June 7, 2024

Facebook Ads Case Study – Taking an HVAC Install Estimate Campaign from a Loss to 10X Return

Watch me build a Facebook Ads campaign from scratch meant to schedule install estimate appointments with homeowners from losing money each month to generating $65,000 in estimates from only $3,900 in ad spend in it's most recent month.

What You'll Get Out of This Case Study

What I hope you’ll get from reading this case study on this HVAC ads campaign I ran on Facebook for one of my clients is a roadmap for running your own successful Facebook ads campaign. It’s not an easy thing to do.

But that’s what I want to show you: how to do it by being transparent about what I did and how I got to a profitable campaign that is actually generating leads that are closing into appointments and estimates for new HVAC systems.

Here’s my promise with this post.

If you read it all the way through, you will see the exact process that I used to take a Facebook Ads campaign for HVAC install estimate appointment leads from a losing campaign to a campaign that is generating 10 times the dollar amount in estimates than it costs to generate those appointments. 

First, you’re going to walk away with a full understanding of how I set this campaign up from the beginning for success, and how I was able to systematically, step by step, work through a process to go from loss to profit. And lots of profit. 

Second, you’ll get the prescription of how to run a profitable HVAC ads campaign to generate HVAC installation estimate leads.

Third, you’ll learn, more importantly, if you listen, how to think about these campaigns as a journey and process and how to see what’s not working and test new things until they do start working. 

And the result will be a 10X return on investment. You’ll see a campaign that ends up generating $65,000 in install estimates from $3,900 in advertising spend.

This campaign has done that. But it didn’t start that way. Not even close. Quite the contrary, actually.

This campaign started out spending thousands of dollars each month and not really netting any appointments at all. We’ve run 5 different variations of this campaign so far.

But I wasn’t able to figure it out until the fourth version of the campaigns that I ran. Yes, I said it. The fourth variation of this campaign was the one that started consistently generating profitable results and install estimate appointments.

There was a glimmer of success in the second round and the third, but it wasn’t profitable.

Variations one, two, and three lost money. So we spent about $10,000 before making any of that back. 

But that’s how it works. And that’s how you need to think about these campaigns.

They are a process, not an event.

In most home services businesses, you’re not going to get profitable campaigns right away. That’s why most quit after the first or second round of ads.

That’s most likely what you’ve been doing too. And it’s okay. There’s logic in that decision to stop doing something that is only spending money when it’s supposed to be making money.

But because of that logic, you and so many other home services businesses and HVAC businesses leave tons of cash on the table.

I don’t want that to continue to happen to you. So that’s why I’m writing this.

There’s a good chance that you are running or have run social media ad campaigns. There is a good chance that they didn't get you the results that you wanted from them.

A good chance that you didn't actually make any money on those campaigns at all. 

Especially if you’re running those campaigns for install estimate appointments. This is what this case study is all about.

There’s a good chance that you’ve worked with one, multiple, or several social media marketers that have promised you that they could generate you leads by running Facebook or Instagram ads for you.

Marketers that were even so bold as to offer you guarantees that they could get you leads and that you wouldn’t pay if they didn’t deliver. But somehow you still ended up paying $5K and didn’t get any return on that investment.

And the relationship probably ended badly as well. It did, didn’t it? I know. It sucks. And most HVAC owners and operators that I’ve worked with have experienced the same thing. And it really does suck.

So let’s dive into this so you don’t have to go through that again. You don’t deserve any more running around chasing your tail and blowing a bunch of cash on marketers, agencies and campaigns that don’t generate sales. 

I got you!

How I Set Up Every Campaign to Get the Most Traction Possible

First, I want to go over the way that I always set up the Facebook and Instagram ads campaigns to ensure that I get the most traction out of the gate and the most opportunity to keep things moving in the right direction.  

There are so many different ways that you can set up these campaigns.  And I have a specific way that I do it each time, no matter the client I’m working with.  Here are the fundamentals of how I set up the campaigns and why I do it this way.

With any home services business campaign, there are a few parameters that we have to take into consideration when building the campaign to keep it running and getting results.  

Let’s start with the campaign basics.  

First, this campaign is for an HVAC company in Colorado Springs.  It is a relatively large HVAC company for the market, so we have a solid and reputable brand with over 1,500 Google reviews.  

These campaigns are meant to generate full HVAC system installation estimate appointments.  There is one variation in these campaigns that offers a $49 ac system tuneup in there, but that got barely any results and was the exception for this set of campaigns.  

We’re trying to generate free install estimate appointments to get in the home to give a comfort evaluation and sell a new heating and cooling system.  We’re not trying to generate service appointments.  

When it comes to paid social media advertising for HVAC, I find that it’s best to run campaigns that focus on higher profit margin services like system installations.  

Native advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram are the best place to do this. 

It's not like Google and doesn't limit us in the way Google does. 

Our market also isn't just limited to homeowners searching for specific keywords, which is a very small fraction of the total qualified market. 

We can Target the entire Market that is qualified based on our demographics, location, age and interests. 

To try to put this in perspective, let's say that the total Market of homeowners is 300,000 people. 

There is only a very small fraction of those homeowners that are ever in need of HVAC repair services at any given time. That means that a very small fraction of that total group is searching on Google for those services.  

While this is a high-intent Channel of people that are actively looking for services that we offer, it's a very small group of people, one or two thousand total at any given time, that a lot of HVAC companies are bidding on and all at the same time. 

With Facebook and Instagram, we can actually target all 300,000 of those homeowners. We're not just limited to the very small fraction that are actively searching for HVAC repair services. 

This gives us access to 20 to 30 times more potential market,  and so much more potential revenue and business.

This is the best channel to generate these install estimate appointments.

It's usually quite difficult to get install estimate requests through Google ads or through paid channels that are based on consumer searches. The reason for that is that people aren’t searching for HVAC system installation.  

But Facebook and Instagram make it quite easy. 

For service requests and maintenance requests, Google ads and Google Verified or Local services ads cover those for the most part, and we get a fair number of install estimates from those channels as well.  

(Hint: If you aren’t using Google Local Services Ads, otherwise known as Google Verified ads, you are missing out on soooo much revenue.  These ads are the best channel I’ve found for local services companies that rely on people needing to find them when they are searching for help.)

But since they are search based channels where the homeowner is actually looking for a solution to a problem they’re experiencing with their system, the majority of those requests are for service.  This is the nature of search based ads for home service companies.  

Homeowners are not searching to replace anything.  They're looking for help right now. 

HVAC is a repair and service business mainly.  So people search for things like “furnace repair near me” or “AC repair near me” and phrases like that when they’re system breaks down or has an issue, and only when their system breaks down or has an issue. 

Very rarely is a homeowner actually looking for a new HVAC system or a new AC system when they go to Google. It's almost always service when they search.

Now Facebook and Instagram are native advertising platforms.  And that means we have access to all the qualified Market instead of just the  small fraction of people searching.

With Facebook and instagram, people are just scrolling and so you can catch their attention with a great offer and convince them into thinking about a new HVAC system or a new AC or furnace.

You're targeting everybody who is qualified. That means that people who know that they have an HVAC system that may need to be replaced also get targeted even if they're not yet searching for repair or service. 

 This gives us a tremendous amount of power in the market. 

You also have much more control with the messaging and the imagery and video that you use in a native advertising platform like Facebook and Instagram. We're not limited to just a headline and two lines of text.

We have video, images, headlines and a full section that we can add text and copy to. We can have multiple ads with different copy, different videos and different angles targeting different messages and different people. 

Let’s look at the market and campaign targeting first.

This particular HVAC company is in Colorado Springs Colorado.  It’s a moderately sized market, but not a big one.  

We have around 700,000 in total.  But we are targeting only homeowners in this campaign. 

