It’s no secret that more than 90% of home shoppers begin their search online. But where online? In an upswing market, how do you find time to deal with the onslaught of new leads?
For marketing executives in today’s home building market, there are more opportunities than ever to generate leads: web contact forms, newsletter interest lists, email links, traceable phone numbers, SMS engagement and live chat, among others.
So which of these leads are most likely to get the undivided attention of the sales team: the anonymous, faceless e-leads that magically appear in their inbox? Or the smiles and handshakes that walk through the door, ready to start the buying process?
Most would agree that the leads generated in person tend to be stronger. But what about the e-leads? They are people, too. They have done their research, and could be just as ready to buy as the walk-ins, especially if your website has done its job properly. Or, they could just be tire-kickers.
So how do you find out, without wasting valuable time and resources?
Enter Marketing Automation: A Smarter Way to Manage Leads
Marketing automation offers an answer to this problem with ready-made, analytic information on lead quality and customer profiles, as well as automated methods to prioritize and nurture leads based on where they are in the home buying process. This turns one-off email responses into intelligent, drip campaigns.
These campaigns give the marketing department the ability to deliver contract-ready e-leads with minimal effort. The sales team spends less time qualifying leads, and more time closing sales.
How Marketing Automation Works
Marketing automation works with your existing customer relationship management software, and scores leads based on their browsing habits and other customer profile information. It then generates tailored, valuable content to prospects through social media, email marketing, website integration and personal drip campaigns designed to nurture them through the buying process.
Even with marketing automation, the content you provide still has to be high quality to generate results. Automated analytics allow you to spend more time developing that content, using software that progressively scores, profiles and prioritizes leads.
With that information in hand, you can ramp up your marketing efforts in a calculated manner, providing useful, well-timed content and interaction, ultimately building to a seamless “A” lead handoff to the sales team.
Benefits of Marketing Automation for Home Builders
For home builders, automated scoring and categorization of leads is a breath of fresh air. There are plenty of tire-kickers out there who are anxious to learn every detail of every floor plan, but who have little or no intention of buying.
Automation allows you to keep your marketing and sales departments lean and efficient, focusing only on the worthwhile leads. This also creates trust between these departments, which improves teamwork, attitudes and job satisfaction.
Consumers don’t want their time wasted, and appreciate original, relevant content above all else. A customer just beginning their research may not respond well to an immediate, head-on sales approach. Instead, they might only need more information about a particular plan or feature.
Through the methodical process of progressive profiling (imperative to marketing automation), you learn whether a contact is a qualified prospect, and if so, what makes them tick. With a comprehensive profile (not just a name and email), you can then provide prospects with information of real value through relevant event invitations, personalized email content, graphics or other important communications.
Dedicate some quality time to enhance your marketing automation strategy. Additional resources to help you identify opportunities to improve your lead generation efforts can be found in NAHB’s BizTools library.