How We Generate Daily Residential Solar Leads at $38 per lead

What Our One Month Residential Solar Leads Program Can Produce

INTRODUCTION

I’m going to share you the process we use to generate daily, exclusive, residential solar leads just from Facebook and hope you gain some valuable insights and ideas to help you do the same for your resi sales program even if you have:

  • No compelling ad creative.
  • No organic SEO strategy.
  • No seasoned Facebook pixel.
  • No special offers.
  • No unique selling point (USP).


In this case study, between May and July, we’ve generated 69 solar enquiries for $38 per lead that resulted 27+ appointments, 5 closed jobs off a $2,600 adspend, with many more pending jobs in the pipeline. August Update: 3 more closed jobs… This is just one look at one of our clients, these are the kind of results we are getting for multiple residential solar installers across the country.

We don’t claim to have some sort of magic wand, just a proven framework.

OWNED ASSETS VS 3RD PARTY

There are a few different ways to generate resi solar leads. Nearly ever lead generation company out there (CEE, Modernize…etc) all use their own assets to distribute leads to solar installers.

These assets are Facebook Pages with no real brand behind them. Instead these are “community pages” such as “Energy Savers _____”, which acts as community page posting about energy saving tips to build social credibility, when the entire purpose is to run solar ads.

Would you feel better giving your information to a real company advertising solar who have a local office in your town, with photos and images of their customers + reviews, or a made up community page asking for your address to “see if you qualify”?

The “hide the salesmen” technique is extremely popular and a great way for lead generators to preserve their investment by being able to distribute leads to multiple installers, and send to your competitors as soon as you stop paying them, while you’re left with nothing.

Facebook Sudo-Brand vs. Real Company

vs.

Who do you trust more to install a $30,000 solar array on your home?

In contrast, we believe in creating authentic assets, with a credible, real company behind the ads. 3rd party leads from made up brands work, however we promote the diversification of lead gen assets that you own and control for long term growth and dependency.

CLIENT:

Residential solar company (installer, not a sales dealer) who build solar systems for homes in a southwest city with a population of 500,000 people. Average customer life value (LTV) is $30,000.

CHALLENGE:

Prior to working with us, they purchased leads, door knocked, and have a local SEO strategy in place. They had never tried Facebook Ads. After working with us, we were told our exclusive leads using the company Facebook page had much higher and quicker appointment rates compared to their purchased leads.

OBJECTIVE:

Find out if Facebook Ads can be a financially viable source of residential solar enquiries.

THE 5-STEP WINNING FORMULA:

  • Gathering Authentic Ad Creative
  • Custom Audience Building & Interest Targeting.
  • Storytelling Ad Copy.
  • Lead Form vs Landing Page.
  • Lead Nurture Follow Up Systems.

Using this framework we can consistently generate new business week to week, year over year.

AUTHENTIC AD CREATIVE

Authentic photos and videos are key to communicate brand trust and credibility. Photos of staff working on an install, in an office. Customers around the systems, holding signage, giving the thumbs up. Professional video testimonials, or even low budget “selfie-style” testimonial videos.

It’s the little details where we have a split second to disrupt the mindless scroll, to convey relevancy and trustworthiness with our ad copy and ad creative.

Like having the background of photos or aerial images that clearly show they’re in the same neighborhood as our audience. Photos of real customers, not staged stock photos.

AUDIENCE BUILDING & INTEREST TARGETING

We are able to speak directly to homeowners interested in solar through our tested and curated combinations of interest targeting providing by Facebook. Once we have leads coming in from our interests campaigns, we test custom audiences built out of customer and prospect email lists. Between the two audiences, it’s like door knocking on every single potential homeowner in the city or geo.

STORYTELLING AD COPY

All to often I see solar companies who want to try out Facebook Ads, and it’s very clear when it’s written by an inexperienced, in-house marketer. Often it’s 2-3 sentences and a photo with a link to the homepage.

We are big proponents of long form, storytelling ad copy. Calling out our audience of who we want to speak to, addressing problems that we solve, and listing out the proof of why we’re the local, credible experts to solve this problem.

This allows our ads to stand out over our client’s competitors and lead gen providers.

LEAD FORM VS LANDING PAGE

Typically, we will test both lead form and traditional landing pages to identify which perform better. Every geo is a bit different. For our one month trials, we start out with lead forms as these are typically higher volume and lower cost per lead, and gives us quick data to measure if our ad copy and audiences are converting. Once we have this data, we can duplicate these settings to test a landing page, and begin working through landing page design exercises.

LEAD NURTURE FOLLOW UP SYSTEMS


As any sales professional understands, the money is in the follow up. So often we speak with solar companies who have their reps manually following up with each lead with zero automation in place.

We build automated SMS and Email follow up systems so as soon as lead comes in, we are firing off a text and series of 3 emails dripped out that reiterate the problems we solve, screenshots of reviews, before/after photos of electricity bills, and links to your appointment booking calendar (if you don’t have an online appt booking scheduler get one!!), so leads book appointments on their own time to sit down with you.

Once this system is built, you then have the framework to launch customer referral campaigns and re-engage cold prospects with a new seasonal offer, saving your reps hundreds of precious hours of following up manually one by one.

RESIDUAL CALLS FROM FACEBOOK

These are all the calls that results from our unique Facebook tracking number. At the end of our lead forms, and in our emails, we have the option for customers to call us. This doesn’t track, all the potential calls that resulted in people searching for the company on Google after they saw or interacted with an ad.

Case Study Results

Residential solar lead gen
  • Timeline: May 1 – July, 2019
  • City Population: 500k
  • 69 Leads @ $38/lead
  • 5 closed installs (3 more closed as of August)
  • 27 appointments
  • $2,625 in adspend
  • ~$150k in Revenue

Summary

This is the first iteration, baseline campaign build we get going ASAP to start driving you guys leads. Once we are past month 1, and leads are coming in the door and your reps and scheduling appointments, we begin to stack on our set of Facebook Ad strategies (lookalike audiences, customer lists, traffic & messenger campaigns) and of course, a multi-location SEO program, who every solar installer needs to be investing in for easy, long term, low cost, quality solar leads.

In this video I walk through our solar leads system beginning with a month 1 Facebook Ads + Lead Nurture Automation build to start driving and retaining in-house, exclusive leads.

Our system is simple. This baseline, proven, Facebook Lead Form Campaign works in any geo. Coupled with our lead nurture automation system we help the lead book appointments with you so instead of chasing them down.

Questions about our programs? Book a call with me: https://calendly.com/simpletree

Check out our other blog post on commercial solar lead gen.

– Doug