49 Pest Control Marketing Ideas
Pest control companies are constantly trying out new things to get more customers.
Some of them are smashing successes and some are failures.
The key is to continue adapting and doing what works. It seems obvious, but we’re surprised at how many tactics don’t get used because PCO’s get into the rut of complacency.
So without further ado, here are 49 Ideas that will take your pest control marketing to the next level.
Some of these will be more obvious than others, but we tried to make it as complete as possible. This post is over 5000 words, so save it as a bookmark so you can refer to it later on.
Whether it’s social media, search engines, or online media sites, if you want to reach your ideal customer, it’s likely going to be online.
Build a Website
For crying out loud, if you’re in pest control and don’t have a website, get on it!
It doesn’t have to be expensive, either. In fact, for the contract price a single customer, you can have a professional site that sells for you!
Pest control web design needs to be centered on conversions, not just on looks. Having great copy and calls to action (CTA’s) are a must.
Simply put, the fanciest websites don’t always convert visitors into customers. Morningdove creates websites that look great, and more importantly, perform great.
One of the first things you need to do is understand what your customers are searching for.
For example, you may be set up well for termite jobs, but if no one is searching for it in your area, it won’t do much good. In that case, putting dozens of pages on your site about termites wouldn’t be as effective as say, blogging about bed bugs.
If that’s the popular search term, more content on that subject will go a long way.
One tool that we use for quick keyword research is moz keyword explorer. It will look something like this for any given query. This isn’t an exact science, but right off you can see if there’s much volume and if the difficulty is high.
Another tool we use the Keywords Everywhere extension for chrome. As the name implies, it puts search volume and cpc (cost per click) within your search engine.
It will allow you to quickly look at the average amount of searches that a given query will generate in a month.
These tools will most likely generate slightly different results, but together will give you a better idea of the keyword.
If you’re a little more savvy, you can use google keyword planner as well, though this tool has been revised to show broad ranges instead of pinpoints like the other tools – it can be good for general research as the case may be.
Once you’ve got a decent list of the keywords for which people will be searching, start creating posts about them on your website.
Not only will this be indexed in search engines like google, but you’ll be able to share these posts to other platforms for even more exposure- facebook, twitter, google +, etc.
The more in-depth content you create that can be found by site visitors, the better. It also sets you apart from other pest control companies in your area as an online authority. If you’re not the writing type, we have connections that can put your blogging on auto-pilot for a small fee.
Ahhh, search engine optimization, SEO. Pest Control SEO may seem extremely expensive or complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, some smaller pest control owners even do it themselves and have great success with it. There are a few seo guides out there that can get you pretty far on your own. They either have their branch manager take care of tasks during the day or do it during the winter when they have less to do.
Search Engine Optimization is less about all the technical aspects and more about creating a better site and brand than your competitors.
Search Engines like Google and Bing are mostly just like a big popularity contest. If you are more popular online than your competitors, you’ll probably show up ahead of them.
This (above) is the interest in SEO in the past 15 years. As you can see, it’s been steadily increasing and there’s no end in sight.
SEO and PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, usually go hand in hand because they typically center around Google, the most popular search engine by a wide margin.
The main difference with PPC is that results can be expected immediately rather than over time like SEO. PPC is basically the process of bidding on certain keywords in order to be placed in the top three ads displaying on a given Google search.
It can be extremely lucrative in the pest control industry if you find a good company to manage them for you. You simply set the budget and literally pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
You can set any budget you want, but usually around $1000 per month is the minimum you’d want to spend so that it can be calibrated correctly and the results will be better.
Your site is one of the biggest marketing engines you have, and the fact that it’s always there makes it the hardest working as well.
In Google Analytics you can look at something call “Bounce Rate”, which basically measures how many people come to your site, then push the back button (or “bounce” off your page).
Typically those sites that are bland or have confusing designs have a higher bounce rate. Google measures this, and rewards those sites that visitors stay on for a while and find what they are looking for.
Having compelling copy goes far, and is backed up by the fact that some of the biggest players in the industry pay thousands and thousands of dollars for crisp, clean content THAT SELLS.
Don’t worry though, it doesn’t take a genius to create good content, you just need to find something unique about your business and tell that story.
Create a theme or slogan that tells visitors why they should work with you. I can’t tell you how many times I go to a site and it says “Residential Pest Control in [City]. What you’re telling visitors in this case is that there’s nothing they can’t get if they click on a different listing.
Take Bomar Pest Control in Houston, TX, for instance, which is found on the first page of Google. There are a couple good things here and a couple things to improve. First of all, it’s simple, which is a plus.
