Generating leads is hard work. It’s even harder using them. Homebuilders and remodelers spend time and money on trade show exhibitions, website content and email marketing to name a few, and all too often those leads simply aren’t followed up because the sales team doesn’t have the time. Research from the Trade Show Exhibitors’ Association indicates that sales people typically follow up only the “hottest” leads and engage with those prospective customers, while the other 60 percent to 80 percent fall by the wayside.
Losing To the Competition
For the potential customer, it amounts to being ignored. They’ve provided their information for you to contact them. They’re expecting something from somebody—and much of the time, nothing happens. Even if they aren’t “ready to buy” (and 80 percent of leads from all sources, e.g., the Internet, email campaigns, direct mail, advertising, are not according to Gleanster Research), other studies show that within 24 months the majority of those leads go on to buy a competitor’s product or service. So how do you avoid losing those leads to the competition, even if you can’t follow them up right now?
Use Automated Emails
The answer to this is, simply, to nurture those leads using a fully customized, automated cloud-based email marketing system. A cornerstone of good CRM systems, an automated email program triggers emails at specific times or when leads reach certain milestones. For example, you can set the program to send a first email immediately on receipt of the lead, followed by content based on the keywords used in the inquiry. Your prospects can then also receive email on a pre-scheduled basis such as once or twice a month.
You create the content, plug it into the system and voila! You’re able to nurture a lead by sending him a special offer with a direct link to a landing page on your website. This could include:
- advice to help the prospect do his job better
- a recent blog post crammed with useful information about the uses of your product
- a case study or testimonial from a satisfied client
- promotions or coupons for a special offer
- an invite to join an online webinar or attend an event
- a white paper or e-book jam-packed with material
The emails can be preset to trigger completely automatically, the system stores the mailing list and updates it as you add or lose subscribers, and you can pull comprehensive reports whenever you like. This integrates really neatly with your website and CRM systems, and you can fill the automated message with information and links to your site or social media pages.
A branded, HTML email is always the most interesting. Most marketing automation systems include the capability to create plain-text versions for those recipients who prefer them. In these days of the mobile revolution, whatever you send out needs to be accessible on mobile devices, too. Because it constitutes content, the email copy also needs to be optimized for your key search terms if you want to get found online. The main value, however, is the fact that your prospective customer is no longer being ignored, and if he responds to the automated message with a question or a readiness to buy, the system will forward it to you.
With this kind of system, you no longer need to worry about losing home building or remodeling leads just because you’re too busy to deal with them as they come in. Whether your leads come from a contact form on your website or you scan in a bunch of business cards, the principle is the same. Nurture your leads until you can attend to them, and close the deal in your own time.
Photo courtesy: jessicajourney.com