As a professional in the solar industry have you ever asked yourself, “Why the heck does the cost of my Facebook Ads keep rising?”
Sounds like a SIMPLE QUESTION and I wish there was a SIMPLE ANSWER…
Unfortunately, Facebook’s paid traffic market, just like Bitcoin, has hit a wall, and is in a “correction” phase. It’s fixable, but first you have to shift your mindset on the way you think about Solar Facebook leads…
If you don’t fix it Ricky Bobby FAST, you my friend are going to be PRICED OUT…
In the solar industry setbacks exists from the start.
Getting financially compensated after getting a new solar customer is already a dysfunctional system.
The payouts take FOREVER!
Plus in solar we have an over complicated process that makes things so complex with moving parts, that errors aren’t easily visible.
This makes understanding the big picture of Facebook ad performance and what actually matters cost per install challenging.
That “more more more” mentality eats away at you, and you keep feeding the machine, without fixing the problem.
The focus on “QUANTITY” over “QUALITY” becomes your focal point.
There is an inverse relationship between solar lead cost and lead quality. As the solar lead cost on Facebook go UP, the lead quality goes DOWN…
Thinking that Facebook Ads are too good to be true, as long as you have an ad running you just can’t LOSE…
You are guaranteed to make your money back and brag about some astronomically awesome Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) on Facebook.
Today you can’t scroll through Facebook or Instagram without seeing this “viral subculture of digital marketing gurus” with all their me-first NARCISSISTIC ads.
They continue to clog up your Newsfeed with posts of them flashing around stacks of cash, Lambos, private jets, and screenshots (or obvious Photoshop) of their Stripe accounts.
It’s like the ice cream man that prays on unsuspecting children (that if you did a background check probably has to stay 1000 ft from a school).
Instead of a Popsicle, they are luring people to their digital ice cream truck by tossing around words like chatbots, lead magnets, webinars, funnel-hacking, and million dollar promises…
This egotistical style of marketing has grown exponentially over the past couple years. They keep screaming at you, “you suck and will remain poor if you don’t opt-in to my funnel and buy XYZ.”
Now the crowded Facebook Ads market is full of pompous noisemakers and self-proclaimed marketing geniuses.
Aren’t you fed up with their FAKE PROMISES?
“I can take your solar business to the next level if you just give me a chance, because I took a course!”
The problem is most of these Facebook Ads hustlers are stuck on preaching what worked LAST YEAR…
Now we are all COMPETING for the same ad space, eyes, and cash.
A dozen of the same SPAMMY solar Facebook ads have tainted the market like cat piss. Many people are starting to notice, getting smarter, and are not falling for it anymore.
These uncreative and misleading solar ads on Facebook spread false beliefs in their head, so even good and ethical copy gets passed on by prospective customers as a scam.
Anyone that has managed thousands of dollars per day in Facebook ad spend knows it’s a FULL-TIME JOB managing comments.
I’m still confused how the hell comment’s about “zero down solar” quickly turns into a political [TROLL] battle about Trump collusion or Hillary’s private email server.
If not deleted immediately these randomly annoying comments decrease the effectiveness of your Ad dramatically.
All of these factors in combination have driven up the cost of generating a lead from a Facebook Ad campaign.
Also, the Facebook Ad police have crack down on solar like we are selling kilos of COCAINE to school kids.
If you were to ask any sane solar-preneur this ONE QUESTION, “How are your Facebook ads performing this past year?”
They would reply back with this same answer, “My ads are working but the price keeps going up, and CONVERSION ARE DOWN!”
However, most are clinically insane so they will tell you they are still killing it!
The average solar-preneur makes it worse on themselves by not addressing problems when they appear and actually attempting to fix them.
Instead, they change their system to avoid the cause so that the problems seemingly disappear.
That’s not a fix, it’s DENIAL and will eventually catch up to them in the long run.
The problems are still there, flaring up worse than ever before, but because things are so complex with solar, they have no idea and are celebrating.
You see, I’ve been in the solar niche and running ads on Facebook for over 3 YEARS.
II’ve also had the luxury of working with some of the fastest growing solar companies in the U.S. and owning my own solar company.
The beauty of observing an ENTIRE INDUSTRY from the inside is that you see trends and shifts that others don’t.
I have incredible access to more DATA and STATISTICS that shows what is not working and more importantly what is actually working.
Most solar company owners wouldn’t even understand or believe some of the data and spreadsheets that I have.
One of the UGLY TRUTHS is it doesn’t matter if your ad spend is $10k a month or $1 million a month… everybody is having the same issues with the performance of their solar ads on Facebook.
