How Digital Ads Sell Homes

How Digital Ads Sell Homes

At this point, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you home builders out there that digital marketing is the best way to get new clients and sell homes. That’s old news. You’ve likely heard all about how you need to have a high-quality, mobile responsive website that features high resolution photos; how you need a blog that offers quality content; how you need to get in on conversations on Houzz and Facebook and other social media platforms, etc. And that’s all still very true — if you want to get consumers’ attention, and if you want to get Google’s attention, you need to complete all of those key SEO activities. But if you’re a results driven person — that might not be enough for you.

It’s also no secret that the homebuilding industry is exceptionally competitive. Even if you’re implementing all of those great, whitehat SEO techniques, it’s possible that you’re still in tough competition with a number of builders in your area, and some big national names who have overarching clout online. With all of the noise, how’s a local builder to get ahead?

One of the answers is digital advertising.

It’s an attractive answer for a few reasons, but if you just made a face and thought “ew, I’m not paying for online advertising” just stick with me for a second.

Digital ads sell homes. There’s no getting around it. (We wrote a whole guide to digital advertising and outbound marketing, it’s that serious.) If you’re hoping to cut through the noise and put your home building company above the competition, you’re going to want to give digital ads serious consideration. Here’s why:

Benefits of Digital Advertising for Home Builders:

Easy to Use, Easy to Turn on And Off

When it comes to digital ads, whether you advertise on Google, Facebook, or even Bing, you have total control. This means if you’re trying to fill a development or a spec home, you can put the ad up for only exactly as long as it takes to sell. As soon as the homes are gone, you can take down the ads. That’s a lot easier than making a total website for your development, and then having to adapt or take it down after the development is full.

That control also means that if you need to save a little money, you can stop your ads from going out. If you know your ads don’t perform well on the week days, stop them Monday through Friday, and turn them on for the weekends. With digital advertising, you have total control.

Spend Only What you Want

In the same vein, you only spend what you want with digital advertising. You can create budget limits on each and every ad you create, no matter which platform you’re choosing. Daily limits are great if you only want to spend so much per day, or you can set overall campaign limits, and just let an ad run until it’s used up all of its spend.

The key benefit of digital advertising spend is that you’re only paying for the people who click on your ad. So, unlike traditional print ads, you’re not paying just for exposure. You’re paying for people who make the conscious decision to click on your ad, and are taken to your website, where you can gather their contact info.

Precise Targeting

Beyond the fact that you’re only paying for people who click on your ad, targeting options on digital ads are exceptionally specific. You can choose who gets to see your ad, based on age, demographics, interests, likes, even crazy things like job title and occupation. This means you can set your digital ads to go out to the people you know will be interested in, and can afford your homes.

This increases the success rate of your ad campaign, and decreases the money you have to spend to get qualified leads. Best of all, your digital ad campaigns put you ahead of your competition. Your houses, and your ad will show up above all the other homebuilders who aren’t advertising, meaning you get the first look from your target buyers.

How to Create Digital Ads that Sell Homes

At this point, it should be pretty clear why digital ads sell homes. They’re a cheap, effective, and precise method of advertising that sets you above your competition, and can target your key buyers. So now, how do you create effective digital ad campaigns that actually get the clicks?

Platform

The first choice to make is where to advertise. You can create digital ads for nearly any digital platform these days, but some will always be more effective than others. At this point, Google and Facebook seem to be the best bets for home builders.

Facebook Paid Ads

Facebook has one of the most intuitive targeting options available. You can so specifically choose the target audience for your ad that anyone who clicks on it is guaranteed to fit your target buyer’s profile. This seriously bumps up the effectiveness of your ad campaign.

What’s more, Facebook is highly visual, giving you the chance to show off your beautiful homes in an ad experience that seems relatively organic to the users. Most Facebook users are already looking for photos and visually appealing content. If your ad has great photos of your homes, you’re likely to see a lot of engagement, and photo ads do tend to perform best on Facebook.

