Set It and Forget It
Marketing automation is an incredibly powerful strategy for any business. From email campaigns to printed mailers, the world of marketing automation can exponentially grow your reach while saving you time — making it possible for even the smallest teams to juggle marketing, sales and customer service.
Good automated marketing also enhances your customers’ experiences. From prospecting to after-sale follow-up, take a look at how strategic marketing automation can be applied at each step of the customer journey.
Marketing Automation Plus…
Marketing automation tools can be used to achieve a variety of business goals. Take lead generation, for example. Off the top of your head, can you think of 2–3 neighborhoods that you’d love to break into? Using our marketing automation platform, you can easily select the neighborhoods you want to reach, and we’ll provide you with a list of addresses for that area. Once you have your list, you can set up one of our automated newsletter mailings to be sent monthly, bimonthly or quarterly. With your lead generation marketing in place, you can confidently move on to the next task on your list knowing that you’re reaching those homeowners with valuable content on a regular basis.
Social media doesn’t have to consume a massive amount of your time each day. There are many tech companies that offer cross-posting and scheduling through marketing automation software. To get started, check out Lumen5, Sprout Social, Planoly, HootSuite, SmarterQueue, or Meet Edgar. Plan your posts one week or one month at a time, add them to a schedule and move on. Some of these platforms save you even more time by using artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically create posts or videos for you.
Let’s say you want to dive into the world of paid advertising. You invest in pay-per-click ads and start driving traffic to a handful of landing pages on your website. As these visitors convert to leads, you need a plan to follow up quickly. To save time on your email sends, consider adding these leads to an automated drip campaign. Check out ClickFunnels, PostClick or LeadPages to get started. Through these follow-up emails, you can gauge each prospect’s level of interest and responsiveness. Once you identify a pool of qualified leads, you can transition into lead management.
Now that you have a list of qualified leads, your marketing starts to get exciting. Before you can target your new list with specific marketing campaigns, your need to analyze the information you have. Using the feedback and responses from your leads, begin segmenting your contact database to target specific groups. Which leads opened emails about buying vs. selling? Which leads came from ads about free home valuations vs. an article on the top school districts in your city? This data will help you target your audience based on their interests.
Once you gather as much information as you can about your leads, begin placing them into groups. Any strategic marketing plan has strategies to target your clients where they are in the customer journey, not where you wish they were. If your client is interested in buying, you don’t automatically want to send them information about selling (they could be renters). If they’re 65 or older, they may not be interested in hearing about daycare and local schools. The point is, give your clients only the content that applies specifically to them.
If you’re new to email marketing automation, keep things simple by separating your contacts into 3–4 large groups. For example: buyers, sellers, past clients, and general/unknown. You can always add more groups as you go, so it’s best to start small. As you begin to send out emails on a consistent basis, keep a close eye on engagement rates (how often people open your emails and how many links they click on). This is where good marketing automation really comes into play. Once you’ve collected more data on how your leads engage with your emails, build out drip campaigns to target people based on whether they’re active participants (“key players”) or passive recipients (“benchwarmers”). At this point, you want to target these two groups differently.
Email service providers (ESP), such as Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor, provide valuable marketing automation for email drip campaigns. There are also third-party apps that can do this for you. Check out MailGet, Pabbly or FloDesk. If your ESP does not provide this service or you don’t want to pay for it, you can also do this part manually. To save time, look for ways to streamline this process, and set up reminders on your calendar to implement your manual campaign after you receive data back from an email send.
Now that you know how your audience is engaging with your marketing campaigns, decide what to do with this information. Maybe your key players are worth 50¢ per month to you, but your benchwarmers are only worth 5¢ per month. Step up your marketing efforts even more by adding your key players to an automated postcard mailing, and put your benchwarmers on a monthly email marketing campaign. Make a point to go back and check your open and click rates often. If a lead hasn’t opened an email in three months, call them and see if they have a new email address or are no longer in the market to buy or sell. If a lead has been engaging every month for three months, consider adding them to the postcard list.
All of your marketing efforts have paid off. Your prospects are now your clients, and you’re officially their agent. Now the customer service aspect of your job kicks in. You’re listening to every last detail on your clients’ dream home wishlist, you’re chauffeuring them to showings, you’re organizing open houses, and you’re preparing offers — to name a few. While you’re an expert at multitasking, you can’t do everything at once. So what’s your plan?
If you don’t have a website that connects to your MLS directly, start the process of building one now. (Look into IDX websites.) Set up automated email notifications for your buyers so that they receive email notifications any time a house comes on the market in their area. If you have buyers showing an interest in one of your listings, set up automated notifications or responses to weed out those who are not qualified or not worth your time. Have a few standardized email responses typed out. As a general rule, if you have a marketing task that you do two or more times each week or that takes more than five hours of your time, look for ways to save time by automating that process.
Happy customers are like gold. Your past clients are your biggest cheerleaders and your best source of new leads. As your business grows and you collect a large number of success stories, make sure you’re using every opportunity to ask for referrals as well. You need a way to stay in touch with past clients without breaking the bank or requiring a huge time investment on your part.
Our automated Client Follow-Up program does just that. By adding Client Follow-Up to your closing process, you can generate referrals and repeat business with an easy, hands-off solution. After you enroll your client, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re staying in touch with 21 automated mailings sent on your behalf over the next five years. Once your clients are added to the program, they’ll receive a personalized thankyou postcard as well as address labels for their new home. Over the next five years, they’ll receive a quarterly print mailing (10 postcards and 10 magazines in all), for only $25.
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