That’s going to cut down that audience to about 270,000 according to the U.S. census bureau.  (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/elpasocountycolorado,CO/PST045216

So we have a total targetable market of 270,000 people, and the vast majority of those people are on Facebook and / or Instagram.  

Now we don’t have the ability to just target the people that are homeowners.  That would be great, but we don’t have that possibility.  So we‘re going to do it in the ad copy of the ad instead.  We’re going to call them out.  

But, within Meta ads manager, we’re going to just target the whole market of 700,000 that is available.  

Here’s the kicker.  We’re only probably going to only reach from 10 to 30% of that total market with the budget that we’re going to be spending.  Which is between $2,500 and $3,500 per month, unless we run these campaigns for a very long time.  

The reason for that is because only a certain number of people will ever be in front of Facebook or Instagram at any given time.  So it takes a long time to get total penetration of a local market, even with a larger budget. 

This is also why you don’t get a good read on the market when you run a campaign for just a few days or a week.  You need some time for the campaign to run and for the algorithm to show it to enough people that it can make a determination of who to show it to. 

Now, for most of these campaigns, I targeted a pretty open audience. There are a couple of reasons.  

One of the reasons is because Meta required me to only target a broad audience by categorizing these ads, early on, as Housing category ads.  

Next, it’s good to leave the audience as open as you can.  Let the algorithm do its thing. It's really good at it.  

The algorithm is pretty effective at getting the right people to see your ad as long as you are optimizing the campaigns for the right objective.  

Many times I’ll add a general layer of interest targeting in there to get a bit more focused, but that isn’t always the best option.  I've found that by leaving the audience open, you give the algorithm the best chance at finding the right people and you don’t limit the pool prematurely.  

Somehow the algo can figure this out, and I don’t understand how it works, but it’s really good at it.  It just takes a bit of time to get it optimized. 

Now, it’s still important to target the right people.  And sometimes there is a selection of the total market that just isn't a great fit for the services you are offering.  

In this instance,  homeowners that are in their twenties are not good candidates.  They almost never convert on an offer for a new HVAC system.  We’re talking $20,000 + on a lot of these systems which just isn’t in the budget for 20-somethings for some reason.  

They only act when they need to in these instances, when they’re system is broken. 

It’s the older more settled demographic that is interested in replacing their HVAC system for some reason.  

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it’s always late thirties and up in age the sign up for these free install estimates.  

So whenever I can, I am always going to target by age group.  That’s the one thing that I’ll usually add in there to give us a better start. 

When you have a housing category ad campaign, you won't be able to target by age group.  It’s frustrating.  But you just can’t.  They severely limit your targeting in these categories in the interest of stopping discrimination, which is bullshit.  But you know, legalities and such of being an internet publishing juggernaut and all.  

But, in the most recent phase of this campaign, I was able to launch a variation that wasn’t a Housing category ad.  They changed the requirements for categorization, to my surprise.  

So I was able to get the full capabilities of the targeting features.  So I targeted to 30 years old and older.  And layered in some interests that show that someone would be a homeowner like “home renovation” and “home and garden”.  Things like that that indicate home ownership.  

So here’s the summary of the basic audience for the first rounds of ads that are home category ads

Pretty basic for this campaign.  But you can get much more complex when you start adding in different interest targeting.

  • Homeowners
  • In El Paso County
  • 30 years old and older
  • Let it fly!

The targeting for this local campaign is very basic. Nothing special here.  Just trying to make sure that we’re getting the fundamentals right.  

Next we’ll talk about the campaign setup.  

I’m going to break this up into a few sub items to show you the main fundamentals I go for in every campaign that make sure we’re successful.  

Here they are.  

The Offer
This is one of the most important parts of the ad in any campaign you run.  If you don’t have a good offer that is valuable, stands out from teh competition, and creates a reason to act right now, you’ll fall flat. 

The Ad including the image or video, the copy, the headline and the call to action
The ad creative is the most important part of the Facebook and Instagram ads and any ad that runs on a native platform like a social media app where the user isn’t searching for anything. And we always use video for some very good reasons. 

Why we always run video

The Type of Ad
What we’re optimizing for and why it matters.

The Conversion channel that we’re using
With Facebook / IG ads, you can choose several different options for where you want to send the user to after they click the ad.  You can send them to your own link like landing page or website.  You can send them to a lead form hosted right on Facebook or Instagram.  You can send them into Facebook Messenger.  You can have them click a button and call you right from the ad. 

First let’s talk about the offer.  This is one of the most important parts of any ad on any platform.

Without a good offer, your ad is dead in the water.  I see so many HVAC companies post ads that are just explaining the service that they offer, like the homeowner cares at all about that and doesn't know what an HVAC company does.  

I see companies talk about the benefits of the service that they provide and what they do, but don’t give an offer for the consumer to take advantage of.  

Here’s an example…

This ad is just bad. Bad stock image. Canva template, obviously, which isn’t bad, unless it’s bad, which this is.

First off it doesn’t offer anything at all. Just HVAC replacement services alongside a bunch of AI generated platitudes.

There is nothing here that establishes any kind so authority or value or urgency at all. All of which are necessary for the ad to get results.

“Stay Cool This Summer” it says in the image. But offering nothing that is of any value at all to the homeowner. It looks like and ad with no purpose. One of those annoying ones that is a waste of oxygen.

Now for the smashing copy.

“Our HVAC installation services guarantee a tailored solution to your home.”

You mean like this completely boilerplate cookie cutter ad? That kind of tailored?

“Say goodbye to outdated systems and hello to lower energy bills and improved air flow. Let our experts guide you to the perfect AC upgrade.”

This copy is AI generated, clearly. And in the bad way that makes it feel so robotic and humanless.

AI is amazing, by the way, and you can get really great content with it if you know how to properly work with it. But this isn’t that.

And to top it all off, the call to action is “Learn More”, and I don’t see any reason why anyone would want to!

This whole ad is a waste of time, space and money for JC and C.

It’s not going to get any kind of results.

Here are a few more examples of ineffective HVAC ads running on Facebook and IG.

Another great example of this is from a local auto salon I saw an ad for here in Colorado Springs.  The business is called Elite Auto Pro and they offer ceramic coating services.  This service coats the vehicle in a chemical coating that makes dirt and oil and road grime just basically wash very easily off of the vehicle.  It’s basically a really expensive and higher quality wax.  

And the ad was just basically explaining what the product was and the benefits of it in a really basic way.  Boring and not engaging.  

And most importantly, there is no reason for anyone to want this service right now.  No pricing offered. No special offer.  No deal to take advantage of.  And nothing compelling to get an action from the buyer. 

Here’s the ad.  You can see what I mean.  When you look at it, ask yourself, “What about this ad and service makes me want to buy today, or any time?”

This ad is going to get very minimal engagement and very minimal response from anyone wanting this service.

It doesn’t stand out from any of the other 20 shops offering ceramic coating in our market. It doesn’t give anyone any reason to want to submit the form. It doesn’t stand out. It’s basically a fundamentally poor ad.

If it does work, there will be minimal response and they won’t be that interested when they do engage.

Think about it. There are too many questions that go unanswered with this ad for anyone to feel comfortable taking action on it and signing up for a quote. And if there is no clarity as to what I’m going to get when I take action, I’m not going to do it.

What can I expect when I do “Get a quote”?

How much am I looking at cost-wise to begin with?

The other shop offering ceramic coating gave me a percent off, I’ll go with them since I can’t tell anything about what I’m getting here if I do sign up.

And she gonnnnnnnnnn!!!!!

Remember, this isn’t the only ad that is showing up in the feed for a consumer.

In fact, there is an ad showing every 2 to 3 posts in your feed.

People are blind to businesses being boring and not standing out with something that is of value to them. If you don’t offer something they need or that they can instantly perceive can help them, you’re a rotten floating fish getting passed up.

