How To Acquire Residential HVAC Leads as a Contractor

Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer
16 minute read
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer
16 minute read

This article contributes to our comprehensive home services lead generation series, which also includes five other articles you might find valuable: HVAC lead generation and marketing insights, how to get free HVAC leads, how to get commercial HVAC leads, how to buy HVAC leads, and the most profitable HVAC marketing tactics.


For some contractors, acquiring residential HVAC leads might not even require a separate set of strategies. And there’s some truth to that: many HVAC lead generation ways and approaches work the same for the residential and commercial sectors if your products are a good fit for both.

However, tailored strategies can still grant you more residential HVAC leads.

Even though HVAC technologies are more or less universal at the core for commercial and residential properties, they at least differ in application and size – just like the homeowner’s and business owner’s demands, motivations, and pain points differ. From aesthetics to power needs to space constraints, there are plenty of things residential HVAC leads treat differently.

  • As an HVAC contractor, you must draw the line between residential and commercial leads, focusing on what’s most appealing to the former group. From your unique selling proposition to marketing strategies, keeping the residential nature of your HVAC leads will help you generate and convert more of them.

And I’ll help you with that, moving from general to specific.

via GIPHY

What Is Residential HVAC Lead Generation?

For those unfamiliar with lead generation, let’s quickly put things into context:

  • Residential HVAC lead generation is identifying potential clients among those searching for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for their homes. Residential HVAC leads include new home buyers, homeowners with broken, malfunctioning, or aging HVAC systems, and many other categories.

Residential HVAC lead generation focuses exclusively on homeowners while ignoring commercial HVAC leads, even though some marketing strategies might repeat themselves for both segments.

Residential VS. Commercial HVAC Leads

Distinguishing between residential and commercial HVAC leads is all about hitting the right customer at the right time with the right message. If you serve both categories, some strategies will surely overlap, but keeping in mind your target buyer is crucial all the same.

Here are some of the key differences between residential and commercial HVAC leads:

  Residential HVAC Leads Commercial HVAC Leads
Target Buyer Apartment, house, and condo owners looking for HVAC solutions Business owners and managers looking for commercial HVAC solutions
Scale Small to medium-sized projects for a single family or several families Medium and large-scale projects covering hundreds and thousands of square meters
Budget Small to medium budget with a focus on the most cost-effective solution Medium to six-figure budgets for large-scale industrial settings
Decision-Makers Homeowners, their families, and possibly friends C-level executives, facility managers, business owners
Sales Cycle Short sales cycle driven by the will of the homeowner Long, multi-dimensional sales cycle with legal and compliance requirements
Installation Process Simple and straightforward Complex, usually requiring coordination with surrounding building systems, codes, and contractual agreements

Without a doubt, acquiring residential HVAC leads is easier because of the smaller scale of the projects and fewer compliance requirements. But then again, you still have to stand out from other contractors.

How To Generate Residential HVAC Leads – Your 10 Failproof Strategies

Here are your three major pathways to acquiring HVAC leads:

  • Generate free HVAC leads using your earned media channels
  • Buy HVAC leads from:
    • HVAC lead generation companies
    • HVAC lead generation agencies
    • HVAC affiliate programs
  • Generate HVAC leads using paid advertising

I will review all these pathways separately, starting from free residential HVAC lead acquisition.

But wait, here’s the shortcut:

Schedule your personalized consultation or book a demo to learn more about how Phonexa’s all-encompassing performance marketing software suite can help you generate and convert HVAC leads at scale.

Part 1 – How To Get Free Residential HVAC Leads

Free Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #1 – Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

I’ve harped on the importance of a unique selling proposition in many of my other articles, but I just can’t help it: a unique selling proposition is what spearheads your marketing, so it must be sharp and convincing.

To create a USP, you must first understand who your residential HVAC leads are, what systems they want, and what makes your products better than the rest. For example, new homeowners might appreciate educational nurturing, those with broken HVAC systems might benefit from durable materials, etc.

Here are the USPs for different residential HVAC leads:

Professionals from New York “Urgent, low-cost HVAC repairs: get your HVAC system fixed in less than 3 hours and 20% cheaper than the New York market average.”
Eco-Friendly Homeowners in Michigan “Contribute to a greener future by halving your energy consumption. Approved by Michigan’s LARA.”
Risk-Averse Homeowners “Get the peace of mind you deserve with durable, low-cost HVAC systems that need repair in less than 1% of cases in the first decade of operation.”

Free Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #2 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

HVAC SEO lead generation is arguably the most powerful lead acquisition strategy for your website and blog – and it’s absolutely free if you have basic SEO knowledge and can create helpful content.

