Another Spectacular Getaway
Here’s to another wonderful LeafGuard trip! A good time was had by all at the beautiful Crane Hotel and Resort in Barbados. The weather was perfect, the water was crystal clear, the hotel was magnificent and the company was the best! We enjoyed our time with some new friends, some old friends and some very old friends whom we haven’t seen in a while – thank you all so much for joining us. This year was truly one of our very best meetings ever. The guest speakers were amazing! They kept us totally captivated throughout the meeting on Friday. Special thanks to all of the dealers who participated for their valuable, informative and very passionate contribution. As usual, your participation made the meeting a great success! The catamaran trip on Saturday was definitely one of our best as well….and that’s saying a lot because they are all usually great. The crew was tremendous – lots of fun, the boat was big and full of great toys to play with. The food and the refreshments really hit the spot and the weather couldn’t have been any better. The hotel accommodations were first class with so many great pools on the property and the entertainment at this year’s banquet was extra special with a couple of guest performers. This year our resident crooner – Rod Renfrow had some company on stage. Great job to Mark Woodward and Rod for keeping us all entertained. As always it’s a very special time when we get together on these trips and we are truly grateful that we can share so many wonderful memories with such great friends.
We’ll see you all next year!
Marketing Review 2013 was a very busy and exciting year for LeafGuard. Our continued heavy emphasis on the internet and social media has paid great dividends by creating more activity on all of our internet properties and driving more visitors to our website and more leads to LeafGuard dealers than ever before. We experienced quantifiable success in all areas of our digital footprint including Website Traffic, SEO, Local Search, Pay Per Click, Facebook Activity, You Tube Video Views, The LeafGuard Blog, Social Media and more… • In 2013 the LeafGuard website enjoyed a 40% increase in organic website traffic and the average website visit time increased by over 10%. • We created new content for the website that drove over 20% more leads to LeafGuard dealers (that’s roughly 100 additional leads per month). • LeafGuard maintained strong first page rankings for primary keywords and consistently ranked in the top five on national Google searches. We also defended and improved market share of gutter related keywords with a higher percentage of top rankings than all of our major competitors combined. • The LeafGuard Blog continued to generate interest and was responsible for generating over 15 leads per month. • We successfully drove the LeafGuard brand by reaching over 44 million Facebook users through Facebook ad campaigns and we increased the number of LeafGuard followers “Likes” by 4000% to over 8,000. • The LeafGuard You Tube channel continued to gain momentum. In 2013 LeafGuard YouTube video views increased by over 35%. Most exciting of all in 2013 was the overwhelming success of our social media campaigns. Our “Great Gutter Giveaway” campaign, which ran in the fall, generated over 2,500 contest entries, almost 200 qualified leads and more than 7,200 likes for the participating LeafGuard dealers. Over 30 dealers participated in the campaign and to date the campaign has resulted in dozens of sales. For 2014 we’re looking to focus even more on social media and we’re excited to announce a series of new campaigns designed to generate more website leads, greater website and Facebook activity and more impressions for LeafGuard. We hope to involve those dealers who have yet to get involved with social media and ride the great wave of success that so many of the LeafGuard dealers have achieved through their efforts in 2013. Our great success this past year was fueled by the increased involvement by the LeafGuard dealers on a local level and we look forward to more of this participation in 2014 and beyond. The speakers who joined us this year have all put together programs that are designed to work effectively with each of you on a local level so let’s continue to build on the foundation that’s been developed. We’re thrilled about the successes we’ve achieved but even more excited about the success that lies ahead – so let’s get started!
MultiBrain Reviews Successful 2013 Social Media Campaigns For the second year in a row, Scott Kramer, the chief brain behind Multibrain, LeafGuard’s Social Media agency joined us in Barbados and provided an interactive and entertaining discussion including the successful results of our social media efforts in 2013, as well as current trends and handy tips for building your local LeafGuard business in today’s digital landscape. “Social Media extends far beyond a lead or sale, it’s the overall experience before, during and after the sale that provides the true opportunity to build your business. Your customer, followers and fans are now the most powerful marketing tool you have, and engaging with them on a regular basis is the greatest way to generate new business from Social Media,” said Kramer. With a focus on Facebook, dealers learned five very strong ways to grow their community and garner more “word of mouth” within their target audience. Examples included: the importance of reviews on Facebook, producing engaging content on a frequent basis to remain engaged with your community, the truth about organic reach and how to increase your community by “boosting” your posts, using insights to learn and adapt, and interesting ways to learn more about your fans with Facebook’s new graph search.
Without a doubt the most exciting portion of the Multibrain presentation was the new 2014 custom Social Media Platform to be made available to all dealers in the coming weeks.
The new system, designed and implemented by Multibrain, includes a custom marketing dashboard with easy “one-click” tools, and new localized dealer email newsletter, Facebook page customization with apps and tabs to generate leads, and a series of campaigns to be implemented throughout the year, including the first promotion in partnership with Bob Vila. 2014 is shaping up to be an amazing year for LeafGuard socially, and we’re looking forward to your participation in this exciting new platform. Scott Kramer will be following up with all dealers in the coming weeks for complete details on participating in the program. page 3
Refer 8: Software-Based Referral System Gives Customers Skin In The Game Refer 8, the highly successful LeafGuard customer referral program implemented in select dealer markets in 2013, will be expanded this year.
Launched in early January in a limited number of LeafGuard markets in Nashville, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New Jersey the Refer 8 program has already resulted in dozens of LeafGuard installations. Home Improvement guru and Englert marketing partner, Ron Sherman, will be spearheading this year’s program which allows LeafGuard dealers to tap into a rich resource that is often under-utilized—referrals from current customers. The Refer 8 program is open to any homeowner even if they are not a LeafGuard customer. The program offers participants compensation for all referrals that are converted to sales. Individuals who refer friends and family receive $50.00 for every referral that converts to a sale. And those who convert eight leads get a free LeafGuard installation valued at up to $5,000.
