February 17, 2023

How one solar company drove 28% more interest using fresh mover data

Solar energy is now more accessible to homeowners than ever before. Costs have fallen by 90% in the last decade, and even the ongoing supply chain crisis hasn’t dimmed the lights, with capacity installations at an all-time high.

And better still, there’s room to grow: in 2019, Pew Research found that 46% of homeowners were considering solar energy for their homes, while only 6% of homeowners had actually had solar panels installed.

In late 2021, Sunrun, a solar company based in San Francisco, CA, wanted to reach new homeowners looking to invest in new solar installations. These homeowners would be located in select areas where Sunrun operates. 

Sunrun had done some mover marketing before, but “had tapped into mover segments that were readily available, but stale, and accessed by many [other advertisers]. This is fairly consistent across many advertisers we speak to,” said Andrew Green, vp of sales at Audience Town. For this campaign, SunRun  wanted to take a data-driven approach, with Audience Town as its mover marketing expert.

The mechanics of selling solar align surprisingly closely with the home journey. Selling solar is not a “clean sale,” said Josh Kaner, vp of data solutions at Audience Town. It’s not like a car, where the decision to buy relies on a smaller set of factors. The selling process for solar takes six to nine months, involving extensive roof measurements and evaluations, conversations with electrical companies, and in-depth decisions about financing. Like buying a home, it’s a big deal. 

To reach people at the right moment, Sunrun’s campaign used three audiences: Audience Town’s rich home journey data, audience interest targeting, and retargeting data from a major social media platform, where the campaign would run. Audience Town also suggested targeting people beyond homeowners. “Audience Town is very good at knowing when people are in their home journey,” said Kaner, so Audience Town recommended including prospective buyers in the audience pools as well.

The KPIs were a cost-per-lead at or below $150, and a cost-per-opportunity (defined as someone who Sunrun reached out to and determined was interested) at or below $1,000.

The results were undeniable. In month one, Audience Town was able to drive the highest conversion rate amongst the three audiences—28% higher. By month three, Audience Town was able to beat the cost-per-conversion goal, at 12% lower. 

Audience Town was also able to drive the right audience, at the right point in their home journey, as evidenced by the cost-per-qualified lead/appointment numbers: 32% lower than other tactics, and below goal in all regions.

Sunrun just re-signed for an annual agreement with Audience Town based on the campaign’s performance. “We are driving meaningfully different results than other platforms,” added Kaner. Here comes the sun, indeed.