Solar Leads Investment Pros and Cons: Is Buying Solar Leads Worth It?

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Photo by Bill Mead from Unsplash

There’s no question that solar lead generation can simplify the process of connecting homeowners who want to save on their electric bills with companies that can install solar panels on their homes. 

Is it better to partner with a solar lead generation company or generate leads on your own—which is the more efficient route leading to more people who will likely become your customers? Let’s explore each route’s pros and cons and find the answer. 

Generating Leads for Your Solar Business

Prepare to conduct a combination of online and offline, or in-person activities to generate solar leads for your business. You’ll have control over the process, with some constraints.

Solar Lead Generation Strategies 

Blog Posts

Quality content is one way to generate organic solar leads. Position your blog as a trustworthy and authoritative source of solar-related resources. Look into topics that would educate users at various stages of their buying journey. 

Make your posts useful to a homeowner who wants to switch to clean energy and learn more about this home improvement project, is considering installing solar panels at home but wonders if it is DIY-able, wants to know the cost of owning vs. leasing a solar system, or wants to compare project costs by getting solar quotes. 

Landing Pages 

Place a call-to-action or two within every article, encouraging visitors to sign up to get a free e-book or resource about solar.

When a visitor clicks the call-to-action button, they’ll be taken to a page to complete a form. The free resource becomes a lead magnet in this case. Personal information like names, email addresses, or phone numbers will be collected. 

Landing pages can be used in different ways with the singular goal of conversion. Aside from the content piece, links to the landing page can come from social media posts, emails, and paid and organic search results. 

Referral Program 

Referrals are another powerful tool. Some solar companies promise high referral fees and bonuses to existing customers for every successful solar transaction.

Solar referral programs can be effective in generating leads because solar panels are expensive investments; rewards earned from a referral can add to the value of the solar panel installation. A family member or friend who has the solar system installed assumes the role of a credible source of information for a relatively niche product and helps an interested person move along their purchase journey. 

Solar reviews are also indirect “referrals,” coming from people unknown to your future prospects, and this lack of relationship can make the opinions unbiased. Prospective customers also get details on a personal or relatable level, like how easy it is to get a solar power system, whether they paid something upfront, or how helpful the customer service was. 

Solar Ads

Online ads are clever and cost-effective ways to reach more people, drive them to your website, and generate leads. They can be set up to be focused only on visitors looking for solar quotes, local installers, solar panels, solar panel prices, and even solar incentives and rebates. 

Unlike their conventional counterparts, ads on search engines like Google, as well as those on Facebook and other social media networks, are less expensive. To maximize exposure, show these ads on sites or places where your prospective customers are, or on sites that can be triggered based on relevant search terms.

Photo by Derek Sutton from Unsplash

Buying Solar Leads 

When you buy solar leads, you expedite lead generation and the sales cycle as a whole. You can opt out of doing lead generation and focus on making sales and other aspects of your business. 

Your own marketing efforts to generate solar leads are still useful, but it can be a slow buildup from point A to point B. It can take two to six months for a page to rank on Google if you are “lucky,” or months for your ads to gain traction, not to mention the many steps involved in cleaning and organizing the collected data. 

If you stick to having your blog or website content and ads, which are all a given in digital marketing, consider these as supplemental in attracting prospects. A steady supply of leads from one or more solar lead generation companies can get your sales going instantly and continuously.

Why Work with a Solar Lead Generation Company?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association® and Wood Mackenzie, residential solar recorded 1.2 GWdc installed, making Q1 2022 its largest quarter in history. The report cites that “customer demand and sales pipelines continue to grow.” California, Texas, and Florida, per the report, were named the top markets. 

Buying leads is common in any industry, particularly one as highly competitive and localized as residential solar. When you buy solar leads, or any leads for that matter, quality is always the biggest consideration. 

A solar lead generation company generates leads intended to match the nature of your business (e.g., residential PV, commercial PV, solar installation, and home batteries). This company likely has established methods and channels to generate and qualify leads. This also means that those on their list can expect to be contacted about their interest in solar, like getting a quote for a solar panel installation. 

Buying leads from any lead gen company can result in uninterested leads. They may be interested in something other than your products or not plan to buy anything at that point. They could also block or refuse to answer calls and perceive the brand negatively.

So How Do You Choose Among Solar Lead Generation Companies? 

In considering potential sources of solar leads, look into these points:

  1. Contact the details on their website, social media, etc., especially if it’s your first time hearing about them. This is one way to verify their business and get more information about their service. Prepare questions directed at how long they’ve been in the industry and how they can help grow your business with leads. 
  2. Consider their processes and policies. The company likely has proprietary methods in verifying and ensuring that customers only get genuine residential solar leads and, at the same time, has procedures in place for the cancellation or return of leads.  
  3. Check their track record. Read online reviews from customers (like other solar companies) and the lead gen company’s response, if any, to complaints.

How Much Do Solar Leads Cost?

It’s commonly believed that purchasing solar leads is expensive, but solar-lead pricing primarily considers the cost of generating the leads. What likely follows (and how solar lead generation companies differ) is the screening of leads and determining their level of interest when they signed up for the offer.   

Whether you’ll pay $10, $20, $100, or $200 per lead also depends on the location of your business and the time of delivery, as noted below. Solar lead gen companies can offer these payment plans:

  • Pay-per-lead, or PPL, is a model whereby the client will only pay for verified leads delivered to them. This strategy can keep the costs of acquiring the leads low and in turn, minimize spending on marketing and advertising. 
  • Pay before you get the leads. It requires the client to make an upfront payment prior to receiving the ordered leads. This upfront-payment arrangement is typical for one-time transactions or when it’s the first time ordering leads.  
  • Pay-per-sale involves paying only for leads that result in successful sales or transactions. 

For the actual pricing terms, check with the solar lead provider. 

Are Aged Solar Leads Worth It?

Solar lead gen companies can deliver leads in real time or as soon as they are ready. Sometimes these solar leads don’t sell right away and have thus become aged. 

Real-time leads allow you or your sales representatives to strike while the iron is hot. Fresher leads can, however, command premium prices compared to leads that are, say, 30 days old. These older leads can still hold value, given the right strategies.

Is Buying Solar Leads Worth It: The Verdict  

Yes. Buying leads is worth it when you consider the effort and expense of generating solar leads on your own.

The key takeaways from buying residential solar leads are:

  • Volume: Get the desired number of leads in a short period.
  • Verified: Expect to get quality leads verified beforehand. 
  • Targeted: Save time by contacting people who are interested in going solar. 
  • Fast-tracked sales: Start converting leads into customers right away.
  • Cost-effective: Choose the best payment plan for verified leads.

Invest in your sales representatives because they’ll be the ones in direct contact with your prospective customers. More importantly, work with a reliable solar lead provider.

Efficiency is a goal in the solar industry. For homeowners or property owners, it is to find the best deal for their solar home systems and begin their journey toward potential cost savings and incentives. For solar installation businesses, it is to gain more business within their marketing budget. Purchasing residential solar leads gives your business a good head start today.