Building your lists... naturally! How to capture leads & build great email lists [Part 2 of 4]
Part 2. How to capture leads & build great email lists.
Part 3. Making the most out of your email lists.
Part 4. Content that converts email lists into customers.
In Part 1 of this series, we covered the basics of building a natural, organic email list. The premise? Building a quality database takes a little time, but the end result will be a group of quality contacts who actually want to receive communication from you and are more likely to do business with you.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 94% of millennials and 84% of baby boomers say they use the internet during the home buying process. In addition, 43% of all home searches start online according to Realtor.com. Having an easy to find online presence in multiple channels is key to driving lead generation opportunities.
So, let's dig into some of the different ways you can build online presence and capture leads. Keep in mind, not every one of these ideas may fit your business model, skill-set or budget. There's no "one size fits all" solution, so be sure to pay attention to what is and is not working for you, and adjust your focus and expenditures appropriately.
Lead generation services (ie. realtor.com, Zillow, etc.)
Although these services can be costly, they can also deliver high quality leads and online exposure (through advertising). The most important thing when investing in online lead gen. services is the FOLLOW-UP. Seriously. The average lead requires a minimum of 12 touches before it converts into a conversation, let along converting into business. Have a comprehensive lead outreach plan in place that includes immediate telephone outreach, introductory emails, a print or hand-written note, and lots and lots of continued touches. And it goes without saying, but unless the lead says "Never contact me again", then continue to communicate with them based on their specific needs, interests and timelines.
eMerge Tip: Create a multi-touch outreach campaign inside of eMerge that automates parts of your outreach, and reminds you when you need to get more personal.
Your website is a great way to capture leads, as long as it's receiving traffic. Make sure that your website is professionally created and properly optimized for search engagement. And definitely make sure that your site features lots of easy ways to contact you such as telephone / text, quick email forms (which should write directly to your online database and trigger your follow-up protocol), etc.
And for God's sake, if someone contacts you through your site be sure to reach out immediately! Follow the 5-minute follow-up rule...and if you can't, then make sure your automated follow-up protocol handles the immediate outreach for you.
eMerge Tip: You can build opt-in email forms for your website inside of your eMerge account. Any information captured writes directly to your eMerge database and can trigger automated follow-up outreach!
Newsletters are a great way to hit people's inbox with relevant, useful information that can be enjoyed at their convenience. Every person you take to should be asked the following: May I add you to my email database so that I can send you emails related to X, Y and / or Z? And then be sure to encourage people to share your emails with friends and family that could benefit from the content as well...and make it easy for them to sign-up for your newsletter through a link you provide to your website / registration form.
On the note of content, make sure you are providing content that is relevant to the lead opportunity. This means you may need separate email newsletters for buyers, sellers, past clients, friends / family, etc. Be thoughtful and take the time to provide good content and service.
eMerge Tip: If you are an eMerge campaign subscriber, you have access to our ever growing content library of articles, images, templates and messaging that can be used to supplement or support your outreach.
Retargeting campaigns / Paid advertising
Retargeting leads through services such as Google Adwords or Facebook advertising is a great way to stay in front of an actively engaged audience and capture more information about them.
Here’s how it works: A prospective buyer visits your website and views your active listings but doesn't contact you. That's ok though, because you are now going to have ads popping up in front of that prospect through your retargeting campaign that encourage them to contact you / revisit your site / download a free buyers guide, etc. And what's even cooler is that you can create 'look alike' audiences that allow you to target similar people of interest in order to capture even more new leads.
eMerge Tip: It's easy to export your lead lists out of your eMerge account so that you can target with both Google Adwords and Facebook.
Special offers / giveaways
Let's face it, people like incentives. These can be big or small and can be offered as an ongoing incentive or an occasional special offer.
Example, small and ongoing: Asking for someone's contact information so that you can send them a free market report in their zip code is a great service and no cost to you. You've captured a new lead AND provided some relevant information.
Example, seasonal special offer: Run a "Refer your friends and family" campaign where you enter people into a drawing for a free Apple watch if they participate. You can even "up the anti" by stating that for every referral that buys / sells with you will receive XXX as a thank you.
eMerge Tip: Remember to create a 'thank you' auto-responder that will automatically run with each new referral you receive.
In person / onsite meetings / Open houses
It's important to constantly be networking and building your list every time you are out and about. Whether you are at church, your children's school, a family reunion, or local business event, be sure to exchange contact information with others and ASK PERMISSION to add that person to your email outreach. Here are some ideas on how to ask:
"It was great meeting you today. You mentioned you were interested in learning more about price per square foot in your neighborhood. Would you mind if I add you to my email list so that I can send you market updates?"
"I know you said you aren't thinking about buying right now, but I'd love to keep in touch so that I can assist you when the time is right. Can I add you to my email list so I can occasionally reach out to you?"
"I have a great monthly newsletter I send out to the community that's filled with great articles and information, may I add you to the list?"
eMerge Tip: Make sure you have multiple email lists to help you keep track of the types of content you should send a contact. For example: start with some simple email lists like Active Buyers, Active Sellers, Past Clients, BNI Group, Friends & Family, etc. and then add contacts to one or more that fits.
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Social media is a great place for networking, asking for referrals and building your personal network. And remember those incentives we mentioned earlier in this article? Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great places to promote a special giveaways or referral incentives, and LinkedIn allows you to present high value content in exchange for capturing new leads.
There are tons of great content on the internet around capturing leads through individual social channels that you can find with a quick Google search. Focus on the channels that you are most comfortable with and grow from there.
Just remember to keep track in your email database of your lead sources, so you'll know what social channels are proving most successful for your self-promotion.
eMerge Tip: Connect your social channels inside of your eMerge account to make it easy to schedule content inside of your marketing calendar.
Whether you incorporate a blog into your website, post on a 3rd party source (like Medium), or submit guest content to other blog sites, blogging gives you the opportunity to share your expertise and reach a broader audience. And, of course, your blog should always feature a strong call to action, such as:
"Like what you are reading? Subscribe to my email list to receive the latest blog direct to your inbox."
"Constance is a real estate agent in Tucson, AZ focusing on the luxury property market. To connect with Constance for your real estate needs, click here."
eMerge Tip: Trying to figure out what to blog about? Check out the eMerge article library. You can use one of the articles as inspiration or a starting point that can be built upon.
Podcasting / streaming video
Just as with blogging, podcasting and streaming live video (Facebook Live Stream anyone?) provide great ways to engage your audience, build following, and provide insight into your professional expertise. Don't worry about looking or sounding perfect, just focus on being real and in the moment, and people will follow.
eMerge Tip: Create an email campaign to promote your podcast or live stream and encourage sharing.
Cross-promotion saves time, money and helps create consistency across your brand. If your objective is to increase your email database by 100% in 3-months, then make sure you are focused on that objective across all of your marketing channels.
Where are you collecting leads and referrals? What channels are you going to use to drive people to your collection location? Are you going to provide an incentive? And if so, for how long? What parts of the process can you automate? How much is the effort going to cost you? Do you need to enlist assistance in any part of the process?
Thinking through your entire growth strategy and putting a little extra time into planning will help you reap the rewards at the finish line.
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