Home Buyer Lead Nurturing 101: From Newsletter Subscriber to Showhome Visitor
You've built up a sizeable list of newsletter subscribers. That's awesome! But now what? Your goal is to sell more homes and it seems like no one is ready to buy yet. You don't want to scare away your newest leads, so it's time to come up with a plan for moving them from just an interested subscriber to a sales qualified lead who wants to tour your showhomes.
Reading time: 6 minutes
- the three main stages your leads will move through before they're ready to visit a showhome
- how progressive profiling works and why you should use it on your forms
- why using the right context in your email marketing is the key to a strong funnel
- engage with your leads and bring them back to your site with Facebook retargeting
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However, before you can do that, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your future home buyers for a second. The sales cycle can be short or it can also take months, sometimes even years. One family may want to move in time for the upcoming school year, while another is still saving up and taking a look at their new home options. Every prospect is different and that's why a personalized approach is the best way to connect with them.
Once you understand the behaviours of modern home buyers, you'll be able to adapt to their needs much easier. The truth is, you can't control how long a prospect needs in order to make the decision to buy. You can only influence them at each stage in their home buying journey. Focus on giving them the information and help they need to move to the next step and so when they're ready to make a decision, you're the builder on the top of their list.
Lead Nurturing Essentials
Being able to effectively nurture your leads is your ticket to driving more traffic to your showhomes. Context and content go hand-in-hand in making the sales cycle easier and more streamlined by addressing the right needs at the right time.
These leads are looking for answers to their questions. They could be visiting your site for the first time or have just recently subscribed to your newsletter, hoping it will help them make sense of the home buying process.
This is your chance to "wow" them with helpful, relevant content. Knowing who your buyer personas are is crucial to the success of your home builder marketing funnel. What kinds of questions would they be asking? Write your answers in the form of targeted blog posts and offer additional content they can download to learn more about a topic.
An example of the awareness stage in action would be a blog post that talks about the pros and cons of renting versus owning. Your buyer persona is tired of renting and has always dreamed of owning a brand-new home. This would be something they would search for online and that's how they come across your site. Your newsletter subscribers may also relate to this and be compelled to click.
Your article is filled with valuable information that leaves them really considering the thought of a new home. This is great because you've also inserted a CTA for a free download of a guide called the "8 Signs it Might Be Time to Buy a New Home". They're hooked and fill out a form to get their copy.
Once your leads are aware of their problems, they begin looking for solutions. The guide you gave them really opened their eyes to their current situation and it's clear they need to buy a new home. But which builder has what they're looking for and how do they come to that decision?
These leads would benefit from a free guide download focused on your home building company and how you can exceed their expectations. On this form, they'll answer a few more questions (more on this below) to receive it. As they move through the funnel, you'll be able to learn more about their needs and pain points so you can connect with them in a way that's relevant to them.
Leads that enter the decision stage have found their solution - you. They're ready to build a new home and, since you've helped them navigate the home buying process, you're the natural next step. This is awesome news! Give them an easy path to your showhomes so they can meet with one of your sales representatives and become a happy homeowner. Offer up a free showhome map download with simple directions to take them right to the front door. Or present them with a form to directly contact a sales rep and make an appointment for a consultation.
Now that you can visualize the three main stages your prospect takes on the way to purchasing a home from you, let's get into some best practices you should ALWAYS follow to keep your funnel flowing smoothly and bring more qualified leads to your showhomes.
As mentioned in the consideration stage of the home buyer's journey, your lead has already given you their email address (and maybe their name). It's time to dig a little deeper and add some depth to your contact record. As a lead continues to download content offers on your website and fill out forms, there should be smart fields in place to ask new questions:
- Which area of the city do they want to live in?
- How soon are they looking to buy?
- Are they currently renting?
- Which home type do they want?
Asking these questions is important because you're moving beyond the email and focusing on personalization in your lead nurturing efforts. Knowing these details will help you better segment your lists and use the right context in your email marketing campaigns. Connection is the path to consistent engagement with your leads and will give you more influence over their buying cycle.
Email Marketing Mastery
The key to great home builder email marketing is pairing content with the right context. Look at where your leads are in your marketing funnel and take time to read their contact records before you segment them.
Someone in the consideration stage who is looking to buy within the next six months would benefit from a series of emails where you share testimonials and case study content so they can get a real feeling of what it will be like if they choose to build with you. Seeing other happy homeowners connects with them on an emotional level and adds to your credibility.
A recent newsletter subscriber would not be the right audience for these emails because they're simply not at that stage yet. Wait until they interact with more newsletters and download your content offers to move through your funnel.
Keep Your Funnel Moving With Facebook Retargeting
Once you've attracted your target audience to your site, it's time to keep them engaged and converting. Let's say, for example, you run Facebook ads promoting your latest blog posts. You have also created a custom audience to track anyone who has visited your site during a certain time frame. Now, the ads you create will show up in their timeline and they will continue to engage with the posts that interest them.
Having high-performing CTAs on your content will encourage new downloads and move them through the funnel at their own pace. Each time, you'll learn more about their click behaviours and build a better understanding of where they're at in the home buyer's journey. This makes for an easier lead handoff to sales because they have a profile to work from in their CRM. Every page visited, piece of content downloaded, and contact property filled in; they can view it in real time.
Your goal should always be to filter out quality over quantity and send your sales team prospects with the best chance of closing. The hard work is done in your home builder marketing funnel, and the above tips will put you in the best position to nurture your leads the right way.
Generating an impressive list of newsletter subscribers is great, but how do you take these leads (and your marketing) to the next level? Getting more qualified leads into your showhomes is a process you can master if you follow these lead nurturing tips:
First, it's time to get into the heads of your ideal buyers and understand the three stages they go through before they're ready to visit one of your showhomes. Leads in the awareness stage would be your newsletter subscribers or new visitors to your site.
As they continue to engage with your content and emails, they begin to consider your company as a solution to their new home needs. Your goal is to be top-of-mind so that when they reach out and are sales ready, they come to your showhome already wanting to build with you
There are a few things you can do in your marketing funnel to help influence your leads, answer their smaller questions and help them come to their purchase decision that much easier.
Progressive profiling on forms allows you to learn more about a lead's home buying needs and interests when they download your content. This way, you can better assist them when they reach out and build rapport.
Having an effective email marketing strategy in place will move your leads down the funnel because you're offering up valuable resources they're actually interested in, within the right context.
Facebook retargeting is also a great way to keep your leads engaged and coming back to your site via helpful and relevant promoted content. The CTAs on your blog pages will move them through your funnel with more content downloads. You can even refine your audience and promote your landing pages on Facebook for direct access to your content.
Want to learn more about how you can a) automate your entire lead nurturing process and b) generate high-quality leads who can't wait to visit your showhomes?