The Cost of Plumbing Leads: How Much It Costs to Get More Plumbing Jobs

The Cost of Plumbing Leads: Understanding how much it costs to get more plumbing jobs

If you’re looking to get more plumbing jobs, the amount it costs to create those opportunities should be one of your biggest concerns. From print ads to paid search, you need to so type of marketing or advertising so customers find your business. For some businesses, it’s hard to know where to start. We look at the 4 most common options for marketing your plumbing business and compare the cost of plumbing leads generated by each of them.

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4 Options for Marketing Your Plumbing Business

These are the 4 most common methods for managing marketing and advertising campaigns for your business.

  1. Do-It-Yourself Marketing – You or one of your employees do all of your own marketing. Regardless of the results, you are paying for your marketing and advertising expenses. This could take the time that you could otherwise use to complete jobs or cut into your personal time.
  2. Hiring a Marketing Professional – You pay a full or part-time marketing person. In addition to that cost, you pay for your marketing and advertising expenses regardless of how they perform.
  3. Advertising or Marketing Agency –  You hire a marketing agency that markets your business on your behalf. You pay them for their marketing expertise as well as all of your marketing and advertising expenses regardless of the results.
  4. Lead Generation Company – You buy individual leads from a company that markets the services you offer. Although some companies work differently, you only pay a flat rate when you receive a valid lead in most cases.

What are a Plumbing Leads?

A plumbing lead is an opportunity for a job. Most leads will come as a phone call, but some may come as a text message or an email. Each lead you get was generated by some method. This could be someone seeing your truck on the street, getting a recommendation from a friend, or searching for a local plumber on their phone.

Are All Plumbing Leads Jobs?

Unfortunately, no. Most leads will turn into jobs, but that isn’t always the case. One of the biggest misconceptions is that lead generation companies and advertising agencies will generate you guaranteed jobs. No matter how you get the lead, it is only an opportunity for a job.

Types of Marketing and Advertising the Will Get You More Plumbing Jobs

This isn’t a comprehensive list of marketing and advertising channels, but it does include the major types of advertising and marketing that many plumbing businesses use to get more jobs.

  • Paid Search – Customers find your business in the ads that appear at the top or side of search engine results. You bid on search terms and pay the search engine when customers take action.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Better known as SEO or organic search, customers find your business in the organic results of search engines. Although SEO is free, it takes a fair amount of time and knowhow to rank for search terms.
  • Display Advertising – These are better known as banner ads and they appear on virtually every website. Typically you pay a specific rate for a number of impressions, but you may also pay for each click. The price will vary by the website.
  • Local SEO – A variation of SEO that specifically targets search for the local area. Customers could be searching within map programs or using the map features of search engines.
  • Social Media – You post content on your social channels in the hope that your customers see them. While this is technically free, you typically need to pay to boost posts in order to effectively reach your customer.
  • Referrals – Referrals involve a customer recommending you to a friend. Due to the trust associated with these recommendations, they are more likely to turn into jobs. However, you should only expect referral leads occasionally.
  • Reviews – Like referrals, reviews allow other customers to advertise your company for you. While free, they do require your customers to take action.
  • Print Advertising – These ads are printed in magazines, newspapers, and other publications. The cost will vary depending on the size of the ad and the size of the publication. It’s also harder to track leads that come through print ads.
  • Out-Of-Home Advertising – Billboards and any other type of poster or banner advertising either outdoor or inside public spaces. As with print ads, the cost varies by side and location. Tracking leads is also difficult.
  • Broadcast Advertising – Radio and television ads vary by the individual station, the time of day, and your location. As with most traditional advertising, it’s harder to determine the source of each lead.
  • Trade Shows – Setting up a booth at the top plumbing trade shows is a great way to get visibility on your own plumbing business. Attending also gives you a chance to meet with vendors and industry leaders face-to-face.

Comparing Ways to Get Jobs for Your Plumbing Business

Do It Yourself Marketing

The Cost of Plumbing Leads: The pros and cons of do-it-yourself marketing

The biggest advantage of doing your own marketing is that it allows you to closely control your message and costs. You can increase your budget to get more plumbing jobs if things slow down or decrease your budget when you’re busier. Unfortunately, this level of control also means you need to manage and track your marketing campaigns.

This includes learning new technology, testing different types of campaigns, and making adjustments based on your performance. That’s not to say you can’t successfully generate plumbing leads with an hour or two of work each week. Yet it may take much longer to get those campaigns set up and make them profitable.

