20 Proven Ways To Get More Roofing Leads [Free And Paid]
No matter how busy your pipeline is, a quiet month is always around the corner unless you have proven strategies to generate leads.
There are plenty of channels for you to use, but it’s crucial you know how to get the most out of each channel. You can’t publish a random 300-word blog, or knock up a website on Wix and think you’ll get quote requests overnight.
To make your job easier we’ve rounded up 20 of the most effective ways to get more roofing leads.
“You don’t close a sale. You open a relationship”.
If you disagree with that statement you’re better off looking for lead-gen strategies elsewhere.
Still here? Good. Then you know there are no shortcuts to generating leads for your roofing business. You can’t hypnotize a prospect or say the magic words and have them rushing to hire your roofing services.
Generating more leads comes down to positioning yourself as a trusted expert whether that’s on Google, Facebook, over the phone, or through a flyer, you stick to someone’s front door.
These 20 strategies help you position yourself as the #1 local roofer whether you’re chasing residential or commercial roofing leads. Even better, there’s a mix of free and paid strategies so you can increase your monthly leads and income no matter what marketing budget you’re working with.
Read on to discover the proven lead-gen strategies all successful roofing companies use to drive traffic, generate quote requests, and bring in piping hot leads that will keep you busy month after month.
What is a lead?
You want more leads, so let’s start by qualifying what is and what is NOT a lead.
Put simply, a lead is anyone who expresses measurable interest in your roofing business. This could be over the phone, via email, or through your website.
But HOW they express interest is what defines a valuable marketing lead.
If an acquaintance says “Oh I might need some work done on my roof soon, I’ll keep you in mind”, that is NOT a lead. They might become a sale, but they haven’t expressed measurable interest in your business. Their verbal commitment feels great, but it’s not concrete enough to be defined as a lead.
But if that same acquaintance heads to your roofing website and submits their details in your contact form, asking for a roofing quote, then *boom*, you just earned a lead.
It’s important to tell the difference because you might get 5,000 people visiting your site in a month. But only 5 of those people submitted their details into your contact form to request a quote from you. 5,000 people exploring your site is great – but you’ve only got 5 leads.
How to successfully generate new roofing leads
OK, it’s time to put on our marketing hats and head back to math class because we’re going to crunch a few numbers (don’t worry, there’s no algebra involved).
Generating leads is the heart and soul of your roofing business’ success, and if those leads cost you $0 then the money you earn is all profit – once you’ve subtracted any overheads and business-related costs.
But if you’re paying for leads you need to measure the cost. This is to stop you bleeding money when you think you’re making money. For example, if it costs you $100 to earn a lead and that new customer pays $50 for your service, you’re actually losing money.
To track your costs you want to focus on your ‘Cost Per Lead’, or CPL.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
Here’s how to calculate your Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)
Your CPL is easy to figure out as long as you know a few other figures first.
The total cost of your marketing strategy ÷ Number of leads generated = Cost-Per-Lead
For example, if you spend $1,000 on a Google Ads campaign and generate 50 leads your formula would look like this:
$1,000 ÷ 50 = $20
In this example, you paid $20 per lead. And if those leads are paying for big-ticket services like full roof replacements then you’ll be making good money. As long as your leads generate more than $20 in revenue (factoring in your other overheads and business costs like fuel and materials) your business will be growing.
And before your flashbacks to math class become unbearable, we’ll leave you with the average Cost-Per-Lead across each lead generation channel. Yours could be higher or much lower, but it’s nice to see the average cost businesses are paying per lead.
Lead Generation Channel
Events and Tradeshows
TV, Print & Radio
How to generate roofing leads: 10 FREE strategies
The best things in life are free, and that includes free roofing leads.
Paying $0 and 0 cents for leads doesn’t have to mean you end up with time-wasters, price-gougers, and tyre-kickers. With the right lead-gen channels, you can grow your roofing business without spending a cent.
NOTE: These free lead-gen strategies cost nothing, but you may incur small costs in providing them. For example, a free inspection will help turn people into hot leads, but you’ll need to cover the cost of fuel to reach people’s properties.
#1 – Free inspections
Charging for consultations and quotes might help add a few dollars to your bottom line, but you’re likely to scare off more customers than you earn.
