Most builders I talk to have the same complaint and that is there are not enough leads that are ready to buy today. I’m going to show you how to solve that problem, but in order to do that, we have to go back in time a little bit. The best time to build today’s pipeline was actually a year or two ago, and it’s kind of like that old saying, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is today. That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s video.
Let’s dive in and talk about how to build a robust marketing funnel. You see today, buyers like to do research. We like to Google everything. If we’re thinking about buying a home, we’re going to start looking into locations, design ideas, the process. We’re going to research. We’re going to save up. The key to capturing these people and building a really robust marketing pipeline is actually to catch these people in the early stages of the research process.
Let’s look at an example. Take home buyer Mary. Mary is sitting in bed on her iPad doing some research. She’s thinking about her dream home. She’s picturing herself entertaining guests in that kitchen. She’s sitting in her spa-like bathroom. She’s got enough bedrooms for all the kids and guests when they come. She’s just in that brainstorming and dreaming mode, but she’s browsing sites like Zillow and Pinterest and Instagram, and she’s hitting some home builder websites as well – reading their blog and looking at different floor plans. She may be a year or two away from actually purchasing; however, while she’s in the early stages of research mode, this is where the big opportunity is. Now some of you may be thinking, why is this an opportunity? This is not a lead that’s going to buy from me today or even in the next couple of months, but I want to encourage you to think about this: This is the process that everybody goes through, so while we do want to build today’s pipeline, we also want to build tomorrow’s pipeline. And by tomorrow, I mean six months, 12 months from now. Because before you know it, we’re going to blink, and it’s going to be a year from now. If you’ve done the prep work, you’re going to fast forward to this time next year, and you’re going to have all these opportunities that you’ve been cultivating for a year, plus the people that are just ready to buy at that time. It can really impact that sales pipeline in a positive way.
Let’s go back to Mary. Mary is doing her research. She’s browsing different sites, and she lands on your website. We know in this example that she’s maybe a year or two out from making a purchase, but as she hits the site, we just know she’s an anonymous visitor, and if she’s not ready to come in and tour a model home, then she’s just going to leave. However, if we offer her something of value – this can be something like a new home buyers guide or a move-in checklist, something that educates her on the building process or how to move in, or maybe even just the community that you’re building and offering her a brochure – but in exchange for this information, we’re going to ask for hers. So, just a name and email. Maybe we’ll ask for a little bit more, but we’re at least going to get that. Now that we’ve got her name and her email address, we can use this to stay in touch with her. This is the nurturing process. So now we can continue to stay in front of her as she’s researching, and we can provide her with lots of helpful information. We can tell her more about floor plans you have and talk about the community, but then you can also just educate her on the process of getting pre-qualified, picking design options – whatever that journey looks like. She’s maybe never been on it before, but you do it every day, so we want to give her a lot of value. Through this process, you start to earn a lot of trust and a lot of credibility. Then over time as she gets to that year mark, she says, “I’m ready to actually go into a model and start looking around,” because she’s a lot closer to that buying decision. By capturing her early in the research stage, and then staying in touch in a meaningful way – not just spamming her with a bunch of junk – but actually adding a lot of value, you earn that trust and then you earn that opportunity in the future
Now I’ve seen this happen numerous times both for our own company as well as some of our clients, where you’re capturing somebody in those early stages, and they’re on your email list and you stay in touch with them. Then all of a sudden, two years later they pop up and you’re talking to them in person they say, “I’ve been getting all your stuff and reading your material, so I figured it was time to talk. I’m ready to make a decision.” That is one of the most powerful marketing tools that we have today is the ability to stay in front of people that are researching and in research mode.
As a quick recap, in order to build today’s pipeline – and really we’re talking about the future – we want to capture leads that are early in the research process, nurture those leads and stay in touch with them in a meaningful way. Fast forward six months 12 months, 18 months down the road, we’ve got everybody that’s already at the bottom of the funnel and they’re ready to buy, and we’ve got all these people that used to be at the top of the funnel and now they’ve shifted over and they’re ready to buy as well because we’ve been staying touch with them. We can massively increase the number of opportunities that we have in our sales pipeline
As we wrap, let’s talk action items:
- Item number one is go ahead and create some type of premium content. That could be like a custom home guide or a new home guide or a buyer’s checklist – something of value that you can deliver to people visiting your website – but you’re going to require them to fill out a form to get access to it. At least name and email, then they fill out the form, and then you give them the guide. Now you’ve captured a lead in research mode, so that’s item number one.
- Item number two is to build a regular email program. I would recommend at least two emails a month, so that might be a newsletter and then another type of email. This will allow you to deliver lots of value to this lead. Somebody that’s in research mode, you want to earn their trust, and we need to stay in front of them. You can still offer them promos or discounts or an opportunity to tour the community or tour a model, but make sure a lot of the content is value-driven, and it’s helping them research. So those are the two things, and if you execute on those two things, you’re going to start to see your future pipeline, fill up with opportunities. Hope this was helpful and thanks for watching.
Supporting documentation and statistics: Case Study: The Power of a Well Crafted Email Nurture Campaign
Spencer comes from a long line of builders who have been in business for over 100 years now. In 2010, Spencer started helping grow the family business by working on their digital marketing efforts. Today, Spencer’s award-winning digital marketing agency helps dozens of builders and remodelers around the United States and Canada.
Spencer is the current President of Builder Funnel, a digital marketing agency specializing in helping the construction industry generate more leads and sales using the power of their company websites.
Spencer also hosts a popular podcast, Builder Funnel Radio where he brings on industry experts and guests to share their insights with builders and remodelers.