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How to Use Text Messages to Close Painting Leads

How to Use Text Messages to Close Painting Leads

Published On: April 26, 20228.7 min readCategories: Appointment SchedulingTags: , ,
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Text message repaint lead generation

Your phone vibrates, it’s an email containing the contact information of someone in your services area requesting a painting estimate. A few minutes later you call this contact to gather more information, but instead, you get their voicemail. As a painting contractor, you have more than likely run into this scenario before.

What went wrong?

Today, responsiveness is a major factor in determining whether a hot painting lead converts into an estimate, or goes cold. In a world where everyone has their phones by their sides 24/7, your customers expect you to be available to answer them immediately. This is can be a tall order for a small business to manage, even with a staff. Think about it, even your office manager needs a lunch break.

Fortunately, you can use technology to compensate.

Use Text Messages to Close Painting Jobs

Text Messages for Painting Contractors

SMS (Short Message Service), better known as Text Messaging, has been around for decades. Back in its infancy, text messages were limited to just 140 characters. Technology has progressed since then. With just a few minutes of setup businesses of all sizes can send a personalized text message or automated response for less than a penny.

Here we will discuss how your painting business can leverage text messages to convert painting leads into paying customers and convert paying customers into referral generating machines.

Why Text Messages?

The stigma of text messages being an informal method of communication is long gone. An ever-increasing population now prefers text messages as their primary method of contact. Why? Because text messages are less invasive than a phone call while being more direct than an email.

Let’s review:

Phone Calls vs Text Messages

While nothing can replace a quick discovery call, text messages can be used to handle the mundane communications that ultimately have a BIG impact on your painting business.

For instance, there’s no reason for you to spend time calling every prospect to confirm their estimate request. This is a recurring task that can easily be automated via text message. Additionally, the younger generations prefer text messages over phone calls.

Giving your prospects multiple methods of communication allows them to pick their preferred channel and increases the likelihood that they’ll reach out in the first place.

Emails vs Text Messages

Yes, your customer probably has an email address, but how often do they check it, and more importantly how do you know if you even hit their inbox? While emails are great for marketing and invoicing, they just don’t have the same impact as a text message.

Emails are easy to overlook and depending on how often you send and the content of your email, they tend to end up in a junk mail folder.

More so, your website visitors aren’t stupid, they understand that there’s a strong likelihood their information will be resold and spammed. As a result the vast majority of email addresses submitted on contact forms are fake or secondary address the customer doesn’t monitor often.

When To Use Text Messages For Your Painting Business

Consider what messages can be automated. These are typically identified as high-volume, consistent communications that don’t require much back-and-forth. After spending over a decade helping grow painting businesses we have identified six points of contact that work great for texting:

Let’s dive into each of these to review specific use cases, text message templates, and the recommended technology solutions for each.

1) Live website chat

Live Website Chat for Painting Contractors

Your website serves as the online storefront for your painting business. While most painting contractors use their website to showcase their work and communicate their service offerings, many overlook the importance of providing multiple methods of contact. Instead of relying on a contact form or the “Call for a Free Quote” CTA consider adding a chat application to your website.

We recommend a service called Tawk.to. It only takes a few minutes to create an account and integrate with your website. Best of all, it’s 100% free!

While the messages from Tawk.to come through to their free mobile app, there are several paid services that allow direct communication via text message, such as Avochato.

2) Confirming new painting estimates

After an estimate is booked there’s no guarantee the prospect will remember to add it to their calendar. For this reason, we recommend sending an automated text message immediately after booking with the details of their estimate request.

For best results, allow the customer to respond via text to change or cancel their estimate. Giving your prospects an easy method to modify their appointment ensures you don’t waste your time on someone who isn’t fully committed to your services. Here is an example of a message that we used for our clients:

Hi {{FirstName}}, this is {{YourName}} with {{YourPaintingCompany}}. Your estimate is confirmed for {{DayTime}}. Please reply to modify or cancel this appointment. Talk soon!

Integrating these automated text messages into your workflow is best achieved with a third-party booking application like Calendly or Setmore. These services are easy to integrate directly on your website and allow your customers to pick a day/time that works best for them.