SEO isn’t limited to identifying profitable keywords, but I’ll focus on this aspect as the simplest way to generate residential HVAC leads and strategize your content creation.

Here’s how to how to get HVAC leads with SEO:

  1. Find out what content resonates with your most profitable products and audiences
  2. Analyze available keywords for the target topics by the keywords difficulty, volume, and cost per click.
  3. Focus on your main keywords while keeping the semantics diverse.

The most important parameter is the keyword difficulty.

Consider this example:

High-difficulty keyword for residential HVAC SEO

If you’re selling heat pumps, the biggest keyword in the niche will have a difficulty of 71 and a volume of 11,000 monthly searches. This translates into a minuscule chance of hitting the top 10 unless you are an established seller. The rule of thumb is that aspiring businesses should focus on no-competition keywords, especially in the beginning.

And here’s a more specific keyword that narrows it down:

Medium-difficulty keywords for residential HVAC SEO

Eight hundred searches per month is a decent volume to focus on, but the competition is still hard to overcome. You might need a few years of growth before you can top the rankings with keywords of this magnitude.

And now the keyword that nails it:

Low-difficulty keyword for residential HVAC SEO

The competition barely exists, and the search volume is there. Even though the “how long do heat pumps last” isn’t too commercial – rather belonging to the FAQ category – it still can generate some residential HVAC leads in the long run.

Free Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #3 – Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the least expensive HVAC lead generation strategies, enabling a high level of automation, precise targeting, and decent response rates of up to 15% for cold emails. That said, you don’t want to bombard people randomly but rather segment your subscribers in the first place.

Here’s how to generate residential HVAC leads with email list segmentation:

Location Not only do locations with different climates require different HVAC systems, but the price of building materials might also differ dramatically. For example, installing an HVAC system in New York is 74% more expensive than the average in the United States and two times more expensive than in Texas.
Previous Purchases Tailoring content based on previous purchases – along with bonuses and loyalty perks – is a surefire way to increase email conversions. For better results, consider how out-of-email user interactions can translate into a winning email message.
Season Homeowners from the same location might have different HVAC needs based on the time of the year. During summer, factors like air quality and cooling efficiency might bear more weight. During winter, some HVAC systems might need repair like sealing gaps, improving insulation, or addressing emergencies like frozen pipes.
Property Type Single-home residential HVAC leads are usually interested in cheaper custom solutions – for example, smart thermostats or ductless mini-split systems – while condo owners usually need centralized HVAC systems to ensure comfort for all residents.

By the way, you can win even more residential HVAC leads with AMP emails powered by Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) technology. Such emails provide real-time information on the price and availability of the HVAC system in question, and subscribers can even order an HVAC system right in the email.

Here’s how to generate residential HVAC leads with AMP emails:

Pricing You can display the product price in real-time and enable in-email purchases for your residential HVAC leads. Shortening the sales cycle will surely generate and convert more clients than if they would have to navigate to the website.
Scheduling You can embed an interactive appointment calendar to inform subscribers about available installation spots while demonstrating the demand for your services.
Promotions Interactivity in promotions – countdowns, limited free trials, saving calculators, or the number of discounted HVAC systems left – is a smart way to use marketing psychology to generate and convert more residential HVAC leads.
Recommendations Maintenance recommendations, checklists, and polls & surveys can grow your HVAC leads exponentially, especially if these allow subscribers to specify their problem and get an instant tailored solution.

Free Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #4 – Live Chat and Chatbot

A smart combination of Live Chat and Chatbot can speed up the customer journey and serve HVAC leads who are hesitant or unable to make a call.

Here’s an example of how to generate residential HVAC leads via Live Chat and Chatbot:

Chatbot starts a conversation “Welcome to SmartBreeze HVAC Services! How can I help you?”
The user sends their request “I’m looking for an upgrade to my home HVAC system so it integrates with smart homes and saves more energy.”
Chatbot offers a Live Chat transition “Certainly! The systems Type 1 and Type 2 are both energy-efficient and integrate with smart home systems. Would you like to learn more from our expert?”
The user sends their request “Yes, I’d like to chat with a live agent.”

 

Connective to an HVAC expert…

Live Chat conversation starts “Hello, I’m Mike, an HVAC expert at SmartBreeze Services. Do you have any specific requirements for the Type 1 and Type 2 systems you consider?”
The user schedules a call “Yes, I was looking for a system that can integrate with a smart thermostat and provide zoning and humidity control.”
The Expert offers a solution “Based on these requirements, the best HVAC system for your home is Type 2. It’s available nationwide with a 5-year guarantee and free installation. Here is a link to the system in our online store: [link]; you can also find it in your nearby store: [link].”

