Marketing Residential Solar – the 5 W’s

March 25th, 2021 by

 

Residential solar sales continue to soar. According to the SEIA, residential solar installations will have a double-digit growth each year for the next 3 years.

That means that solar companies need to put their marketing hats on and grab their share of the residential solar market. Now.

I will frame this article in the 5 W’s – Who, What, When, Where and Why.

WHO

The most important part of your marketing campaign is the DATA. This is your actual direct mail or telemarketing list. After all, if you are not reaching the right prospects, you are wasting your money.

Who are your best prospects?

Make sure your list works overtime for you. A list can be appended with email addresses or cell phone numbers which gives you more than one way to reach a prospect.

To break through the clutter in today’s very crowded marketing space, you want your name and message to be heard frequently. That means as often as possible and through as many marketing channels as possible.

But the first step is always the data; the actual prospect list.

WHAT

What kind of offer are you making to entice prospects to consider your solar company? To be sure, there is a lot of competition in your field. Why should they buy from you? Because you are making them an offer they can’t refuse.

The offer is a key variable in your marketing. It doesn’t matter if you are doing direct mail, telemarketing or digital marketing. The offer is also known as your call to action.  What are you providing that will make them take action?

Is it price? Is it a “gift with purchase”? Is it a free maintenance contract?  Is it a solar loan?   Is it Federal Tax Credits?

The SEIC study shows that while over 90 percent of Americans want solar, only about half want to pay for it. The government is giving you a great Call to Action offer – federal solar tax credits. These are currently good through 2021 (unless Congress extends it further). But it’s a good offer, with an end date. This can help you drive urgency in response.

The new solar loan products and terms, pricing promotions, and point-of-sale technology enhancements have all contributed to increased residential solar sales in 2020. These will also continue to drive growth in the coming years.

WHEN

New Homeowners need to be contacted as soon as they have bought their home. This way they can take advantage of the savings of solar power from the very start.

Another good market is homeowners who have just refinanced. These homeowners have cash on hand. They are excellent solar prospects.

Marketers also need to be aware of the news. Extreme weather and power outages have seriously inconvenienced many Homeowners across the country. Homeowners want to be in control of their own power supply.

We also know that the 2020 pandemic forced many people to stay at home. We will continue to see hybrid work schedules as more people continue working from home, at least part of the time. This has created a huge surge of interest in all types of home improvements. Residential Solar is one of the home improvements that has benefited as a result.

WHERE

Where are the top solar buyers? First, let’s look at geography. These are the top 12 states projected for increased residential solar sales:

·         California ·         Texas
·         Florida ·         Virginia
·         North Carolina ·         South Carolina
·         New York ·         Arizona
·         Utah ·         New Jersey
·         Colorado ·         Nevada

For a complete list, in state order, you can go to the SEIC 2020 Review.

WHY

According to the SEIC, residential solar will be boosted by the ITC, reaching 4.7 GW of installations in 2023. And, here I am simply quoting from the SEIC 2020 Review:

“Looking ahead, we expect residential solar will reach double-digit growth in each of the next three years. The majority of the market will be customer-owned thanks to the dominance of residential solar loans, and a higher ITC value, makes these sales even more compelling. This is particularly true in the high growth markets of Texas and Florida, where retail electricity rates are not as high as in California or the Northeast. The most significant increases to our outlooks are in 2022 (which was previously the first year of ITC-related market contraction) and 2023 (which is now characterized by demand pull-in before the ITC phases down).”

It makes sense.

LAST – HOW

If you are marketing residential solar products, you need to know that solar energy marketers have been very successful using many traditional direct marketing techniques. Direct mail and telemarketing continue to generate solid leads, day after day, week after week.

Direct mail is the only marketing channel that can reach 100% of your best prospects. All the time. When you do direct mail, make sure you include USPS informed delivery (no extra cost to you) so you can get exposure into your prospects’ email boxes.

You can also email the same people you are mailing to, by appending email addresses. We can find email addresses for about 40 percent of the homeowners on your list.  It’s another communication targeted to your prospects. It’s another way for you to get your name out.

You might also want to have the same list uploaded for addressable geo-fencing. This way you can have digital ads served to the same homeowners you’re mailing to. By adding yet another channel, this makes your marketing efforts more important and more responsive.

BOTTOM LINE

The important thing is to get your program started, test it, tweak it and make it a continuous function of your lead generation for your business.

After all, you want a piece of that double-digit increase!

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