» Speak Up Now About How You Can Help
The combination of high oil prices, low natural gas prices, warm weather and a stagnant economy has gutted sales of fuel and equipment and crushed company profitability. Many owners are struggling just to make ends meet, but it is important to keep your eyes on the road ahead, adjust your goals and continue working to preserve and expand your customer base.
» Talk to Your Customers Now About Saving Money
OIL PRICES HAVE BEEN UNCOMFORTABLY high all winter, while natural gas prices have fallen to the lowest point in 10 years. It's wise to assume that your customers are thinking seriously about solving the problem of their high heating costs before next winter rolls around, with or without you.
» Cater to Consumers' Preference for Online Convenience
DIFFERENTIATING YOUR OILHEAT OR PROPANE company from competitors is easier when you draw on the advantages that advanced customer service applications can deliver. Offering web applications that improve customer relationships and improve the company image by making it easier for customers to do business with you is key.
» Secure Your Customer Base by Meeting Every Need
Every established home comfort provider faces serious competition from companies eager to lure your customers away. In some markets, it is the gas utilities that are beckoning. In others, the competition comes from rival Oilheat and propane companies.
» Blogging Boosts All Your Online Initiatives
As you move your marketing efforts online, one of the most versatile and effective tools at your disposal is the company blog. It can elevate marketing performance across the board, including sales, retention, recruitment and search engine optimization. Blogs are particularly useful as companies diversify and add new services.
» Ward Off Fuel Conversions with a Balanced Approach
Oilheat dealers have seen plenty of hard times through the years, but today's challenges might be greater than any that have come before. Oil prices are near an all-time high, many customers are struggling to pay, and gas utilities are aggressively pressing their unprecedented advantage in price.
» Ten Steps to Stronger Equipment Sales
It's not easy selling anything these days, but high-performance home comfort equipment is one product category that is well suited to this challenged economy. Companies that innovate effectively and leverage advanced technology can maintain sales—or even grow them—by tapping consumers' desires to curb their monthly expenses.
» A New Sense of Purpose at Oil & Energy Magazine
NEW ENGLAND FUEL INSTITUTE, WHICH OWNS this magazine, recently chose our agency, PriMedia, to produce and publish Oil & Energy, and we relish the opportunity to serve you, our readers. Oil & Energy (formerly Yankee Oilman) has always been an exception among trade association publications, because NEFI wanted its magazine to be an information source, rather than an association-centric publication.
» Price protection 2.0: Online Customer Enrollment Eliminates Hassles
If price protection is part of your marketing strategy, you can add flexibility and eliminate hassles by leveraging the Internet for faster turnaround and reduced expense. Price protection isn't for everyone, but if market conditions compel you to offer programs, you can make life a lot easier by using the Internet to simplify customer enrollment.
» Help customers choose full service over discount
What's the difference between a discount Oilheat customer and a full-service customer? While that is an interesting question to ponder—and there are people who are firmly in one camp or the other—the truth is that many homeowners could go either way.
» How good advice 'Online' can attract customers
Home comfort companies have a great opportunity to gain market share and strengthen ties to customers by developing an effective "voice" and making some noise online. The Internet has spawned a new style of shopping, and smart companies across all economic sectors are reworking their marketing strategies to match changing consumer habits.
» Alternative Energy Calls for Alternative Marketing
Solar energy is viewed favorably by 79 percent of Americans, according to a February 2011 survey by Pike Research, which means that you can confidently add solar energy to your list of services and give it prominent play in your marketing.