Free inspections have become standard in the roofing industry as customers prefer to compare quotes and get a feel for your professionalism and quality by meeting you on-site, whether it’s a problem with the tiles at home or a hole in the shop roof.
Instead of seeing this as a waste of time, think of it as a zero-cost strategy to start a conversation with cold leads. You haven’t spent a CENT but you’ve managed to chat face-to-face with a possible customer, with no distractions (or competition) in sight.
That’s a win!
If your free inspection, estimate, or consultation is risk-free – meaning people can politely decline your services without spending a cent, you’ll start attracting more leads who feel protected by your free inspection.
#2 – A roofing blog
Not a writer? Not a problem!
People search out roofing blog articles looking for help, not Pulitzer Prize-winning writing. You’re an expert in all things roofing, and that’s what people want to learn about.
This all comes down to visibility. Imagine going to the casino and betting $100 on a game of roulette. If you only bet on one number you’ve only got one chance to win. But if you can spread your bet across multiple numbers, your odds of success go up.
The more blog articles you post, the more keywords you can use. And as you add keywords you give yourself more opportunities to rank on Google.
Let’s say you wrote a 1,000-word blog on ‘DIY Roofing Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs’. That helpful, valuable piece of content could end up ranking for a bunch of keywords that bring traffic to your roofing website. Every new person on your site is a possible quote request or booking, and that happens when you start blogging more.
It’s worth noting SEO does take time, so you may not see results for months. But since blogging is 100% free, you’re only investing your time with the exciting pay-off of more leads down the track.
Business listing sites are a quick and free way to generate exposure and increase the number of places potential leads can find you.
While some business listings will charge you a fee in return for placement, there are plenty of free listing sites if you’re looking to save money. Not only will these sites make it easy for people to find you, but Google takes into account the quantity and relevance of your business listings – also known as citations – when it ranks your business online.
The more relevant citations you earn, the more likely you’ll appear when someone searches for “roofer in Houston, Texas” (assuming your business is in Houston, Texas).
Looking for free business listing websites? Try these out:
Yep, over 9 out of 10 people search on Google when they need help, and SEO is how you put your business on Google.
This can be done in two ways:
SEO is about improving your rankings and visibility on a national scale, so it’s not always the best bet for roofing businesses. In contrast, Local SEO is about improving your rankings and visibility on a local scale – specifically using a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
If you’re based in New York you can use Local SEO tactics to help you rank for searches around New York. Instead of using SEO tactics to help you rank for searches a thousand miles across the country.
#5 – Review campaigns
When it comes to generating leads for your roofing business there are two primary strategies:
You tell people how amazing you are
Your customers tell people how amazing you are
The second option is SIGNIFICANTLY more effective. After all, you’re a little biased (even if your roofing company is awesome). You can leverage this option and have your customers drum up new leads for you with a review campaign.
Most roofers aren’t proactive about earning reviews. They’re happy when they get ‘em, but don’t go out of their way to earn them. This is a HUGE missed opportunity.
Unsure when to ask for a review? The most effective time is right after a sale or service. A quick follow-up after the point of service, either in person (if you know the customer well) or via email, asking for a review on your preferred platform will work wonders. This could be Google, Facebook, a business directory – anywhere you want to boost your reputation.
Most customers are happy to sing your praises if you’ve done a great job (which you obviously have) so this is a free and easy way to use your current customers to attract new leads.
#6 – Email marketing
Sending emails to people who have subscribed to your mailing list costs nothing but helps nurture people towards becoming leads.
If the idea of sitting down to write emails makes you break out in a cold sweat, you can automate your emails to help you save time while still delivering value. You’ll need an email marketing tool if you want to head down the automation road – like MailChimp or Sendinblue which have free plans for small businesses.
Keep in mind, access to someone’s email account means they trust you. DO NOT BURN THAT TRUST. Avoid spamming people with endless emails and only send emails that add value to people’s lives.