Here are a few more examples of ineffective Facebook ads for HVAC companies

So what does a good social media ad offer for HVAC or a home service company consist of?

What even is an offer? Do we need one?  Can’t I just run an ad for the services I offer and call it a day?  

Yes you can, but you’ll just waste money and get no results. In fact, you’ve probably already done this.  

That’s probably why you’re here in the first place. 

Well the offer is the most important part of the ad by far.  Think of it as the reason you want to run an ad to begin with.  It should be so good that you want to share it with the world and your customers because you’re excited about the value it gives.  

It’s a reason to shout!  

This isn’t a networking event your working here.  This is an opportunity to gain a new customer that will spend 10’s of thousands of dollars to get a new HVAC system installed by you. 

So…

Let's break down what a good offer consists of

The Four Requirements for a Good Offer

1) Attention Getting and Has Instant perceived value

Your prospective customer is scrolling social media, not searching for you. You have to get their attention and get it fast.  The offer needs to stand out as significantly valuable right now, and get the viewer to take a second look and stop the scroll. 

2) Activates a desire to buy in the consumer

Give them a reason to want what you have right now.  Most companies miss this.  They just state what they do or their service. And the homeowner just keeps on scrolling.  

You have to stand out and give them something to want to take advantage of. 

3) Is time-sensitive

Urgency and time-sensitivity work. If you see something like saving $2k on a new system and that is only available for a limited time, you’re going to have Fomo.  And you’re more likely to take action now.  

4) Solves a problem the consumer knows they have already (if possible)  

Like the problem of the cost of purchasing an AC unit or full heating and cooling system being expensive. 

Solving that problem simply would be giving a significant discount or financial incentive to take advantage of today.

Or explaining that there are up to $2,600 in tax incentives that can help you pay for a new high-efficiency system that most people don’t know about, and that are complicated to get.  And we can help you navigate that so you get the most help.  

We’ve offered the following: 

  • $1,000 gift card with the purchase and installation of a new heating and cooling system
  • Up to $6k off of our highest-efficiency heating and cooling systems and up to $3k on our low-tier systems
  • Get half off a new furnace when you purchase a new high-efficiency AC system
  • Help navigating the process of getting the up to $2,600 in federal tax incentives for installing a new high-efficiency system
  • A $49 AC system tuneup, cleaning and 27 point inspection

All for a limited time.  

All of these offers are good enough to make someone want them.  

Who wouldn’t want to get half off of a furnace?  

Who wouldn’t want $1,000 cash?  Who wouldn’t want to save up to $6k?  

See what I’m saying?  Obviously some of these offers are better than others.  That’s why we test different ones, young grasshopper.  

But all of them are worthy of a scroll stop, and all of then are valuable enough to get attention in the noise of the social feed of the right people.

Now Let’s Talk about the Fundamentals of a Good Facebook/IG Ad Campaign and Ad.

A Facebook / IG ad consists of 4 main elements.

  1. 1
    The Ad creative which is the image or video in the ad
  2. 2
    The Ad copy which is the copy before the image / video in the ad
  3. 3
    The Ad headline which is the bold text right after the image / video
  4. 4
    The call to action button at the bottom
The Ad Creative

You can have an image or a video for your creative in any Facebook/IG ad. But I always opt for video.

Even if I have an image for my creative, I’ll turn it into a 15-second video to use for the ad.

And there’s a very good reason for this…retargeting.

Basically, with a video in a Facebook/IG ad, you have the ability to create a new audience out of anyone that watches a certain amount of a video in an ad. They don’t have to click it or like it or comment on it. Just by watching the video, they can be put into a new audience.

And then you can show that audience another ad.

So I can target someone that has already seen one of my ads, and show them another ad.

And each time they see another ad, they get warmer and warmer and build more trust with my brand.

So with any ad, I always run video which gives me a cheap way to be able to show interested consumers that have watched one of my videos a new ad. That gives me multiple swings at the bat, so to speak, increasing my performance and give me better results in the end.

Video also has much better engagement and you have a better shot at conveying value and trust through video than you do through a static image.

For these ads, I created a visually appealing square video that has all of the special offer details on the left side and very visible. We want the offer to stand out and be really easy to see. The text of the offer that is meant to catch attention is Yellow colored and stands out. 

And the image you see on the right side is basically a video playing to catch attention. So this is nothing more than a static ad, for the most part, made into a video. And it works! Well!

It’s nothing really that special. It looks professional and is aesthetically pleasing. It’s eye catching. And it’s valuable.

This is what is going to get your potential customer to stop scrolling. You have to make it worth their time.

You get the point, right? Eye-catching, valuable, colorful, scroll stopping. 

Ad copy - the text above the image/video in the post. 

The Ad copy needs to do a few things well. 

Here’s the ad copy from our most recent ad, and I’ll break it down. 

🚨 Attention Homeowners! 🚨 We have a special offer for your to get your HVAC system up to snuff for the summer months before it’s hot, and your not ready.

For a LIMITED time only, purchase a new high-efficiency AC system and get…

1️⃣ Half off of a new high-efficiency furnace including installation (Over $2,000 off)

2️⃣ Also get up to $2,600 in federal tax credits with qualifying systems

3️⃣ Get our Industry-Best 1-Year test-drive guarantee

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 We're 5-STAR RATED on Google with over 1,460 reviews!

This limited-time offer won't last, so don't wait!

👉 We’re only giving this deal to the first 30 homeowners that signup here and schedule their free no-obligation estimate appointment.

Click the button below to get started in less than 3 minutes! 👇

**On qualifying systems. Cannot be combined with any other offer

Peak Home Performance
1125 Address Road, Ste 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80911
📞 (719) 719-7199

So what do we have here? Let’s break it down so you can understand what’s going on here. 

Basically, your ad has to tell them what they get, tell them why they should listen, tell them clearly what to do right now to move forward if they’re interested, and tell them what to expect when they do.

1) It needs to call out the right people.
In this case…Homeowners. Really simple and vital! This is really important because we can’t actually target homeowners in the targeting of the actual campaign. We have to target everyone that could possibly be, and then let the ad target the pool down further to the people that we want.

🚨Attention Homeowners🚨

2) Explain in the first line what we’re offering clearly and get them to want to read more.

This text is going to be showing above the ad creative while the rest of it will be hidden as the user scrolls down the feed. So you have to make them want to click the ad and expand that text to see more.

We have a special offer for your to get your HVAC system up to snuff for the summer months before it’s hot, and your not ready.

3) Clearly explain the offer and what they get in a scannable format (bullets) - they need to know exactly what they’re getting and why they’re signing up. This is so simple, and something that so many companies miss really often.

For a LIMITED time only, purchase a new high-efficiency AC system and get…
1️⃣ Half off of a new high-efficiency furnace including installation (Over $2,000 off)

2️⃣ Also get up to $2,600 in federal tax credits with qualifying systems

3️⃣ Get our Industry-Best 1-Year test-drive guarantee

4) Establish some trust and credibility - review text, stars, number of reviews, testimonial quote, etc.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 We're 5-STAR RATED on Google with over 1,460 reviews!

5) Urgency in time or number - We want them to want to take action now and feel like they’ll miss it if they don’t

This limited-time offer won't last, so don't wait! 

👉 We’re only giving this deal to the first 30 homeowners that signup here and schedule their free no-obligation estimate appointment. 

6) Specific call to action and set expectations for what happens when they do act. 

We have to be really clear about what action they need to take.  And we need to be really clear about what they can expect when they do take action.  Many marketers leave this out and suffer because of it. The more risk and hesitance you can remove, the less friction you’ll have in getting people to convert.  

You can set expectations in several ways, but I find that letting them know how long it will take to sign up works well in most cases for local lead generation. 

