Building An Email List of Qualified Prospects is Vital for a Successful Drip Campaign

The long lead times in the construction industry mean if you want to win customers, you need to stay in touch with your prospects for the long term. Email list building and drip campaigns are some of the most effective ways to do this. To make it work, though, you need the right people on your list.

The Value of Qualified Prospects

Email drip campaigns work so well largely because they’re designed with clear, measurable goals. Unlike an open-ended email newsletter, the email series that makes up your drip campaign leads your readers toward a specific action, usually hiring or buying from you. Qualified prospects are far more likely to read the whole series and take action at the end.

If you’re a roofing contractor who wants 15 new clients in the next three months, you’ll want a list of people planning roof replacements, new constructions, and major renovations. Prospects you already know need a roof built or replaced will bring you more success than people interested in general home improvement.

Having the right prospects on your list also makes it easier to tailor your email content to your readers’ interests, providing greater value and keeping them on your list longer.

Attracting the Right Audience

Construction data lists give you an efficient way to find potential clients you can invite to sign up for your list. Just adding their emails to your list isn’t enough to qualify them as prospects, though. Instead, encourage potential clients to sign up by offering something of value in exchange. Your email list building “sign-up bribe” could be a tips sheet, video series, case study or anything else closely tailored to the needs of the clients you want to attract.

If you sell waste management systems for apartment complexes, you might offer a guide to options for modernizing an apartment recycling collection system. An offer this specific attracts your ideal customers and qualifies them as good prospects while filtering out the tire-kickers.

For more tips on email list building methods that win valuable customers, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Can an Email Newsletter Really Help Your Business?

3 Key Ways to Stay Top of Mind With Your Prospects

Earning your prospects’ top of mind awareness takes consistent effort, but there are ways to do it that fit into a busy schedule and position you as a friend, rather than a pushy salesperson.

Reach out with value – If you want your prospects to remember your name, you’ll need to remind them often. When those reminders come along with useful information that helps them plan their construction projects, they’ll start to associate your name with good things. They’ll always be happy to see it and they’ll remember it when they’re ready to start their project. To stay consistent, plan scheduled content such as a quarterly printed newsletter, a monthly webinar or a live event such as a panel discussion a few times a year. A good email newsletter helps, too.

Make it personal – For your most promising prospects, keep up contact outside of your regularly scheduled content by passing along tips, news, and other information suited to their personal interests. When you get the chance, send them links to articles they might find helpful, let them know about upcoming events they might benefit from or share new business opportunities you come across. If your prospect learns something valuable at a property development workshop you told them about, they’ll remember you were the one who let them in on it.

Get serious about social mediaSocial media makes it easy to stay in your prospects’ field of view, but they’ll only pay attention if you make it worthwhile. Choose two or three platforms your ideal clients use and that you can post to consistently. Share valuable tips and guidance, but also occasional behind-the-scenes moments from your ongoing building projects or office life to develop a more personal connection with your followers. Use an editorial calendar to plan your posts so you’re not tempted to skip days because you’re out of ideas. Just as importantly, spend time interacting with your followers, too.

How To Implement An Effective Lead Nurturing Strategy

lead nurturingYou’ve put time and effort into developing your lead nurturing strategy, but to make it pay off, you’ll need to put your strategy into action the right way. Because the sales process in the construction industry often takes months, advance planning is critical.

Start Educating

For most prospects, the educational tactics in your lead nurturing strategy are the ones you’ll implement first. Segment your leads according to where they are in the buying cycle, as well as by project type, timeline, budget, and other relevant factors to better tailor the information you send to the needs of each group.

If your lead is just starting to consider investing in a construction project, encourage them with information on industry trends and opportunities. Once your prospect is ready to go ahead and is considering working with your firm, help them learn more by inviting them to a webinar or in-person meeting where you can show them what you’re capable of. When they’re close to making a decision, help bolster their confidence in your firm by sharing testimonials and success stories from satisfied clients.

As you educate your prospects, make a serious effort to learn about their needs, challenges, and concerns.

Call Them to Action

When your prospect is in the decision-making phase of the buying cycle, considering requesting a proposal, move from education to direct calls to action. This is where you can implement the sales-oriented tactics in your lead nurturing strategy, such as inviting your prospect to schedule a consultation or strategy session.