3) Automated appointment reminders

Painter Mobile Appointment Booking

You should never allow someone to book an estimate more than 7 days in advance. Why? Because plans change, and people forget.

Think about it. Do you recall what you ate for dinner a week ago? The likelihood that an appointment is overlooked or canceled drastically increases after 7 days.

While restricting the window to book an estimate does decrease no-shows and cancelations, it does not mitigate them entirely. To reduce this risk even further we recommend implementing automated text message appointment reminders. Here is a template that we implement for our clients:

24 Hour Reminder

Hey {{FirstName}}! This is just a friendly reminder that your estimate with {{YourPaintingCompany}} is tomorrow at {{Time}}. I look forward to speaking with you soon 🙂

– {{YourName}}

1 Hour Reminder

Hi {{FirstName}}, I will meet you at {{EstimateAddress}} in one hour. See you soon! – {{YourName}}

Personalize these messages to make them feel less automated. Your customers will appreciate the transparent communication. Plus these reminders serve as a warning to prepare for your arrival, allowing ample time to hide pets and put pants on.

For this we recommend the same third-party booking applications — Calendly or Setmore.

4) Text-to-Pay Invoicing

Intentional or not, invoices can be overlooked. After a job is complete the last thing you should have to worry about is collecting payment from your customer.

As stated earlier in this article, emails can get lost in the mix. For a more direct means of reaching your customer for payment, we recommend pairing text messages with your email invoices.

While most payment processors now offer SMS invoicing we recommend Stripe + ChargeStripe. Other than a low credit card processing fee these two services are completely free and only take a few minutes to set up.

5) Review requests

Google Review Request

As the owner of a painting business, you’re probably aware of how critical your online reputation can be for generating new painting leads.

Even if you delivered a 5-star painting job there’s no guarantee your customer will take the time to leave a review online. Why? Because it’s a burden that takes time out of their day.

This is where text messages really shine. Sending a direct link to leave a review after your service is complete reduces the burden on your customer, making it more likely that they’ll take the time to leave a review.

For best results be sure that your Google Business Profile is claimed and optimized. Grab the link to share your review form and send that directly to your customer immediately after the job is complete. Be sure to mention how important reviews are to your business, and thank them for taking a moment to click on the link and leave their feedback.

Here is a simple message that works particularly well for our clients:

{{FirstName}}, your feedback helps us attract new business. If you would, please leave a review by clicking the link below.

{{LinkToReviewForm}}

6) Incentivize referrals

Refer a Friend

If your painting business produces 5-star worthy results it’s likely your customers are more than willing to refer your business to family and friends. Take your “word of mouth” referrals to a new level with a simple text message.

Here’s how it works: Trigger a text after your customer leaves a positive review. We recommend automating this communication with a simple offer.

Hi {{FirstName}}, thank you for the positive review! I would like to offer you a $100 Amazon Gift Card for any paying customers you refer to us. Thanks again for your business!

While this is unlikely to generate new business immediately, it’s something your customer will remember for the future should it come up in conversation.

Caveats of Text Messaging

Since text messages are more direct than an email it’s important to use them sparingly. Also, be sure to test your automations before releasing them to the public. The last thing you want are 100 texts going to the same customer because you misplaced a zero on the backend.

Avoid Frustration with an Unsubscribe Option

While most cell carriers include unlimited text messages in their plans, some still charge per/message. As a result, you need to make it easy for your customers to opt-out of receiving these messages.

Fortunately, most text message services automatically include a “Reply STOP to opt-out of future messages” in the first correspondence. This not only mitigates customer frustration but also ensures you remain compliant with local text messaging advertising laws.

Conclusion

Text messages should not be the primary form of communication for your painting business. They can never replace phone calls altogether. Rather, they should simply supplement your communications to provide a better customer experience.

If you’re interested in using text messages to convert leads and confirm appointments for your painting business, give us a call today.

Convert leads and confirm appointments, schedule a free strategy call today!
Austin Houser
Austin Houser
About the Author: As founder of Base Coat Marketing, Austin is a data scientist and digital marketing expert with over a decade of lead generation experience within the professional painting industry.
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