© theseamuss | Thinkstock

Driving sales can be one of the most labor-intensive aspects of business ownership. Over the course of the last few years, I have made it a personal goal to automate as much of the sales and marketing process as possible to grow my snow removal business. Last summer, I tested a three-step approach to marketing and selling snow removal services online.

Step one: Create a segmented list of ideal clients and prospective clients.

As you interact with prospective clients and current customers, you tag them as a warm lead, a client that needs renewal or a previous lost estimate. In creating this segmented list, it is important to include details about each such as geographic location, driveway size and type of account (residential or commercial). If you are using customer relationship management software (CRM), you will export your segmented list from this system. Then you will send each client or lead an automated email directing them to the landing page.

In our case, we segment each type of client by applying a searchable tag within the system. We export our list out of the system and do two things with this list. First, we send an automated email to each client or lead with a customized marketing message relating to their position in the customer life cycle. This email also includes a trackable link to the video sales landing page which allows us to follow up with them should they neglect to engage with the link the first time they receive it. In addition, we upload the segmented list to Facebook and create a customer audience which allows us to directly market through the use of a paid Facebook ad.

Step two: Create marketing content that drives these prospects to a video sales landing page.

Creating an online landing page seemed to be the most logical way to reproduce myself and the company’s sales team. This one-page website should include several key elements: pricing for snow removal services, the ability to sign up online and, most importantly, a video outlining your company’s services. The video should also include a description of why you are different, content that overcomes sales and price objections, the urgency of signing up early to avoid losing out on services and your satisfaction guarantee.

We also included a text summary of the video so no matter what the visitor’s preference, video or text, we had an optimized page which helped our sales conversion. This landing page also included an embedded Facebook conversion pixel.

Step three: Create a Facebook pixel to track all of the traffic to the landing page that did not convert to a sale.

The Facebook pixel provides the business owner with a tracking ability. It tracks both sales conversions and an associated cost per conversion. In other words, if a visitor clicks “Sign Up Now” on your landing page, the Facebook pixel removes the converted lead from the segmented list, stops marketing to them and charges the business owner for the sales conversion. The Facebook pixel also continues to remarket for a set period of time in the Facebook newsfeed of those who do not purchase from the landing page.

This three-step approach to online marketing has changed the face of snow removal sales at Callahan’s. It has essentially allowed us to sell more snow removal contracts than ever before, earlier than ever before and even while we sleep.

The online system has also allowed us to track what marketing copy works most effectively for snow removal services in our area. Most importantly, unlike traditional marketing (print copy), this system allows for real time changes and adaptations. At no point in Callahan’s history have we experienced such dynamic marketing that can be adapted on the fly with such certainty of meeting prospective client’s needs at an unreasonably low cost.