FloorPop - Interactive Marketing Best Practices, Janaury 5, 2005
Vol. 4, Issue 10: Copyright (C) 2005 Blair Kuhnen. All rights reserved.
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Integrating your Web site with your other marketing channels (i.e., online, radio, TV, direct mail, print advertising, outdoor advertising, public relations, promotional events) can make your overall marketing much more effective. The payoff is higher sales velocity, lower marketing costs, and building momentum for community marketing programs. Make your Web site the hub of your interactive marketing strategy.
First, one caveat before making recommendations. I am assuming you already have taken the time to develop an effective Web site and are able to convert Web site visitors into leads. If your Web site is not your number one source of electronic leads, it is a good clue that changes are necessary to improve its performance. These two articles might help you if you are upgrading or replacing your Web site:
The User-Centered Web Site (pdf 127k)
Eight Ways to Drive Internet Leads and Sales
As always, I am happy to provide you with a private consultation at no charge. Just give me a call at 866-923-4026. With that said, let's get specific.
Two things will help you make your Web site a more effective part of your marketing system for driving qualified traffic: Integrating upstream / downstream and using your Web site to reinforce other advertising.
Upstream is your online and offline marketing that drives visitors to your Web site. Downstream is your lead follow-up system. Many large builders aggressively promote their Web site in their media buys and provide listing sites with data feeds of their Web content. They then feed leads back into their follow-up system. "It was important to integrate leads between our CRM application and listing sites and Beazer.com for both effectiveness and efficiency. We attract thousands of leads per month so having those leads integrated with the tools our New Home Information Managers and New Home Counselors utilize ensures we do not waste time re-keying information but it also gives us the ability to more effectively follow up and track the lead from inception to sale to closing." said Jonathan Smoke, CIO for Beazer Homes. Integrating upstream also means using your media buys to generate Web site traffic.
Do promote your Web site in other media buys. Does it mean every ad is an ad for your Web site? No. Recognize that space is limited in many media forms, but you have no such limits on your Web site. Consider how your home shoppers can learn more when they are not yet ready to visit in person. D.R. Horton does this quite well in the Dallas / Fort Worth market. As the largest builder in the DFW metro area, Horton leverages many media (e.g., TV, Print) to build traffic. "We try to direct all our advertising; TV, Print, and direct mail at our Web site." said Todd Horton, Division President, D.R. Horton. Why? "We have a better success rate with buyers who have been to our Web site." added Horton.
Integrate downstream by feeding leads into your system for follow-up. Many large builders are masters of this. They generate leads on their Web site or with third parties and have automatic routines for importing these leads into sophisticated follow-up systems and further into point-of-sale applications. There are several affordable tools for doing this. That sounds great, but what can I do now if I don't have this type of system today? The important thing is to put a process in place for handling leads. If you have no process and methodology from responding, automating the delivery will do no good. In our next issue, we will explore these tools further.
Reinforce your print and other advertising media buys (i.e., Web, TV, radio, outdoor, online). Consumers need to easily find the details of promotions or featured communities on your Web site. Put your key promotions on your homepage or a noticeable link to them. Make communities and events featured in other media easy to find on your site. Simply reinforcing these offline promotions and advertising on your Web site will cause an immediate improvement in lead results and qualified traffic to your communities.
If you have an ad or advertorial running in the local newspaper or on TV, put a process in place to get the creative to those who help with your Web site. If you are sending a pdf to the local newspaper for an ad, send a copy to your Web team. Re-purposing the ad or advertorial for a Web feature or promotion can be done at a nominal cost since you have already have content and creative. The key is to make this part of your routine.
Going to IBS?
Come join us for an advanced Interactive marketing seminar.
"Profit from Your Web Site Investment" - 1/14/05 9:00am-10:00am (Room W300)
This program demonstrates how savvy builders are turning their website visitors into leads and sales. Executives will leave the session with practical field-tested methods to immediately improve their web results.
"Are Your Website & Sales Center Integrated? Selling Homes Online" - 1/16/05 8:30am-10:00am
Are you a web-savvy executive looking to extend your sales, marketing, and design center to the Internet? Builders are converting web traffic into sales and are selling homes online today!
Recent Popular Internet Marketing Articles for Builders
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FloorPop is published on the first Wednesday of each month. We welcome your comments, thoughts, and questions. Please write or call anytime. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blair Kuhnen is the publisher of FloorPop and can be reached at 817-658-7698 or via email at email@example.com.