- The solar industry is growing rapidly, with nearly 3,000 companies in the USA alone.
- Solar lead generation is crucial for companies' success in the solar industry.
- Top marketing ideas for solar lead generation include using property intelligence tools, leveraging older solar leads, getting positive online reviews, etc.
Solar power capacity has grown from 0.34 GW to 97.2 GW since 2008.
The increasing demand for solar power is evident. So in the coming years, we will see more businesses focusing on solar as their center. Study reveals that there are nearly 3,000 solar companies in the USA alone as of now.
With increasing competition in this space, lead generation would be a tough nut to crack.
And that’s our goal for this article.
I’ll unleash all the high-performing tactics on solar lead generation.
But first, let’s identify the topmost challenges that solar companies are facing as we speak.
3 Key challenges for solar lead generation faced by solar companies
Here are the three top challenges that solar panel companies face.
1. Too many eligibility criteria to qualify as solar leads
Solar technology is booming, but the sales process is daunting due to the complex eligibility criteria.
To be a potential solar lead, one has to mark checks on many boxes:
- You need to be a homeowner with a decent bank credit score for residential solar services.
- A home can’t have shade on the roof.
- The roof must also adhere to specific standards. For instance, it should be made with suitable materials, can’t have dormers, and more.
You can set up a solid lead qualification process to ease the pain. But I think there are many restrictions in this industry compared to others.
2. Brand recognition
Solar sales thrive on the brands that it creates. It is crucial for solar installers to present themselves as a reputable company.
To get this part right, a business must invest a significant amount of time and money in marketing and PR to build trust.
3. Reaching out to potential customers & load balancing
The primary tussle is that you have a big-ticket prospect, which means it is way more challenging to close solar leads compared to selling subscriptions to an OTT platform.
You need an adopt an omnichannel approach to get your prospects into confidence, plus speed up the task.
For example, if you wish to close a solar deal, it requires an in-person visit to assess that particular home’s condition.
This process of reaching out to potential customers creates the challenge of load balancing.
There are times when your sales reps can be busy with other leads, or they might have to encounter no-shows.
So, to boost your solar sales, your company’s customer management must be balanced against your multiple clients dealing (from online interaction, phone calls, or in-person meetings).
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15 Solar marketing ideas to boost solar lead generation
To generate high-quality solar leads, you need effective tactics to approach clients, followed by a little hard work. Let’s learn how.
1. Getting listed on solar directories
Directories are considered neutral and trusted sources by search engines. They share your company’s information while also providing a direct link to your website.
For every business, directories have become a default activity.
I wouldn’t expect tons and tons of leads from directories, but it’s necessary to be present in these directories.
However, if you have the budget, you can run ads on directories. You’ll receive more targeted leads, and you’ll beat the competition – sort of!
2. Have a user-friendly website
Having a user-friendly and up-to-date website has become a basic necessity for any brand.
For instance, you drive your audience to your website via directories and social media pages with paid ads, etc.
Now once a solar prospect lands on your site, what they expect is an intuitive design, pleasing aesthetics, and a clear value proposition.
A visible and relevant call-to-action is necessary on each landing page where you get the most traffic to maximize the chances of lead generation.
For solar lead generation, it’s absolutely necessary to add a form to your landing page.
Related read: 9 Best practices for high-converting lead generation website.
3. Share high-quality videos and photos of your product
As you aren’t just selling black panels but a lifestyle choice.
So, make it look as elegant as possible. You can offer real-life photos and videos of your products.
One of the best ways to move forward is creating videos on how the process of installation would look like. Because people are curious about it.
Answer these questions in your videos:
- How long will it take to install the solar panels?
- Is your home suitable for solar panel installation?
- How much does a typical project cost?
- How much money will a customer save from solar every month?
Your prospects are going to make your product a part of their home. So, it’s natural that they wish to know what it would look like.
4. Run paid ads to get solar leads faster
Buyers have evolved. They do homework first. The best way to capture a buyer is in the consideration stage.
That’s where paid ads work best.
Here’s how you can use paid ads to help you generate leads.