Free Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #5 – Referral Program

Referral programs are traditionally effective across industries, including the B2B segment, so there’s no reason to shy away from one. The gist of creating a good referral program for HVAC is to provide flexible rewards to both referrers and referrals so everyone would be incentivized and could choose the types of reward they want to get.

Here’s an example of how to generate residential HVAC leads with a referral program:

Residential Home Comfort Referral Program
Refer your family, friends, and colleagues to earn $up to100 per successful referral and a chance to earn up to $5,000 in a quarterly lottery
Program Details
Every successful referral earns you:

 

  • Bronze Tier (1-5 referrals) – base referral bonus of $25 and one lottery ticket
  • Silver Tier (5-10 referrals) – base referral bonus of $50 and two lottery tickets
  • Gold Tier (10-20 referrals) – base referral bonus of $75 and three lottery tickets
  • Platinum Tier (more than 20 referrals) – base referral bonus of $50 and five lottery tickets
Quarterly Lottery

 

Every 1st Sunday of the quarter, three randomly chosen winter tickets earn $1,000, $2,000, and $5,000. One participant can win multiple prizes, potentially all $8,000!

How to Apply
Register here [link] to receive your referral link. For more information, navigate to the terms and conditions [link].

Part 2 – How To Advertise Your HVAC Business to Homeowners if You Have a Budget

Paid Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #1 – Social Media Advertisement

It goes without saying that you should leverage your free advertising opportunities in the first place, including social media. From LinkedIn to Facebook to TikTok, you can choose the platforms that resonate with your target residential HVAC leads.

Here’s an example of free media content you can create on TikTok:

@_rahsworld #hvac #hvactechnician #homeowner #newhomeowners #furnacerepair ♬ original sound – Rameil Pitamber

 

Traditionally, LinkedIn is the best B2B lead generation channel; TikTok and Instagram are good for young and middle-aged visuals; Facebook covers the widest audience. And if you don’t have enough subscribers to effectively self-promote on social media, you can create paid advertisement campaigns there.

Speaking of paid media advertisement, the topic is so vast that I would rather suggest reading my guide on paid media tools for affiliate marketing than cover the topic here. Most of what you can find in the mentioned guide is also relevant to the HVAC industry.

Paid Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #2 – Pay-Per-Click & Pay-Per-Call Advertising

Social media are a great but not exhaustive source of residential HVAC leads. Besides social media ads, you can tap into pay-per-click advertising on Google, Bing, news websites, home service platforms, local directories, influencers, and any other traffic source that runs paid ads.

Likewise, you can explore pay-per-call advertising, especially if you need the most high-intent clients. Not only are callers naturally closer to a conversion than web leads, but pay-per-call campaigns are extremely cost-effective because you only pay for actual calls.

Moreover, you can limit your budget per call and only pay for calls that last a certain minimum, for example, 60 seconds. This strategy will protect you from fraudulent calls and ensure you only pay for motivated callers.

And if you go even further, you can track inbound calls to know who your callers are, where they came from, what products they’ve interacted with before the call was initiated, and what converted them or made the bounce. With a call intelligence system like Call Logic, you can connect callers to the best sales reps while ensuring the latter a head start in the conversation.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Paid Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #3 – Lead Generation Companies

Now I’m not talking about lead generation companies that offer HVAC leads for sale directly but those serving as promotional platforms. Lead generation agencies like HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, and Angi are great for promoting your company and products to warm HVAC leads via paid ads and listings, even if not all these platforms can grant you guaranteed HVAC leads.

Paid Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #4 – Affiliate Marketing

On top of a referral program you might want to launch as part of your low-cost initiatives, you can also launch an affiliate marketing program.

For those unaware, here’s the difference between a referral and an affiliate program:

  • A referral program promotes through existing clients and costs you nothing, whereas an affiliate program promotes through third-party affiliates and publishers.

Now, the biggest problem that comes with the launch of an affiliate program is whether to run it on your own or through an affiliate network.

Good thing, I’ve already covered the tough choice: here’s your affiliate network vs. independent affiliate program guide. On a similar note, I’d like to recommend my pay-per-call affiliate marketing guide if you’re willing to capitalize on phone calls within your affiliate campaigns.

Paid Residential HVAC Lead Generation Strategy #5 – Offline Events

It’s no secret that HVAC lead generation is much about local efforts: you are only interested in leads from the states where you operate. However, synergizing online and offline marketing might grant you more local HVAC leads.

Promoting offline events, workshops, and seminars across your online channels – even to leads from different locations – and then featuring materials from these events (interviews, polls, success stories, etc.) will increase your credibility and nurture online leads.

