FloorPop -  Internet Marketing that Works, August 6, 2003

Vol. 3, Issue 5

Copyright (C) 2003 Blair Kuhnen.  All rights reserved. May be reproduced in any medium for noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is given.

9 Ways to Drive Internet Leads and Sales Without Even Trying Hard

  1. Put a person and a process in place to follow up on all leads in a timely manner.

    Let's start at the end of your sales funnel. You have a smart distribution strategy. You have lots of website visitor traffic. You receive a great number of leads. Yet, if no sales come out of the other end, what's the point? More about online sales counselors.

  2. Leverage builder portals (e.g., homebuilder.com, newhomesource.com, americanhomeguides.com) to drive visitors and leads.

    The number and quality of distribution options continue to grow. You need a marketing presence where home shoppers are look for homes. For example, you may prefer the Dallas Morning News to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. However, if 40% of home shoppers are looking at your non-preferred weekend paper, you may still want to advertise there. It works the same way online.

  3. Make your website faster and easier to navigate.

    An amazing thing happens when your website becomes faster and users find it easier to use. You immediately see a substantial increase in both visitors and leads. Try this test. Simplify and reduce the size (in kilobytes) of your homepage and measure your visitors and leads over one week. Did your ratio of leads to visitors improve? Did you notice an unusual pick-up in visitor and repeat visitor traffic?

  4. Make it easy and compelling for website visitors to start a dialog with you.

    Make sure your contact links are where visitors can find them and be careful to name them in a way that makes people want to click. For example, "Request Brochure" will probably get more clicks than "Have a salesman call me." Further, why not put an 800 number on your website and offer to answer your users' questions. Finally, don't ask for too much information when users have to fill out a form. While you might want to know their phone number and quite a few other things, requiring it is a barrier when completing your form.

  5. Review your driving directions and update them as if your website visitor is relocating from Kansas.

    This is one of easiest physical traffic builders known and probably the single most overlooked piece of content on home builder websites. Is it possible that your advertising dollars were effective enough to motivate a shopper, but your driving directions were so poor that the shopper found another builder's community to visit?

  6. Create a good auto-response for every neighborhood.

    Every time you get a lead it is a chance to start a dialog. Most builders use auto-responders, and in most cases the copy is lame. This is your opportunity to set an expectation and sell the community a second time. You can't stop there. You still have to follow-up.

  7. Create and leverage permission marketing tools.

    It's all about starting a dialog that results in physical traffic to your community. Unfortunately, very few Internet shoppers are ready to start a dialog. Sometimes they just need a reason. What can you give away in exchange for permission to start a dialog with your Internet home shoppers? More about permission marketing.

  8. Call every contact that gives you a phone number.

    On most builder websites and builder portals, users are not required to give their phone number. If they give you a phone number, it is an invitation to call. Accept it.

  9. Highlight your "coming soon" neighborhoods and create interest groups for email campaigns.

    We all have them. Many builders highlight them. Few do much more than this. Turn your "coming soon" neighborhoods into backlog builders. It is a place where you have the potential to create excitement. Let your users join your VIP list or preferred buyer program.

    Internet Marketing Articles for Builders

    The Lux Solutions website now contains expanded articles for builders. In addition to the FloorPop archive, you will find useful links and numerous articles that can help improve the usability and effectiveness of your website. Find them here at: www.luxsolutions.com/articles.html.

    FloorPop is published on the first Wednesday of each month.  We welcome your comments, thoughts, and questions.  Please send them to blair@luxsolutions.com.

    Blair 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 866-923-4026 or via e-mail at blair@luxsolutions.com