Successful painting business owners are always searching for exciting new ways to promote their business and put their company’s name in front of as many potential customers as possible.
However, coming up with enticing painting contractor marketing ideas is much easier said than done.
Our experts have put together some tips and tricks to help your painting business generate leads, promote sales, develop successful marketing strategies, and more!
Let’s dive in…
Painter Marketing Tips: Promotion Ideas That Sell
Whether you’re just getting started or own a multi-state painting business franchise, you want your services to appeal to as many people as possible.
One of the best ways to do so is by running alluring promotions and advertising campaigns that help your services stand out.
Below are a few contractor promotion ideas to help turn your painting business into a flourishing enterprise.
1. Percentage-Off Promos
Many painting companies hesitate to run percentage-off promos, especially on expensive projects. However, these promos can significantly increase your AOV (Average Order Value) and make up for the lost revenue if implemented correctly (see “tiered pricing” in the next section).
When running a percentage-off promotion, it’s best to make the offer as straightforward as possible.
For example: 20% Off All Projects often appeals to more customers than more restrictive offers like 20% Off Exterior House Painting.
While “gated” offers (promotions targeted to a specific group) can help direct your sales, restrictions can deter potential business who feel left out.
We recommend experimenting with job size numbers and adjusting your rates accordingly.
Try to avoid increasing your prices just to provide a discount. Most residents and business owners will obtain multiple estimates for a painting project, so when your 20% Off offer comes in higher than the next guy who isn’t offering a “promotion” they’ll get suspicious.
Also, save high-value promotions for your most profitable services. This helps you make up for lost margins, preserving your bottom line.
2. Monetary Promos
Similar to percentage-off incentives, monetary promotions without thresholds typically draw more customers than those with them. For instance, deals like $200-off your next project sound more appealing to buyers than more restrictive offers like $200-off $2,000+ purchases.
When possible, avoid thresholds within your promotions to maximize customer participation.
A good way to bend this rule is through the use of tiered-price offers, such as:
Summer Special: $100-off $1000+, $200-off $2000+, $300-off $3000+
Although most painting business owners prefer monetary promos over percentage-off sales, they aren’t as alluring to potential customers. Most homeowners struggle to find value in smaller fixed-dollar-off promotions and don’t take advantage of them as much as other offers.
However, using a well-structured tiered-price offer you can still run a successful monetary promo that generates consistent painting leads throughout the year.
3. Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) Deals
While most associate BOGO deals with ecommerce and retail sales, we actually see a lot of success running these for painting contractors as well. Free services appeal to homeowners as it seems like they’re getting more bang for their buck. However, as a painting business owner, you must structure these promotions carefully to ensure an optimal outcome.
Buy one, get one free promotions require you to analyze your margins, know your job costing, and shape the offer accordingly.
Pro tip: If you run a buy two rooms, get one free deal, always discount the smallest space. This diminishes your losses while increasing your painting leads.
Combining BOGO deals with percentage-off promotions is also an effective painter marketing strategy.
For example: Offering 25%-off interior painting with the purchase of a whole-house exterior painting package will make for an enticing promotion while still covering your costs.
Although BOGO deals are somewhat risky for your margins, they are extraordinarily effective when structured correctly.
4. Free Gifts
Offering a free gift with the purchase of your painting services can be a good alternative to monetary discounts. While free gift offers are a great way to market your painting business they must be on high-dollar items or some people will view it as a gimmick, rather than a discount. You must make the gift as tempting as possible to convince clients it’s worth their time and money.
We recommend testing this on your target service areas before rolling it out to everyone.
BOGO examples: Free Apple AirPods Max with a Signed Contract of $3000+, or $500 Amazon Gift Card on Full-House Exterior Painting Projects
Spending too much on free gifts can adversely affect your revenue, undermining your primary role as a business owner — to make a profit. A great way to combat this issue is through the use of industry partnerships.
Consider this example: Try reaching out to your local “quick oil change station” and ask if they offer any referral incentives for sending business their way. Even if they offer a $10 incentive you can take that as a contribution to your margins and offer a Free Oil Change on All Painting Projects to drum up new painting leads.
We always recommend testing promotions on small segments of your target audience (500-1000 households or business owners). For the most accurate results, use the same segment for all promotion testing.
Although many painting companies offer warranties, very few use them as a marketing tactic. We always recommend advertising your warranty on every flyer, postcard, and page of your website to ensure your prospects know what you offer, without having to ask.
Consider this: Both you and your competition offer a warranty, but you’re the only one advertising it. Presented with both options, who do you think is going to get a phone call?