There’s a picture of a family there that look like the owners. People like to do business with local family businesses, so this is another plus.
But other than that, the content doesn’t exude confidence or elicit any kind of emotion. It’s like 90% of other sites out there.
Think about your service and identify your strengths or special services that you could highlight:
- Special Guarantees
- Over-the-top Attention to Detail
- Veteran Owned and Operated
- Family Business
- No Contract Services
- High Satisfaction Rate
Search Engines are wary of fake companies, so you need to prove that you are legit. By creating a profile on major sites like AngiesList, Yelp, Yellow Pages Facebook, Bing, and Google Business, your company can start to climb the ladder to the first page of search engines. Here’s a list to get you started.
Analytics and Attribution
One of the most important parts of growing a pest control business is figuring out what works.
We talk to PCO’s every single day that have wasted money on something or another. Most of them didn’t even know how many sales came from each marketing activity. With online marketing, seeing your traffic sources is actually pretty simple.
With every single new client, we set up Google Analytics on their site, which tracks site visitors and records information in easy-to-read graphs and charts.
So if you run a social media campaign, you can easily see how many visits came from social media compared to your other traffic sources like direct (those who type in your URL), organic (search engines), and others.
In this way, you can keep track of how successful each marketing campaign is, including form fills and landing pages.
One of the first things you should do when you set up your website is link to your social media profiles. They are important for a couple of different reasons.
First, your company passes the “smell test” when they research you. You’ve been posting and have everything set up, they’re going to be fine working with you.
Second, customers are now more likely to reach out to you via social media than ever before.
Even if you have a giant phone number and email address on your site, people still find it easier to message the company.
We were given access to a social profile recently and found 6 potential customers that had questions that never got answered.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot like they did!
There may not be a ton of potential for getting new customers just by setting up a profile, but it’s worth it for the reasons mentioned above. Share your blogs with your audience and interact with those who have “liked” your page.
Create social profiles and have one of your office staff post once a week or so.
This goes a long way for current customers to see that you’re engaged and active in the online community. Worth it.
People use social media all day so they may reach out that way first. LinkedIn may be a good way to gain commercial clients, do some testing on your own and let us know how it goes!
Customers won’t wait for a site to load, that’s all there is to it. They can easily click to a different page that pops up quickly.
If your site is on WordPress like many, use an Image Optimizer like WP Smush or ShortPixel to shrink and optimize your images automatically so your site loads fast.
You might be surprised to hear that behind Google, Youtube is the second largest search engine. Do you have a channel? If you do, are there videos on it?
Pictures are so 1999, videos are easier than ever to create and upload. And users love them, too. Share these videos on your site and through your social media channels so they get even more exposure.
A CTA is a Call to Action. It’s simply a sentence or phrase that tells a site visitor exactly what you want them to do.
- Contact Us
- Call Now
- Fill Out This Form
- Book Your Appointment
- Follow us on Facebook
Site visitors don’t have the patience to figure out how to navigate your site. They need to be told what to do, which increases the chances that they interact with the site (and you) in the way that makes you more money. The more prominent, the better.
This goes hand in hand with Google Analytics and being able to attribute the sales to a specific marketing activity. For about $30 per month, we recommend using CallRail for your WordPress site, which gives you 10 tracking numbers.
It has the capability to dynamically switch the number that visitors see on your website so that it’s routed through the tracking number and then to your office.
Put a number on a flyer, put a different one on your trucks. Use one for a billboard that you’re renting. The dashboard will allow you to see how many calls came from each source, which can be recorded as well. Here’s their main offerings as found on their website.
We talked a little about Youtube, but this is a bit different. We understand that videos are more compelling than virtually any other type of content. How many pest control companies have videos embedded on their site? Our research show at less than 5%.
Create a company video with the owner or manager, followed by a technician doing the service. Like I said before, it doesn’t take thousands of dollars to create a decent video, even iPhones are pretty dang good quality.
The value of video is more than just the fact that site visitors know who they’re working with. In addition, it keeps the user on the site longer, which is a great signal to Google.
Like Google Adwords, Facebook ads provide instant feedback on how the campaign is going at any given time.
It’s still a fairly new platform, and WAY underutilized by small businesses.
The price per ad will continue to go up as it becomes more popular. Use them now and hone in on exactly who you think would be a great customer.
You can certain target demographics like age, income location, and marriage status. You can also target life events, which is important in instances like buying a new home or a history of buying similar products and services.
