As the demand for electricity has increased, so has the demand for solar panels. For some, solar panels are a novel concept, while for others, they are not. Solar panels have a long history, dating back to 1839 and continuing until the 1960s and 1970s when their efficiency reached 10% and the concept of renewable energy became increasingly popular in the industry.
However, as the efficiency of solar panels has improved over time, solar enterprises have encountered some significant challenges in reaching out to potential customers, i.e. generating trustworthy solar panel leads.
In this post, we’ll share the ten tried-and-true strategies for not only reaching out to potential clients but also persuading customers to change their mindset from “should I invest in solar panels” to “I should buy solar panels.”
But first, let’s look at the issues that solar companies have when it comes to generating solar leads and the methods for doing so.
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What are the sales challenges in the solar industry?
It’s difficult for solar companies in New York to make a name for themselves in the solar panel market because of the fierce competition. As a result, understanding the complications that solar marketers face is critical to properly implementing the plan in order to create solar leads.
Best Proven Techniques To Generate Reliable Solar Leads
There are two ways to generate solar panel leads: one is to buy them, and the other is to grow them organically. If you want to generate solar leads on your own, you’ll need to develop a solid solar marketing strategy.
Furthermore, these low-cost strategies encompass both paid and organic methods, and they assist you in reaching out to potential clients who are interested in your deals and are actively connected with your business. Therefore, in order to create a long term impact, we recommend combining both of them.
Now, let’s go over some of the most effective solar marketing tactics for generating sustainable solar leads.
Inbound marketing is the first strategy we recommend for attracting potential customers. This is a sure-fire strategy for any company that has previously failed to achieve desired results. So what Inbound marketing does is it understands the pain points of the customers, collect the relevant information and send it to the targeted customers in the form of Google Ads or social media ads, which we term inbound advertising or ads in marketing.
For example, in the snapshot below, you can see various inbound ads based on a Google search:
Inbound marketing will aid in the development of your company’s credibility and can reduce your CPA in the solar business. In order to successfully implementing this strategy, you first need to understand what customers are looking for. You may always use the PPA (People also ask) portion of Google’s page to locate consumer queries and answers.
Customers’ frequently asked questions, for example, can be seen in the screenshot below.
You may then build helpful contents on such topics and then shoot them to the targeted customers through inbound ads. This is a very fruitful strategy when it is impossible to generate solar leads organically.
Buy Solar Lead Lists
Our second tactic is for the very top of the funnel. These are people that usually don’t have an interest in solar and have likely never heard of your company. You will typically buy a lead list from a lead generation company and conduct outreach on your own.
Buying lists will only work for some companies. For one, this tactic usually relies on cold leads (most people are on this list without knowing it). It’s difficult to convince people who don’t already have an interest to buy – especially with a big investment like solar. Second, buying lists isn’t sustainable. Because you only “generate” solar leads while spending money, your costs will rack up quickly and leads will disappear entirely as soon as you put your wallet away.
Still, list buying can indeed bring you some results, and it isn’t a tactic that should be dismissed completely. If you decide to go this route, make sure the company you are working with has a track record in the solar industry. You should also be transparent to the leads you are reaching out to – tell them why you are contacting them and how you got their information.
Property intelligence research
If you’re not interested in list buying, conducting your own property intelligence research can be a good alternative. This is a method of proactively finding houses that are a good fit for solar using freely available tools.
For example, by finding houses on Google maps with good positioning relative to the sun, you can collect a targeted list of potential customers. This is a great lead generation strategy for solar because you’re finding houses that are a natural fit for your offer. And here’s a pro tip: focus on areas that you can see already have houses equipped with panels. As this study in The Journal of Economic Geography shows, people are more likely to invest in solar if their neighbors have first.
With a little creative thinking, there are many possible ways to approach property intelligence research. Here is just one example:
- Using Google Maps, pick a street in your area and identify the houses facing south.
- Use street view to find the addresses of the houses.
- Enter that information into a reverse look up engine like Peoplesmart.com or Whitepages.com to acquire contact information.
- Reach out to them with a customer quote.
- Property research for my neighborhood
- Starting the process for houses near my neighborhood.
There are two major caveats with this solar lead tactic. One, no matter how good of a fit you find, you are still reaching out to somebody that’s probably never heard of your business. And cold outreach definitely has mixed results. Two, this tactic is time intensive. You are likely looking at hours of work before you contact even just a couple good fits. And even then, there’s no guarantee of success.
Still, you never know what the results will be. For more information on property intelligence research, check out this article .
Cost savings calculator
According to Pew Research Center, the biggest draw of solar energy is the potential cost savings . However, people likely want a personalized assessment of how much they can save before making plans to purchase. This eases their fear about expenses and puts the benefit of saved costs directly in front of them.
That’s why a cost savings calculator is such a good lead generation tactic. By showing someone how much money they can save with solar, you make the prospect of purchasing more realistic. This is an important step in the lead generation process, as you can move someone from “not interested” to “maybe it makes sense.”
With your cost savings calculator, you might also consider what you send your new lead along with this information. This is your first touch point with a potential new customer – now’s the time to provide value. Take Understand Solar as an example. Along with my savings estimate, they started sending me information to further educate me on the subject. If I were in the market, they are the first solar provider I would think of.
If you want to make your cost calculator even more valuable, pair it with a chatbot for WhatsApp. This is a bot that is able to guide your prospects through the cost calculator questions in an entertaining way. Because you are connected with your leads through their phone immediately, you can then offer further assistance with any questions they might have.
