If you have a cleaning business and want to expand, you have probably considered running paid advertising. Unfortunately, there are so many options these days for running paid ads. You might be wondering how to advertise a cleaning business in the most effective way.
The good news is that all types of advertising can be effective, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding this can make the difference between you running a successful ad campaign and a failure. This can also help you choose the best way to advertise your cleaning business. It can also help you choose the right ad type for your marketing plan.
In this post, we’ll help you make the most of your advertising experience and give you the information you need to set proper expectations for results when running advertising for your cleaning business. Below we will cover common topics and potential issues you may encounter while running ads and how to avoid them.
Three common types of advertising for cleaning companies
There are three major forms of paid advertising you will likely use to promote your cleaning company. The most common strategies are Facebook advertising, Google Advertising, and using lead generation sites like Home Advisor or Angie’s List.
These three advertising strategies may seem the same, but they actually can have vast differences. If you treat them the same it could give you improper expectations of results.
If you are currently running Google Ads or have used services like Home Advisor or have thought about using them, you need to know that they all function slightly differently from each other.
Google ads for example are search-based ads and Facebook is targeted based on interests. Lead generation sites like Home Advisor are search based but they sell you the leads they generate. All of them can be effective, but some may work better for you than others.
It depends on your goals, follow-up process, and sales strategy as to which advertising strategy will work best for you. We’ll cover each type in detail below, so you can decide what option could work best for you.
How Google Advertising works and how it targets potential cleaning clients
Running Google Ads for a cleaning business can be extremely profitable. However, understand that typically you need a larger advertising budget to take advantage of it. The reason for this is because running Google Ads for cleaning businesses functions as a bidding platform.
What this means is that you choose specific keywords you want ads for your business to show up for. At the same time, other cleaning companies will likely be targeting the exact same keywords. Because of this, if you live in a competitive market, the costs per click could get more expensive.
Often we find that cleaning companies can expect to pay anywhere from $6-$30 per click. This pricing can vary depending on if you are promoting commercial cleaning or residential cleaning. At the same time, not everyone who clicks your ads will convert into leads and then into new clients.
Knowing your advertising budget and what kind of results you can get from it is important. Understanding this can help you set proper expectations with Google ads. If for example, you had a $1000 a month ad spend budget and clicks were $10 per click, you’d get about 3 clicks per day. This means you might only get a couple of qualified leads a week from $1000 a month advertising on Google.
The good news is that with search-based ads like on Google you can often have a much higher conversion rate. This happens because the clicks you are getting are coming from people actively searching for keywords related to hiring a cleaning service.
If you have a larger advertising budget or a weaker follow-up and sales process on the back end, Google Ads can be a great choice. This is because leads are usually highly qualified and often convert better than other advertising strategies.
How lead generation sites like Home Advisor and Angie’s List work
Lead generation sites are a bit different than running ads on Google or Facebook. In this case, you are actually paying another company to generate the leads for you and they sell them to your cleaning business.
This type of lead generation has benefits but also a few drawbacks as well. Often lead generation companies like this will sell these leads to multiple companies. This means that your cleaning business may not be the only one calling these leads.
Because of this you really need to separate yourself from the competition and sell leads on why they should work with you. Your follow-up must also be very timely because if you are slow the lead might have already decided to work with someone else.
Often these leads also know they will talk to multiple companies and many may only be price shopping and if your company doesn’t have the lowest price, they won’t work with you.
These lead generation sites also may or may not do any qualification of leads, so some leads may not convert well. You’ll have to do your own research on this and this could end up costing you money in trial and error while finding a site that works for you.
On top of that these leads are also usually quite expensive. These companies need to invest in methods of getting the leads and then they mark up the price selling them to you on top of it. The benefit of these leads is they can come from people actively searching for cleaning leads, so if you find a good service they can convert quite well. Also, you don’t need advertising expertise to get these leads you simply pay for them and the lead generation company does the rest of the work for you.
How Facebook Advertising is Different from Search-Based Ads like Google Ads and Home Advisor
The biggest difference with running Facebook ads is that they are not search-based. What this means is that leads coming from Google Ads or sites like Home Advisor are coming from people who are actively searching for a cleaning service. Typically this means that the leads might be easier to convert, but it also usually means that the cost per lead is more expensive than leads on Facebook.
When you advertise on Facebook you are targeting audiences that are likely interested in hiring a cleaning service, or at the very least fit the demographics of those who would be interested. However, since these people are not actively searching for cleaning services, the conversion rates will be lower, which we will cover in more detail later.
