By: David Tile | Founder @ Writtn for Reators | @davidtile
In my day to day I meet with agents across the City of Toronto. Our core competency @ Writtn for Realtors is as a group of writers. We are adept at crafting blog and social content. And I am passionate about content as a key means for brand building and long term success. That said, every single good meeting or phone call that I run through will eventually come to a place where the agent asks me to help them generate seller leads.
Now. For a comprehensive digital marketing program, most agents don’t have the $1500 to $2500 monthly budget to engage us. (Our base lead gen service starts @ $250 USD / month plus ad spend). Hence the impetus to develop this guide.
(Disclaimer. In this guide I recommend two services: Instapage and AWeber. I am an affiliate to these companies and use them professionally. If you choose to use these services – and you appreciate the hard work that goes into producing and publishing a guide of this nature – please click through my links so we can earn an affiliate commission.)
Ok, let’s generate some leads. First, let me brief you on what exactly a landing page is and why it’s one of the most important assets in your digital marketing arsenal.
A Landing Page is a single webpage strictly devoted to bringing visitors to action. Moving them down your marketing funnel, often acting as the first touch point for your brand. You’ve been to landing pages in your journey around the internet. Perhaps thousands of them without you even knowing.
Here’s an example landing page…
It’s goal is simple, drive individuals from Albuquerque that are interested in a home valuation to action. What’s the action? Simply put: they give you their information and are put into your marketing systems. Those that submit their information to this landing page are going to be home owners looking for a professional to help them put a dollar figure on their home.
Can you think of anyone that this information might be useful to? Yah, sorry for the sarcasm. Of course, this is your seller lead. Maybe not today, but at some point in the next few years, this is someone that will be (in the aggregate) looking to sell their home. And for the best campaigns, (like the ones that we set up for our clients) 1 of every 150 to 200 individuals that fill in this form will list their house with the agent within 4 weeks.
We find that roughly 10% of those that fill in their information on these Seller Lead landing pages are serious about selling their house now (if the paid traffic source is properly optimized, more on this later.) And you know that you can close 1 in every 20 serious leads that comes through the door, easy!
Unfortunately, far too many realtors let this powerful piece of the digital marketing puzzle go to waste because they fear it’s reserved strictly for techies that can code, etc. It’s not. There are tons of great landing page software companies (like Instapage *wink*) that are super user friendly.
We’re going to focus on a six step process…
- Setup Email Magnet
- Build a Landing Page
- Send Traffic to Landing Page
- Track Conversions
- Send Leads into Email Drip Campaign
- Optimize and Repeat
At this point I want emphasize that this system is incredibly simple! Results are not at all guaranteed, but with practice and a good marketing budget, you will be earning seller leads in drove. This is not a system that is reserved strictly for those who can afford a professional marketing team. You can easily build this system in an afternoon and have the leads coming in tomorrow.
1. Setup Your Email Magnet
What’s an email magnet? It’s a simple piece of value that you are prepared to offer your prospective clients. A company selling black socks might offer a 25% discount off your first purchase if you sign up to their email list.
At this point, it’s important to consider who you are targeting. Since with this guide we’re after seller listings, let’s look at providing value to the prospective home seller. Some ideas…
- Free Home Valuation
- Free Home Inspection
- Free Art Staging
By providing value you are incentivizing prospective clients to sign up to your email list. This will pay dividend as you now have permission to appropriately market to them using email. But, the more important piece here is that by signing up for your offer, they are indicating that they are at least considering listing their home.
Setting up the right email magnet is critical. You have to make sure you are capable of delivering on your promise immediately. For the sake of this exercise, we’re going to go with a free home valuation… when somebody signs up to my landing page, you’re going to call them within 24 hours and set up a time for a home visit.
2. Build a Landing Page
My recommendation is that you use Instapage for your landing page needs. Super simple process, friendly customer support, and a plethora of good landing page templates to choose from.
Once you have setup your account, walk through the incredibly simple process for creating a landing page. I recommend you choose a simple landing page. My philosophy with landing pages is that less is more. The more information you provide, the more that will distract the user from action. We don’t want to oversell at the initial point of contact, we want to encourage them to act as quickly as possible. This will lead to a better conversion rate for your traffic. Something like this will convert far better than something more complicated. (Save for the fact that this is a template and you’re going to put in your own copy).
As Amanda Clark of Business 2 Community explains, it’s hard to really expect much of a response from your audience of homebuyers if your landing page doesn’t appropriately communicate the value and insight offered by your service or special promotion.
“…keep the copy very deliberately focused on your offer—on the action you want people to take.” – Amanda Clark, Business 2 Community
Clark also notes that once you figure out the type of offer or action you want your readers to take, don’t stray from this message. Ensuring that your offer isn’t diluted by fluff and unnecessary filler is key to maximizing conversions.