Google Paid Ads (PPC)

Google is obviously the most well known platform for digital ads. It’s a great place to find those end-of-cycle buyers, who already know they want a new home, they know what they want it to look like, and they just need someone to build it for them.

Google is also a great tool in your toolbox because of the advanced metrics it provides. You’ll be able to tell which of your ads are doing well, and which aren’t, and most importantly, Google can help you discover why. As a result, you’re able to tweak and optimize each of your ad campaigns to ensure you’re spending the least amount possible for the greatest number of qualified leads.

Target to End-Of-Cycle Buyers

The best way to boost your ROI with digital ads is to write and deploy ad campaigns that target end-of-cycle buyers. These are the people who have already made the decision to buy a home. They’ve done research, they’ve decided how much they’d like to spend, now they just need to choose a builder.

Building ad campaigns that target these buyers is easy, if you know your target buyer well. Generally, end-of-cycle buyers are going to search for home builders in their area, and they’ll be looking for reviews of each candidate so they can make an educated guess about which builder is the best fit for their dream home. Bid on more specific keywords like “best custom home builder in Grand Haven, MI” or “craftsman-style homebuilder near me.” These are searches that will only be done by someone who’s legitimately looking to build a home in your area.

Use Demographics to Target your Ideal Buyer

We mentioned earlier the exceptionally advanced targeting options that both Google and Facebook offer. Use these as fully as you possibly can for effective, high ROI digital ad campaigns. You should know who your ideal buyer is first:

Do you build smaller, lower cost first homes for young couples just starting out?

Do you build custom dream homes for doctors and surgeons on the lake?

Do you build something in between, or something totally different?

Imagine the person you most often sell homes to. Are they young? Old? Female? Male? Employed at the local hospital or nearby manufacturing plant? Answers to each of these questions are demographics you can target when building your ad campaigns. The more specific your ads, the more qualified leads you’re likely to get. Remember though, if you exclude too many people from your ad campaigns, you might shrink the amount of engagement you see from that particular campaign.

Make Sure Your Ads Lead to a Landing Page

The final component of a successful ad campaign that gets you the qualified leads you’re looking for is a quality landing page. We won’t go into the nitty gritty details here, but what’s most important is that each of your ads send leads to a landing page. If you don’t have a landing page for your digital ads, you’re basically wasting money, because it’s your landing pages that will capture email addresses and other necessary contact info.

You use information from your landing pages to reach out and close deals, and without it, your ad will do little more than raise awareness for your brand — which is great, but not really the goal of a digital ad campaign that’s supposed to convert leads. Not every ad you create needs its own unique landing page, but each ad should connect to a landing page that’s relevant to whatever you’re advertising. Again, for more info check out this blog.

Digital ads sell homes. There’s really no question there. If you create intuitive digital ad campaigns that are well targeted to people who want the homes you’re offering, you can reach a wide range of qualified potential leads, using very minimal funds.

That said, digital ad campaigns can be easier said than done, so if you’re worried about building a successful campaign, or you’d like a bit more help getting started, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Evenbound. We’re digital ad experts, and we’re happy to offer a few getting-started tips, or even help handle your ad campaigns for you — just let us know what you need. And if you’re not sure where you’re going with your digital marketing plan just yet, check out this Smartass Guide to Inbound Marketing. It’s got the information you need, and it’s not boring:

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How to Write Compelling Service Pages for your Law Practice’s Website

How to Write Compelling Service Pages for your Law Practice’s Website

For your clients, the legal field is a vast and confusing place. After all, there are some lawyers who deal with personal injuries, some with workers’ compensation, some with estate law, some with property disputes, and others with criminal cases—and you know we haven’t even touched on every type of law or lawyer in that list. That’s why service pages are so critical a component of a law practice’s website, because they help your potential clients understand what it is that you do and how you can help them. Here’s how to write services that will be compelling to site visitors and help convert them into clients.

