Marketing automation has become one of the biggest buzzwords in the marketing world today. Do you know what marketing automation is? Are you aware of the benefits that marketing automation can have for your business?
Marketing automation is the processes set up to automate marketing activities.
Usually, these marketing activities are sent as a response to a user action, for example, enquiring on a website. Marketing automation gives you the opportunity to replicate and automate repetitive tasks. Marketing automation can come through a variety of forms such as email marketing, social media posting, pay per click campaigns and through your website.
As previously mentioned, marketing automation can give your estate agency the opportunity to become more efficient. Setting up automation allows your business to spend time and effort in other areas, as if it’s done right it will take the process of identifying tasks that would usually be performed by employees away, which means you can be more effective, creative and profitable.
Not only can marketing automation make your estate agency more efficient internally, but it can help provide a more personalised and an improved experience for the user. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier and it allows you to put more thought and time into the creative process, which ultimately will help improve the performance and experience to the recipient.
Through automation you can capture leads and nurture until they are ready to be approached. These leads can be captured through visitors on your website in exchange for guides and information. As part of an automated campaign, you can impress these visitors with knowledge of that local area and demonstrate how you can be of value to them. This can be done through explaining your services and sharing reviews, which ultimately contribute to driving a conversion.
Prevent future problems through setting up helpful marketing automation. Poor communication from the outset can lead to false expectations and this can damage your estate agency reputation.
Help the sales process by educating your audience on the processes that should be followed. It’s important to acknowledge that not all of your audience will be aware of how everything works e.g first time buyers. Providing them with informative and educational content can ultimately speed up the whole sales process.
Email Marketing is one of the most traditional and top performing marketing channels for estate agents. Email automation gives you the chance to really tailor the users email marketing experience. Unlike many other marketing channels, email allows you to completely refine who you target. Refining who you target through segmentation gives users a better experience as the emails they receive are more personal and specific to them. Personalised email messages improve click through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.
Automated welcome emails are messages sent to new subscribers, users and customers. Welcome emails are a great way to send personalised and refined messages to an audience who are at their most engaged point of the customer journey. Welcome emails give you the opportunity to start things off on the right foot and make a lasting first impression to your new contacts. Do they work? Welcome email open rates are 42% higher than the average email. They also have 5x the click through rate of standard email marketing campaign.
A preference form is designed to capture valuable insights to what your database would like to receive emails about, this is gathered through capturing subscribers interests. By creating a preference form, you can ask your contacts to provide you with information which can be used to send them a series of automated follow up emails based on what they have answered.
This not only improves the relevancy of your emails but it helps reduce unsubscribe rates. It’s important to acknowledge that every contact within your database has their own distinct wants and needs and they shouldn’t all be receiving the same thing. If a subscriber feels like they are being listened to and not just bombarded with sale focussed emails, you can build trust and authenticity with your audience.
There are also other ways you can create email automation within your database. You can segment your database on such things like geography, lead status and target audience. Once these contacts are categorised, email automation can be set up and triggered once a contact matches the criteria. For example if you have data from a subscriber which shows where they currently live and they have informed you where they’d like to relocate, you can set up automated emails focussing on that particular location and create triggers which depend on how that user interacts with you.
Social media marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing channels for companies worldwide. It is a way for consumers to reach out to a company and interact with them on a more personal level, which allows people to develop a relationship with you, gaining their brand loyalty & eventually making them advocates spreading your name.
Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases with 37% of consumers using the channel as their defining moment to purchase. With over 2 billion people using social media on a daily basis, with that number rising by 200 million every month. The whole world is at your disposal thanks to social media marketing, offering you cost efficient lead generation, website traffic & brand awareness.
When someone first appears on your Facebook page we can automate a pop up message on your page that encourages people to ask a question or engage in a conversation with your company. This increases retention levels as many people will browse your page and leave without making any interaction, whereas with the automated chat system it creates an incentive for them to respond and engage with you, which further pushes them down the funnel & can turn them from a visitor to a potential lead.