Click the button below to get started in less than 3 minutes! 👇

If you include this list of 6 things in all your ad copy, you’ll have a solid foundation in any ad you ever run.  

Again, remember…your ad has to tell them what they get, tell them why they should listen, tell them clearly what to do right now to move forward if they’re interested, and tell them what to expect when they do. 

Clarity always trumps everything else. 

Next up is the Ad Headline below the image/video of the ad

This element is pretty basic. I almost always follow the same format with the local service business ads.  

I’m basically restating the offer in the headline in as clear and compelling way as possible. 

This is really simple.  There’s not much you can do here with the length of the text you have that displays so just keep it simple and clear.  

Next up is the conversion channel you’ll be choosing for the ad.  

✅ THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT AND SHOULD BE TESTED TO FIND THE BEST ONE FOR YOUR MARKET

What you’re choosing here is where you send a person after they see and click your ad to take action. It’s what they’re going to do next after they click.  And it’s just as important as the ad itself.  

If this next experience is wrong, it could completely bomb your campaign and waste your money, even if the ad is getting the clicks. 

There are a lot of possibilities for this part of the ad campaign, and I’m not going to cover them all.  I’m going to give you the best options for a local HVAC company or home services business to generate leads.  

This can make or break your campaign.  If you choose the wrong channel, and people are startled or spooked by it, your campaign could be a complete flop.  

In fact, if you do this one wrong, you could see results that are completely deceiving and give you a complete misread on the measurement of the success of the campaign.  

I did this with the first versions of this campaign I’m about to go through.  I used Facebook messenger, which is the best channel I’ve used for lead generation on the Meta ads platform, and it didn’t work for HVAC install estimates…like…at all.  

And I had to change this to Facebook lead forms to start getting good results for these campaigns.  

And some of those suggested options are:

  1. 1
    Facebook Messenger
  2. 2
    Facebook Lead Forms
  3. 3
    Landing page or web page with signup form

Facebook messenger is, in my opinion, the best lead generation channel within the Meta ads platform.  It’s one of the only active conversation channels you can send them to in the platform.  By active conversation channel, I mean that when they click the ad, they start a Facebook messenger conversation with you where you can talk to them right now, through that same channel.  

Almost ever other lead generation channel is passive. Meaning that if they click an ad and signup through a lead form, the most common channel for lead generation, an active conversation doesn’t start.  The business has to receive that submission through email or through their CRM and then contact that lead through another channel like phone, text, or email.  

It’s passive.  

So this is the best channel with every other local service appointment-based business I work with except for HVAC.  

I’m going to get into my reasons for this later in the post, so read on to find out why this didn’t work. 

Facebook Lead forms is the next best option for efficiency, and is the option that I found most effective for HVAC install estimate appointment lead generation.  

With Facebook lead forms, you create a lead form within Facebook and IG and when the user clicks the ad, a form launches within the feed that they can fill out right there without leaving to another landing page offsite.  

And their information is prefilled in the form from the info that they have in their FB profile.  

These are pretty great!  Definitely the next best thing when it comes to lead generation through social media ads.  

They don’t require you to build a landing page or a form externally.  

They don’t require the user to leave the app they’re already in. 

They’re trackable and targetable within the Meta ads ecosystem for other campaigns.  If someone interacts with a lead form, you can retarget different ads to them for different actions they take.  This can be really handy.  

Finally, there is the conventional lead form on an external landing page or website.  

This option is very effective as well.  It can be the most effective, but requires much more work to achieve that. 

You have much more control over the conversion experience as you own the page and the form that you ar ending them to when they click.  

But with that extra control and ownership comes a lot more work as you have to build that landing page or website, build that form in an external tool, host that website somewhere, and all thats involved with that. 

It also involves more setup of the Meta pixel on that external site and all the tracking of that form submission separately.  

You have to do all that extra work and make sure it’s done right for the campaign to run and optimize properly. 

I’ve seen many of these campaigns set up wrong completely eliminating the vital capability for the algorithm to properly optimize to generate leads because the pixel wasn’t connected or installed properly, or more often, the conversion tracking wasn’t set up correctly to track the form when it was submitted. 

When this happens, the campaign isn’t going to optimize.  It’s just going to pointlessly spend money. 

The ad type or conversion channel is a very important selection to make as you’ll see throughout this walkthrough. 

Read on fellow marketer to find out what the best option is 😀

Call to Action

Your call to action will be both in the ad copy and then in the button at the bottom of the ad under the image or video.  And the text you select for that call to action button is really important.  

I know it probably seems like a little button with a few characters of text couldn’t be that big of a deal, but it absolutely is. I can’t tell you how important it is.  

It could break your campaign.  

In that little button…the difference between “Learn More” and “Get Offer” could be 10’s of thousands of dollars.  Seriously.  

You need to pick the right one that aligns with your campaign and the action you want them to take.  You need to pick the right action that aligns with their objective as well.  

The tendency with a lot of businesses, and myself in the past has been to pick something like “Learn more” as the call to action in the button.  

At face value it’s understandable.  It seems softer than “Get Offer” or “Get Quote” and that’s the problem.  

You see, when you have an ad that clearly has the goal of getting someone to signup for something like a free install estimate, and then you pick “learn more” as the button text, you set up the prospect psychology for dissonance when they click that button.  

You make them think that they’re doing something they’re not, and that instantly destroys the little trust you have.  

It seems like you’re not hard selling, but in reality you’re baiting and switching.  No one likes that, and it will instantly reduce your success substantially. 

So be direct.  Pick the button that is what would be expected for the campaign you’re running. If you want them to signup for the offer, select “Get Offer” or “Signup”.  

If you are offering them a direct quote online, and only if you are offering an online quote that they will get once they signup, then and only then, select “Get Quote”.  

See what I’m saying here? 

Good!!!! Let’s move on! 

Overall alignment and consistency is vital for the campaign to succeed

It is vital you understand this.  You have to build this campaign to have every element or piece of it aligned and cohesive to the one before it.  

Your offer starts the process.  

And your ad needs to communicate that offer cohesively in the image or video, the ad copy and the headline, then in the button that they see, and then in the landing page or funnel they move into once they click.  

If you break that alignment, you’re going to see a drop off in your results somewhere in that campaign.  

This is one of the areas that most campaigns go wrong in the setup. 

Our Strategy in Running These Campaigns

Have you ever tried to run a Facebook ads campaign for your business, or your client’s business and it didn’t get you leads?  It happens to everyone.  And most just give up when that happens.  

Maybe you tried it out, launched the campaign, and then when it didn’t work out, you just wrote it off and said something like “my customers just must not be on Facebook!”  Then you moved on to something else.  

You’re not alone.  I used to do that too. Until I learned something very important. 

There is something vital you must keep in mind when you’re launching and running these campaigns or any ads campaign on Facebook or Instagram.  

Profitable campaigns usually don’t start profitable. 

You’re most likely not going to be profitable at first.  Nope!  

Sometimes you are. But the majority of the time you won’t be.  And that’s okay, if you know that and have a process to continuously optimize and take the campaigns to success.

But, this is where most marketers and business owners quit.  They see it as a one-time thing that should be successful the first time you launch it, and if it isn’t, quit. 

They don’t get a bunch of leads in the first couple of days and then write off the campaign and Facebook Ads altogether.  And, they leave so much money on the table because of it.   

You have to plan for that, and have a process to move towards campaign success. 

You have to know how to overcome the obstacles you’re going to run into.  

You have to have the perspective that a profitable campaign is a journey and a process and not an event.  

And this is exactly what I’m going to show you as I walk through this campaign that I’m about to walk through in this post. 

I’m going to show you every iteration of this campaign and explain what went wrong, and then what I changed to fix it and step by step get it to be profitable. 

