Snow plowing and ice removal is a completely different ball game compared to the spring, summer and fall season work. A few extra inches of grass during a rainy stretch is generally not a big deal, but a few inches of snow can lead to a slowdown in traffic, being susceptible to slipping and falling, and more. Snow removal is a crucial service for residential and commercial clients and can be quite lucrative with dense routes.
Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting Snow Removal
Before we get into the process for advertising and how to get more snow removal clients, there are a few things you need to write down and assess before you start advertising for snow plowing and ice removal.
- If you’re brand new – are you prepared to be available 24/7 from Nov. – Apr.? Snow & ice accumulate at any time including nights, weekends and holidays. Clients’ properties need to be serviced no matter what.
- What types of accounts do you want? Residential or commercial? Or a mix of both? There are pros and cons of each.
- What type of snow removal equipment do you currently have or can you easily acquire without stretching yourself financially?
- Does your business insurance cover snow removal? If not, get in touch with your agent to ensure you are properly covered.
Methods of Advertising For Snow Removal
- Reaching out to existing clients whom you are already providing lawn, landscape or irrigation services to. You can do this via email marketing, sending a brochure or letter with your invoice, a direct email or “warm call” on the phone, etc.
- Optimizing your website with search engine optimization (SEO) – building a page for “snow removal in [your city]”
- Branding with your company logo by installing graphics on your trucks, trailers and equipment
- Print Advertising – business cards, door-hangers, postcards, brochures and flyers
- Google Search Ads
- Facebook & Instagram Advertising
- Organic posts on Facebook & Instagram
- Local marketing – Facebook groups, sponsor local sports leagues, Chamber of Commerce, etc
When To Advertise For Snow Plowing
Ask any snow removal contractor when to start spreading the word to your existing clientele and advertising to get more clients, and you will get different answers. There is also a huge variance between residential and commercial properties, and there can even be a big difference between large retail or restaurant chains, office complexes, etc. depending on who your point of contact is – property management company or the actual business property owner.
The short answer to the question: “when to start advertising for snow removal” is long before winter begins!
Here is the general timeline for snow removal advertising that Landscape Marketing Pros’ CEO used in his Minnesota-based snow removal company that he owned from 2011-2016: (this may differ slightly depending on where exactly you are located)
August: Decide what advertising methods to use.
If you are going to employ SEO (the best method to bring in the highest interest prospects) – start now! The sooner, the better.
September: Put your strategy together – are you going to offer a discount, special offers, etc?
Print Ads – Get them ordered from your designer/print shop!
Google, FB, IG Ads – Build any necessary landing pages
Existing clients – Initial reach out
SEO – link building to get your snow removal page ranking
October: Put the strategy to work.
Print Ads – Get them distributed throughout the month even into November – can continue until the snow flies
Google Pay-Per-Click Ads – Turn them on!
FB/IG Ads – Turn them on around the middle of the month – it’s also a great time for retargeting your existing clients
Existing clients – Reach out with up-sell letters, email broadcasts, etc.
SEO – Link building to get your snow removal page ranking
November: Continue generating leads. November is often when the first snow arrives – the week and days leading up to it your phone and inbox will be going crazy as prospects scramble to find a snow service provider.
Print Ads – If it has not yet snowed, continue distributing them
Google Pay-Per-Click Ads – Keep them running (they can run all winter long if you want to bring in new clients and your budget allows)
FB/IG Ads – Continue with them if you are seeing a positive return
Existing clients – Reach out email broadcasts, direct email, etc.
SEO – Link building to get your snow removal page ranking – if it’s ranking – maintain the positioning
December: Keep everything going if there has not been any snow yet.
January: Winter’s wrath has usually arrived by now. After the first snow event the demand will drop. The best method to generate new clients through the rest of the winter is with referrals, Google Search Ads (you don’t have to pay to run the ad unless someone clicks), and SEO (once your website is ranking – the direct cost for traffic is zero dollars)
Unless it’s near the end of winter, it’s not too late to advertise for snow removal, however, the bulk of the demand for snow removal will be in the fall and early winter for the prospects that plan ahead. You can always count on a lot of demand for residential service the week and days leading up to the first snow event.
How To Get Commercial Snow Accounts/Contracts
All of the marketing/advertising methods mentioned at the beginning of this article will work for generating commercial snow removal leads. One other method that worked well for me was cold calling. Some of the best commercial snow removal clients can be landed simply by finding the business property, locating their contact information, picking up the phone, having a short conversation and then putting in a bid via email. These properties were always locally-owned establishments. Schedule a strategy session today to talk with the team at Landscape Marketing Pros about growing your business using the internet.
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