowner list.

Live Website Chat

This is a new technology (well, quality live chat is new) and it pays huge dividends. Good customer service is a rarity and good customer service via chat is even more rare. If you have live chat on your website, you’ll stand out. Simple as that. It’s a definite differentiator. 75% of the people coming to your website are just kicking tires. Just being at the top of Google search isn’t enough… you need to stop them from continuing to window-shop.

Shoppers don’t just click on the first website and make a buying decision. Instead, they browse the first 5-6 sites and then may or may not even call based on whether they’ve decided they need you. If you have live chat 24/7, you can engage them before they leave and turn them from shopper to customer.

That’s it folks.

Those are 5 of my highest ROI marketing ideas that worked for me!

See you next post.

-Trevor & The HomeServiceChats Team