Also, you will need to have a strong follow-up strategy and sales process in place on the back end. You will need to respond quickly to these new leads if you want to convert them.
The good news is that in most cases you will be able to generate leads at a much lower cost per lead than advertising platforms like Google Ads and Home Advisor. So while the conversion rate on each lead may be lower, the leads you generate with the same budget will likely be higher.
Advertising on Facebook becomes more of a numbers game and sorting process, so just be aware that this is the case going into advertising on Facebook.
How Facebook Targeting Works
When it comes to running Facebook ads the targeting works a little bit differently than you might think. Most people start their advertising campaigns by trying to target specific interests or genders, however, we have found that targeting audiences based on customer behavior work best.
For example, a base audience we like to target is a lookalike audience based on your existing customer list and visitors to your website. You can further improve this by creating additional audiences based on visitors to a thank you page people are sent to after submitting an estimate request on your website.
If you don’t already have the Facebook pixel set up on your website, check out this article from Facebook on how to do that. As a marketing client of our agency, we could install that for you. Also if you don’t yet have a thank you page for your estimate request or landing page for your Facebook ads we will create those as well.
As a side note, you will first need an email autoresponder or quote form on your website that is capable of redirecting to a webpage after a person submits their information. If you do not have this, we recommend getting one set up as it limits your capabilities running Facebook ads and tracking results.
Advertising a cleaning business using Facebook messenger ads
There are several types of ads you can run for your cleaning business on Facebook, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. We’ll cover them below, and you can set up whichever kind you prefer, or a combination of them.
The first type of ad that can work well for cleaning businesses is messenger ads. These ads are designed to get potential customers to message your Facebook page requesting quotes. A benefit of these ads is that you can create an automated initial message to respond quickly with leads and then you can follow up after that first message to continue the sales process.
Another benefit of messenger leads is that since they are contained fully on Facebook, they are usually easier to generate leads, and the cost per lead is less compared to other lead generation methods.
The downside to these leads is that you typically need to have a more aggressive follow-up strategy in place, and you usually don’t get personal information like an email or phone number unless you ask for it.
This could make it more challenging to follow up with potential customers, but since the cost per lead is much lower, many of our clients accept that as a cost of doing business.
Running Conversion Ads for your cleaning company
The next type of ad is a conversion ad. This ad is designed to send people to a landing page on your website to fill out an estimate request form. In order to use this type of ad, you need to have a designated landing page for your ads and a separate quote request form.
Also, these quote request forms must have the ability to redirect to a thank you page once someone has submitted their information. If you don’t have an email autoresponder or quote form that can do this, you will need to get one, or you cannot run these ads.
The benefit of conversion ads is that people usually are a higher quality lead that first go to your website and then fill out a form requesting an estimate. Also, your forms will likely require an email and phone number submission.
When you have that information it can make it easier to follow up with these leads. You can run these types of ads on Facebook and with Google Ads.
The downside to these types of ads is that the cost per lead is generally higher. People are less likely to want to go to your site and fill out a form, compared to sending a message on Facebook. You’ll still need a follow-up strategy and solid sales process for these leads to convert as well.
Quote Request Forms: Optimization and Conversion Rates
One thing we often see with cleaning businesses that struggle to generate leads is they ask too many questions on their quote request forms. Having a lot of information from your leads is great, but if it comes at the expense of significantly fewer leads generated, it probably isn’t worth it.
Certainly, how many questions you ask is up to you, but we usually recommend asking only the number of questions to get the absolute requirements you need to provide a reasonably accurate quote.
For example, it might be nice to know the exact number of bedrooms, bathrooms, how many pets live in the home, and if kids reside in the home. However, you probably could give a relatively similar pricing quote if you knew the approximate square footage of the home.
Obviously, there will be a difference if you do an in-person walkthrough compared to a quote based on square footage alone. At the same time, most potential customers are really just looking for a ball-park estimate on the quote to see if your services fit their budget.
So consider asking for less information up front on your quote forms and then get the other detailed information you want once you have confirmed an appointment with your lead or during whatever the next step is in your sales process.
It’s usually better to generate more leads and to weed out those who don’t qualify, rather than asking too many questions and generating little to no leads in hopes of getting the perfect lead.
Understanding Cost Per Lead and Profitability of Leads
Another couple of important aspects of running ads has to do with understanding your cost per lead and knowing the profitability of leads. A common issue we find clients deal with is that they only focus on the cost per lead or how many leads don’t convert rather than the profitability and those that do convert.
