We asked home improvement marketing managers and consultants what they would do if they had to come up with 50 leads in a hurry. Their responses:

Create a real sale: Rick Menendez, who has directed marketing operations for some of the industry's biggest companies — Melani Bros., Newpro, Thomas Construction — recommends starting by “identifying all resources you have.” That includes current lead sources and salespeople. Call a meeting and announce a special One Time Only/Three Day/Friends and Family sale. Offer a special discount to anyone who buys, and for any homeowner who consents to a product demonstration, enter them in a drawing for a trip. Give non-sales employees an incentive to recommend the company to those they know. Create a “big internal surge” that pulls everyone into the effort.

‘Tis the season: Chash Giovenco, marketing consultant at Integrity Home Pro, in Bowie, Md., says she would “pull together a season-driven promotion (e.g., Fall Roofing Check), make sure it has the best value possible, and focus our energies on the Internet.” From there:

  • an email blast to the company's entire database;
  • promote on Facebook and the home page of the company website;
  • integrate the promotion within our pay-per-click campaign and any online banner campaigns.
  • “In addition,” she says, “if I had any advertising campaign running that could give me overnight turnaround (i.e., radio, television-crawl) I would integrate these as well.”

    Roll up the sleeves: Kevin Carmen, VP of marketing for Maryland home improvement company American Design and Build, says he would up the ante by offering cash bonuses to canvassers or phone room workers who exceed the average. “Offer an incentive for a same-day lead,” he says, “and double the incentive if the lead demo's.” Pay a bonus to phone room dialers who call The Tickler File of leads never demo'd. “Roll up the sleeves, give a bonus, push a little harder,” Carmen says.

    Count the ways: Daniel Gallegly, marketing manager for Durante Windows & Siding, in Birmingham, Ala., says that ramping up search engine advertising with a pay-per-click ad or buying leads from online providers will generate the immediate leads you need. “Two advantages,” he says, are that “you can target certain leads and eliminate others. You also get in front of people who are actively searching for you.”

    Make that work by having a strong message in place and rapid follow-through on purchased leads. Also, canvass around jobsites. But, Gallegly says, nothing beats “the leads you've paid for that are sitting in a database.” —Jim Cory, editor, REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR.