Evenbound is excited to announce our promotion from HubSpot Silver Agency Partner to HubSpot Gold Agency Partner. Since 2012, we’ve used the HubSpot platform to reach the amazing clients we continue to partner with today, and we’ve helped those clients learn how to engage with, and utilize the HubSpot platform for their own effective, measurable growth. Our Gold Agency Partner status serves as an acknowledgment of the positive results we’ve delivered to clients using our unique inbound marketing strategy in conjunction with the HubSpot platform.
What Does Hubspot Gold Agency Partner Mean?
To award Gold Status to a partner agency, HubSpot evaluates a number of metrics to see how well the agency is 1) bringing in new clients, 2) providing exceptional service to, and retaining existing clients, 3) empowering clients to use the HubSpot platform and its variety of applications on their own, and 4) delivering inbound marketing success to each client.
To sum it up with a few words from HubSpot, “The HubSpot Partner Tier Program acknowledges those Agency Partners who have not only brought the inbound message to the most clients but also those who executed inbound services to the highest standards.”
We’re grateful to HubSpot for their support and partnership, and we’d also like to thank our incredible clients for their dedication and loyalty to our company. This promotion encourages us to keep pushing the inbound marketing envelope, as we continue to strive for exceptional, measurable growth for our inbound marketing clients.
HubSpot provides inbound marketing and sales software that helps companies attract new visitors, convert warm leads, and close customers.
We’re a growth agency. That means our business is growing yours. From pulling in qualified leads to training your team how to shorten the sales cycle, we work with you every step of the way to grow your business with the right clients. Evenbound is a 100% in-house team of specialized tacticians delivering the competitive advantage to clients in construction and manufacturing industries.
An effective email marketing strategy is very important for home developers looking to sell lots and fill developments quickly. Email marketing functions for developers in two ways: 1) you can let consumers know about your development before you even break ground, making the selling process much smoother for you, and 2) it allows you to hold on to consumers who may not have been ready to purchase a home in one development, but who may be perfect buyers for the next.
When done properly, email marketing has wonderful potential to get your company in front of the right consumers, at the right time. It’s a wonderful addition to any inbound or outbound marketing strategy because it speaks directly to your target buyer. Here are a few key things to know about starting an email marketing campaign for your real estate development company:
Know Who Your Ideal Buyer Is
The first and best way to email your subscriber list effectively is to know who they are. It sounds basic, but you’d be surprised at the number of weird spammy emails the average consumer gets in a day. Know a little something about who you plan on sending that newsletter to, and you’ll see better results all around.
Create buyer personas. For most real estate developments, buyer personas are actually pretty easy to pin down. You already know most of the information: the average income of your typical buyer, the average age, marital status, etc. Pool all of that information into two or three buyer personas, and then segment your email lists accordingly. That way you’re always sending out relevant content to the right buyer persona. That will help keep your number of “unsubscribes” low.
Remember that you can’t make everyone happy. When you start sending newsletters out to a list of email addresses, you’re bound to get a few “unsubscribes”, and that’s okay. Not everyone is a perfect fit for your real estate development, and your goal should be to keep the ones who are a perfect fit on your email list. If you’re selling a real estate development for empty nesters, you shouldn’t be upset about a 20-30 year old unsubscribing. They weren’t a good fit anyway. Instead, focus on creating emails that speak directly to those empty nesters your community is built for.
Speak Solutions, Not Services
Email marketing campaigns that get ignored often have almost nothing to do with the buyer. If you’re just talking about how wonderful your development is, most consumers are going to hit the delete button before they even make it through the headline.
Successful email marketing campaigns are ones that consumers actually want to read, and choose to stay subscribed to.
Yes, you build wonderful homes, and your developments are gorgeous and highly exclusive, but think of that from your buyer’s perspective. Why would they want to move into your development? What problems do they have that your developments solve? Do you offer maintenance-free living? A community center? Close proximity to a golf course, lake, etc?
Instead of talking about your development directly, think about the problems your development solves for the people who live in it. Put those solutions in your email campaigns, and you’ll start to see better subscription and bounce rates.
Though your email marketing campaigns are meant to convert people to make a purchase, you have to talk about something more than the homes you have for sale if you want to convince people. Your homes might be beautiful, but so are a lot of others — what makes your development or community stand out for the residents? How do your homes improve their quality of life?
Keep it Low-Key
Don’t email too much, and don’t email too often. Keep emails short, sweet, and helpful. Play your email campaign casual. It’s no surprise that the decision time for purchasing a new home is long, and for most consumers, no manner of persuasion will get them to buy a new house before they actually have the money to do it. Instead, keep yourself on their radar by continuously providing helpful content that they actually care about, in a way that’s not pushy.
Definitely keep your CTA at the end of every email and newsletter you send out, but try not to send out more than one email a week to regular subscribers. If you’re following up on a lead, that might warrant a few extra emails a week, but if they decide they’re not ready to buy, don’t continue to harass them.
Instead, add them to your regular newsletter, where they will occasionally receive delightful content about choosing the right home, decorating a new home, or knowing when it’s time to purchase a new home. When they do decide to buy a home, you’ll be the first person they call, because your name will be fresh in their minds from your consistent, but casual, emails — emails they genuinely liked!