The most profitable part of this will be you learning how I thought about the process.

Anyone can copy a prescription for an ad campaign.  Not many know how to take a campaign from a failure to a profitable success.    

My hope is that you will see what I did here and that you’ll be able to learn from it and apply it yourself in your business or your client’s business. 

I can’t stress just how important this is.  If you plan to run one version of the campaign hoping you’ll get the results you desire, you’re going to end up wasting your time and money. 

The Campaigns We've Run & Their Results - The Process From a Losing HVAC Facebook Ads Campaign to a Winning Campaign

Now we're going to get into the good stuff. In this section I'm going to go through each of the variations of this campaign and each of the phases that we've run.

Watch us go from losing money to generating $65,000 in estimates from $3,900

By the end of this section, you’ll see the progression of a campaign from losing a few thousand dollars in a month with no return on investment to generating over $65,000 in estimates from $3,900 in ad spend in the most recent months.

For each campaign phase, I'm going to outline:

  1. 1
    What the results were
  2. 2
    the offer we ran
  3. 3
    the ad creative
  4. 4
    The ad copy
  5. 5
    The conversion channel we used
  6. 6
    A results summary which is my explanation of what happened and my observations of this phase or variation
  7. 7
    My hypothesis for what I observed that went wrong and what we’re going to change in the next phase to optimize the campaign

Buckle up and let’s go for a ride!

Campaign Phase 1) Tax letter campaign about tax incentives 

Campaign Results: 

Amount Spent

$3,237.82

Messenger conversations (Conversion Channel)

43

Appointments Set

2

Cost per conversion

$75.30

Reach 

23,727

Impressions

73

Likes

42

Comments

24

Post Saves

13

Post Shares

13

Video Thru Plays (15 seconds or whole video)

2,132

Video Views to 100%

153

Amount Spent

$3,237.82

Messenger conversations (Conversion Channel)

43

Appointments Set

2

Cost per conversion

$75.30

Reach 

23,727

Impressions

73

Likes

42

Comments

24

Post Saves

13

Post Shares

13

Video Thru Plays (15 seconds or whole video)

2,132

Video Views to 100%

153

Campaign Results Summary

While the campaign did generate quite a few messenger conversations, and at a pretty low cost for install estimate leads: $75.30 per lead, they didn’t convert into appointments.  We only scheduled two appointments from a total of 43 leads.  That is really low, and unprofitable. 

This campaign had a controversial angle for the video.  We made a video talking about the tax incentives that were available for homeowners that selected a heat pump based heating and cooling system.  

We came from the angle that it was $2,000 that most homeowners didn't know that they were entitled to in selecting a new HVAC system.

The video led with the statement, “You could be entitled to over $2,000 in combined tax credits and incentives to replace your HVAC system, and not even know it.” 

The angle is good. It creates a curiosity Gap in the mind of the consumer. it makes them think about money that they might be leaving on the table by not doing things the right way. 

It got the clicks, and it got the messenger conversations started.  It also got good engagement in the form of likes, comments and saves.  The comments that came in were interesting.  They were mostly negative as this ad was talking about tax credits and people hate the government.  

But overall, good indicators of early success, especially the low cost per lead for an HVAC install estimate lead…anything under $100 for an HVAC system install estimate lead is great. 

But no appointments, so we had to make some changes.  

Note: This can be very frustrating. It always is for me. I have run these campaigns for many years and every time I generate leads, but they don't turn into appointments I get very frustrated. 

Partly because a lot of times it's not my fault. 

Most of the time, it's actually the business that can't convert those leads they're receiving into appointments. 

But sometimes, it is the actual ads and the channel that I'm using to convert those prospects into leads. That's what the case was here. 

Here’s the thing, you’ll need a process to figure out exactly what the problem is. I wish it was simpler, but it’s never just one possibility for why an ad campaign isn’t getting you the results you want.  

There are always 2 or 3 possibilities, minimum that could be causing the problem.  

So you Have to know how to identify what those possibilities are and then work through them in the right order to get to the results you need.  

I'm going to show you that process as we walk through this campaign. 

Creative: Video from Wally about tax incentives

You can go a lot of different directions with your creative in your ads on Facebook and Instagram. The sky is the limit. As a foundation, I like to one of two ways at the start of a campaign for any local home service business.

I always use video as our creative if we can.

First option: Just a great and valuable straightforward offer in the form of a short video. Leading with a great offer is hard to beat. Clever never beats clarity, and it’s always a great strategy to get straight to the point with an offer that a homeowner can’t pass up.

Second option: Educate them on something. My go to’s are usually showing them mistakes that they’re making or helping them see something they should be getting that they aren’t getting right now or that they are missing.

This is the approach that we took with this variation of the campaign. We educated them on the thousands of dollars that they are entitled to but didn’t know it.

This is a powerful angle because it has built in urgency to take advantage of something they fear they will miss out on since they have been missing out on it up to this point. 

The creative for this phase of the campaign was a video that was meant to generate interest in the tax credits that are available for HVAC system replacements for heat pump based systems. We went the angle of talking about homeowners being entitled to thousands of dollars to replace their HVAC system and not even knowing it.

The idea with this video was to create a curiosity gap in the mind of the homeowner and to make them curious about this money that they are entitled to, but that they don’t know about. It’s a great and compelling angle to come from in a marketing video like this.

This format works particularly well within the facebook ecosystem where you have the ability to run videos like this as your creative. You can create a desire in the mind of the consumer with content like this and by leading with valuable content that informs and educates them like this.

Here’s a link to the video so you can watch it and see what we did here. It worked really well to generate interest in the promotion and got lots of clicks and conversions into messenger conversations. Unfortunately it didn’t go much further than messenger and we barely scheduled any of those leads into appointments. 

Here's the video we ran in the exact format that we ran it in the ad with the top and bottom bars that explain the promotion we're running and include a call to action. 

Ad Copy: 

🚨 Attention homeowners who haven't replaced their furnace recently 🚨: The government is giving away money to replace or install a new high-efficiency heating & cooling system in your home.

The federal government has put these tax incentives in place to help you save money and get a better system for less.

💵 We are also offering some incentives from us that, when combined, come to more than $2,000 in savings. 💵
We also have several different options to help make this installation affordable.

There are just a few criteria to meet.
👉👉 Click the "Learn more" button below to find out if you qualify for this special program. You could quite literally be entitled to money that the government is giving you to upgrade your system to one that will save you hundreds of dollars a year moving forward in energy costs.

It takes less than five minutes.

Conversion Channel: Click to facebook messenger

In this campaign I chose to send the people that clicked the Learn More button on the ad into Facebook Messenger to convert them and hopefully get them into a conversation that would lead to an appointment.

Messenger is typically my most effective conversion channel when it comes to Facebook ads because the homeowner starts an active conversation with the business when they click the ad. This channel has the highest conversion rate into appointment for most businesses because of that.

Typically, we can get people to schedule into an appointment right through the messenger conversation. It doesn’t even need to go to a phone call or anywhere else. That’s why this channel is so powerful.

In this case, it was not the best option, as you’ll see. We couldn’t get people to move forward with the conversation to the point of scheduling into an estimate appointment. 

Here's what the landing screen in Facebook Messenger looked like when they clicked the ad.

Campaign Phase 2) 5-3-2023 Spring - $1000 gift card to replace your system

Results

Amount Spent

$1,590.86

Messenger conversations (Conversion Channel)

61

Appointments Set

6

Revenue

$5,840

Cost per conversion

$26.08

Link Clicks

495

Reach 

23,727

Impressions

73,535

Likes

31

Comments

7

Post Saves

3

Post Shares

5

Video Thru Plays (15 seconds or whole video)

940

Video Views to 100%

291

Results Summary:

This campaign was a bit more successful than the first leg of the campaign. We actually got more in revenue out of this campaign than we spent on it.