A key concept to understand is your break-even point on advertising and your return on ad spend. The break-even point is how much you can spend on your ads but still make enough profit on the initial sale to break even. You also want to understand your lifetime value break-even point. This is when you find the cost it takes to acquire the customer and then comparing that to the total lifetime value of that customer.
It’s great if your ads are profitable “at the cart” meaning the investment in advertising to acquire a new customer is made back and more on the first cleaning service they buy from you. However, if the cost in ad spend to acquire a new customer is still less than the lifetime value of a customer you should still be making money.
For example, if you spent $1000 on ads and made $800 back on the initial services, and then you also made $600 on a monthly basis for the next 6 months from those customers, you would still be very profitable on that $1000 spent. Certainly, you want to strive to have your ads be profitable at the cart but understand you can still be making money from your ads even if that isn’t the case right away.
Running Paid Ads Takes Time to Optimize
Also, understand that running Facebook and Google Ads requires some time for an optimization process. Another thing we see is that sometimes certain targeting methods perform well for a while, but then stop performing as well.
Then a few weeks later these same targeting methods can bounce back and perform great again. Results fluctuate and this is why you should continually monitor your ads. So if over one week an ad results dip or fluctuate don’t be too alarmed unless it’s a continual pattern.
You’ll need to make adjustments as you go, but don’t get too obsessed with this. The daily ups and downs tend to balance out over a weekly or monthly time frame. Turning your ads on and off every few days because of a poorly performing day will only prolong the optimization process and will reduce your results.
On Google Ads, it also takes time to optimize keyword targeting. Depending on the types of keyword matching such as an exact match or board match, your ads might show up under irrelevant keywords. Part of the optimization and management process requires removing keywords that don’t match proper buying intent.
Your ads need to run for a while for these unwanted keywords and search terms to appear and be removed, so understand this optimization process takes time.
Tips on Following Up with Leads
We mentioned it earlier, but how effective you are with your follow-up and sales process can make the difference in a successful ad campaign and a failure. Understand that if you hire an agency to run your advertising they usually have no control over your follow-up and sales process.
This means that it is your job to sell leads on the value of working with you and hiring your cleaning service not them. They can create ads that generate leads, but you need to take responsibility for closing those leads into new customers.
Since people requesting quotes from Facebook ads may not have been actively searching for a cleaning service, you need a good follow-up and sales strategy. Even when using Google Ads or other search-based ads, a quality follow-up and sales process are essential to success.
To improve your follow-up and sales process we will cover some suggestions that have helped our clients get better results since implementing them.
Follow up in a timely manner
Your ad may have piqued a potential customer’s interest in hiring a cleaning service, but this doesn’t always mean they will choose to hire you. One of the factors that can determine who a person hires is the speed of the follow-up.
If someone is interested in hiring a cleaning service and they see your ad, it is usually pretty simple for them to reach out and request a quote. There also really isn’t anything stopping them from reaching out to several other cleaning companies at the same time.
If you don’t follow up with these leads in a timely fashion, they can quickly decide to work with another company. You’d be surprised how many times we hear that a company earned a new customer just because they were the first one to reply back to them. Make following up quickly a priority for your cleaning business.
Stay in control of the conversation
Another mistake that we see companies make is they leave the potential customers in control of the sales process rather than staying in control themselves. Throughout your conversations with leads make sure you are always ending the conversation with the next step in your sales process.
Don’t just give someone their quote and hope they will take the next step in hiring you. For example, we’d recommend saying something like, “Thanks for requesting a quote from us. Based on your approximate square footage and the frequency of cleaning you were interested in we estimate your service to be around $300 for an initial cleaning. We have a few openings left this week when we could schedule that. What day would work better for you? Tuesday or Thursday?”
Take the conversation to email or a phone call
This next step depends on your sales process but you might consider trying to get your leads on a phone call or to chat with you via email as quickly as possible. This also can be done while staying in control of the conversation.
For example, you might say something like, “Thanks for requesting a quote from us. Based on your approximate square footage and the frequency of cleaning you were interested in we estimate your initial service to be around $300.
If you would like, we can provide a more accurate quote by scheduling a walkthrough of your home, please give us a call at (111) 222-3333 to schedule that. If you would like we can also call you instead if you would provide us your number.”