Even after your potential client has received your proposal and decided they like what they see, chances are they’ll place your firm on their shortlist rather than immediately start contract negotiations. Here’s where your earlier work will set you apart. Use the detailed information you’ve collected about your would-be client over the past months to address their concerns and demonstrate how your firm can deliver precisely the results they want.

 

3 Tools To Simplify Lead Nurturing

lead nurturingAttentive email lead nurturing is a must if you want to turn your mailing list readers into paying clients. That doesn’t mean cultivating your list has to take hours a week, though. The right tools can save you time while helping you follow basic email marketing best practices.

Irreplaceable tools

  1. List management tool – While it’s possible to manage your email list from Outlook or your website host’s email server, doing this for the long term can lead to needless hassle and wasted time. To keep your list organized and make the most of the data it contains, use software specifically designed for managing email marketing lists. This tool makes it easy to set up newsletters and autoresponder series. Most provide templates for your sign-up forms and newsletters, and supply data such as open rates, click-through rates, and click-to-open rates in an easy-to-read format. Using list management software also helps ensure your newsletters aren’t blocked by your readers’ spam filters.
  2. Customer relationship management (CRM) tool – This tool is essentially an address book with numerous extra features that help you manage your interactions with your clients. It lets you more efficiently initiate marketing messages, onboard new clients, schedule client interactions, and provide support. Most CRM tools also supply you with demographic, behavioral, and other data about your contacts. With this information, you can easily segment your client base and target your marketing more effectively to each segment.
  3. Marketing automation tool – This is one of the most useful tools you can have for reducing the time you spend on email lead nurturing. Marketing automation software automatically sends emails based on a prospect’s actions, such as downloading a free information packet from your site or filling in a form for a strategy session. The software then sends you a reminder to follow up with the prospect. Your prospects promptly receive emails tailored to their current interests and you’re free to run your business.

Because email lead nurturing encompasses types of interactions, you’ll find many software packages include several integrated tools.

Best Practices For Email Marketing Today

email marketingA well-managed email list has the potential to be one of your most profitable sources of construction clients. Following some proven email marketing best practices will help you better connect with your readers and turn them into paying clients.

Take Time to Customize

The more closely you tailor your emails to your prospects’ needs, the more likely those prospects are to see the value in working with you. Dynamic content, which changes based on the end user, is an efficient way to accomplish this. This can be as simple as including the reader’s first name or as advanced as basing the email’s content on the topics the reader has been exploring on your blog.

Get a Little Personal

Write in a conversational tone that lets readers feel like they’re communicating with a person rather than a faceless company. When the opportunity arises, share personal experiences that tie in with your services. You might talk about how much a friend of yours loves his newly renovated kitchen or how a news story you read reminded you of the safety issues involved in multi-family housing construction. Strategically mentioning the obstacles and even failures your firm has faced is another of the email marketing best practices to follow to make your firm more relatable and likeable.

Invite Interaction

Prospects interested in your services enough to join your email list are often the most willing to provide feedback. Make the most of this by occasionally asking your readers for suggestions on:

  • The topics they’d like to read more about
  • The challenges they’re facing
  • And the goals they’ve set

Run polls that let them offer their opinions with one click. Share your clients’ successes to motivate readers to write in with their own. Remember to include a link back to your website and encourage your readers to contact you. On your unsubscribe page, give the reader a chance to tell you why they’re leaving.

Today’s email marketing best practices don’t take much time, but they can make all the difference in how profitable your list becomes.

Winning The Sale: Converting Leads To Customers Using Simple But Powerful Strategies

boost conversionsYou didn’t put all that work into bringing in sales leads only to lose them at the last minute when they don’t convert. By using proven construction lead conversion strategies, you can more easily win over your prospects and get more out of your marketing.

Nurture First

In a high-stakes field like construction, converting a cold lead to a paying client is a process. Spend time educating and building rapport with your leads from the time they first discover your firm and by the time they call you, they’ll have already sold themselves on your services.

One of the most effective ways to nurture your leads is through an email newsletter or automated campaign that provides relevant, helpful content. Segment your email lists based on your prospects’ interests, such as industrial construction or health facilities construction.

Bridge the Gap

While persuasive calls to action are critical in the construction lead conversion process, exactly what you invite your would-be clients to do makes a difference in how well they convert. An offer like “call for a free consultation” is a common approach, but it’s not particularly enticing. Instead, offer a solution-oriented strategy session.