$5,840 Revenue vs. $1,590.86 spent.

We also got 6 scheduled appointments off of this campaign.

And since we generated 61 messenger conversations/leads, that’s a 10% appointment keep rate, which I’ll take.

This campaign had the offer of giving the homeowner a $1,000 visa gift card if they bought a new heating and cooling system.

We also touted the $2,600 in federal tax credits that the homeowner would get if they were to buy a heat pump based system.

All in all, offer was valuable and compelling and valuable to any homeowner that would see it.

We were able to get some good interest off of this campaign and get some appointments scheduled this time which turned into some revenue, although not as much as I would have liked.

This campaign was definitely moderately successful.

As you can see, we’re incrementally increasing our success as we roll out each new variant of these Facebook ads campaigns. That’s the goal.

And it’s becoming more and more successful.

This is the process.

Of course I would love to have it launch into the revenue stratosphere right away on the first swing of the bat, and often that happens, but I never plan for that.

You have to have the mindset that you aren’t going to get it right the first time. You have to plan for a process.

My strength and skill is knowing how to work toward a profitable campaign systematically over time no matter what the industry or service I’m helping to generate leads for.

I’m going to do all the fundamentals correctly every time.

We’re going to come up with a compelling and valuable offer that stands out. This is the absolute first step of any successful campaign.

We’re going to make sure we have our targeting dialed in, although at the beginning of 2023, this was considered a housing category ad which means that Facebook limited targeting for these campaigns significantly down from what you are normally allowed with a non-categorized ad.

With a housing category ad, you would be limited to a certain minimum of proximity of location targeting. You can target cities and counties, but if you wanted to drop a pin somewhere to target a specific high value neighborhood, you couldn’t lower the distance proximity to lower than a 15 mile radius from the drop point of that pin.

You would be limited on interests you could target. You would only be able to target certain broad interest groups, but most of the interest targeting categories would be stripped from the list you can choose from.

And you would be limited to no ability to target the age of the consumer. You just have to leave that open. Which is can be limiting when you want to target homeowners with expendable income to sell $25,000 heating and cooling system installations.

New 20-something homeowners are never the customer for this type of higher dollar amount purchase.

We’re going to have eye-catching clear ad creative that stops the scroll and gives immediate value to the homeowner when they see the ad. They’ll know exactly what they’re getting right away and if their interested in it or not. This is vital.

We’re going to write compelling, clear ad copy that conveys the value of the offer. That calls out the specific characteristics of the audience we’re targeting. That clearly sets expectations and makes the next steps crystal clear.

And we’re going to try to use the best possible channel to generate a conversation directly between the prospect and the company. Usually this is Facebook Messenger, so that’s what we used here.

But if all that fails, I’m not going to stop and give up there. I’m going to keep rolling out new tests and changes until we get it where we want it.

You’ll see that process unfold through the rest of this blog post.

And as you can see, we have some success here. We have really low lead cost for HVAC system install estimate leads.

$26.81 is fan-freeking-tastic for leads for install estimates and unheard of. If you pay for your leads, then you know exactly what I’m talking about, and you’re eyes are blown wide open by that cost per lead.

On average, HVAC install estimate leads that are good leads and qualified run at a minimum $200 per lead. I’d normally be happy if we got leads at that cost for install estimates. But $26.81?! That’s phenomenal.

But it’s not all skittles and rainbows here. The other question we have to ask is do they turn into appointments? And they did at a small percentage. Not enough for my tastes though.

We need more of these leads to convert to appointments.

This a good start as improvements are showing, but onward and upward we go.

We generated 61 leads and ended up with 6 booked jobs…that’s a 10% lead to kept appointment rate.

I’ll take it, but we’re on a mission for greatness.

The Offer

The offer in this phase of the campaign was giving the homeowner a $1,000 gift card with a full HVAC system installation and the homeowner's choice of indoor air quality upgrade in the form of a humidifier, an electrostatic filter, or a UV filter.

The alternative offer was 25 months of no interest financing.

We gave two options here, which can sometimes help by giving multiple choices.  This makes the choice an either this special offer or that special offer, rather than a yes or no.  

Creative

The creative for this version of the campaign is the same graphic that we used in a direct mail campaign for the same offer.  It's just reformatted for a vertical Facebook ad instead of a wide direct mail flyer.  

Ad Copy

Attention Homeowners! Ready to swap out your old heating and cooling system? The time is now! Get a $1,000 gift card and a no-cost indoor air quality boost with a new high-efficiency comprehensive heating and cooling system installation.

Stay ahead of the summer heat with this incredible deal:

✨ A brand new, fully-installed heating & cooling system

✨ Confidence in partnering with an award-winning, family-run HVAC company that has nearly 700 Google reviews and a remarkable 4.8-star rating

✨ Our exclusive 1-year test drive guarantee: if you're not satisfied after a year, we'll take it out and give you a full refund

✨ Slash your energy costs by up to 30% annually with a high-efficiency system customized for your home

✅ Select one of these special offers while they last:

1️⃣ Enjoy a $1,000 gift card and a free indoor air quality upgrade on your new system

OR

2️⃣ Take advantage of 25 months with no interest (W.A.C)

Ensure your system is ready for the warm weather and save some cash in the process!

Start with a no-cost comfort evaluation. Click the button below to learn more and get started by scheduling your free estimate!

Conversion Channel: Click to Facebook Messenger

Again, we used Facebook Messenger as the conversion channel for this phase of the campaign.  I was really trying to get this to work.  And it wasn't working well.  

But the prospect of using this channel and how effective I have always seen it be was irresistible for me.  I wasn't ready to give up on it yet.  

FB messenger screenshot - 1000 gift card offer welcome message

Hypothesis for the Next Test: 

In the next variant, which will be in the fall, we’re going to just change up the offer and try to run the same Facebook Messenger campaign we’ve been running.

Since we’re seeing a significant improvement in results as we move forward, I want to keep everything in the campaign the same and try a new offer.

When I say keep everything the same, I mean I’m going to keep the same type of ad copy, the same type of creative, the same type of call to action, and the same funnel or conversion channel through Facebook Messenger.

I’m only going to make one significant change, the offer in the ad, so I can see what affect that has on the outcome, how many leads and ultimately, how many appointments we get.

Here’s a ninja tip:
When optimizing, you usually always want to only test one primary change of the ad campaign at a time. If you change more than one thing at a time, you’ll never be able to repeat your success, and you’ll be hit and miss not ever knowing what made the real difference

You’ll always lack consistency testing more than one element of an ad, getting good results sometimes and then bad results sometimes and never knowing the effect of any one change on the outcome.

This is especially important when it comes to lead generation for local businesses where you’re only spending $10k per month or less for your ad budget.

You just don’t get enough volume at that budget level to make multi-variate testing a possibility. Next, you only have so much market to test on locally.

You want to always evaluate each of your campaigns to determine what you need to change or optimize for next. 

4 Question Framework for Evaluating, Testing, and Optimizing a Facebook Ad Campaign

Question 1: Is the campaign generating leads/messenger conversations/form fills/calls

1) If Yes, change nothing at this point and move on to question 2. 

2) If no, change ad elements and test again until you get to success.
 
Changes to make to optimize for lead generation

  1. Ad creative - Video or image in the ad
  2. Ad headline
  3. Ad copy

3) This step is meant to get the leads flowing, even at a slow rate. You need leads to evaluate the next step.

Question 2: Can you get in contact with the leads you’re generating?
Condition: Campaign is generating leads

Goal: To ensure that the leads are able to be contacted and so an appointment can be set. If you’re getting leads, but can’t get in contact with them to take the next step, that’s a problem that we need to fix.