There are two more keys to your new landing page that I want to share… Your Call-to-Action (CTA) and the Landing Page Copy. On the technical design side of the equation, Wishpond’s Claire Grayston points out that having a call-to-action (CTA) that truly jumps off the page further enhances the potential for a positive response from your audience of potential clients. When designing an eye-popping CTA as part of the landing page creation process, try to hone in on the following characteristics:
- Contrasting color schemes – Using contrasting colors makes your CTA button highly viewable and forces the reader’s eyes to this portion of the landing page.
- Actionable copy – “Schedule Your Free Tour Today!” and “Download Our Homebuying Checklist Now!” are both examples of actionable copy. Tell these homebuyers what you want them to do, then give them the tools to do it.
- Strong positioning – Don’t bury the CTA underneath a mountain of content or images. This selection should stand front and center in a place of prominence – often at the top of the page or within a special inset or sidebar.
If you’re able to build a CTA that fits into these winning attributes, then you’ve just taken a major step in the right direction when it comes to selling your listings faster via effective landing pages.
Savvy Marketers will go so far as to test the different designs, different color schemes, different copy and different CTAs. Running A/B tests is certainly something we will consider down the line, but for now, let’s just get this landing page up and let’s drive some traffic to it!
Are you enjoying this guide so far? Do me a favor, on the left side of this screen there are buttons to share this. Whether with a tweet, a share on facebook, or an email to a select few colleagues that might find this useful. It would mean a lot 🙂
3. Send Traffic to Landing Page
Now that you have a beautiful landing page set up, live and ready to go, we need to test it’s mettle. Your landing page is only going to perform as well as the traffic that you’re able to push it’s way. Here are some basic and free tips for driving traffic to your landing page…
- Push This Content out to Your Social and Email Followings
- Insert a Link on your Blog Content to this Landing Page
- Insert a Link to this Landing Page into your Email Signature
- Email your List
- Guest Post on Local Blogs and Insert a Link
Generally speaking, these are good ways to drive initial traffic to your landing page. But we want to build something that is measurable, easy to track, and easy to duplicate over the long haul. Getting a good push from your network might result in some leads, but it’s an echo chamber and will dry up. Getting a good push from some PR with guest posts might also result in some leads, but how repeatable is this?
What I want you to focus on is driving traffic through facebook ads. Facebook ads are very cheap (at time of writing) relative to other forms of paid traffic. And they are incredibly precise –> allowing you to target by region (local leads) and demographics (25 to 65 year olds with a minimum certain income?).
Here’s a quick screenshot of your targeting options with Facebook Ads. I have identified men and women that live in Bal Harbour, Florida (Zip Code 33154) between the ages of 24 and 60 for an ad set I’m running. Based on a reach of 5400 individuals, I might put $50 to $100 a month in spend behind this group.
Now, if I can pull 1-2 listings from this lead gen work every year, my annual spend of $600 – $1200 will have earned me anywhere from $15k to $40k in commish (more if it’s an oceanside penthouse 😉
Consider this (unbranded) client example. We work with a realtor named Eric in San Diego. We were successful in earning him a cost per click of 24 cents for a 2 week period beginning November of 2015.
We spent $222.05 and earned 934 clicks to his landing page.
His landing page converts visitors to leads at a rate of 14.2%, meaning 132 inquiries. Roughly 10% of these leads are worthy of a visit and a thorough valuation. And Eric will close roughly 1 listing from these leads (within 4 weeks + more will come down the line with other marketing efforts).
Some of you are going to reach out and ask me if we provide this service. The answer is hell yes, and we’re damn good at it too. So rather than have you hunt for our contact form, I figure we might as well just give it to you here… Contact Us for a Free Consultation and Reserve your Zip / Postal Code.
Y’know, it occurs to me at this point in writing this guide that some of you might not care about the rest of the content. Steps 1 through 3 might be enough for a lot of realtors out there, and that’s totally fine.
- Build Your Offer (Email Magnet)
- Position Offer on a Beautiful Landing Page
- Send Traffic to Said Landing Page
- Close Deals and Bank Commissions
- Rinse and Repeat
If you’re cool with this, bookmark this guide and come back in 4 months when you’re looking to kick it up a notch. What follows are techniques to truly juice your campaign from good to great. Techniques to squeeze every dollar out of your marketing budget for maximum return on investment.
4. Track Conversions
Once you’re ready to take your landing page promotion to the next level, there’s no better place to start than with a strong stance on tracking every step of the conversion process. This viewpoint holds especially true if you’re a realtor who leverages multiple iterations of the same landing page; something you definitely need to be doing if you plan on generating as many seller leads as possible.