Part 3 – How to Buy Residential HVAC Leads

There’s no doubt that generating HVAC leads is quite time-consuming – it may take months (surely) and years (possibly) until your earned media payoff – so many aspiring contractors simply buy residential HVAC leads.

Here’s where you can find HVAC leads for sale:

HVAC Lead Generation Agencies Lead generation agencies usually supply a specific number of leads within a specific time; for example, 100 leads per month.
HVAC Marketplaces HVAC marketplaces create a real-time market for lead buyers and sellers, where good traders can get quality leads at a low price.

The most important, though, is not where you purchase commercial HVAC leads but the cost-effectiveness of these leads. For example, quality HVAC leads can convert 15 times better than shared leads while costing 20 times more, which might make them less profitable.

Here are some popular types of leads for HVAC contractors you can buy:

HVAC Exclusive Leads Exclusive HVAC leads are the most high-intent clients who are sold to a single contractor. The price starts at around $50 and goes up to $200.
HVAC Shared Leads Shared HVAC leads are sold to several advertisers, usually around 5 buyers. The price starts at $10 and rarely, if ever, exceeds $40.
Pay-Per-Call HVAC Leads Pay-per-call HVAC leads are callers who are connected directly to your sales or rarely customer support agents. These leads cost $100 to $200 and are the easiest to convert.

There are more types of residential HVAC leads than those in the table, so you can find almost any client you’re interested in. For example, if you’re tight on budget but employ strong re-engagement strategies, you can try cheap leads like, for example, aged HVAC leads.

But then again, much depends on closing HVAC leads – how well you can drive specific leads to a conversion and whether you can win the competition for your leads. The stronger you are, the greater the chance you can do well with low-intent clients; otherwise, it might be wiser to mitigate risks by purchasing exclusive HVAC leads.

Automate Your HVAC Lead Generation with Phonexa

As I get closer to the end of the guide, it’s time to cover arguably the most important aspect of HVAC leads generation: automation.

Whether you buy leads from HVAC lead generation agencies or generate them on your own, you can only maximize your performance if you track your clients throughout their journey.

In practice, this means having lead management software that would allow you to:

  • Track HVAC leads from top to bottom
  • Distribute HVAC leads to matching sales agents
  • Analyze HVAC customers to improve your campaigns

Phonexa has it all and more (more on our YouTube channel):

The sought-after lead management software suite covers web and call leads, including leads acquired through affiliate marketing.

Here are the right solutions you get within a software suite that starts at $100 per month:

LMS Sync HVAC Lead Tracking & Distribution
Call Logic HVAC Call Tracking & Distribution
E-Delivery HVAC Email & SMS Marketing
Cloud PBX Cloud Phone System for HVAC Business
Lynx Click & Link Tracking for HVAC
Opt-Intel Suppression List Management
HitMetrix HVAC User Behavior and Analytics
Books360 Automating Accounting for HVAC

Order your HVAC lead management software suite now, use an online calculator to get your price, or schedule a free consultation with our experts to uncover the full range of benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are residential HVAC leads?

Residential HVAC leads are homeowners – owners of houses, apartments, and sometimes condos – interested in purchasing HVAC systems for their dwellings. Residential HVAC leads typically require less complex systems within a smaller budget and fewer requirements.

How do I generate viable residential HVAC leads?

The best way to get HVAC leads is by crafting a compelling selling proposition that hits clients’ innermost desires, motivations, and pain points. For example, if you focus on residential HVAC installation services, you can emphasize your low HVAC installation cost, durable materials, or free maintenance & repair service during the first year of operation.

How can I get more customers for my HVAC business at no extra cost?

To get more customers for your HVAC business at no extra cost, gradually develop your free traffic channels: your website, blog, social media, thematic forums, webinars, etc. Free HVAC leads are never truly free, though, as you spend money on content creation and marketing.

Got Questions?

Get in touch! We are available 24/7.

Oleksandr Rohovnin avatar
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer

Oleksandr Rohovnin is a Content Marketer at Phonexa. His passion is digital marketing, innovative technologies, and – above all – distilling vast amounts of complex information into engrossing narratives anyone can relate to. At Phonexa, Oleksandr stokes passion for marketing automation and lead generation in every story he curates.


Education: Zaporizhzhya National Technical University

Expertise: Digital marketing, affiliate marketing, call tracking, lead tracking, insurance

Highlights:

  • 8+ years of writing and editing experience in B2B and B2C

  • Unconventional synergy of writing talent and technical knack

  • Avid proponent of sports, gaming, and reading

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