1) If yes, change nothing and move onto question 3

2) If no, change the conversion process and / or channel.
If they are clicking on the ad, and getting into and through your form, they’re interested and taking action. But sometimes, even though they get through that process, something isn’t right and they don’t trust enough to talk to someone. That’s what we’re trying to figure out and solve here.

This doesn’t happen all that often. If you are generating leads with a real and good offer that gets people interested, they’re most likely going to talk to you and are expecting to do so.

But , in this campaign, that wasn’t the case. Sending people into Facebook Messenger was out of alignment with the expectations of these homeowners for what they should see in the context of requesting an HVAC install estimate.

They’re clicking and converting on the ad, but then falling out of the messenger conversation and not responding to our messages.

So we need to test that at some point. We don’t actually do that here, but we will at a later step, and it makes a significant difference.

Changes to potentially make to optimize for the channel and conversion process

1. What are they seeing when they first click the call to action button of the ad?

a. Is your conversion channel aligned with the ad? 
b. Does the offer match and continue what they saw in the ad? 
c. Does the conversation match and continue what they saw in the ad? 

2. Sending the click to a landing page, facebook messenger, direct phone call, or Facebook lead generation form

a. Where are you sending them after they click the ad? Is that the reason they’re not converting?
Example: I was sending people into messenger after they clicked the ad and getting no response or bad responses.

b. Is your conversion channel appropriate for the offer and the action they think they’re taking / signing up for? Does it match what they expect? If it isn’t, then they won’t move forward. 

1. Do they expect a form and you’re sending them to a phone call?
2. Do they expect a landing page and you’re sending them to messenger and that makes them feel startled or diminish their trust? 

Question 3: Are the leads turning into appointments?
Condition: You are able to get in contact with them after you generate the lead. 

1) If yes: Change nothing and move onto question 4

2) If no: Look at the lead handling, appointment setting process and resources.

a. If you are getting this far, it’s most likely a problem with the call center team or the appointment setting process or setter/s.

Converting leads into appointments is more of a sales function, but is vitally important to any lead generation campaign for a local home service business.

Question 4: Are the appointments selling into services and revenue?
1) If yes: You’re winning

2) If no: Train your sales staff. Not a marketing problem at this point. 

Campaign Phase 3) 2023 Fall Campaign - Up to $6k Off to Replace Your HVAC System

Results

Amount Spent

$4,333.78

Messenger conversations (Conversion Channel)

64

Appointments Set

1

Revenue

$22,000

Cost per conversion

$67.72

Link Clicks

621

Reach 

33,374

Impressions

170,072

Likes

84

Comments

8

Post Saves

4

Post Shares

39

Video Thru Plays (15 seconds or whole video)

6,398

Video Views to 100%

1,279

Results Summary:

While we are getting a really good cost per lead for an install estimate lead, they don’t actually seem to really be leads at all. Out of all the leads we generated from this campaign, I think only 2 or 3 of those were scheduled into appointments. One of those did lead to an installation of a new HVAC system with a revenue of approximately $23,000, which is great.

We didn’t get consistent appointments from this campaign. We actually seemed to be sending people into a confusing situation by sending them into Facebook Messenger as the channel to convert them.

It’s like they didn’t know what was happening and ended up not engaging with us at all when we tried to converse with them within Messenger.

More on that in the Hypothesis section below. Click here to go there

Creative: Canva Ad Video With Offer Text and B-roll Video From Canva

With this variation of the campaign, we used a template from Canva that I customized the colors to match the brand and the text to match the promotion. It is heavily modified. We ended up with 6 different variations of the same ad.

All six variations have the exact same text of the promotion on the left side and a b-roll video on the right side. 

All six of the ad variations use videos for the creative. 

All of the ads use some sort of b-roll video in them. There is one where an air conditioner has flames and smoke coming off of the top of it. That one generated the most leads at 17 of the total. 

Here are the 6 different videos we ran in this campaign 

Ad Copy

Headline: Save a Minimum of $2000 to Replace Your Heating & AC System

🚨 Attention homeowners who haven't replaced their furnace recently 🚨: The government is giving away money to replace or install a new high-efficiency heating & cooling system in your home.

The federal government has put these tax incentives in place to help you save money and get a better system for less.

💵 We are also offering some incentives from us that, when combined, come to more than $2,000 in savings. 💵
We also have several different options to help make this installation affordable.

There are just a few criteria to meet.
👉👉 Click the "Learn more" button below to find out if you qualify for this special program. You could quite literally be entitled to moneythat the government is giving you to upgrade your system to one that will save you hundreds of dollars a year moving forward in energy cost.

It takes less than five minutes.

Conversion Channel: Click to Facebook Messenger

Yes, I did use Facebook Messenger again! Okay! Sheesh! It's just so good most of the time, you guys.

At this point, I was very hesitant and not optimistic that it would work. It hadn’t up to this point. But I figured I would give it one last shot and see if I could make it work.

And it didn’t, but at least we really knew that. You have to try things, guys. You have to try them over and over again sometimes because there may be something off that you can’t see about the offer or the ad. Then you go and make changes to those variables, and then all of a sudden Messenger works like gangbusters. Not here, but that happens all the time.

If you don’t see it by now, you have to test over and over and over to get good results on these campaigns. I hope you are seeing that I have tried three different offers, and ads, and we’re still not quite there. We are getting better and closer each time, but we are still not where we want to be.

That’s part of the process. Keep going until you get there. 

By the way...The next phase is where we really finally get it right, so keep reading.

Here's what the customer sees once they land in Facebook Messenger after they click the ads.  

There's nothing crazy here, and it shouldn't be.  We're just confirming what they clicked on and getting them to click the "Yes I am!" button at the bottom to continue the conversation.

Hypothesis For The Next Test

We got interest from people that saw this ad y’all!

The offer was good.  People were clearly interested in it and were clicking it. 

We got 621 link clicks, or clicks on the button of the ad that led into messenger.  

We generated 64 messenger conversations, which means that they clicked the ad and started engaging with the messaging conversation in Facebook Messenger.  That’s about 10% of the people that clicked.  

Yet, only 1 appointment was set out of 64 conversations.  

And most of those conversations died off after the very first interaction within Facebook messenger.  That means that they got in there, and then basically stopped interacting and engaging in the conversation.  

And this conversation is automated to some degree, so it wasn’t on our end that the conversation fell off. 

Like I was saying earlier in the results summary section, I think that people were thrown off by ending up in Facebook Messenger instead of ending up at a form to request an estimate.

There are a few different things that could be at play here.  

Age of the audience engaging with the ad

First, from evaluating all of the conversations that were started from the ad, I could see that most of the folks that clicked and started the process in Facebook Messenger were over the age of 60.  Not the most technologically savvy folks in the bunch.  

They are less likely to be using technology like messaging apps other than their native text messaging apps on their phones. Facebook Messenger is a pretty common technology, but even with that, you’ll most likely have two camps of people.  

You have the first camp of people that are using the technology, but they're only using its most basic capability like messaging with friends and family. 

They're not messaging businesses or interacting in any other manner than with their personal relationships. 

The next camp is people that don't use it at all, whatsoever.  It's a scary technology for them. They don't use it regularly. 

So when they get pushed into that platform that they never use,  it almost shocks them and spooks them because they don't expect it. 

Next, it could be…

Expectations the audience has before clicking the ad

With this specific factor, there's a chance that the homeowner is expecting to be brought to a lead form in some form (no pun intended) or another. I'm talking about a form that you fill in your name email phone number and details into and then click the submit button. that form could be on Facebook or it could be on a landing page or a website.

If they're expecting a form when they get sent into Facebook Messenger and a conversation starts, they could get spooked. Maybe it's not in alignment with what they're expecting to happen when they click that button and so they abandon it all together.

