Yes, you read that right. We believe you can convert more of the online leads you spend countless hours and dollars finding by getting rid of the very place where you hope to capture them.
Stop forcing your leads to register, stop hiding content behind forms and walls and registrations and start giving away your valuable insights and information for FREE, no strings attached.
But why should you listen to us telling you this, after all what do we know? Take it from the CEO of Drift.com and former Chief Product Officer at HubSpot, David Cancel, who started the movement towards making content freely available to everyone:
“I think marketing has kind of lost it’s way a little bit. We’ve lost the importance of a great story and truly connecting with people. We live in this world where it’s all about content, content and more content. And SEO. And ranking for this keyword and that keyword. And algorithms and conversion rate optimization. Pieces of that stuff are still important to marketing, but overall, I think we’ve lost our way. Marketing today has become more about gaming the system and get rich quick schemes.”
If you really think about it, the biggest and best companies are already doing this and winning at it. Take Slack for example, they aren’t winning more leads from forms, nor is BoomTownROI getting more agents on their platform by hiding their content. Both companies are producing valuable content, and pushing it out for free consumption, all while making themselves the leader and authority in their space.
Take Back Marketing
What ever happened to marketing? Just as David puts it above, marketing has become all about gaming the system – take for example the following marketing strategy:
Target specific SEO keywords to optimize your squeeze page with forced registration
This just sounds like you are treating your prospects and clients like leads and not people.
Think about how you act in the real world, where you actually treat people like people and not like leads. What if you started treating your online visitors like you do your open house visitors?
Treat your online leads like people not leads
You greet every open house visitor:
– so why not greet every online lead to your website, portal page, or Facebook page?
You answer your open house visitor’s questions about the property:
– so why not answer your online leads questions about a property in real-time?
You answer your open house visitor’s questions about the neighborhood:
– so why not answer your online lead’s questions about where the best neighborhood for cycling is?
You answer your open house visitor’s questions about the state of the real estate market:
– so why not tell your online leads if it’s a buyer or seller market?
It’s time we take back real estate marketing to where it needs to be – back to building relationships and that starts by throwing out all your lead capture forms.
Capture leads with conversation
BoomtownROI argues in their Essential Elements of Real Estate Marketing:
Marketing is about starting conversations, and visitors who find no relevance with your business (ie. looking to buy a home) have no intent to engage with your business.
Marketing is about starting conversations, then keeping those conversations going with the relevant information that person is looking for. Ask yourself, would you start a conversation with someone who’s first words were, “Would you mind filling out this form before I talk to you?”
Instead, start the conversation off on the right foot. Rather than forcing your leads to register to receive updates on homes they like, instead ask how and where they’d like to be notified directly in a conversation with them.
You can now engage this lead where and when they want, by providing them with relevant information right at their fingertips. In today’s real estate marketing world, this same information would be found behind lock and key, but when you open it up in conversation everyone wins 🙂
Become the authority figure in your market
When you peel back all the forms, all the registrations and drip campaigns, the bare-bones really of your business really just looks like how well you can build relationships. And as was stated earlier, your first impression with a future client is key.
So if you do take our advice to remove all your lead capture forms and start producing and pushing more valuable content to your target audience, for FREE, you are setting the bar high in your market and as such, you’ll be rewarded as being seen as the authority figure.
That is how you want to build relationships, not on top of a drip campaign!
Message your leads like they’re your friends (cause they are, right?)
Even if you sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye with your leads, the best way to capture and keep them is to message them in a way that feels natural to them, like they are your friends.
Sending simple messages on listing detail pages can make a huge impact on the likelihood a lead has to engage with you. Notice hear that this listing detail page has no lead capture form! Once a lead sends a message you’ve started your relationship on the right foot, now you can start to ask what more information they need, when they need to know it and where you can contact them – all without forcing them to register on your site!
So create things that people want, create things that people actually care about and give it to them with no strings attached. You’ll be amazed by how much your business will grow when you aren’t email blasting people to tears where they unsubscribe forever.
Happy creating! 🙂