Here are a few ideas for email content that people will want to read, and will help move them towards ‘lead’ status:
Video testimonials from happy roofing customers
Case studies showing exciting ‘Before and After’ transformations
Promotional offers and time-sensitive discounts
Freebies (free inspections, free clean with a service, free tile replacement)
Wondering how you’ll attract all those valuable email addresses in the first place? Read on for a quick and proven strategy…
#7 – Lead magnets
We mentioned how valuable email addresses were for direct contact with potential leads, but you need to convince people to give you their emails first.
How? With a lead magnet.
A lead magnet does what it sounds like, attracts leads like a magnet pulling in metal.
Lead magnets are typically placed on your website in the form of a downloadable guide or awesome free resource that people are desperate to have. The only catch? They need to give you their email if they want the free guide/resource.
You don’t need to be an awesome writer or marketing pro to create a lead magnet either. Think about the services you offer and the problems people have, then connect the two. For example, if you paint roofs your free guide could be ‘5 Ways to Extend The Life Of Your Roof’.
Site visitors will be keen to protect their roof and download your guide – giving you their email in return.
This is a DOUBLE lead-gen strategy.
Site visitors can become leads after they read your lead magnet and see what an expert you are
Email subscribers can become leads after you contact them down the track with offers and promotions
Still worried about creating an awesome lead magnet? With website builders like Pedestal, the lead magnets come built-in. Pick from existing lead magnet titles, proven to drive downloads, so you don’t need to research a topic at all.
#8 – Website chatbots
It’s easy to focus on the exciting lead-generation tactics that you read about in ‘Roofing Marketing’ articles on Google – but don’t forget to dig up the leads in your own backyard.
You’re already getting visitors to your website, so consider using chatbots to help turn more of those visitors into leads.
These people are the low-hanging fruit you should be picking as often as possible. After all, they’ve shown some level of interest by coming to your website in the first place. Figure out what level of interest that is by offering a chatbot function to answer any questions they may have.
A chatbot is a personal touch that makes people feel heard and valued. Better still, it works 24/7 while you enjoy your free time (and you don’t need to pay penalty rates or overtime because there’s no chatbot union).
Remember, replacing or repairing a roof is a massive investment. It’s only natural people will have questions, and a live chat function with in-built answers and prompts to guide people towards a call with you provides a simple and easy-to-access solution. And with 41.3% of consumers having used chatbots for purchases, you can enjoy a rise in conversions as well as leads.
We’ve included chatbots on the FREE list, though there are paid versions if you’re looking for a chatbot with the ability to track user analytics and provide more data.
#9 – Local business partnerships
Partnering with a local business can drive a stream of new leads that you’d otherwise never have access to.
This doesn’t mean you find another roofer in your suburb (since your goal is to steal their leads) but search for businesses in related industries. If you install roofs for newly renovated homes you could partner with a builder specializing in renovations. When your partnered business gets a lead or client they recommend your services – and vice versa.
This helps both businesses grow AND makes life easier for the customer who didn’t have to chase up multiple businesses.
#10 – Pound the pavement
There’s a good chance your roofing business started with plenty of old-school marketing techniques – and there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few of these in your pocket for a rainy day.
Online marketing will consistently beat traditional marketing in terms of leads and sales, but as a free tactic to get leads it doesn’t hurt to think about:
These lead-generation strategies are more effective when you’re canvassing in your local area. If people already know about your business they’ll be more open to receiving direct mail and reaching out to get in touch.
BONUS TIP: Include an offer your customer can’t refuse. In 2021 there is a widespread dislike of marketing materials or ‘spam’ as people see it. If you’re going to inject your roofing business in people’s lives – known as ‘interruptive marketing’ – you need to include an offer that makes people stop and pay attention. Whether it’s a discount on roof repair, a free clean with every service, or a voucher for future bookings, make sure your offer stands out.
How to generate roofing leads: 10 PAID strategies
When you’re feeling peckish you could forage in the woods for food, or head to your favourite restaurant and order a meal. Both options will leave you with food in your belly, but when you’re willing to pay the quality of the product goes up substantially.
While free leads can be extremely valuable, paid leads have a reputation for bringing targeted, quality leads. This is all possible because of the targeting options available. For example, running Google Ads means you can target people of a certain age, demographic, or even postcode.
When you invest in paid lead-gen strategies, you’re building the foundation for future growth. Remember, paying for leads isn’t scary once you figure out your Cost-Per-Lead.
