The Client Story

Over the years we have worked with several clients in the professional services industry. One plumbing and HVAC company was enjoying success with their paid search campaigns, but our PPC team saw that there could be an opportunity to get better results.

The competition among other companies like it in the area had been heating up, but all of the ads showing up for plumbing or HVAC related services were extremely similar in wording and offer. There was a big opportunity to make some changes to the ad creative and stand apart from other ads in the space.


The Challenge

The challenge was to increase the number of leads and decrease the cost per lead for a client in a highly saturated market with plumbing/HVAC competitors who also utilize Paid Search to advertise on Google and Bing.

The Hypothesis

We decided that the best way to address this challenge was to test a couple of ideas.

Our first hypothesis took into consideration that all online shoppers enjoy getting a good deal on notoriously expensive services or items. We believed that a limited time offer discount available when a shopper needed a plumber would motivate them to convert. This is a tried and tested method of conversion and often used in these situations.

But then we decided to step into the customer’s shoes for a moment. More often than not, a customer’s search for home repair services are driven by an immediate need. The AC stops working on one of the hottest nights on record. The household wakes up to discover the water is not working when everyone needs a shower. A homeowner returns from a long day at work to discover that the toilet has overflowed and flooded the bathroom. These represent moments of “I need it NOW.” When a homeowner takes their smartphone out of their pocket to find someone to fix that toilet, they are less concerned about getting a good deal and more concerned about getting the mess cleaned up and their household back to normal.

Our second hypothesis was that shoppers in need of plumbing or HVAC repair work often feel desperate for help. We believed that advertising our immediate service availability (this morning, this afternoon, and now), would entice motivated shoppers feeling that desperation to hire our client.


  • Create split A/B test in AdWords to test the effectiveness of both hypotheses through offering limited time discount offers for plumbing services as well as ads pushing immediate service
  • Capitalize on the concept of the micro-moment to see what potential customers responded to best

The Results

The results of the A/B test were astounding. The search ads offering immediate service substantially beat the performance of the discount coupon ads. The immediate service ads cost 34% less to run, improved conversions by 39% and lowered cost per lead by 24% over the discount coupon ads.

After running the test, our theory for why the immediate service ads out-performed the discount coupon ads is that shoppers intrigued by deals aren’t in a rush to hire or purchase. They are higher in the marketing funnel. People motivated by price more than immediate need are going to shop around to find the best deal before making a decision about who to hire. Even though the discount coupon ads had a 36% higher click through rate than the immediate service ads, all of those additional clicks led to an increased cost but not an increased conversion rate. When price is the most important motivating factor to a shopper, expect a longer path to conversion.

The superior results of the immediate service ads proved to us and our client that the primary motivator of shoppers who are feeling anxious and desperate for a solution to their plumbing or HVAC problem was to hire a service provider who could come by their home as quickly as possible. Providing a solution that prevented the process of calling around to numerous plumbers to find one available in that moment, our immediate service ads were the obvious and only solution advertised within the Google search engine results that catered directly to their needs.

 Client Testimonial

“I have worked with Gruen Agency for the past four years and have found tremendous value in their online marketing services. The Gruen Agency team goes the extra mile to ensure that my budget is being spent in a smart and meaningful way by reaching the right audience at the right time. Their fast and continuous communication, management involvement, and ability to embrace new challenges on a regular basis is invaluable to my business. My programs continue to improve as Gruen Agency does not rest on their laurels and operate by the goal of constant improvement.”

– HVAC Client

Services Used

Paid Search