Friday, July 19, 2024

Outshining the Competition: Three Key Insights on How to Improve Solar Sales, From Solar Exclusive Founder Rich Feola

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Martin Haglin
Martin Haglin
Martin Haglin was born and raised in Conneticut. Martin has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the BBC World and CNET. As a journalist for Business News Ledger, Martin covers state news, Finance and human interest stories.

Whenever Rich Feola, the Founder of the leading solar marketing company Solar Exclusive, gazes upon an empty rooftop, he sees an opportunity — a potential new customer ready to embrace solar power.

Solar Exclusive is the industry leader connecting the country’s most respected solar companies with pre-set appointments and exclusive leads. In our conversation with Feola, he shared his top three solar marketing insights, offering valuable guidance for businesses aiming to exponentially grow their sales.

The Power of Online Marketing for Solar

Feola started his career by selling windows and roofing, a job that required him to knock on doors relentlessly, regardless of the weather.

“It was in New Jersey, where the weather can be rough. Rain or snow, I was out there,” said Feola. “Going door-to-door knocking is a grueling job, but it taught me how to close and laid the foundation for what I do now.”

As he progressed in his career, Feola pivoted to becoming a financial advisor. However, he quickly realized the need for a more efficient way to reach potential clients. This drove him to learn about digital advertising, and it was not long before friends and acquaintances started to approach him to manage their Facebook ad campaigns.

“One of these friends owned a solar company,” said Feola. “After I started running Facebook ads for him, he tripled his revenue in a single year.”

Feola highlighted that online marketing allows for scalability and faster growth compared to the traditional door-knocking method for solar companies.

He said, “How many doors can you knock in a day? It makes sense that you can scale and grow much faster online.”

Tip #1: The More Targeted The ad, The Better The Results

For Feola and Solar Exclusive, a significant turning point was shifting their focus from Facebook ads to ad placement on YouTube and Google. Feola recalled the story of how this came about.

“We were doing well when our Facebook account got suspended by mistake. Everything came to a halt. It was a scary experience that got me thinking about where else we could place ads,” he said. “One day, I was trying to fix a leaky faucet and I looked up a YouTube video on how to do it. That gave me the idea of placing ads on YouTube while our Facebook account was down.”

Feola elaborated, the quality of the leads on YouTube and Google is much higher than those gleaned from Facebook, because people go to these platforms to specifically learn about solar technology.

“We found that Google or YouTube is way better than Facebook for our demographic, and it led us to triple our conversion rate almost overnight,” he said.

Tip #2: A More Seasoned And Targeted Account Equals Better Results

Per Feola, one of Solar Exclusive’s key advantages is the single ‘seasoned’ account through which they manage all of their ads on Facebook, Google, and YouTube. This central hub allows them to better target ads for their clients.

Feola elaborated, “Facebook has something called a pixel, which is all the data that gets compiled through their algorithms. Our pixel is superior to that of a general marketing company because they haven’t been gathering all this data on potential solar clients like we have.”

Solar Exclusive has spent over 80 million dollars on solar ads in the last six years, and that has helped them hypertarget their approach.

“But when you hire a company that doesn’t specialize in solar like we do, you don’t see great results because they don’t have all this data on potential clients in the same pixel,” he explained. “Running the most amount of money through that same account will allow you to gather the most quality data.”

Tip #3: Keep Learning And Pivoting to Keep up With Algorithmic Changes

According to Feola, social media platforms are ever-tweaking the algorithms that determine ad placement. This, in turn, compels marketing agencies to keep optimizing content for these platforms.

“I have a director of data analytics whose whole job is to analyze every piece of content we make and to figure out what drove someone to click on it,” he shared. “We’re always tweaking because an ad that works one month might not work the following month.”

Feola applies this philosophy to working with clients as well. One of the company directives is to keep improving internal processes for the benefit of their clients.

“Every client that works with us gets access to a client-exclusive portal where we give them the best practices on how to transition leads to sales,” he said.

It’s this client-focused approach that has led Solar Exclusive to have an incredibly high client retention rate.

“Most marketing agencies have a 15 to 20 percent client retention rate after the first three months,” said Feola. “Ours is over 70 percent, which is unheard of. But it speaks to how good we are at improving our clients’ lead-to-close ratio.”

About Rich Feola and Solar Exclusive

Rich Feola is the Founder of Solar Exclusive and the Clean Energy Network, an industry powerhouse that has educated over 2 million homeowners about the benefits of residential solar panels. Solar Exclusive has been featured in Digital Journal, Yahoo Finance, NBC, and FOX among other publications. Want to skyrocket the success of your solar business with top-notch leads? Visit this link to book a strategy call: Are you a homeowner looking to only speak to vetted solar companies with good ratings? Then visit to receive a quote from a local, verified installer today.

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