It is amazing how much things change from week to week. This happens for a builder on a regular basis… but all too often we set up our follow up processes and don’t look at them that often. We rely on our marketing emails to give the latest information and our ongoing follow up process at times can be pretty generic.
The sad truth is many of our leads don’t get personally touched after the first 30-60-90 days or so. Even in the online sales counselor world. While I get it, if someone is not responding you are sitting there asking yourself, why should I keep following up? But circumstances change in people’s lives from month to month and year to year. If they haven’t unsubscribed from your database, if you can tell that the emails are being delivered and are not bouncing, then you need to take action to try to get them to engage. This may be simply to get them to click a link.
But honestly your database should be partitioned. You should know who has responded, and who has not over time. With most CRM’s you should have been able to tag, categorize, rate, rank, or other lingo to create lead subsets. What communities were they interested in? What types of floor plans did they like? What amenities were they looking for? And you should not treat all old leads the same.
You Need a Plan
To coax engagement, you need a plan. I often call these revival campaigns. You are trying to revive old lead and get them to speak to you. It’s not just one email you’re, sending out. It’s many steps and many types of touch points.
There are two categories of old leads. The ones who never responded in the first place. And those that have given you some responses and then have gone cold in your database. The latter should have tags, ratings, ranks, etc. to allow you to separate them from the former. Sometimes even the non-responsive emails at least have some information like community of interest. If that’s so, you should make sure to refer specifically.
Personalizing Follow-Up is Essential, Take Ownership of Dropping The Ball
The more specifically you reach out to someone the less they will feel like they are just a number to you. For instance I received an email from a builder I shopped a long time ago. It was great! It was a video email. Which he had never sent before. The truth of the matter is though, the only emails I EVER received from this builder were marketing emails. So even something in the video acknowledging that they haven’t reached out personally before would have been great!! And their CRM should show them all the previous follow-up. If I saw that I had a lead that gave me a phone number, and email address and even asked a question and I then see none of my previous follow-up addressed that. I would take ownership of dropping the ball. This will go a long way!
A Revival Campaign is Not Just One Email
A few weeks ago, I know when lead traffic dipped, I emphasized reaching out to leads we’d spoken with before. I gave you ideas like creating surveys, quizzes and other things to try to get past leads who had engaged, to engage again. If your lead traffic is still down, it’s time to get more creative with those engagement plans and start cultivating the non-responsive leads in your database to get a read on whether or not they will engage.
Check Your Tone
Even the tone we told you to take in your emails a few weeks ago needs to change, because the situation with the virus is rapidly changing. We need to move from brimming with empathy and somberness, to how are you doing, what are you moving toward, express hope, looking toward the future, asking people how comfortable they are as lockdowns are easing? Find out what they want and where they are, and what they plan to do as soon as they get out and about.
Successful Revival Plans
You can utilize a revival plan for both leads that have never responded, and those that have in the past. Some can be more specialized, but you can have elements of the plan that are the same across both types of leads.
- The key to these revivals is to think through how you are going to execute. Have a plan.
- That plan should start with an invitation and have something of value you can offer them.
- As you are putting together these revival plans try to come up with a way to engage them without being pushy.
- Offer them something of value.
Ideas for Your Plans
- A How to Video
- A Checklist
- A live Home Buying Webinar
- A Quiz
None of these ideas may result in direct communication – but a download or a link or something that is trackable will help you know whether they are engaging. This may take putting your heads together with marketing to come up with something fun.
I came up with some great ideas when brainstorming about this, including some great language to use in your emails, videos and text messages to get them to engage.
Start with A simple Invitation Back
I want to invite you back to see what’s New – this can have a variety of information and can be delivered by email, video email, text – even a phone call. Acknowledge that you’ve been remiss in your communication.
You have nothing to lose by reaching out to leads who have never responded. They’ve probably been getting your marketing emails all along. Be honest though.
I know I’ve been MIA for a While Now
Try a video email – especially if you never had them as part of your original follow up. Let them know – Hey I know it’s been a while since I’ve reached out to you, but now since I have been working from home, I’ve had more time to put together some valuable tools for your new home search. If you are interested, I’ve included some links to checklists, how-to videos and I’m even planning a home buying webinar next week.
BUT BE HONEST AND DON’T BLAST THIS OUT TO YOUR ENTIRE DATABASE
Part of your transparency is going to be to make sure you are looking lead by lead – not grouping all your leads together and sending a mass video email to everyone with this information. Be real. Let them know you saw that they asked back in June of 2019 and you know you never spoke with them. Make sure you aren’t blasting your database as if everyone is the same. If you do that you defeat the purpose.
Ideas and Scripts
Consider creating a How-to Video
Idea: The offer of your how-to video could be delivered in an email or a video email: or even by text – You can include a quick note.
Script: Hey – I’ve had some time on my hands so I’ve put together a how-to video on the best way to navigate through our website – who knows, you may find something pinterest worthy. This path through our website takes you to our floorplans, our photo galleries, our virtual tours and even some great stuff I bet you didn’t know where in our blogs! Click here and download.
Idea: You can create a checklist for new home buyers that helps them demystify the home buying process.
Script: Hey, I know that buying a home can sometimes seem overwhelming, so I’ve put together a new home-buyer checklist to help you from soup to nuts. It’s been a while since you inquired about our homes, and I thought this may help you map things out. Here’s a link to our website download. If you are no longer looking for a new home just let me know and I’ll update your file.
Live Home Buying Webinar
Idea: Put together a live home-buying webinar and invite them to it – Bring in some key people in the company to talk and define subjects that will be interesting to the buyers.
Script: I’m reaching out to invite you to our live new home buying webinar. This is a stress-free way to better understand the entire new home buying and building process with our company. We’re going to have some special guests on our webinar to answer questions for you, and to tell you a little bit about our company and how we build our homes. We want you to know our values, and all the secret sauce that goes into making our unique homes. If you are interested click the sign up link and put it on your calendar. If you can’t attend live, we’ll send you a recording if you sign up here.
Idea: Have you played around with survey software? Now is your chance. It’s an easy way to see if people are going to engage. Ask them questions about their home search and what they are looking for. Find out what the things are that drive them crazy about their current house.
Script: Since you’ve been on stay at home orders or quarantine for the last 4-6 weeks you must have noticed things about your house that are driving you nuts! Our survey is not only going to help you vent about your current home, it will help us re-evaluate how we can make our new homes even more valuable to you. Click the link to take our quiz.
Each of these elements is so important because they require someone to take action – which means to download, click a link, or take a quiz. This will allow you to see who is really engaging with your content. Even if they aren’t directly replying to your emails.
Besides the collateral you are creating for these campaigns you can also have video emails and phone calls that go along with them. It should be more than a one and done attempt to get them to engage.