Grassroots and Guerilla Advertising Strategies for Plumbing and HVAC Businesses

Grassroots, Guerilla, and Display Advertising for Plumbers and HVAC Contractors

We may be stretching the actual definition of some of these tactics, but we need a bucket for good old-fashioned elbow grease type advertising… so here it is. If plumbing and HVAC contractors funneled half of the money they threw away trying to get new customers towards keeping the ones they have, the local ad man would get skinny instead of fat. Continue reading for some old school, inexpensive, and absolutely proven ways to make your phone ring.

The Purpose of Grassroots Marketing in Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical Companies

Grassroots marketing strategies generally make it easier for clients to get your phone number when they have a plumbing or HVAC problem. These tactics also help lock up a home, which is crucial in high turnover markets. Some items, like truck signage and uniforms, also serve a branding purpose, but the overall intention is to provide simple ways for clients to reach you when they need your services.

Is Grassroots Marketing in a Plumbing or HVAC Company a Tap Root or Feeder Root?

The individual categories have been identified as either a Tap Root or a Feeder Root. If the category is a Tap Root, you must have this in place.

Ideas for Grassroots Marketing and Advertising for Your Plumbing & HVAC Company

Stickers (Tap Root): 

A simple 3×5 sticker with your name, logo, and phone number applied to every major appliance you service in the home will pay dividends into perpetuity. We generate a million dollars a year in revenue because of stickers. $

Door Hangers (Feeder Root): 

What’s a better social network than neighbors? If you do business in areas where houses are close together, have your techs put door hangers out. If people don’t use front doors in your market, rubber band the door hanger to the garage touch pad. $$

Business Cards (Tap Root):

Nobody keeps a Rolodex full of business cards anymore, but business cards never go out of style. Have generic business cards printed with your company phone number—no cell phones unless you’re the owner and want people to have your cell. Depending on the purpose, you can put a coupon on the back of the card or a referral program. $

Novelties (Feeder Root): 

Skip the pens, pads of paper, and sporting event calendars. If you’re looking for a leave-behind that will provide a return on investment, go with something the client will actually use. Here are a few examples clients will love. $$$$

  • A good plunger with your number burnt into the handle
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Insulated or silicone cups

Valve Tags (Tap Root): 

Want to involve your clients in your safety inspection process? Ask them to come with you while you find their emergency shut-off valves. When you find them, mark them. On the back is your phone number. $$

Magnets (Feeder Root):

It’s insane how often we see our magnets in homes. The only difference now is that people put them on the side of the fridge, not the front. $$$

Direct Mail (Feeder Root): 

We’re not condoning regular direct mail campaigns, but if you want to cut through the noise, look at it like this—my email inbox is stuffed full of junk emails. Want to know what isn’t full of junk mail anymore? The mailbox. A simple annual letter to your clients with a coupon attached is a tried-and-true way to drum up some calls. Direct mail requires effort and planning, but it can be effective. $$$$

Trucks and Signage (Tap Root): 

Your logo should be on everything—your uniforms, your trucks, your major equipment. When your truck is parked in a driveway, make sure the nosy neighbor can see who you are. $$$

How Much Should You Spend on Grassroots Advertising?

The best part of grassroots advertising is that it’s relatively inexpensive and the expenses are non-recurring. Money invested in the tap root categories listed above can be considered an investment because they will contribute to your call count and brand for generations to come.

Eric Smith - Founder & CEO of Elite Trades

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