In the end, an effective email campaign is all about being pleasantly persistent, but not pushy. Keep offering up content that your buyers genuinely want to hear, and they’ll know that you’re truly there to help them — rather than just sell them something.
Whether you’re unhappy with your current CRM, or you’re looking to align your sales and marketing teams with a new one, a quality CRM can be hard to find. We’re here to help.
Traditionally, a CRM, or customer relationship management software has been used to help sales teams track and manage leads through the buyers funnel. Any good CRM that you choose today will do that, along with a whole host of additional services. It’s those extra services that make the difference here. CRMs have been around for so long that tracking, for the most part, is the least of your worries. A new, quality CRM will streamline your sales and marketing handoff, shorten the closing process, and ultimately boost your ROI. If that’s the success you want, here are 6 key qualities to look for when you’re CRM shopping, to ensure you choose an option that’s perfect for you:
Here are 6 key qualities to look for while you’re CRM shopping, to ensure you choose an option that’s perfect for you:
#1 Easy to Use, Easy to Access
Above all else, a quality CRM should be user-friendly, and accessible from just about anywhere. Today’s sales and marketing teams are on the move — many of them are remote and those that do have an office often work from home or out on the road. They still need to know where their leads are at in the buyers cycle, even when they’re not in the office. A quality CRM will give them that access wherever they log in. Many of today’s top CRMs are cloud-based, and that’s a quality option you simply can’t pass up.
Beyond accessibility, any CRM that’s worth purchasing should be easy to use. If your sales team finds it a hassle to log a lead, they’re less likely to enter them in, which means a greater chance that they’ll forget about them. Choose a CRM that’s interface makes sense and is simple. It might sound ancillary, but even little things like drag and drop features and push notifications can make a big difference to the efficiency of your employees’ use of your CRM. The easier it is, the more likely they are to use it, and the more they use the platform, the easier it is to track your results for effective sales.
#2 Integrates Sales and Marketing
We don’t want to hate on any particular CRM, but Salesforce is a platform of the past. Your sales team simply cannot exist in a bubble if you want to boost ROI and turn a real profit. You need a CRM that works across departments, easily transferring marketing leads over to your sales team, and kicking leads who aren’t quite ready to purchase back to the marketing team. A quality CRM will also help keep both teams informed, ensuring you have that closed-loop reporting that will guarantee a successful collaboration between both teams.
There are CRMs that offer sales features, and easily partner or link up to marketing CRMs, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to get a CRM that offers both simultaneously. With features for both teams already implemented in the software, you can easily get your sales & marketing teams up and running, reporting their potential leads and transferring them to the appropriate contacts at the right time, without getting lost in translation.
#3 Real-Time, Big Picture Reporting
The best CRM will let you know how your team is doing with accurate, global reporting. After all, you can’t improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Choose a CRM that gives you an in-depth look at the results of your sales and marketing team’s efforts. For example, if your marketing team puts out a landing page for your website, your CRM should be able to tell you exactly how that page is performing, but it should also show you how it’s performing in the big picture. Is it up or down compared to other landing pages, and how is it converting? Big picture reporting ensures you know the answers to all of these questions, so you can improve in real-time.
Your team’s time is money. They’re busy reaching out to new leads and closing deals, and they don’t have time to do all of the little things that can make a big impact. For those little things, like follow-up emails and sending out new, relevant content offers, you want a CRM with automation capabilities. Automated workflows help your sales team qualify more leads in less time, and they help you serve potential clients the content they want, without taking extra time out of your team’s day. Choose a CRM with automation, so your team can work smarter, not harder.
#5 Lead Filtering Options
When you’re utilizing a full suite of inbound marketing tools, your team won’t have time to mess around with unqualified leads. Many quality CRMs offer filtering options so you don’t even see the visitors to your site who won’t ever purchase what you’re selling. From competitors checking out your site to bots to free email accounts, there will be plenty of people browsing your site with no intention to buy. Have your CRM weed them out for you. There are CRM options out there that will immediately disqualify those site visitors for you, so your sales and marketing teams don’t have to give them another thought.
Beyond eliminating unqualified leads, a smart, effective CRM can help you select the best-qualified leads, and ensure they move swiftly through the buyer’s funnel by alerting your sales team of their potential. You can select the options that make a quality lead a quality lead, and your CRM can take it from there.
If you’re investing in a CRM, you should be working hard to align your sales and marketing teams for the best possible lead conversion rate. When your marketing team hands off a lead to the sales team, you want the appropriate people to know. It may sound small, but notifications ensure your sales team doesn’t miss out on those hot leads who the marketing team has already nurtured through the majority of the buyers funnel.
When it comes to choosing the perfect CRM, it never hurts to be thorough. While those 6 qualities we pointed out are a great place to start, you’ll probably have more questions and concerns specific to your company. If you’re just not sure what to look for, let’s talk. As a Hubspot Certified Partner, we know what a good CRM looks like, and we can help you work to align your sales and marketing teams with the best on the market.
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.
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?
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.
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:
#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.