marketing   /    Apr 26th 2021

How to Generate Residential Solar Leads (USA)

While residential solar growth in the USA is accelerating, customer acquisition remains the primary challenge for solar installers.

According to a 2020 survey by EnergySage, nearly half of all solar installers in the USA say that customer acquisition remains a primary barrier to growing their solar business.

This guide on solar lead generation in the USA was written after speaking to over 14,000+ solar installers who use Pylon to design better proposals.

In this article:

USA Residential Solar Market

While most U.S. solar capacity comes from utility installations, US homeowners are more eager than ever to become independent from the grid and reduce their monthly spend.

Year-on-year growth rate for residential solar was close to 40% in 2021.

SMI-2020-YIR-ES-Fig4.png

However, close to 80% of residents in the USA are locked out of rooftop solar because home ownership rates are low and only a few states allow for energy credits to be sold back to the grid.

That leaves less than 20% of USA residents as suitable candidates for a solar installation

It’s a good time to be in the solar installation business. As regulatory approval opens up in other states over the next 10 years, residential solar installations are forecasted to increase.

Understand the customer

Compared to the broader population, solar adopters tend to:

  • Live in higher-value homes
  • Have higher credit scores
  • Have more education
  • Live in majority-white block groups
  • Be older
  • Work in business and finance-related occupations

See demographics for the USA market below.

by Profession

USA Solar Adopters by Profession

by Education

USA Solar Adopters by Education

by Age

USA Solar Adopters by Age

by Racial Group

USA Solar Adopters by Racial Group

by Income Range

USA Solar Adopters by Income Range

Why do they want solar?

The number one reason US residents want solar power is resilience.

USA residents want solar because of its resilience

Source: EnergySage Solar Industry Reports

Lead generation

Using a mix of SEO, inbound marketing, advertising and referrals, you can create a solar lead generation machine with a cost of acquisition between $5 and $50 per lead.

Make sure your conversion funnel is set up so that you can capture leads, design proposals, and convert customers efficiently.

Local SEO

Over 154 million people in the USA use Google Maps to search for businesses, so make sure your Google My Business listing is perfect and that all of your details and installation locations are up to date.

Use the Analytics panel to see just how much traffic you’re generating from local SEO.

google my business.jpg

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing brings qualified solar leads to you by giving customers something useful in your first interaction. This could be something like a guide for homeowners or information on panels and storage. It captures search intent and engages the customer’s interest.

To get the most out of your investment, you should also collect customer details like an email and postal address to give readers a free solar quote.

Facebook Advertising

Many installers are able to generate qualified solar leads for $5 each using Facebook and Instagram advertising.

fbleadform.jpg

The key points are to:

  • target your ads to the right demographic as listed above
  • use several creatives of real on-site footage and photos
  • use Facebook Lead Forms which are pre-filled with personal details and can be submitted from within Facebook

You can get image and video assets for your Facebook ads here.

SEO

SEO is arguably the most important marketing channel to focus on because the resources you invest into building up your search engine ranking will build over time, whereas with advertising, you will need to continue spending money to produce the same results.

The most overlooked SEO factors for solar installers are:

  • page speed and usability
  • back-linking from reputable domains
  • good on-page SEO such as keywords in headings, content, image ALT tags, and titles

There are many more things to consider which you will find in this solar SEO guide.

Referrals

Solar referrals will give you a steady stream of qualified leads with a high conversion rate.

You can set up a rebate scheme such as:

Dear [first_name]

We hope you are enjoying your new solar installation and were satisfied with the installation experience we gave you.

If you would like to refer someone who would benefit from a solar installation, we would be delighted to give you both a $100 rebate for each installation.

Send us a message! We’d love to hear from you.

Kind Regards

[your_name]

Buy qualified solar leads

In some countries with a developed solar ecosystem like Australia, you can buy highly qualified solar leads for a relatively good price from websites like solarquotes.com.au

In the USA, the premiere option for buying qualified solar leads is EnergySage.com

EnergySage.com will provide you with a stream of qualified leads which you can integrate with a CRM such as Pylon.

EnergySage

There are also some good reasons not to buy solar leads, including:

  1. Inconsistent quality
  2. No knowledge of source (e.g. search, social, cold email)
  3. No control over messaging or intent

As always, relying solely on one source of leads will be detrimental to your business in the long term and buying qualified solar leads should be only one source of leads that you can use.

Convert and Delight

The cornerstone of a good lead generation strategy is a conversion system that works.

For your solar business, this includes:

  • a good solar CRM
  • a well-designed conversion flow
  • solar design software

Facebook Funnel

Quote and Contract

Whether you use a CRM like Pylon, Hubspot or you keep it simple with Google Sheets, you need one place that is your single source of truth.

The Zapier integration for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Lead Forms can help you to funnel all of your leads into your CRM.

A good solar design tool will help you to generate proposals quickly based on an address, complete with accurate solar shading analysis, output estimates, and requirements.

Review and Referral

The number of reviews and testimonials you have will help boost your SEO.

You can create a link using Google My Business to request reviews.

Google My Business Reviews

Dear [first_name]

How was your solar installation experience?

We’d love to hear from you on our Google My Business page and so would hundreds of other homeowners like you.

Send us a message! We’d love to hear from you.

Kind Regards

[your_name]

Summary

A good solar lead generation system starts with research and finishes with a conversion funnel. To get top of the funnel leads, use SEO, inbound marketing strategy, Facebook advertising, local SEO, referrals and solar lead generation websites.


Oseh Mathias

Oseh Mathias

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