- Target users who search for products like yours. Facebook ads are a good option.
- Retarget users based on their prior interaction with your ads, website, or app.
- Show your ads to users who search for specific keywords such as ‘solar companies near me’ or ‘best deals to buy solar panels’.
- Show your ads on websites that are most visited by your targeted niche (Ex: directories).
5. Conduct property intelligence research
Property intelligence research is one of the best examples of how technology can be leveraged to generate high-quality leads.
Google Project Sunroof lets you find suitable residents pertaining to specific zip codes.
Google Sunroof helps to identify areas and homes that are most receptible for solar installation. It is helpful in countries that don’t have universally sunny climates.
Another tool, such as Property Radar, allows you to narrow down financially prepared solar leads. Also, it helps to discover recently built neighborhoods that don’t have towering trees.
6. Modify your strategies to get residential and commercial solar leads
Create sections within your website for residential and commercial solar buyers. This way, you can leverage your single website to target different audiences.
Residential and commercial solar leads have different requirements, so they need to create content that motivates each type individually.
For example, solar incentives, budget, and tax benefits are different for both kinds of solar panel buyers.
The best way forward is to create different assets for both types.
- Separate landing pages
- Separate learning materials
- Separate lead magnets
7. Cost savings calculators
Here’s a list of the customary questions that a homeowner has when they want to switch to solar.
- What size of solar installation do I need?
- What will it cost me?
- How much savings can I make on my utility bills?
- How much power supply would it generate?
Here’s how offering the solar calculator on your site is a profitable move.
- Your brand can earn a prospect’s trust by giving them practical answers to the above critical questions.
- Based on these answers, they can decide their solar installation’s size (in kW).
Users can be impressed with your services and may sign up for free consultation forms.
8. Make content marketing a top priority
Content is a long-term strategy that will generate solar leads for your brand.
As solar products are a bit tricky to understand, educating your prospects can be highly beneficial for your brand.
You can generate online leads by creating relevant content. Try developing buyer personas based on their age, demographics, income, interests, and more.
You can create content around a topic that works as motivation to switch to solar (like saving money, home improvements, or environmental benefits).
Creating content is not enough. You also need to distribute content to relevant spaces.
So, social sharing, guest blogging, micro-blogging, and link building are the most effective techniques.
9. Recycle your older solar leads
As mentioned, solar products are big ticket sales. Often, prospects enquired early but took a long time to decide because of the cost associated.
Keep your lead data safe, along with all the past conversations. A CRM tool can help in managing your data safely to leverage it anytime, anywhere.
Have your sales team initiate a follow-up call, run an email campaign with discounts on solar panel installation, or send e-newsletters on relevant/helpful topics that are likely to be open.
Based on the response, segment them as cold, warm, and hot.
Nurturing such warm solar leads to keep the conversation alive with such warm leads would give you many conversions.
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10. Use social media to extend your reach
As of 2022, the US has 302 million social media users and a 90% penetration rate, making it the third largest.
A solid social media presence will help boost interaction with potential clients while establishing you as an authority for solar information.
Now you must determine on which social platform your ideal customers spend their time.
It can be predicted that residential clients are likely to be found on Instagram or Facebook, whereas commercial clients prefer LinkedIn.
To garner maximum benefit from social media, you must have a solid social media strategy. For example, using lead gen ads, you can capture client information without consuming much of their time.
There are numerous ways to generate leads through social media; click here to learn how!
Referrals are the quickest and most efficient way to boost sales.
Irrespective of the lengthy marketing funnel, customers would most trust the word of a family member or friend.
Plus, you also get to see how setting up personally will help make a firmer decision.
Remember that you can leverage your existing solar customer to get new leads. Offer an exciting referral bonus to them. This is a cost-effective way to get more leads.
12. Present a good brand image on business review sites
Do you know? 49% of buyers trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from their friends and family.
Present a good company profile on some of the top business review sites that your customers look up.
If you don’t know, Solar Reviews, Yelp, EnergySage, and Google My Business are some of the trusted business review sites for solar companies.
Try to provide a great customer experience by offering valuable service. So that you can ask happy customers to leave positive online review/feedback. This way, you can create a good image for your company.
13. Target homeowner communities
Local homeowner communities are some of the best places for your brand to get business.
For this, you need to approach different communities and get in touch with their secretaries or board members.
Many communities today also have dedicated websites that present you with sponsorship opportunities.
You can list your brand on their website and can also sponsor different festivals, picnics, tournaments, exhibitions, etc., to promote your brand.
Smaller communities might not have a website but might have a Facebook group that gives you the required information.
Even if these groups don’t allow solicitors, you can use them for making initial contact with the leading authorities.
14. Use target keywords smartly to stay at the top of SERPs
Have you noticed how companies rank at the top of search engines without paying for the same?
These companies work extensively on optimizing their content with keywords that users are already searching for.
This tactic shows eventual results as and when the search engine starts recognizing a particular company as an authority for a specific topic or thread of content.
But to become an authority, you must offer relevant information that your potential customers want to consume.
You must discover the possible keywords that your prospects are using to search for you or your competitors online.
For instance, below is an image of the searches that are possibly made by solar leads.
Google itself provides you with multiple keywords phrase that prospects have used.
You must leverage keyword research tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush that can help you get the most targeted keywords based on their search volume.
15. Case studies
Case studies paint a real-life picture to your potential leads of how your services exceeded a client’s expectations.
However, companies don’t know how to leverage case studies for organic lead generation.
Here are some ideas to create impactful case studies with the support of your paying customers:
- Ask your existing customers to state the benefits of switching to solar.
- Ask the customer to emphasize why your company is the best fit to make that switch.
- Offer generous discounts to existing customers who agree to feature in your next case study.
Smartly place these on your high-converting landing page, send them via email marketing campaign, and use them in paid ads.
Potential customers might be more interested in hearing your sales pitch, with a happy customer vouching for your services.
So, show the case studies of your happy customers to potential prospects during your in-person sales visits.
Here’s a quick recap on some of the key marketing ideas for solar lead generation.
- Use multiple channels/tools to diversify your solar marketing approach.
- If you’re a newbie, work on your basics, such as having a user-friendly website, content marketing, SEO, etc.
- If budget isn’t a concern for your company, you can go with lead generation through Google Ads, social media paid campaigns.
Now, along with lead generation tactics, you must know how to qualify and nurture them for maximum deal closing.
And for this, implementing smart software like CRM can help you manage your solar company’s mundane tasks faster. Also, nurture leads and automate repetitive tasks to scale.
A robust CRM can help you:
- Capture high-quality solar leads using Web Form, Chatbot, and Live Chat system.
- Manage solar leads and priorities them automatically based on behavior and actions.
- Connect with prospects via multiple communication channels such as calling, email marketing and text messaging.
- Provide a meeting scheduler to connect with the prospect at their convenience.
- Track your sales rep’s activity.
- Analyze opportunities with Sales Reports and forecast deals.
- Track your sales goals and find ways to improve.
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Frequently asked questions on solar lead generation
1. What are solar leads?
Solar leads are the people that are planning to switch to solar power and looking for solar companies for assistance.
2. How much do solar leads cost?
Solar lead costs vary depending on the solar lead generation methods (organic marketing, paid ads, or a third-party provider). However, the price for good quality solar leads ranges from $20-$200 per lead. And the average cost per solar lead is nearly $50.
3. Is buying solar leads beneficial to generating your own leads?
Generating solar leads is affordable for solar companies as it helps you establish brand value, gain more trust, and grow faster. But all these things require time and an intelligent strategy to show profitable results.
Buying leads from solar lead generation companies seems easier but has a high chance of getting low-quality leads. Try not to buy leads, but if you have a shortage of time, you can go for buying solar leads over generating your own leads.
4. How can you generate solar leads for free?
Save money by generating free solar leads with organic marketing tactics like blogs, vlogs, local search engine optimization, free downloadable lead magnets, and social media postings. Plus, use strategies like cold emailing, cold calling, and door-to-door marketing.
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Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.