Floor Pop - Internet Marketing that
Works, June 4, 2003
Vol. 3, Issue 3
Copyright (C) 2003 Blair Kuhnen. All rights reserved. FloorPop content may be reproduced in any medium for
noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is given.
Drive Leads with
Permission marketing is
simply exchanging value with a prospect as a way of gaining the right to market
to them. The term was popularized in the
highly recommended book of the same name (i.e., Permission
Marketing) by Seth Godin of Yahoo! fame. Once you have this permission, e-mail
marketing is usually your tool for expanding the dialog.
Godin argues that most of us market our wares
unselectively, much like a male college sophomore in Ft. Lauderdale on Spring Break.
If there are enough prospects around and we ask enough of them, we are
bound to get lucky every once in a while.
With permission marketing, we first give something of value in return for
permission to start a dialog.
Permission marketing is not
new to builders, but the term may be.
We have been giving away free brochures in exchange for prospects’
addresses for a long time. The Web opens
up a wide range of new options that can dramatically improve your marketing
Here are 8 of my favorite homebuilder permission
brochures – We all have them
and it’s a relatively low cost way to start a dialog. Unfortunately we don’t always make it
obvious to Web surfers that we would like to give them one. Sometimes, the offer is hidden under a
link that might as well be labeled “Have Guido call and try to sell me a
home.” A better alternative might
be to simply label the link “Request a Brochure.”
brochures – Printing out all
the community information on a website such as the driving directions, plans,
etc. is a pain. Why not make it
easy for your visitors to get all of this in one neat package. In exchange for this value, it is okay
to ask for registration. See an
example at www.centexhomes.com
on any neighborhood page.
give away items – Maybe you
have a video or virtual reality piece to mail? One of my favorites is Arthur
Rutenberg’s “Legendary Homes” model home book. What a great name and great give
away. Or look at David Weekley and
the book he wrote that you can get free for joining his Home Club. What do you have that is unique to you,
inexpensive, and would be of perceived value to your website visitor? Give it away, in return for the right to
start a dialog.
or other weekly incentives –
Give them a reason to share their information and to show up as physical
traffic this weekend. Maybe you are
offering $750 off options in the newspaper. Let your website visitors know.
soon interest lists – Now you
have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a select group of
homebuyers who will get first selection of lots, pre-construction pricing,
and whatever else you see as appealing.
pre-qualification – Are you
selling to first time homebuyers or others who may be credit
challenged? Offer them some peace
of mind and generate a lead at the same time.
portfolios – Let people sign up
to save the plans in which they have an interest. Beazer Homes was the first Builder I
noticed doing this years ago. Now
several builders offer this feature.
Some have added comparison tools and more. Will this feature drive many leads? Not likely, but my guess is that the
quality will more than make up for the quantity.
visitor programs – Offer free advice, advance notification,
and other perks to those willing to register. Make the perks very clear and easy to
There you have 8 ways to
turn your website in to a lead generating machine. That will keep you busy for a while. Should you do all of these tomorrow? No, you need to be selective. Focus on those which have value to your
target market. I don’t expect Toll
Brothers to come out with a pre-qualification feature. However, it might be a good tool for Choice
FloorPop is published on the first Wednesday of each
month. We welcome your comments,
thoughts, and questions. Please send
them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kuhnen is the owner of Lux Solutions, an independent consultancy serving the
homebuilding industry by providing Internet related sales and marketing
solutions. He can be reached in Fort Worth, Texas at 817-923-4026 or via
e-mail at email@example.com