Refer 8 is housed on a user-friendly stand-alone website where current dealer customers and non-customers can log in, refer a friend or neighbor and get rewarded for their efforts. Refer 8 offers dealers a software-based referral management system where the dealer is able to track conversions and homeowner rewards on a real-time basis. If you’re generating a substantial numbers of leads and sales, the program is great at taking the responsibility for executing and monitoring a referral program out of the hands of dealer administrative staffs and sales personnel, freeing them to focus on other responsibilities. The program is easy to access for both dealer personnel tracking referrals and payouts, as well for homeowners who have made referrals and want to check realtime whether their recommendations have converted to sales. Dealers also have the ability to track and measure the performance of the program on a monthly basis. “We’ve found in the past that it’s sometimes difficult to get dealer salespeople to generate referrals,” notes Rob Lowe, director of Englert’s LeafGuard branch operations. “But we notice that when we shift the incentive to the homeowner to provide referrals, the close rate jumps to 80 percent.” Lowe notes that LeafGuard hopes to maximize exposure for the program by working with Scott Kramer of MultiBrain, the LeafGuard social media consultant who has been using Facebook promotions and brand visibility tactics to develop millions of consumer impressions for LeafGuard. For more information on the Refer 8 program feel free to contact Ron Sherman at 8215 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72209, (501) 568-8100.
What Do Homeowners Like About LeafGuard? Focus Groups Tell Us Home Improvement expert Ron Sherman also recently conducted four focus groups involving 80 homeowners, half of whom had purchased a LeafGuard system and half who had not. “We collected hundreds of insights along the way and spent hours analyzing what we heard,” said Sherman, adding “we now understand more clearly how LeafGuard customers and potential customers perceive and experience the LeafGuard brand, make purchasing decisions for home improvement and how they are best reached through advertising and what messages compel them to act.”
Sherman focused on television commercials as part of the exercise and found that TV spots were more effective if there was a mention of the Lifetime Warranty and how it transfers when you sell your house. This factor played a pivotal role in the decision making process, the group told the focus group leaders. The homeowners also said that showing how the product works was considered vital and that it was important to use the specific kinds of gutter debris that locals contend with such as certain kinds of pine needles and leaves. Most said dealers should be careful not to include too many offers in each spot, at the risk of confusing the consumer or coming off as being too gimmicky. Some felt such offers made them think ‘there is room for negotiation.’ But others observed the offers got them over the ‘hump’ of procrastination. The homeowners were asked to brainstorm other triggers that would compel them to buy. Answers came back such as no bill for 6 months, a discount when you pay in full at time of sale, a free estimate and no obligation. Those who had purchased LeafGuard were asked to rate their satisfaction levels for the total experience from initial contact all the way through the installation and follow up. On a scale of one to five with five being excellent, 70 percent gave a five rating, 20 percent gave a four, five percent gave a three and five percent gave a one rating. When asked if they would recommend LeafGuard to family and friends an impressive 98% of LeafGuard customers said yes.
NEW INSTALLATION COMMITTEE This year, Steve Bradley, Sr., national operations manager for specialty products, gave dealers in Barbados a hint of whatâ€™s new as well as some old business thatâ€™s popped up again for consideration in 2014.
Steve told dealers that Englert is putting together an installation committee, tapping dealers to create a small full-time committee to discuss best practices. Goals will be to share and suggest better and more consistent installation processes for all dealers as well as to foster discussion on training, flashing, job safety and icicle problems. Anyone interested in being part of this committee can contact Steve. Steve also announced the creation of a LeafGuard Icicle Solution Team which will be made up of the following members; Kevin Lindus, Pat Franks, Ken Krawcheck, Steve Bradley, Brian Patrick, Adam Lindus, Jeff Fierstein, Matthew Bauer and Rob Lowe. Focus will be past practices and issues to overcome, current practices, solutions and follow up. Solutions to date have included a mechanical diverter, electrical heat cables, an ice rake and insulation.
Increased Sales at Costco Sales of LeafGuard at Costco were up in 2013—almost 24 percent higher than in 2012. Senior Vice President Tom Dyszkiewicz reported to dealers in Barbados that year to date sales were higher this year—about 29 percent ahead of last year.
Tom reports the Costco installation program continues to do very well and that we will be supplementing our Costco.com program in the Spring with a test advertising campaign to run banner ads on their website and in their eblasts, adding more visibility for the LeafGuard brand. Meanwhile Costco announced some internal changes handling the LeafGuard business. Justin Blackhurst has replaced Chris Hendrix as the Costco executive in charge of the LeafGuard business and Aaron McDonnell has left Costco and is being replaced by Trent Giacomi Tom also reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead safe work practices program, noting dealers had until midJanuary to register with the EPA as a Renovation Firm. To qualify, participating dealers must have a certified renovator on staff who has completed eight hours of training in lead-safe work practices. Option is to contract with an independent third party certified renovator. Meanwhile, Costco is requiring dealers to send them information on an EPA job completed during 2013.
Welcoming a New addition to our Group! Congratulations to Debbie, Joe, Joe and Donna on becoming proud grandparents once again! Tara gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl Savannah at the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut. Despite a difficult pregnancy – mom and baby are fine and grandma is holding up pretty well too.
“Thank you all so much for your contributions at this year’s meeting – I’m so sorry Joe and I could not be there with you. We are so grateful to each of you for your hard work and commitment to LeafGuard and to your customers. Most of all we are grateful for your friendship. Thank you again and we’ll see everyone next year” Debbie page 7