What are the elements of an effective service page?

A service page needs to do four things: define the service, show the value of the service, explain your process for providing that service, and explain why your firm is the right one to provide the service. So, if one practice area of your firm is medical malpractice, your should have a service page defining medical malpractice, explaining how claimants can receive compensation for their injuries if they win or settle the case, how the process of starting a case works, and why they should choose you to represent them.

Why is defining the service important?

Yes, legal services are complex and not easy to boil down into accessible, easily understandable information on a standard website page of approximately 300 to 500 words. But your site visitors are looking for information about whether or not they even have a case and should get in touch with a lawyer. You need to define what medical malpractice is or what workers’ compensation is, otherwise, you’ll only reach people who already know about those things, and that they have a claim—and you’ll miss out on a ton of possible clients.

Why your firm and not the other guys?

Potential clients aren’t just looking at you, they’re looking at other law firms too and comparing them. That’s why your service page should highlight why your firm is the best choice. Maybe it’s your winning record or the amount of money you’ve won for your clients. Maybe it’s a special service you offer, like having attorneys that speak both English and Spanish if you practice in a predominantly Spanish-speaking area of the country or in immigration law. Think about what your audience, your desired clients, are looking for in an attorney and highlight those qualities on your service pages.

If it’s time to rewrite your service pages (or write some for the first time), get in touch with Evenbound. We’ve worked with law firms to create service pages for all areas of their practice that convert site visitors into clients.

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8 Bad Email Marketing Habits that are Killing Your List

8 Bad Email Marketing Habits that are Killing Your List

Love it or hate it, email marketing delivers results, especially when done properly. In today’s world of ever changing technology, email has remained relatively constant as a great, mostly unobtrusive way to get consumers’ attention. The consumer gets the information they’re looking for delivered right to their inbox, and we marketers get leads, and metrics on which email campaigns are delivering results, and which need more help.  

In today’s fast-paced world of electronic communication, email marketing remains one of the most effective outbound marketing tools available to get your brand in front of interested eyes — but it’s still an art form. The average consumer gets hundreds of emails a day. Many have multiple email accounts — one for personal use, one for work use, and maybe even one for “spam” like their coupons and sales alerts. That makes it tough for marketers to get ahead, and it means your email marketing game has to be on point, at all times. So, if you’ve noticed a recent uptick in “unsubscribes” here are a few things that you might be doing wrong, and what you should be doing instead:

8 Bad Email Marketing Habits that are Killing Your List

#1 Unsegmented List

If you’re email marketing to your entire list with the same emails, you’re going to lose subscribers.. Today’s consumers are particularly sensitive to irrelevant sales pitches, which is why it’s so important to segment your list based on consumer wants, needs, and demographics.  

Let’s say you’re a homebuilder who does new builds, renovations, and works with realtors to sell developed homes. When you send an email out to your entire list about a home you recently renovated, only one third of your list is going to care.  The other two thirds of your email marketing list, homeowners looking to build a new home, and realtors looking to partner with you to sell a new home, your email is not applicable. They don’t care about renovations, so they’re going to delete your email.

Worse, they might start to think that “this is a builder who doesn’t care about what I’m looking for, so I no longer see the value in subscribing to this newsletter. ” Herein lies the benefit of email marketing segmentation. You can send that awesome home renovation to subscribers you know are interested in renovating, and send your full-build subscribers information that’s more relevant to them. That way, everyone is happy. Sure, you sent out an extra email, but you’re more likely to get a better response rate from emails that are precise and relevant, than blanket emails that go out to your entire subscriber list.

#2 Not Testing Your Emails

People pay attention to details. If your emails aren’t functioning properly, if you commonly misspell words, and often forget to include links, your subscribers will notice. It’s important that you test every single email you send out, before you send it.