Informative blog posts
Everybody knows how important good content is in modern marketing. It’s a way to build authority in your industry, gain the trust of your audience and shape the narrative in a way that makes introducing your product more natural. Content marketing also lets you naturally guide your reader to the next stage of the funnel . By offering lead magnets that your audience can sign up for, you make it easier to bring them closer to a purchase.
As for what content marketing is especially important in the solar industry? Solar is a technology most people don’t fully understand, which leads to many misconceptions about it. This creates the perfect window for content that educates. Topics might include general information about solar energy, the many benefits adopters can expect or a side by side comparison of solar to other energy sources.
Product explainer videos
Videos allow you to explain complicated topics more effectively than text-only content. They are a way for you to quickly educate your audience and address any doubts or objections they have. That’s why videos are a useful lead generation tactic for people further down the funnel: they are likely already convinced on the value of panels and are now searching for answers to more specific questions.
While all solar topics are fair game, consider product explainer videos. As I’ve mentioned, solar technology is often difficult to understand. Your videos serve to clear up the confusion. You can also dive deep on the installation process. How long does it take and what are some of the main points people need to plan for? Answering these questions is helpful and can influence the buying behavior of your audience.
While you can host videos on your site, there’s nothing wrong with building up a Youtube channel. An added benefit of Youtube content? It’s consistent with what your leads probably associate solar companies with: savvy with modern technology.
The solar industry is unique in that it’s a technology most people don’t fully understand and has yet to reach widespread adoption. People therefore naturally have doubts and questions.
That’s where website chat comes in. This is a great tool that allows you to answer peoples’ questions in real time. You can provide important details about solar prices and installation, all while building up trust with your prospect. Website chat also makes it easy to send your site visitors specific lead magnets through sign up forms. This information not only helps your prospects but also allows you to market your solar services and products to them later on.
For some leads, knowing they are going to save money with solar isn’t enough to push them towards buying. They are still in the middle of the funnel and are looking for more information. From the technicalities of installation to the process of long term upkeep, these people want facts and figures.
Ebooks and whitepapers are a great opportunity to provide this education. They are an organized source of information in one place that makes it easy for your leads to get the answers they are looking for. Plus, assuming it’s well-designed, a good ebook or whitepaper can demonstrate your company’s professionalism.
Just like a lot of these tactics, ebooks and whitepapers give you the chance to win your lead’s trust and further persuade them to buy. You are providing them an easy way to educate themselves and giving them the information they need to consider becoming a customer. Check out this guide to creating an e-book for more information.
An online course is another option for leads that are in the general “information gathering” phase. Similar to an ebook or a whitepaper, an online course compiles all the information your lead needs in one spot. The difference is that an online course is likely more in depth and can also cover a wider range of potential topics.
While creating an online course for solar can be labor-intensive, it’s also great for moving leads down the funnel. By demonstrating your expertise and addressing any objections they might have, you have a unique opportunity to shape your leads’ thoughts on solar. This allows you to create a natural transition from lead to customer.
Promoting your course can happen in a number of ways. For example, you might put a course signup form in the header of all your website pages so it’s easy to find. You can also promote it through email, or even use a tool like live chat to proactively offer your course to website visitors you think would be especially receptive to it.
Wondering what sort of topics you should cover? While a course can be as short or in-depth as you want, the first step is making sure people actually care about the content. Check out the most common questions about solar panels for possible ideas.
Hosting a webinar demonstrates a deep knowledge of the topic you are presenting on. This naturally gives your business or organization a certain level of legitimacy. A webinar is also quite personal, and this allows you to put a face to your company and win your audience’s trust.
Like online courses, webinars let you actively shape your audience’s opinion on solar energy and offer your own services. What are some common problems with solar and how does your company provide the solution?
The difference, of course, is that webinars are live. Your influence is then naturally stronger as you are able to interact with your audience and directly answer their questions. Moving leads immediately to the next stage of the funnel is much easier.
Webinars are especially effective if you host them with a partner. The flow is dynamic and rapport becomes a natural part of the event, compared to the more static nature of a webinar you do by yourself. Insights occur that aren’t possible during a solo webinar; the value to your audience increases as a result. A partner also gives you access to a new audience and grows your opportunity for lead generation.
Get out on third party “review sites”
After gathering information on solar energy and becoming convinced that it’s a good solution for them, future customers will start comparing options. They will look for clear information about providers that best fit their situation. Potential customers want to know which companies they can trust, and this will naturally lead them to authoritative sites that do the vetting for them.
That’s why it’s important to get your company on review sites. It establishes your credibility and wins you trust. Assuming the site’s review is positive, your lead is also less likely to doubt your company’s expertise at the point of reaching out to you.
Here’s a quick recap on how to generate solar leads:
- Diversify your approach, trying multiple solar leads businesses and lead generation methods.
- Buying solar leads can work, but it’s not always effective due to competition, price, and quality of leads.
- If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to try your hand at generating your own leads while also experimenting with buying leads.
- Generating your own solar leads starts with crafting buyer personas.
- Do the best you can to measure ROI on each method and focus on the options that turn leads into pitches, and pitches into sales.
You have a great product and provide great service, but there’s more steps to making sure your solar business thrives. These solar marketing strategies can help introduce more people to your business. By producing the right content and promoting in a variety of ways, you can generate more solar leads – and more importantly, relevant leads that your sales team can close.