As long as your CPL is less than your revenue generated, you’re making money.</>
In 2021, a website is as crucial to your roofing business as the tools you use. We could write an entire guide about the benefits of a website (oh hang on, we have ‘Website vs Facebook Page guide’) so we’ll sum up some of the benefits here:
Your website is your ticket to Google (can’t use SEO or appear on Google without a site)
Your website fields questions and enquiries 24/7 while you sleep
9 out of 10 people use the internet to look for businesses (you guessed it, they won’t find you without a website
Not to mention the fact your roofing competition all have websites. If people don’t find you, they’ll find another local roofer instead. If you want to generate leads, you’ll need to set up a website.
It’s worth noting your website can be cost-effective, consisting of a website builder plan and purchasing your domain name. Or you can go with a web design agency and build a $5,000+ website purpose-built to generate leads week after week.
It’s up to you how much you pay for a website, but the bottom line is that you need a website of some sort if you want to generate consistent leads.
You can use your current site to generate more leads for you. All it takes is a few tweaks to your UX (which is fancy marketing speak for ‘user experience’). It’s a mistake to think your roofing site is just a digital business card people can use to contact you.
The process of transitioning from site visitor to lead is littered with obstacles. People have questions, concerns, or worries that you need to solve, and by improving your UX (which just means ‘making your site more user friendly’) you can help them move past their obstacles.
Here are a few UX tweaks you can make and why they’re so effective.
Add a ‘search’ function to your menu: This makes it easier for people to navigate your site, find what they’re looking for, and reach out to you.
Make your text easy to read: Don’t aim to win fancy design awards, your text should be easy to read (think white on a black background and other high contrast colours) so people can find the info they need.
Add videos to catch attention: Videos are easy to watch, way easier than reading pages of text. By adding videos you can get your message across quicker, show your personality, and instill the trust needed for people to contact you.
#3 – SEO
We know, we know…
SEO was included as a free strategy to generate more leads because it is. Roofing SEO is a skill set, not a product. Nothing is stopping you from making SEO changes to your website or setting up a Google My Business (GMB) listing to help you rank for local searches.
You can add keywords to your content. Update your Title Tags to make them more clickable. Compress your images so your site loads faster. Add relevant categories to your GMB so you rank for niche searches.
But an SEO pro can do all those things and more. Much more.
The same way a weekend warrior can climb up a ladder and start stripping tiles, but they can’t replace a full commercial roof like you can.
SEO as a paid strategy unlocks advanced features, like link building and competitive keyword ranking. These strategies have the potential to bring in significantly more traffic and generate tons more leads, so the cost of roofing SEO should be seen as an investment – because the result is a website or GMB that ranks everywhere roofing customers go searching and generates revenue month after month.
#4 – Google Ads
It’s impossible to talk about paid lead-gen strategies without mentioning roofing Google Ads.
As part of a pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategy, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad – which is great for managing a tight budget. And since your Google Ads only show when they’re triggered by a pre-set keyword, you know that someone seeing your ads has already expressed interest in your roofing services.
Google Ads belong in the ‘paid’ category for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you have to pay to play, so each ad click you receive will cost you money. Secondly, Google Ads can be tough for beginners, so paying for a Google Ads expert can make your ad campaign more effective and your chances of generating leads higher.
#5 – Instagram Ads
Putting your business in front of the right people is key to generating leads, and with over 1 billion Instagram users, you’ve got plenty of people on offer.
Instagram Ads rely on visual content while Facebook Ads tend to skew towards the written content. It’s also worth knowing your audience as Instagram is predominantly used by younger generations, with the majority of 18 to 34-year-olds on Instagram.
Wondering how to get roofing leads on Facebook? You can run Facebook Ads just like you can run Google Ads, except you’ll need to approach a Facebook ad campaign with a slightly different attitude. Imagine a giant funnel with your roofing business at the bottom and people walking around at the top with no idea you exist.
The people at the top – known as the ‘top of the funnel’ audience, need to reach the bottom of the funnel before they become customers. The further down the funnel they get, the more they learn about you. Once they fully trust you and see that you understand their problem, they’ll pick you as their roofer.