Today’s consumer will move on in the blink of an eye if the link they wanted to click on doesn’t work — and that’s a big miss for you. A simple test before you send out emails to your various segmented lists can save you a lot of trouble, and maybe even win you one or two more sales. Don’t forget this very important step in your email marketing strategy. Even if it feels like you’re running out of time and you just want to press the send button — give it one test before you send it out. It’ll help maintain your authority, and a well made email can help many consumers convert to leads.

#3 Sending Too many Emails

Almost every consumer hates spam. No one wants to go through their inbox every day and clear out hundreds of spammy emails. Unless you’re an e-commerce site with a new sale every day, you shouldn’t be sending out more than one email a week. If you’re in an industry with a longer lead time, like manufacturing and home building, you might want to cut your emails down to just a few a month.

Remember that when it comes to inbound marketing, consumers prefer quality over quantity. Minimize the number of emails you send out, and make sure the ones you do send out have worthwhile, high-quality information that people will actually be able to use. The better your content, the more likely people are to read it, and the more likely they are to click through to your site.

#4 No CTAs

If you don’t include CTAs in your emails, you’re seriously missing opportunities. The point of email marketing is to draw some of those potential clients into your website, and into your sales funnel. The only way to make that happen is to give them a way to get to your site. A click through button, a call to action, or a “get your free consultation today” button can work wonders, and will boost the number of digital leads you see, especially if you’re putting out quality content that’s relevant to each specific segment of your list.

#5 No Unsubscribe

If you email market, you have to have an unsubscribe button. Besides the fact that it’s the law, most consumers abhor being trapped in an email subscription that they can’t get out of, and aren’t likely to subscribe in the first place if the know it will be difficult to get out.

Try not to hide the unsubscribe button either. As tempting as it may be, the average consumer is likely to give your company more respect if you continue to give them control over the communication they’re getting from you. And really, you don’t want to be sending out emails to people who don’t want them, and don’t care — it’s a waste of everybody’s time.

#6 Sending Unsolicited Emails

In a similar vein, don’t send unsolicited emails. If someone hasn’t expressly signed up for your newsletter, or given you their email address, don’t email them. Again, you don’t want uninterested consumers subscribing to your newsletter, because it’s really only going to interfere with your metrics. If they don’t have an interest in your product, and never will, it’s not worth it to keep shouting at them about this really awesome product you’re selling. That’s called push marketing, and it’s so 1994.

#7 Sending at the Wrong Time

If you’re sending your emails out to your subscribers at the wrong time, you might not be seeing the kind of engagement you were hoping for. Again, most consumers are inundated with emails constantly, from spam to work emails, and if you send at the wrong time, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of “final sale” “This is your last chance” emails that no one actually wants to read. So, pay attention to your subscribers’ habits.

When do you get the best engagement, and when do your emails slip through the cracks?

The best time to send an email varies for every business, depending on what you’re selling, and who you’re selling to, so it’s just a matter of observing the metrics, and choosing a time to send an email when you have the best possible chance of getting read.

#8 Not Measuring your Success

The absolute best way to kill your list when you’re email marketing is to never look at your metrics. Every email marketing tool provides some level of metric reporting for a reason — so you can evaluate how well your outreach is doing, and what your ROI is. If your emails aren’t generating any results, you need to try something different. On the other hand, if the emails you send out at 3pm on Thursdays are seeing remarkable engagement, that’s something you need to know so you can keep doing it.

To have a successful email marketing strategy, you need to look at the data, and often. The more informed you are about the hits and misses of your email marketing campaign, the more prepared you’ll be to succeed in the future.

Email marketing is a key aspect of any digital marketing or inbound marketing strategy. If you’re having trouble segmenting and getting your list just right, give us a call. We’re email marketing pros, and we’d be happy to help!

If you’re not ready to chat just yet, check out our Smart Ass Guide to Inbound Marketing. We promise you won’t be disappointed — or at the very least, you won’t be bored.

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