If you are like most homebuilders, you spend significant dollars to attract home shoppers to your communities or website…now what? Keep them engaged with your brand by developing a solid email program that allows you to deliver relevant messages based on where prospects are in the buying process. They may not open every email you send, but your message will be visible in their inbox when they are in the mindset to make their decisions. Prospects who have provided you with their email addresses are already engaged with your brand. They want to learn more about your company, your homes, your building practices and more. So communicate back to them on a regular schedule.
Start immediately with a Welcome Program. First-time buyers and those without a home to sell dominate the market today, so reaching out to prospects quickly is key. In fact, according to a recent Stevens & Tate survey, 60% of homebuyers polled purchased within one month of contacting a builder…80% within three months. A Welcome Program is your opportunity to promote your company’s unique competitive advantages independently from the personalized correspondences your sales counselors are sending. Let your sales team focus on community, price and sales information, while Welcome Eblasts educate readers on the benefits of you as a builder.
Some prospects do take longer to make their decisions…the Stevens & Tate survey showed that 36% of those who did not purchase a new home within 60 days of are still looking. Chances are, if they have not visited your community, they have at least gathered information from your website. Use email to re-engage these prospects and entice them out to your sales centers. Give them new reasons to visit.
But remember, the information you send to a first-time buyer interested in a townhome should be different than the information you send to a family looking for a move-up home. So tailor your message. A customizable email template allows you to create professional quality eblasts and modify them affordably. Put yourself in the mind of your customers and determine what they want to hear and when. Then consistently deliver those messages.
Don’t overlook the importance of optimizing results. By using resources such as ExactTarget, Vertical Response, Blue Hornet, and Constant Contact, you can do more than just send relevant emails, you can track responses such as deliverability, open rates and click-throughs. Test results by changing subject lines, headlines, photo selections, the call to action, and even the time and day of the week you send your eblast out. Discover what works best, then continue to refine the process for optimal success.
With 20 years of advertising and PR experience, Debbie Szwast understands the multifaceted nature of marketing. A true believer in the art of communication, she acquired an MBA in marketing and a Master’s degree in writing. Today, she calls on the knowledge she has gained over the past two decades to formulate big-picture strategies and execute comprehensive marketing plans for clients across the country.