Local SEO- Maps
Local SEO is geared toward ranking a company for a specific geographical location. For these types of searches, a map section will be displayed to the users that looks something like this. It shows three companies that Google thinks you’d be interested in working with.
There are quite a few components that goes into ranking in the “map pack”, they have to do with citations, on-page optimization, and how much organic authority your site has.
This is a major aspect of Local SEO, as mentioned above re: citations. This is something you can do on your own if you have the time. Any major site that your customers would
- Google Business (set it up here)
- Bing Places
- Local Chamber of Commerce
One easy way to find these opportunities is to search “pest control + city” and look through the first 10 pages for organizations that pop up.
You need to have a company profile on all of these because a slightly different search may bring these results to the user, which gives you more exposure.
This one is pretty obvious to anyone who’s been in the industry a while. Your customers are on mobile devices as much or more than on desktop computers.
Your website needs to show up nicely on all devices. We’ve even seen companies who were ranking #1 for 10 years get penalized for having a website that wasn’t mobile friendly.
Build Email List
Email is where it’s at. You could have thousands of social media followers and site visitors but the money is in the email list.
It’s one of the one direct-to-consumer marketing methods left that is extremely effective. Most automated CRM’s have a feature to collect emails from customers. These can be used to communicate about upcoming services and company policies.
But they can also be used to up-sell, send out newsletters, and special deals reserved for customers.
Once someone has paid you, they are more likely to take you up on other services you offer. If you’re offering quarterly or bi-monthly services, up-sell them on a termite warranty. Email is the way to do it, just remember to consult a decent copywriter so they don’t come across too desperate or “salesy”.
Most potential customers don’t make a decision right out of the gate. They want to make sure they’re working with a reputable company with good reviews and a legit website.
Even after looking at these things, they may still get distracted or leave without calling you.
This is where retargeting shines.
When someone leaves your site without taking a specified action, they will see your branding and ads on other sites that they visit! Facebook offers this service, along with a host of others.
Create a Review Strategy
There isn’t a set way to get reviews, people have to get online and do it themselves. However, we’ve created a great system to get more pest control reviews and set up a system for you that will stand the test of time.
Not only are reviews vital when people are comparing companies, but they are also becoming more and more important in Local SEO rankings.
If you already have a decent email list, start a monthly/quarterly newsletter.
If you’re not the writing type, there are services that do this sort of thing and can make it entertaining and good for businesses.
Position yourself as the expert as you give tips and tricks to avoid unwanted pests. This can also strengthen the bond between client and customer. These should always be written in the casual, familiar form – “I” and “You”.
There is few things worse than bad customer service. We’ve all experienced it, but for some reason we get complacent about being 100% responsive to inquiries and requests.
Negative reviews need a quick response. Facebook messages need a dedicated staff member to answer questions and resolve concerns.
People can even directly message companies on Yelp, which come in as an email.
Simply responding to that email will message back the customer. And when they are comparing services, the most responsive company usually wins out, all other things being equal.
Ditch the Stock Photos
Your site needs to be YOURS. Get real photos taken of your company, your owners, and your technicians.
There are times when stock photos are fine, like in blog posts, but not all over your site. Show faces and real people that work at your company. T
his will be more inviting to users and help conversions that much more.
Okay, we’ve covered online marketing in detail. Now it’s time to think outside of the screen, get out, and get some sales. Some people see these methods as “old school”, but they have been tried and tested over the decades and still work today.
Most communities have local meetups in order to connect with other business owners.
These can be leveraged effectively to give you more customers. Go to the meeting and offer everyone there a discount to work with you.
Pass out your business cards and make sure to look for ways to genuinely help other business owners.
They understand how hard it is to attract paying clients and can benefit from your experience and potentially even the service that you offer. Use the website Meetup to locate any gatherings in your area.
Pound the Pavement
We know of pest control companies that have made 9 figures from knocking doors to sell their service.
They hire college kids, train them on exactly what to say, and set them loose in residential neighborhoods.
If you can get the right recruits, they can sell 150+ accounts (each) for you during the summer. Higher achievers can sell 300, 400, even 500 accounts or more.
If you’re a one-man show, hit the pavement! You have more power than a college kid from Utah because you own the company. You have intimate knowledge of the service and can tell folks that you’ll be the one servicing their home.
Set goals for how many doors you knock and try to beat your sales record each time you go out. Don’t undervalue the chance to sell people on your service directly. It can be tough, but if you improve with each “no” you hear, you’re that much closer to a “yes”.
Create a Marketing Plan
Especially when starting out, pest control companies often are like a squirrels, running around in every direction at once from object to shiny object.