Facebook messenger has an average open rate varying between 70-80%, with a click through rate of 20%. There are many personalisation options that make it seem like a meaningful interaction whilst also creating a lasting impression on people.
We can also automate messages that notify people whilst you’re away or ‘out of office’. This can be a defining moment in someone’s buying journey. If a potential customer decides to message you and they receive no response for over 12 hours, they could have moved on to another agency or they may lose patience with you, it puts a negative image of you in their mind. We can create an automatic message that only sends when you’re not within your companies working hours. It politely responds to the potential customer, notifying them that you’re not in the office and encourages them to either leave a message explaining their question (which will be responded to when back in the office), or encourages them to leave their contact details (turning them into a potential lead).
The Facebook Pixel is arguably one of the biggest & most valuable tools you can have on Facebook. It allows you to take your marketing strategy to a whole new level. The Facebook Pixel essentially acts as a cookie that identifies who has been on your website, what they have viewed, how long they have viewed it for, their age, gender, location & even interests.
What this does from a marketing perspective is allow us to create adverts & content for people who are most likely to take your desired action. Facebook can also use its targeting data to help you build a lookalike audience of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website, this helps you reach an audience that in the past may have never seen your company before but will be likely to engage with your content based on their needs.
So where does the automation come into this? When running adverts you can create an audience that only shows to people who have visited your website in the last 30 days, or (as an example) people viewing properties in a specific area in the last 7 days. This viewership constantly updates on a daily basis and automatically updates, making sure to only show adverts who fall in that timeframe. This means that your adverts are only reaching people who are the most engaged with your website/company. It also means you can make the advert personalised towards the user. As you know they have been on your website before, or viewed properties in certain areas, you can provide them with unique calls to action, asking them if they want to further enquire about a property or showcasing them similar properties in a location they like.
When you generate a lead on Facebook & you don’t have a CRM that synchronises with Facebook it can be a laborious task that requires you to manually check anytime a new lead has come through, download the CSV file & export it into a file where you can retrieve their details and then manually add it to your feed. By the time this has all been completed it can be around 24-48 hours since the potential customer (lead) has filled out their form and shown interest, in this space of time the likelihood of them converting significantly decreases.
Studies show that companies who contact leads within an hour were seven times more likely to qualify the lead compared to the companies who decided to contact the customers just an hour later. This number jumps to 60 times more than the companies who waited 24 hours or longer.
Our developers have created an app for Facebook that automatically identifies anytime a new lead is generated via the adverts. This then instantly emails your sales team with all the relevant contact details and information. Reducing the time for initial contact from 24 hours+ to a potential 10 minutes. If you call someone who has shown interest right after they have filled out a form, they are going to be highly engaged and interested. This will lead to an increased conversion rate.
Automatic scheduling is a blessing to anyone who knows how tedious and exhausting it can be to manually upload a post every day on to up to four different channels. There are so many benefits of utilising automatic scheduling which we will discuss right here.
Firstly, it allows you to be active on social media without having to physically be available. If you’re a small company & someone is off on annual leave they can automatically schedule everything in advance, meaning you won’t lose your activeness online & maintain that presence with your followers.
It also allows you to spend more time creating higher quality content, instead of spontaneously posting on the day, rushing an image, graphic or the content. If you plan ahead you can post a weeks worth of content in one day allowing you to plan your schedule, giving you time to prepare strong content, graphics & imagery.
A major issue for most people is posting outside of business hours, no one wants to be going on their phone at peak hours between 7-9pm or a Sunday morning to post an image through social channels. With automatic posting you never have to worry about that anymore, you can schedule content for out of hours and it will automatically post, meaning you can enjoy your weekends & nights without having to worry about missing a post.
Failure to have some basic automation within your estate agency massively risks your business being behind the times and behind your competitors. If more and more estate agencies are automating their marketing and you aren’t, you will become outdated and at a disadvantage to your competitors. Just imagine all the extra time you’re going to be spending and all the money you could be saving!
Are you concerned this seems a lot of work? Are you confused about what automation you should be implementing?
Well, this is where Property Webmasters can help you! Get in touch with the property experts today to discover more about marketing automation for estate agents.