Offering warranties are often easier on your bottom line compared to most other promos. Painting warranties provide a sense of security and make your prospects more trusting of your services. With that said, you will have to evaluate the risks, know your manufacturer warranties, and craft an appealing security blanket that avoids costly repairs years down the line.
Pro tip: As a best practice, remind clients of your warranty after completing each project. This peace of mind will increase the chances of a referral in the future.
If you want to avoid the costly risks of a free warranty, you can offer them as a paid option to interested clients — “For an extra $500 you can protect this coating for 3 years.” A well-structured advertising campaign around a paid warranty can help you generate new painting leads, and land new projects, all while putting your business in front of more potential customers.
6. Paid Estimates
This is one of our favorites, but it typically requires a close ratio of 40% or above to keep your margins intact.
Paid estimate promo example: We Pay You! Book an Estimate, Get $10 Cash.
Paying someone for your time, sounds crazy right? Let’s review the math and why it works…
Consider this: This kind of offer should easily increase conversions by a minimum of 5%. Let’s say you get an average of 200 visitors to your website each month, and you close leads by around 40%. Using the offer above as an example, that’s an extra 4 closed jobs for $300 in marketing expenses!
Math for marketing expenses: A good website has a conversion rate of 10% plus an extra 5% from this promo = 15% of 200 visitors is 30 leads * $10 = $300).
Math for closed jobs: 200 visitors * .05 increase in conversions * .4 close ratio = 4 closed jobs
Best of all, the same math works for print marketing as well.
Why does this work?
Free estimates typically appeal to homeowners since they don’t require any commitment, but they still require time. Paid estimates break down the initial hesitation to commit by paying your prospect for their time.
If you’re looking to gate this offer, consider pairing it with a service.
We Pay You: Free Exterior Estimates + $20 Cash!
This incentive can lead to a great sales pitch: If we’re willing to pay you a crisp $20 for zero commitment, imagine how we’ll treat you once you hire us!
7. Incentivize Referrals
Generating new customers is key to the survival of any successful painting business. One of the best ways to bring in new clients is to convince past customers to refer your company to friends and family.
Try incentivizing referrals by offering customers discounts on future services, a free gift, or a monetary incentive on closed jobs. Offering small referral rewards will help you generate more leads while encouraging existing customers to hire you for future projects.
Pro tip: The best way to advertise these promotions is in person before you walk off the job site, and once a month via an email marketing campaign.
BONUS: Painting Contractor Marketing Ideas to Increase Website Traffic
Ok so you have a great incentive lined up, but now you need eyes to incentivize.
Where do you start?
Online marketing is one of the best forms of advertising you can invest in. Why? Because it has an extremely high ROI and most of your customers will start searching for your services by searching online. Below are some practical online advertising tips to help your business generate new painting leads throughout the year.
1. Create a Google Business Profile (Formally Called Google My Business)
For a full breakdown of how to create and optimize your Google Business Profile, see our Painter GBP Guide here. This is hands-down the most important thing you can do for your painting business today, and it’s 100% free.
Your Google Business Profile is a free resource that allows your painting business to be found on both Google Local Search Results and on Google Maps. Since over 90% of your customers who start their search online will start their search on Google, this profile is critical for ranking your business online and generating new painting leads.
The first step in creating a Google Business account is to claim your profile and verify your phone number and business address.
Once Google confirms your information, you can start listing services, hours of operation, project pictures, and other pertinent information about your painting company. You want to complete your profile with as much relevant information as possible to enhance your search engine and Google Maps rankings.
Similar to social media, your Google Business Profiles allows you to add posts about your business. To keep things simple, we recommend sharing your blog posts or resharing your social media posts on this profile at least once a month.
Reply to ALL reviews (positive or negative) on your Google Business Profile.
Responding to reviews increases engagement and shows customers you care about their opinion. It’s also a ranking factor. It’s a simple yet effective way to keep clients happy, show your appreciation, while also improving the visibility of your business.
2. Offer Discounts for Online Reviews
Legally you cannot incentivize positive reviews, but in most states you can incentivize any reviews.
Online reviews have a substantial impact on search engine rankings, and the likelihood that someone will contact your business. Painting companies with numerous positive reviews will often rank higher in search results, driving more potential customers to their business.
To increase your search engine visibility we recommend offering a small discount or incentive for your customers to leave a review online.
Note that you must make this as easy as possible for your customer. Any bottlenecks are time-consuming requests will result in a failed lead request.
3. Use SEO to Optimize Your Painting Company’s Website
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, helps rank your website higher in search results. A well-optimized website full of relevant SEO content will make it easier for potential customers to find you online.
We already wrote an in-depth article covering SEO tips for painters, but we’ll review a few highlights here:
To streamline this process we recommend hiring a professional marketing agency to optimize your website for the most relevant search terms in your target service areas.