They are usually in one of two categories: they either are afraid to spend a dime, which stifles growth, or they throw money at anything and everything, which ends up being a giant waste.
Creating a marketing plan can be as simple as writing down goals about where you’re at, what your processes are, and where your budget, is in order to get where you want to be. Be optimistically realistic with these.
If you’re competing against other companies, you’ll want every possible advantage to stand out from them.
Follow up with your leads the moment you relieve them and you’ll demonstrate your company’s professionalism and commitment to customer service.
If any fall between the cracks, call or email them again within a few days, then again a week later to make sure they are taken care of.
Companies that do this never regret it, because even a couple extra sales make up for all the time it takes to reach out.
Leverage Current Customers
Talk to you customers. You don’t have to talk with them in person, but any contact where you’re marketing to them is worth your time.
Make sure to get their email addresses and then use them to collect more reviews, sell them new services, check up on them, and remind them of service appointments. Keeping in close contact will result in more referrals as well.
Companies that serve in the public are always rewarded. It’s a great PR opportunity, but even more importantly, it’s showing the community that pays your bills that you are grateful and choose to give back.
If you contact the charity or volunteer organization, they may put a link on their website to yours. This is great for local relevance and online authority building.
- Community Centers
- Animal Shelters
- Soup Kitchens
- School Organizations
- Senior Activities
With nothing more than a computer and a print shop, you can reach locals in your area that may need pest control.
The nice thing about flyers is you can target specific neighborhoods that may need your services more than others.
Mailers have proven to be a great tool, though perhaps not a winning strategy on its own.
Use it to supplement other marketing tactics and track each piece of mail that you send so that you can continually improve your conversion. How many did you send out, and how many people called?
It’s not as sexy as it used to be, but there’s way less competition from all the online stuff that’s all the rage right now.
If you use phone book advertising, your target demographic may change slightly, but it can still be effective.
Search on Google and facebook easily find business owner meetups. Many times these groups become friends and life-long referral partners.
Plumbers, carpet cleaners, handyman, tree services, landscapers, property managers etc are great shoulder niches that can lead to referrals.
You can even ask them to shoot a link to your website from theirs. Even if there is reciprocal linking, it won’t land you in hot water. If you did this with 400 businesses, it might, but showing a “thumbs up” to another local business is completely natural.
You may have to order quite a few door hangers for them to pay off, but if your contract value is $500, a single sale can pay for a lot of this type of marketing. You can find youth in the area or friends/family to go put them out.
When you perform a service, go knock on the doors of 4-5 neighbors that are close by. “Hi, my name is Jim, I’m with Houston Pest Control.
Just got done taking care of the Jones’ family next door for the ants and roaches. Since I’m already in the area I can get you done at a major discount.”
Pause and see what they have to say- in most cases, they’ll have an excuse to why they don’t need pest control. Answer politely and in a conversational way. Even if you can’t get them done at the moment, offer to come back the next day.
This can be a hugely beneficial way of grouping your customers together and can be taught to all your technicians. Hold office competitions and pay them a bonus/commission for each sale they get.
Keep social media fans engaged by holding a monthly raffle for a free service. Make it a big deal and your fans will react so.
Develop a V.P.
You need to think about and come up with a value proposition, or a bold offering or statement of why potential customers should work with you.
Pest Control companies are usually hard working and provide a good service, but have very little that sets them apart from the rest. Be creative! Hold a brainstorming session with your friends, employees, and family members to get the juices flowing.
Continuing with the “pest control houston” searches, let’s list the bold statements on the homepages of the sites listed.
- “Pest Control Houston”
- “Pest Control in Houston, TX”
- Your Neighborhood Pest Pros. Locally Owned and Operated since 1978.”
- “Houston Exterminator, Pest Control and Termite Inspector”
- Say Goodbye to Bugs! Save $25 on our Healthy House Program”
- “Is Your Home Protected From Pests?”
- “Houston Residential and Commercial Pest Control”
- “Protect Your Family with a Name You Can Trust”
Pretty pathetic if you ask me. The Houston metro area has 6 MILLION people, and when they search for pest control, they get a bunch of bland statements from so-called pest control experts.
I have no doubt that these companies do a great job, but their value proposition should be somewhere near the top of their site in bold letters.
We know of a company that made friends with someone in the real estate industry. Each time someone walks into their new home, they receive a welcome packet. Inside that packet is a sheet that explains they will be receiving one free pest control service. They come out and service the home and have gotten homeowners to sign up for their quarterly service in droves.