Maybe they're just not expecting to have a conversation right now about this. Which is what Facebook Messenger implies. 

Maybe they aren't expecting to open up a personal channel of communication with a business when they click that button.  Maybe they’re just expecting to request a quote. 

In the Home Services world, it is the common practice to fill out a lead form to request a quote or request an estimate and that usually takes place on a landing page or a website. So you click the button expecting to do that and all of the sudden you’re in Facebook Messenger…could be a bit confusing. 

My thinking is that is what happened.  And that is the only thing we can test here.  

So what can we test?  

We have two main options. 

First, we could test changing the ad copy to set expectations better with the homeowner so they know they’ll be starting the process of requesting the estimate inside of Facebook Messenger.  But that could be complicated and require a few iterations.  

Worth testing for sure, but we want to get better results right away if at all possible. 

Next, we can change the conversion channel to one that has a lead form to submit.  

That could either be a lead form built into Facebook Ads, or a lead form on a landing page.  

And the lead form on Facebook is the much faster way to test that.  

So considering that, that’s what we’re going to go with next.  

Next change, change to a Facebook Lead Form

Onward and upward! 

Next campaign please!

Campaign Phase 4) Spring 2024 [4-11-2024] - Half Off Furnace with purchase of AC

Results as of May 15, 2024

Amount Spent

$3,913.72

Messenger conversations (Conversion Channel)

19

Appointments Set

5 appointments set, 4 completed all with estimates given

Revenue

$65,000 in estimates given

None closed yet

Cost per conversion

$205.99

Link Clicks

386+

Reach 

32,273

Impressions

104,259

Likes

54

Comments

3

Post Saves

7

Post Shares

0

Video Thru Plays (15 seconds or whole video)

1,930

Video Views to 100%

1,117

Results Summary: 

After running the campaign for 45 days so far, we have already generated 19 qualified leads from this campaign.  

This campaign is now successful!  We have a profitable campaign. 

With $3,913.72 spent on the campaign, 19 leads were generated and 5 appointments were set.  

That’s a 26% set rate of lead to appointment.  

Four of those estimate appointments are now complete for a total of about $90,000 in estimates / potential revenue. 

So…we spent $3,914 to generate $90,000 in complete estimates or potential revenue. 

And there is still a fifth appointment that has yet to be completed.

The average estimate that has been given of these four is about $17,000. 

The change that was made here is using Facebook Lead forms instead of using Facebook messenger as the conversion or lead generation channel after the ad click.  It looks like the hypothesis was somewhat correct. 

Using a lead form has been a much better mechanism for converting these prospects into leads and then sales appointments.  Now the campaign is working at a much better clip. 

We are consistently generating leads.  They are much more expensive than the other “leads” or Facebook Messenger conversations that we were generating. But that metric is misleading.  It’s only measuring someone getting into the messenger Conversation and interacting at least one time. it is not counting whether or not they have actually given us any sort of contact information or move the conversation to anything meaningful.

It’s safe to say that is not even really qualified as a lead. 

It's just the metric that Facebook has to use to measure the conversion of the click into the messenger conversation. 

All 19 of these are legitimate leads with complete contact information that we can use to follow up with these homeowners to hopefully set an appointment for the estimate to be given.

 and even more importantly, more than 25% of them have converted into appointments. that rate can be improved I'm sure of it. but it's a great start to have a quarter of the leads that you're generating actually  setting appointments and then keeping them. 

That means that this lead generation campaign is resulting in conversations with real homeowners about them buying something expensive.

That is a big win, and we will continue down this path and continue to optimize.

The goal from this point forward is to continue to drive the cost of the lead down, and we will do that through optimizing the creative and the copy in the ad through multiple iterations moving forward.

But this campaign is now profitable from a marketing standpoint.

Three out of the four completed estimates were over $20,000. The fourth was over $8,000.

That means that in 20 leads, this campaign has the potential to generate $100,000 in revenue.

Once the Comfort advisor gets into the home, it's now more of a sales issue if the customer doesn't convert.

It’s all up to them from this point forward. We did our job!

More importantly, we took this campaign from a loss to a significant profit through a systematic process of evaluation and optimization.

Most companies will give up at the first sign of loss. When they don’t see that the first campaign they launch is profitable, they won’t stick with it. And they will lose out on so much revenue because of it.

Most marketers do the same thing. They don’t know how to press through the failures of the campaign process and understand how to get to a place where the campaign generates profit. They give up too soon.

And I understand why. There is a lot of pressure running these campaigns. It’s real money that we’re spending here. And people are asking questions and doubting that it’s going to make any money.

But you have to adopt this perspective if you want to run profitable campaigns. You have to understand that every campaign is the beginning of a journey toward profitability. That it's the beginning of working through a few different problems to try and get the campaign to work and generate profitable results.

I don't care what the Facebook ads gurus teach you. There is no magic formula to this. You can do a great job of writing the best copy and creating the best video and generating the best images for your ads, and they will still fail to work and generate profitable results. 

What then? 

What do you do? 

Do you give up, or do you keep going and understand what to look for and what to change in the right order to get to a place where you can actually make that campaign profitable?

You Are Your Own Worst Enemy when it comes to these campaigns. It is really uncomfortable to spend money for clients or for your own business and not see results immediately, especially when you're running on platforms that promise instant results like Facebook and Instagram.

But if you can embrace that this is a process, not an event, you can begin to look at the right things to make the right changes to get to that place where you can make a lot of money with these ads.

Interesting observations: 

We changed two elements of the ad campaign in this version. First we changed the offer to half off a new furnace with the purchase of a new AC. Next we changed the lead conversion channel to Facebook lead forms instead of Facebook Messenger.

Typically I would only change one thing, but we had to change the offer because of the season change as we are moving into the summer months and the primary push is to purchase a new AC with furnace.

But other than that, we changed nothing else.

The Ad creative is exactly the same as the previous campaign. I used the same Canva template. Same exact type of video with a text offer being the prominent visual along with a generic b-roll video related to heating and cooling as the background.

The offer is a similar style offer. It’s high-value, which it has to be and offers urgency and a reason to take advantage of it right now. But is the same presentation visually and the same structure.

The Ad copy is the same as well. All I’m talking about in the ad copy is the information about the offer and promotion that we’re running.

I’m being very direct with the CTA as well. The call to action in these ads is “Get the Offer” where it was “Learn More” in the messenger version of the ads.

I wonder if that was throwing people off. It definitely could be that, and we should probably test that as well. The direct nature of this cta is not misleading in any way. It is probably decreasing the amount of people that are clicking the ad, but ensuring that it’s only the ones that actually want the offer that are.

There is nothing entertaining about these ads or their creative. I’m trying to keep everything exactly the same on purpose to validate that the conversion channel is really the culprit when it comes to these ads not converting before this version.

Creative: Canva ad with offer text and broll video from canva

Ad Copy

🚨 Attention Homeowners! 🚨  We have a special offer for your to get your HVAC system up to snuff for the summer months before it’s hot, and your not ready.  

For a LIMITED time only, purchase a new high-efficiency AC system and get…

1️⃣ Half off of a new high-efficiency furnace including installation (Over $2,000 off)

2️⃣ Also get up to $2,600 in federal tax credits with qualifying systems

3️⃣ Get our Industry-Best 1-Year test-drive guarantee 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 We're 5-STAR RATED on Google with over 1,460 reviews!

This limited-time offer won't last, so don't wait! 

👉 We’re only giving this deal to the first 30 homeowners that signup here and schedule their free no-obligation estimate appointment. 

Click the button below to get started in less than 3 minutes! 👇

**On qualifying systems. Cannot be combined with any other offer

Peak Home Performance
1125 Address Road, Ste 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
📞 (719) 719-7199


Tags

facebook ads, facebook advertising, home services, hvac, lead generation, social media marketing


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