So how should you track viewers and conversions? For the sake of simplicity and consistency, I again recommend working with the Instapage platform.
Working with an analytics tool like the one showcased above gives you access to the following key data points:
•Performance Changes by Page
•Unique Visitor Numbers
•Raw Number of Conversions
•Display Rate by Page
Tracking each of these metrics – namely conversion rates – gives you all the info you need to tweak and refine your landing page content, turning these offerings into killer seller lead generation assets. Even if you don’t go deep with all of the variables mentioned, it’s still imperative to utilize Instapage’s platform, Google Analytics, or some other tracking system to stay on top of the performance of your landing pages.
Otherwise, you’re simply taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best in regard to how these pages impact your incoming potential clients. You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert with years of experience to see that this kind of approach is clearly not a recipe for realtor success.
5. Send Leads into Email Drip Campaign
One of the most overlooked problems with funneling leads into your email marketing contact list, according to the team from Zapier, is the fact that these viewers only see your new email content. It might not seem like much initially, but this can be quite a jarring experience for prospective clients who need a little extra time and a more formal introduction to get acclimated to your content.
Fortunately, the email drip campaign approach makes this problem a virtual non-issue. By having a stable of emails that automatically fire off based on certain viewer actions (more on this in a second), you guarantee that every seller entering your drip campaign – and overarching lead generation system – has an interactive and engaging experience.
As you can see in the example drip campaign flow chart – again via the team from Zapier – your client’s actions will dictate exactly which emails end up in their inbox. Specifically, I suggest honing in on these entry or action points for your drip campaign if you want to get the most out of this tactic:
• Welcome Email – Triggered by landing page contact list sign-up.
• Follow-Up Message – Fires off three to five days after joining your contact list.
• Appointment Confirmation – In response to a client request for a meeting.
• “Last Call” Inactivity Warning – Targeted at contact list members who are close to being dropped from your list due to inactivity.
The big thing to understand here is that these examples are just some of the behavioral triggers you can incorporate into your drip campaign. You know your clients better than anyone and you’ve spent the time needed to build landing pages that enhance the experience of these visitors, so put this intimate knowledge to good use as you develop custom autoresponders and other drip campaign inclusions!
If you don’t already have a platform for setting up a drip campaign, go ahead and give AWeber a try. This tool offers up industry-leading deliverability and an intuitive take on the automation or drip process. Adding in access to a plethora of tracking metrics and analytics ensures that you’re able to keep increasing the effectiveness of these drips and optimizing your interaction with these sellers.
Before we get started, I want to mention that it’s important to maintain a constant baseline of content across your social channels and your blog. (In the aggregate) When a prospective client finds you online, they are going to do some research. They are going to check your website, your blog and your profiles on facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc. In order to optimize your lead gen conversion rates, own a consistent level of content across your channels.
6. Optimize and Repeat
Speaking of optimization, it’s a good time to switch over to the final point I’d like to cover: If you really want to generate seller leads via landing pages and all of the other tactics that support this process, you need to commit to the long haul in terms of page refinement and improvement. As cliché as it sounds, the whole concept of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” does hold plenty of weight when it comes to extracting the most value out of your landing pages.
The above image from the Onlish marketing blog helps visualize the concept of continuous optimization. Instead of viewing this process as a straight line, think of it as a repeating circle; once you’re done with the last step of your approach, it’s time to start all over at the beginning.
Sounds exhausting, right? It is – and there’s no point in sugarcoating this reality. However, if you’re able to embrace the challenge that comes with continuous optimization, you’ll create landing pages that truly speak to the needs of incoming sellers and other potential clients.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the finer points of reiterative landing page optimization. According to Neil Patel – one of the smartest guys in the industry – you’ll want to start with these three simple steps:
•Zero in on the main elements of your landing page.
•Experiment with changes and edits that increase usability and performance.
•Gather qualitative and quantitative feedback, then compare with prior iterations of your landing page.
As far as the second bullet point goes, Patel drills down to the following elements as key inclusions worth considering in your testing and editing process:
•Does your layout flow smoothly from section to section?
•Are your included images and videos relevant to your “big point?”
•How easy is it for the viewer to act upon your CTA?
•Does your text or page copy “pop?”
•Where do trust elements and former client testimonials fit into the picture?
Again, the particulars of your take on optimization can – and will – change based on the complexion of your landing pages. Even so, you’ll find that it’s hard to go wrong with these concepts leading the way as you commit to the process of continuous landing page refinement and improvement.
Luck would have it that Writtn for Realtors provides this exact service. It costs $250 USD / month plus ad spend. Contact us for a free consultation…