Hire a Marketing Professional

The Cost of Plumbing Leads: The pros and cons of hiring a marketing professional

Hiring a marketing professional solves the problem of keeping up on changes in marketing and advertising. Whether you hire a full or part-time person, they have the knowledge and experience to effectively manage your campaigns and get more plumbing jobs.

Unfortunately, this comes with the added cost of that employee. According to GlassDoor, the national average for a marketing professional is $67,000 plus benefits.  The hourly rate of a part-time marketing person ranges anywhere between $25 to $100 or more per hour.

While a marketing professional is likely to know many different aspects of marketing, they will have strengths and weaknesses. This isn’t necessarily a major concern, but it could result in them missing or overlooking some opportunities.

Advertising or Marketing Agency

The Cost of Plumbing Leads: The pros and cons of hiring an agency

An advertising or marketing agency puts an entire team of marketing and advertising professionals at your disposal. They should have someone that can develop an effective strategy to get more plumbing jobs regardless of your area or business size. Of course, this expertise does come at a price and usually involves a long-term contract.

Expect an hourly rate of at least $50 per hour, with prices ranging up into the hundreds depending on the agency. They might also charge a retainer or require that you spend a certain amount of money too. Retainers range may range from $1000 to $3000 per month. Spending limits could start as low as a few hundred dollars and increase from there.

The biggest complaint about agencies is the lack of transparency with their billing. In addition to their hourly rates and other fees, they may mark up the cost of ad placements as well. For example, you might be able to run a paid search campaign for $30 a click. They might mark that same ad up to $35 or even more.

Lead Generation Company

The Cost of Plumbing Leads: The pros and cons of lead generation companies

In most cases, lead generation companies offer the expertise of an agency at a lower price and without the long-term contracts. They also usually have some industry experience as well, which allows them to better target customers and get more plumbing jobs.

Another advantage is that their revenue is tied to your own. They only make money when you get a valid lead, so it’s in their best interest to provide you only high-quality leads that are likely to turn into jobs. Plumbing leads typically range between $35 and $100. Most companies will allow you to charge a trip fee, which allows you to cover the cost of the lead.

Look for a lead generation company that sends their leads only to one partner. They should also offer upfront pricing, has a clearly defined billable criteria, and allows you to dispute leads. Avoid any company that sends leads to multiple contractors, charges service or monthly fees, or requires a long-term contract.

Measuring the Cost of Plumbing Leads

Comparing the Cost of Plumbing Leads

There are many variables in calculating the cost of plumbing leads for these 4 options, but we did our best to estimate costs under average conditions. These estimates are based on leads generated through paid search campaigns and assume a $15 cost per click rate for the ads. For all 4 cases, we assume you generate 2 leads each week.

To calculate the cost of do-it-yourself marketing, we based our numbers on the time you would spend working an actual plumbing job. Assuming you pay yourself an hourly rate of $95 – hopefully similar to what you charge for labor on the job – and spent an hour a week managing your campaigns.

In the hiring a marketing professional scenario, we estimated a yearly salary of $67,000, which is a weekly salary of approximately $1290. In the agency scenario, we assumed a $1000 retainer and 5 billable hours at $100 per hour. For the lead generation rates, we used our own billable rate of $60 per phone lead. Our plumbing text leads are just $25 per valid lead.

Your costs and results may vary, but our estimates are based on the most recent industry research and statistics we could find. To calculate your own cost per lead by dividing your total weekly marketing cost by the total number of weekly leads. It’s also important to remember that not every lead is a guaranteed job.

What is the Best Way to Get More Plumbing Jobs?

The best way to get more plumbing jobs is whatever method best fits your budget and time. Look for the right balance of control, knowledge, cost, and experience. You may want to use multiple methods to give you the best opportunity to get more plumbing jobs.

Regardless of which method you use, make sure you are tracking your performance. Make sure you know where each lead came from so you can determine the exact cost of that lead. Without the data, it’s difficult to make effective changes to your marketing strategy.

Start Getting Cost-Effective Plumbing Leads Today

Our exclusive plumbing leads make it easy to grow your business at a cost-effective price. They work with your existing marketing campaigns or in-place of them to get more plumbing jobs easily. Start getting plumbing leads for as low as $25 a lead. Fill out the contact form below and one of our business development managers will follow up within 1 business day. They will provide a demo of our leads and answer your questions. If you’re ready to get started now, call 888-594-8381 now.

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