The headline of this post sounds gimmicky, but the fact is that there are a couple simple things every real estate business can do right now to vastly improve their website’s lead generation.
In practical terms, the first step toward doing business with a consumer on your real estate site or app is getting them to “sign up” for something – whether it’s a simple email newsletter, a website account, or to schedule a showing or get more info from a Realtor.
Your sign-up consists of three ingredients: copy, call to action and experience. Each can be tweaked and tested in ways that often will change your results in a shocking way.
For instance, when we launched the new 1000watt.net last fall, we changed the way our site visitors see our offer to sign up for 1000watt blog posts via email. By throwing our offer right in front of first-time visitors in the form of a pop-up, we more than tripled our monthly sign-ups in just one month.
Our new sign-up works for a couple of reasons: It’s direct and to the point. “It’s just easier” to get things in your inbox rather than have to visit our blog every time to see what’s new. Users only need to enter an email address and click a button. And there’s reassurance that we won’t spam you.
Now that I have your attention, you’re probably eager to see how you can make similar tweaks on your site for similar results. Let’s break down the possibilities:
The call to action
When you ask a site visitor for an email address or to “Sign up for an account,” are you clearly answering the question, “what’s in it for me?” And is that answer compelling?
While “Sign up for an account” is direct, it’s not compelling. It leaves too many questions hanging with no clear answers. What does a consumer get with that account? How does it benefit them? What will signing up for an account at your site give them that the other five brokerage websites they searched today cannot?
If you don’t have compelling answers to these questions, it’s time to start digging for them.
You don’t need to go overboard and offer every site visitor a new car, Oprah-style. Sometimes just being a little more specific is enough to substantially increase conversions.
A couple of examples:
Sign up and you’ll know the minute a property’s status changes.
Sign up to get the first look at new listings matching your criteria.
Sign up to get market insight in your inbox that will help your next move.
Also, Michael Saunders does a great job with their sign-up call to action:
The copy is the most flexible aspect of your sign-up process. The words you use play a big role in establishing trust and credibility with your visitors.
What language are you speaking? Are you using jargon? Does your sign-up form sound like it was written by the engineer who built your site? (No offense to engineers – but engineering is their job, not copywriting. We see this all the time and can spot it a mile away.)
You want the words you use to not only be crisp and clear, but also to match your brand’s voice and the rest of your site.
Keep in mind that most site visitors in 2015 are going to be skeptical about signing up for anything. But this doesn’t mean they won’t. Establish some trust and you can at least remove the hurdle of them worrying about getting bombed with Realtor or mortgage spam.
The best sign-up experience is short, easy and frictionless.
Once you start getting greedy with the form fields, asking for birthdays, phone numbers, street addresses, etc., etc., you risk losing conversions.
The best sign-up experience works well on all devices. Don’t give me a form that I have to stretch, pinch and move around with my finger as I’m leaning back with my iPad. Or a form that simply doesn’t display or perform right on a mobile device.
Again, Michael Saunders does a great job with its mobile view of the sign-up form:
Also part of the experience is what happens after the user clicks the button. The best sign-up experience gives an immediate success message to the user – whether through email or on-screen – to reassure them they’re all set to go.
Nail these three ingredients and watch your sign-ups grow. Of course, this is just one small piece to getting more conversions to business from your website. What you do next with your users’ email addresses will also play a big part.
But that’s another blog post.
[Disclosure: Michael Saunders and Company is a 1000watt client.]