Now, if you are doing 200-300 solar installs a month, the sheer volume will allow for a smaller profit margin and makes that $3,000+ (CPA) less visible.
However, most solar companies fall into the 100 installs or less per month bracket, and are just one bad month or PTO issue away from taking out a second mortgage or closing their doors due to BANKRUPTCY.
It’s a vicious cycle, but did you know it’s fixable?
The fix starts with understanding the metrics and focusing on what’s important… COST PER INSTALL (CPI).
There is no reason what-so-ever you are paying for 100 leads and only converting 1 or 2 of them. That means that 98 out of 100 people that wanted to know more about solar decided it wasn’t for them?
C’mon, that’s crazyAF…
Contrary to conventional wisdom most sales are lost in the BEGINNING, in any industry… especially SOLAR.
If you quantify the TIME and EFFORT put into non-qualified leads, and filter that out, it can help justify, front-end curating cost.
Simply put if you are getting rid of tire kickers on the front-end, it will produce higher conversions on the back end, at a lower cost.
Did you just think to yourself, “OMG Joseph that makes so much sense”?
Now to be clear….
“WE ARE NOT JUST LOOKING AT OUR IMMEDIATE RETURN ON AD SPEND”.
Yes, it actually works to “VALUE” your customer first by giving them an educational experience as you drive them through your lead generation process.
It’s going to produce people that want to see your ads, better leads, qualified prospects and even more sales.
This shifts the focus away from a spammy lead magnet and scarcity tactics (I know we have all used them).
To investing in a more engaging process, that will eventually have your ideal qualified customers, trusting you, listening to you, and eventually buying from you.
We recently ran a test with one of our solar clients and the results totally amazed me.
Now to be transparent, I’ve walked the GREY LINE many times with my ad copy and have lost countless ad accounts due to the over-policing nature of Facebook’s “everybody knows, but nobody knows” algorithm.
Shockingly, over the past year my Facebook lead costs went way UP from an average of $9-$20 to $40-$50+ in some areas.
I knew there had to be a better way and started testing…
And fortunately I discovered the future of the solar industry…
INTENT-BASED SOLAR LEAD GENERATION™!
“Think of it like this, you probably have a better chance of scoring tonight with your husband/wife/girlfriend, than the cashier at Burger King.”
So why do we treat our leads like that? It’s like selling beer at church on Sunday…
Instead of opening your audience to 20 million people and fishing for low cost low quality. Narrow it down first with education and switch the focus from “bait” to “intent” marketing, reverse engineering your funnel similar to the organic approach.
I started curating an audience by creating a series of Facebook Ads based on educating homeowners about the benefits of going solar.
Investing in ads on the front end without asking for their personal information, I provided my CAPTIVE AUDIENCE with useful information about solar that a potential homeowner would want to learn.
As the audience grew, we built a dynamic Facebook Ads sequences that caught each action of engagement throughout the homeowner’s solar educational journey.
Now, if they intended on opting in to see if solar was a good fit for their home, they did it with a a Facebook page they were familiar with, and TRUSTED…
When the time was right (we noticed them, noticing us) we then tried pushing them off the fence by tossing an OFFER *and something magical happened…
Solar leads from Facebook started coming in at a 3X LOWER COST!
It’s because we took the time to nurture them with value based education, they rightfully trusted us, and we had a perfectly timed offer.
But most surprisingly and more importantly the leads started engaging with are semi-automated SMS and scheduling appointments without even a phone call.
I have to point out that these leads were a whole new breed of solar educated homeowners… Really, we had some asking equipment questions on appointment confirmation calls.
This new approach to solar Facebook ads dramatically increased our Lead To Contact (LTC) rate. *And they weren’t scared to give us real information (e.g. name, phone number, email address, and zip code).
This correlated in a substantial increase in our LTA (Lead To Appointment) rate.
Ultimately we closed more SALES, but at the end of the day what matters the most, COST PER INSTALL WENT DOWN.
I’m thrilled to now implement this “Intend-Based Solar Lead Generation” strategy with all of the solar clients we work with.
Moral of the story…
As lead costs on Facebook continue to rise, and margins continue to shrink, you need to be ahead of the shift before it’s to late…
Don’t fall victim to the leaky bucket business model…
Intent-Based Solar Lead Generation™ seeks to educate a captive audience, make an offer when the time is right, automate part of the process with the newest technologies, and optimize for the most important metric for your solar company… CPI!
And if you don’t have a strategy in place making that happen… I feel sorry for you! 😉
The symptoms of the costly solar ad will catch up with you eventually, and bye-bye Facebook.
Hopefully you enjoyed this Blog Post. Please use the 👉Contact Form to get in touch with us or post a Comment below.
Thanks and have a sunny day!