Use Software to Automate
You have enough to do without relying so much on spreadsheets. Get PestRoutes or another software program that schedules services, tracks revenue, collects emails, and many other useful features. Your company can run much more smoothly if there’s not so much human error involved. Not to mention it gives you time to focus on other marketing ideas and growth goals.
Define Your Customer
These things might seem “meta”, but they are important in every business, not just pest control. Who is your ideal customer?
Paint a picture in your mind or write down characteristics that will set them apart from the rest. Maybe your area has a lot of 4000+ square foot homes, what could you do to attract those that are more wealthy to your service.
Maybe your area is full of snowbirds, what services and branding would be beneficial for those who are over 60 years old. In this case a phonebook advertisement could be in the cards! Think critically about who is in your area, who you WANT to attract, and what you’ll provide so that when they see you, they think, “I want to work with them!”
Define Your Budget
Do you have a marketing budget? If not, your growth will come extremely slow.
This is ok if you’re just getting started, but you’ll want to allocate a percentage of your revenue to the acquisition of new customers.
No matter how good your service is, your customers will not be with you forever. You’ll need to replace them with other customers and obtain new ones.
With internet marketing, you can still do pretty well even if you don’t have a big budget.
For $500 per month (which is usually the price of one customer), you can be well on your way to getting 10-20 even 50 extra calls a month for what you’re paying. If your expectations are getting that immediately, however, you may be in for disappointment.
Give your SEO guy 6 months to a year before saying the “F word” (Fire). This should give them adequate time to move the needle in the right direction.
Check Up on Your SEO Guy
If you’re using an SEO company or freelancer, here’s the question to ask once in a while: “do you know what you SEO is doing?“
If you want, we can check up on them and see if you’re getting bang for your buck. Make sure your SEO guy is transparent- with so much on their shoulders, sometimes you may need to hold their feet to the fire a bit.
A monthly call or extensive report should be the minimum, and if they say they are creating backlinks, make sure they add them to the report so you can visit the sites.
Poorly built PBNs and other shady tactics should not be tolerated because they could land you in hot water with Google.
If you’re curious about their quality, send over the report and we’ll let you know how they are doing! Don’t worry, it’ll be free.
Change Up Your Referral Bonus
We’ve found a tactic that has increased referrals by 22%. It’s actually quite simple, and involves ditching the “we’ll give you $30 credit to your account” line.
Instead, you offer them something TANGIBLE. Give them a crisp $20. Give them two movie tickets. Give them a gift card. They’ll see it as something extra, a special treat, not just some imaginary promise of savings later on.
The 10/10/20 Rule
I can’t remember where I heard this one. The pest control marketing 10/10/20 is simply that the next time you finish a pest control job, make a point to deliver business cards, letters or flyers to the all the surrounding neighbors.
Put out 10 on either side of your customer and 20 across the road from them- each time you do a service, there are 40 houses extremely close that will see your business.
You can even personalize them and name-drop (with permission) the person who is receiving the service nearby. Not only will this be great for exposure, but if you recieve more customers, they’ll all be in the same area.
Are you a member of any local, state, or national pest control associations? If so, put the logo of said association on your website.
When businesses do this, there is natural trust there because they are involved with other reputable organizations. BBB, NPMA, Local Chamber of Commerce, State Pest Control Associations, etc. Sometimes these types of sites will put a link on their site to yours, be sure to ask for one!
Local Sponsorships or Charities
This is a good thing to do whether it gets you lots of new customers or not. I’m not big into karma, but doing good things for the community can only increase the chances of it, right?
Sponsor a little league team or donate to a local charity. Mention it on your website and ask the organization to link to your company as well.
Be the Local Expert
You can pitch your expertise to local television and radio stations. Occasionally they have a business spotlight where they interview various company owners, which could be YOU.
This is completely free advertising and creates a great brand image for your company. Do a segment on pest control and offer common sense tips and tricks to locals about how to avoid common pest problems.
Whew! Just the fact that you read through all these marketing ideas shows that you’re ready to grow your company. Morningdove Marketing is always ready to help pest control companies increase their bottom line, whether they pay for our services or not.
Shoot us a message today and we’ll consult with you on how your company can improve its marketing, whether you have 30 locations or are just starting out.
Did we miss any marketing ideas? Let us know!
About the Author
I started Morningdove Marketing for one purpose- to get filthy rich and buy an island. Just kidding. I worked in the pest control industry from 2013-2016 and now my #1 goal is to help as many small businesses as possible with their marketing to help grow their companies. And hey, if I can afford an island one day, that wouldn't be too bad 😉