• Posted by: Pool Marketing
Let's Face It, Post-Covid Leads Have Become More Expensive

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, industries across the board have faced unprecedented challenges and shifts in demand. The pool construction and maintenance sector is no exception. During the days of the pandemic the pool industry in particular was thriving with robust demand. Over the past two years the landscape has significantly altered post-pandemic, leaving companies grappling with a new reality: the soaring cost of leads.

During Covid Pool Leads Were Cheap, Today Things Have Changed

During the height of the pandemic, the demand for pool construction and maintenance services was buoyant, with steady growth and a healthy flow of customers seeking to enhance their outdoor living spaces. A lack of travel options and forced quarantine led to the price of leads dropping dramatically. However, the post-pandemic lull and subsequent economic downturns resulted in a sharp decline in demand for such luxury services. As lockdowns were lifted and economic uncertainty prevailed, the pool industry experienced a substantial tapering of demand.

Today while our economy gradually recovers, the demand for pool services has not rebounded as swiftly as many had hoped. This sluggish recovery, coupled with shifting consumer priorities and financial constraints such as rising interest rates, has created a challenging environment for pool companies. Now, more than ever, these businesses are faced with the daunting task of maintaining a steady stream of leads to sustain operations and fuel growth.

Marketing a Pool Business in 2024: A Hyper-Competitive Market

In response to this new reality, companies have been forced to allocate significant budgets towards lead generation efforts. Gone are the days of relying on organic inquiries and word-of-mouth referrals to drive business. Instead, companies are now investing heavily in marketing campaigns, advertising channels, and lead generation platforms to keep the lead pipeline flowing.

The consequence of this heightened competition and increased demand for leads have created a hyper-competitive landscape where acquiring new customers comes at a premium. Compared to the previous five years, companies are now spending two to three times more on lead generation efforts. Inflation further compounds this issue, skewing the optics and driving up costs across the board.

How Much Should Leads Cost?

The stark reality is that leads today are more expensive than ever before. In many markets, pool companies should expect to pay upwards of $50 per lead, with some spending as much as $250 per Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This significant uptick in costs is putting immense pressure on businesses, particularly smaller firms with limited resources.

The ramifications of this costly dilemma extend beyond the bottom line. For many pool companies, the exorbitant cost of leads threatens their ability to remain competitive and profitable in an increasingly saturated market. Moreover, it raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of the industry as a whole.

Restructuring Lead Gen To Focus on SQL – Sales Qualified Leads

Optimizing digital marketing campaigns for Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) requires a strategic approach tailored to your specific business goals and target audience. Here are some key steps to effectively optimize your Google PPC campaigns for generating SQLs:

  1. Define Your Target Audience: Before launching any PPC campaign, it’s crucial to clearly define your target audience. Identify characteristics such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points that align with your ideal SQLs. This information will guide your keyword selection, ad messaging, and campaign targeting.
  2. Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases that potential SQLs are likely to use when searching for your products or services. Focus on long-tail keywords that have lower competition and higher intent. Utilize keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify valuable keywords for your campaigns.
  3. Create Compelling Ad Copy: Develop compelling ad copy that speaks directly to your target audience’s pain points and offers solutions. Highlight the unique value proposition of your products or services and include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to take the desired action, such as requesting a quote, scheduling a consultation, or downloading a resource.
  4. Landing Page Optimization: Ensure that your landing pages are optimized to convert visitors into SQLs. Design landing pages that are user-friendly, visually appealing, and provide relevant information aligned with the ad messaging. Implement clear and prominent CTAs that prompt visitors to take the next step in the conversion process, such as filling out a contact form or initiating a chat.
  5. Implement Conversion Tracking: Set up conversion tracking to monitor and measure the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns in generating SQLs. Track meaningful actions that indicate a user’s progression towards becoming an SQL, such as form submissions, phone calls, or live chat engagements. Google Ads provides conversion tracking capabilities that allow you to track conversions across multiple touchpoints.
  6. Optimize Ad Extensions: Take advantage of ad extensions to enhance the visibility and relevance of your ads. Use extensions such as call extensions, sitelink extensions, and location extensions to provide additional information and encourage users to engage with your ads. Ad extensions can improve ad performance and increase the likelihood of generating SQLs.
  7. Refine Targeting and Bidding Strategies: Continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your PPC campaigns to identify areas for improvement. Refine your targeting criteria based on performance data, such as geographic location, device type, and audience demographics. Adjust your bidding strategies to prioritize campaigns and keywords that drive the highest volume of SQLs while maintaining a profitable return on investment (ROI).
  8. A/B Testing: Conduct A/B tests to experiment with different ad creatives, messaging, and landing page elements to optimize campaign performance. Test variations of ad copy, headlines, CTAs, and landing page designs to identify the most effective combinations for generating SQLs. Use data-driven insights from A/B tests to refine your PPC campaigns and maximize conversion rates.
  9. Monitor and Adjust Campaign Performance: Regularly monitor key performance metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), and ROI. Analyze campaign performance data to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for optimization. Make data-driven adjustments to your PPC campaigns based on performance insights to improve results over time.

By following these best practices and implementing a data-driven approach to PPC campaign optimization, you can effectively generate Sales Qualified Leads through Google Ads and drive business growth for your organization.

What Can Pool Companies Do To Remain Competitive?

So, what can pool companies do in the face of this challenging landscape? First and foremost, adaptation is key. Companies must embrace innovative strategies and technologies to optimize their lead generation efforts and maximize ROI. This may involve leveraging data analytics, refining targeting methods, and exploring new channels for customer acquisition.

Additionally, fostering strong relationships with existing customers can prove invaluable. Satisfied clients can become brand advocates, generating referrals and organic leads at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing channels. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and loyalty, companies can create a sustainable source of business that withstands fluctuations in the market.

As always, Pool Marketing remains dedicated to helping pool companies achieve their growth goals. Whether the market is up or down, we are here to provide pool companies best in class service as well as insight as to market trends and how the industry is performing as a whole.

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Author: Pool Marketing
Pool Marketing Expert - Joe Trusty provides expert marketing advice to Pool Builders and Pool Service companies. Joe Trusty is a veteran marketing expert with over 20 years experience in Website Design & Development and SEO. He successfully managed Marketing & IT for one of the world's largest Pool Builders and increased their revenue annually by hundreds of millions of dollars. Joe Trusty is the foremost marketing expert in the Swimming Pool Industry and CEO of PoolMarketing.com

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