Things That Can Lower or Raise the Conversion Rate of Leads
Something else to understand is that there are additional factors that can impact the results of your Facebook ads beyond your follow-up and the ads themselves. Unfortunately, these factors can either improve your conversion rates or cause them to plummet.
When optimized, you can use these factors to improve your results and conversions. When ignored, even the best ads and leads might not convert into new customers.
Also, if you hire an agency to run your advertising some of these factors are outside of their control. If these factors aren’t optimized it can lower your conversion rate regardless of how many leads their ads generate.
So you need to adjust your expected results accordingly if you have several of the negative factors in play with your online presence.
The first factor to consider is using real photos in your marketing.
Using stock photos can work to some extent, but most people these days can tell when they are looking at a stock photo. If you don’t have real photos in your ads and on your website this will lower the trust level and credibility for your business.
Having real photos can help show that your company is legitimate, and it builds trust quickly with potential clients. People are putting a lot of faith in your company by letting strangers into their homes and businesses.
Using real photos of your employees, equipment, cleaning process, and before and after photos can help put a face to your company and highlight your expertise. Having real photos will improve your conversion rate. Without them, your conversion rate will go down.
The next factor is your website.
One thing we find potential customers often do is research your company after seeing an ad. They may even request a quote but also visit your website before making any kind of commitment. Depending on the quality and functionality of your website, this customer research process can either help your conversion rate or hurt it significantly.
Potential customers view your website and online presence as a reflection of how you do business in all aspects of your cleaning business. If your website is poorly designed, lacks professionalism, looks dated, has poor messaging, or is merely lacking content, it can deter people from hiring you.
The last thing you want to have happen is to spend your hard-earned money to get a lead asking for a quote, only to have them never reply back because your website scared them off.
Your Review and Reputation Management is Another Key Factor that Could Help or Hurt Your Conversion Rates
How people perceive your company can make a big difference in whether they hire you or not. This is why your reputation management is so important. One of the first places people will look after visiting your website is your company reviews.
If you have a lot of positive reviews and a good star rating from your customers it can help sell potential customers on doing business with you. If you have no reviews or negative reviews it can reflect a poor quality service or lack of experience. People don’t want to hire a company that provides poor service or that doesn’t know what they are doing.
This is why it is important to utilize review management as a part of your marketing strategy. You should also highlight reviews on your website. This can help build credibility, trust, and can also help to raise your conversion rates from ads.
Great Ads and Leads Can’t Outperform a Poor Online Presence
The factors that can impact conversion rates outside of the ads themselves can be a benefit or a hindrance to your advertising strategy. You can still generate quality leads if these factors aren’t optimized, but the leads can quickly sour if these negative factors aren’t fixed.
We’ve seen some companies that are well optimized and have a great follow-up process more than quadruple their advertising budget over time while others with a poorly optimized online presence struggle to convert leads while targeting the same demographics and audiences.
As a client, we will give you recommendations and work with you to improve your online presence, but if those suggestions aren’t implemented, our advertising strategy will not work as well as it could.
The first part of reporting to understand is how Facebook tracks leads on the platform. This can vary depending on the advertising strategy you are using. For example, if you are running a Messenger Ad campaign, Facebook tracks the number of messages you receive from an ad and that is what you should count as leads.
By sending people to your website to fill out a quote form, tracking gets a bit tricky. You can set up pixels on your website on the thank you page from Facebook ads. You can also create a unique conversion tracking from your regular quote form.
By doing so you can track those who directly fill out the Facebook ads quote form. This also tracks those who may explore your site and fill out a quote form on your normal request an estimate page. Doing this can help you identify additional leads you are generating from Facebook ads.
Facebook also tracks the lead numbers once you have the custom conversions set up, but you aren’t able to distinguish what specific people filled out your regular quote form. This means the number of leads generated could be more than the specific people you see as leads that came through your Facebook quote request form.
Set up Call Tracking
We also recommend setting up a Call Rail tracking phone number in your advertisements. This forwards to your regular phone number and will track those who call from your ads.
However, you won’t be able to track those who visit your site and decide to call your regular phone number. Because of this we suggest asking phone call leads how they heard about you. Doing this can help track where your phone call leads come from.
Utilize these tips as a means to help you improve your advertising campaigns. By the way, would you like us to maximize your results with paid advertising? Fill out this survey on your business to apply to schedule a call with our team.
P.S. If you are struggling to get quality leads for your cleaning business, Click Here to Learn How to Get More Clients for your business with these Top 10 Lead Sources For Cleaning Business Owners.