Google Ads are a ‘bottom of the funnel’ strategy, while Facebook Ads are a ‘top of the funnel’ strategy. That means people will learn about you on Facebook while they check out their friend’s baby photos, but not necessarily become leads on the spot.
Don’t let that distract you from the value of a Facebook Ad campaign which can be highly targeted to appear in front of people in a certain area, with specific ‘likes’ and interests, and to match a broad demographic range.
In short, you tell Facebook your ideal customer and they’ll show your paid ads to them.
#7 – Ad retargeting
Let’s say someone has visited your website but wasn’t ready to request a quote or call you on the phone. Ad retargeting tags those site visitors and shows them banner ads on other websites to keep your roofing company top of mind.
You’ve probably seen this in action yourself when browsing for something online, only to be mysteriously met with ads for the same thing on your next browsing experience.
Don’t panic, it’s 2021, not 1997, but that doesn’t mean direct mail is completely useless.
Instead of printing 5,000 leaflets and jamming them into every letterbox within 10 miles, aim to be more selective with your target audience. By shrinking your audience you can invest more time and resources into your direct mail.
And instead of a generic “DEAR HOMEOWNER” consider updating your promotions and discount codes to reflect your audience. This could include a discount code that can be entered on your website, or time-sensitive offers to be redeemed online or rewards for following your social media accounts.
While direct mail likely won’t return the type of leads you’ll get through paid advertising, it can help bring people to your website in their first step of becoming a lead, rather than the final step.
#9 – YouTube Ads
We’ve included plenty of paid advertising strategies in this list, and for good reason. Each of these PPC strategies allows you to manage your budget (so no nasty surprises) and you can choose who to target based on filters across:
Topics of interest
When it comes to YouTube, you can show your ads to people watching roofing-related videos. Imagine having your ad pop up when someone watches a video about ‘DIY Roof Repair’. If (and when) they realize it’s a huge hassle to fix their own roof, your business will be top of mind.
Video ads also lead to valuable brand exposure as people can see your business in action – something a Facebook Ad can’t always replicate, and something a Google Ad can never replicate.
YouTube also has 2 billion monthly users, so your potential reach (which is marketing speak for ‘how many people see your ad) is HUGE. Since you’re in control of the type of person who sees your ad, you can put your roofing business in front of an audience that other PPC platforms simply can’t match.
#10 – Hire a marketing agency
This will sound a little biased, but having generated over $200 million in leads for local trade businesses – including roofers, we know first-hand how effective a roofing marketing agency can be when you need to fill those empty spots in the calendar.
Across professional SEO or PPC campaigns, or transforming your website from digital business card to customer conversion, an agency brings an entire team and their skill set.
With one agency fee, you get a social media expert, an SEO pro, a paid ads professional – the works. If generating leads is your goal, bringing onboard a marketing agency is a proven way to do it.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
How you turn roofing leads into sales
Did you hear that?
It was the sound of you becoming a lead-generation machine. You’ve now got the skills to drive leads through your website, ads, or in-person. All at a cost you can afford. But generating the lead is only 50% of the battle.
The remaining 50% is whether you can close the sale or not. And that comes down to your roofing sales workflow and sales pitch – which are the steps you take to get new clients and the unique approach you take to seal the deal.
And if you’re ready to become a sales master, we’ve written a simple guide to teach you how…
30-second recap for busy roofers
You’re busy, so we’ll keep this short and sweet.
Regardless of how full your pipeline is today, an empty pipeline is always right around the corner without a proven lead-gen strategy.
When the roofing industry is worth over $100 billion, it’s not a lack of leads that’s the problem. Bringing the leads to you (instead of your competition) comes down to putting your customer’s needs first and figuring out the best touchpoint to reach them.
With the 20 free and paid strategies to generate roofing leads, you should try different tactics to see what works. Most importantly, measure EVERYTHING. If you’re not measuring the effectiveness of a lead-gen strategy, you won’t know whether the cost-per-lead is helping you drive profit…or slowly sending you broke.
Variety is key when sourcing leads, so avoid sticking all your eggs in one basket.
By mixing a few approaches – think SEO, Google Ads, and a website as the ‘Big Three’ – you can take a slice of the $100 billion pie for yourself.