Marketing Strategies for Pool and Recreational Water Testing

The season for water recreation is here once again — and the hope is that it will look very different from last year, given COVID-19's restrictions on water activities, such as swimming, wading, and surfing.

For water labs, now is the time to market your pool and recreational water monitoring and test services. Your work is critical to ensure that a fun summer day doesn't lead to nasty symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, eye infection, or respiratory ailment.

As recreational water programs kick into high gear, water lab managers need to market their testing services to expand their reach. Here's how you can boost your marketing for recreational testing.

Pool Water Testing

Various germs and bacteria, including Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E.coli, can survive in pools and may even be resistant to chlorine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once pool water is contaminated, a swimmer only needs to swallow a small amount to get sick. Continuous disinfection and filtration reduces the risk but doesn't eliminate it. Monitoring and testing are critical.

Here are a few customers and prospects to contact about pool water testing, along with ways to reach them:

1. Hotel, Club, and Apartment Owners and Managers

Get a jump on pool season by sending emails or physical mail to customers and prospects to remind them of pool maintenance and testing requirements. Make sure they have all the supplies they need to sample, including bottles and gloves.

Consider providing sample pickup to avoid any gaps in protocols for storing and delivering samples. In fact, if your lab can handle it, you may want to upsell services beyond basic testing, including on-site sampling. Give buyers an option to schedule regular testing all season long, with a discount for paying in advance.

2. Homeowners

With many public pools closed in 2020, there was a sweeping shift to private, backyard pools. Around the country, pool sales skyrocketed as people created oases where they could escape the pandemic. That makes residential water testing a potential area of new business. Contact owners directly via letter, flyer, or brochure to offer a free initial consultation or discount on regular testing over the season. Post a concise but informative article or instructional video on your website that explains how to sample and test — and that reminds owners of the steps they'll need to take to keep their pool water safe.

3. Realtors

It's a smart idea to offer water testing information to real estate professionals so they can pass it on to buyers seeking homes with pools or spas. And for sellers, provide inserts on your lab's monitoring and test services to include with home information packets. Keep up on sales of homes with pools and spas in the area you serve to identify possible new customers.

Recreational Water Testing

According to the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act passed in 2000, coastal states are required to monitor recreational water for indicators of pathogens, based on Environmental Protection Agency criteria. In coastal states, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) often takes responsibility for monitoring and testing. But inland, many lakes, rivers, and streams are under the guidance of local health departments. The goal is to protect public health while making sure recreationists can enjoy local waters as often as possible.

Here's how to increase awareness among these potential customers:

1. Health and Environmental Agencies

Send an email to the DEQ, health departments, and resorts responsible for recreational water and explain how you can help meet water quality standards. Link to an article or video on your website for further information. Or, you can offer a webinar on Zoom (or another videoconferencing service) with a short presentation on water testing, followed by a Q&A session.

2. Media

Don't be shy. The media — whether newspapers, TV, local magazines, or community newsletters — are always looking for story ideas. Let them know of any critical topics or themes relevant to water testing and offer to serve as a subject matter expert on the issue.

Don't Forget Social Media and Referrals

No matter which type of water testing you're promoting, you should consider two other marketing tactics. First, create a series of informational posts for social media that explain your services and the need for water testing in general. Your series might focus on sampling protocols, performing tests, understanding results, or issues that could arise without water testing. Also, be sure to ask existing customers for referrals — and offer them a discount or credit if you get a new water testing client.

If you haven't already, dive into marketing your water testing services now. To more effectively build awareness and best support public health, consider combining several marketing methods to maximize your reach.

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Diana Kightlinger

Diana Kightlinger is an experienced journalist, copywriter, and blogger for science, technology, and medical organizations. She writes frequently for Fortune 500 corporate clients but also has a passion for explaining scientific research, raising awareness of issues, and targeting positive outcomes for people and communities. Diana holds master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism.