Develop Effective Messaging and Calls to Action
It has always been important to have clear and compelling messaging in print collateral and advertising, and the same is also true for the messaging that appears on your website.
The foundation for compelling messaging is well-developed and organized copy. Begin pages you want to capture visitors’ contact information on with a compelling headline, followed by body copy where key points are neatly summarized in a sentence or short bulleted list, and then place a call to action at the end.
Research has demonstrated that the headline is most critical for generating conversions, followed by the call to action, and then the body copy. It’s important to recognize that your website’s visitors will often scan the first three words of sentences and paragraphs rather than taking the time to read them in entirety.
The following are some additional copy formatting and styling best practices that improve conversion rates:
- Make page titles clean and simple.
- Keep the first paragraph short – no more than two lines.
- Use important words related to what consumers are most interested in at the beginning of sentences.
- Vary the length of paragraphs and use no more than four to five lines per paragraph.
- Use readable sans-serif fonts (e.g., Arial, Helvetica, etc.).
- Use different colors and bold fonts, but only do so sparingly or else your website (and, by proxy, you) will look amateurish.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of copy formatting and styling, we can get to the fun (and challenging) part – creating a compelling message. The key here is to get inside your prospective clients’ heads. Research has found that people are motivated most by fear, love, and pain (either physical or mental). Bearing this in mind, use these principles when crafting your messaging:
- Focus on your consumers’ pain points and address them when describing the services you provide.
- Be specific and express urgency with both your messaging and calls to action.
- Sharing past clients’ testimonials provides third party validation for the services you offer. Communicate the value these past clients received and how their pain was alleviated in the process.
- Try to include calls to action “above the fold,” or visible to your website’s visitors without them having to scroll down the page.
- Test everything, from headlines to calls to action. The testing process should involve trying something new, measuring the results, making refinements to your original alteration based on the changes (positive or negative) that you observe, and then repeating this process.
- Avoid using the generic “click here” for your call to action links in favor of something more specific.
- If you’re not using buttons to make your call to action links visually distinct, highlight them by altering their font color or by making them bold.
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Optimize Lead Forms and Registration Process
For a variety of reasons, there is significant drop-off within lead forms and website registration processes. Visitors can get interrupted, stymied, or simply lose interest.
But this fact shouldn’t make real estate professionals any less determined to capture the contact information of their websites’ visitors. Having visitors’ phone numbers and email addresses provides agents with superb remarketing opportunities.
Adhere to the following best practices related to lead form and website registration optimization to increase your website’s ability to capture its visitors’ contact information:
- Have clear and concise form field labels.
- Test what number of form steps maximizes conversions. Some websites find that using a multi-step process where few fields are shown in each step is more effective than having a one-step process where a ton of fields are visible.
- For multi-step forms, test placing form fields on different steps. For example, you may find overall conversions improve if you ask for visitors’ contact information on the last step.
- Let your website’s visitors proceed through the form submission or website registration process with simple “continue” or “submit” buttons.
- For multi-step lead submission or website registration processes, keep your website’s visitors informed of their progress with a progress bar.
- Use post-submission thank you and confirmation pages for additional marketing opportunities. At the very least, create links to other sections of your website (e.g., real estate listings or local market data) that will keep visitors interested in your services.
Develop HOT Opportunity Profiles for Target Consumers
Most real estate professionals identify one or more types of consumers that they prefer to work with. This is ideal, as it allows them to focus their efforts and be more effective in generating – and then converting – their leads.
Agents can glean additional value from defining their target consumers by developing a “HOT (High Odds Target) Opportunity Profile.” HOT Opportunity Profiles are used to identify businesses’ most valuable customers by considering these three elements:
- Demographics: Age, gender, geography, occupation, income, etc.
- Psychographics: Personality, interests, attitudes, and opinions.
- Behavioral patterns: Their actions and activities on your website.
Once you’ve developed HOT Opportunity Profiles for your target consumer types, it’s useful to define their conversion funnels so as to maximize your ability to convert them after capturing their information on your website. The marketing campaigns and website content you create to push prospective Millennial clients who are buying their first homes through your conversion funnel should look vastly different than what you create for Baby Boomers who are looking to downsize.
Of course, most consumers who visit your website will primarily be interested in real estate listings. These are equally interesting and applicable to all consumer profiles. But the materials you use to keep prospective clients from your different HOT Opportunity Profiles engaged after you’ve captured their information should vary dramatically. For example, while it’s smart to keep Millennial buyers engaged with emails about the quality of local schools, septuagenarian home buyers are much less likely to convert and become your clients if you send them the same information.