When a prospect calls, take them through a defined process. First learn about their current situation and challenges, then get a clear picture of what they want to accomplish. Finally, show them how your firm can bridge the gap and ask for the sale.

Be Persistent in Your Follow-Ups

It’s often said around 80 percent of major sales occur after at least five follow ups. Even the most interested prospect may be busy or distracted and unable to get back to you when they expected to. A well-designed follow-up system helps ensure your potentially profitable leads don’t fade away.

Instead of emailing to “check in,” provide context and be specific about the response you’re looking for. Ask if they’ve had time to consider your proposal, request a quick call or offer a valuable resource and ask for your prospect’s opinion on it.

Building An Email List The Right Way

building an email listA responsive email list is one of the most valuable assets your construction firm can have, but not all lists are equally profitable. Knowing how to build an email list of the right people is what will make your email marketing efforts worth while.

Attract The Right Attention

If you expect your email list to be profitable, you’ll need readers who are likely to hire you eventually.

Because your blog and other website content are among your most powerful tools for attracting leads, make sure what you publish is highly tailored toward the needs and interests of your ideal clients.

If you’re stuck for ideas, think about your prospective clients’ most common questions. Answering questions such as “Do I need to work with an architect or structural engineer?” and “Can I install the electrical in my commercial building myself?” will give you plenty of material for client-oriented blog posts.

Extend this approach to your social media accounts and aim to make your posts useful and entertaining for the kinds of clients you want most, while also letting them know about your email newsletter. Promote your list offline, such as through displays at your trade show booths and your office’s front desk.

Choose Your Incentives Wisely

Considering the over-abundance of information online, many of your visitors will be hesitant to sign up for your mailing list without a good incentive. Offering something of value up front in exchange for joining can give them the nudge they need. Try offering a multi-part email course, original building industry data you’ve collected, or an intriguing case study or whitepaper.

Not all incentives will bring you responsive readers. Running contests tends to result in a list of people who signed up only for the chance to win something. Likewise, buying email lists is unlikely to produce any clients.

Learning how to build an email list is largely a matter of focus. Concentrate on attracting the right audience through targeted social media marketing and solution-oriented sign-up incentives, and you’ll build a responsive list you can rely on for sales.

How To Convert Leads Into Customers: Email Do’s And Dont’s

do's don'tsIt’s always encouraging when a prospective construction client contacts you, but between that first email and a signed contract, there’s a lot you need to do. By honing your ability to convert leads to customers, you’ll get more ROI out of your marketing and close deals faster.

Don’t: Let emails sit for more than 24 hours.
Do: Reply promptly. If you can’t provide the information your lead wants immediately, let them know you’re working on it. Activate e-mail notifications on your phone so you can reply when you have a spare moment. To save time, prepare templates for your most common responses.

Don’t: Send the same information to every lead.
Do: Nurture each email lead in a way that’s appropriate for where they are in the buying process. If they’re just trying to get a handle on what services and unique benefits you offer, take a low-pressure, educational approach. If a prospect knows exactly what they want, then a more sales-oriented approach is warranted.

Don’t: Give up too soon.
Do: Follow up two or more times. There are a thousand reasons a genuinely interested prospect might not get back in touch with you, so it often takes persistence to convert leads to customers. It’s enough to send a quick note reminding your prospect you haven’t heard back and you’re looking forward to talking with them.

Don’t: Do it all manually
Do: Automate your follow-up and lead nurturing process by creating a series of emails designed to educate your prospects and gradually lead them toward closing a deal. Develop a series for each type of potential client, such as home remodeling prospects or commercial real estate investors. Use an email marketing service to send emails automatically.

Don’t: Over-rely on email.
Do: Set up a phone call or in-person meeting with your leads as soon as you can qualify them. These more personal interactions help build the trust and rapport your clients need to feel before they’ll decide to work with you.

3 Effective Email Lead Generation Methods

email lead generationEmail gives you an effective and convenient way to nurture your leads until they’re ready to do business. While there are dozens of ways to go about email lead generation, a few methods work particularly well in the construction industry.

Publish a Truly Valuable Newsletter

A weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly newsletter lets you stay in contact, demonstrate your expertise, and build trust and rapport. To really reel in leads with your newsletter, you need to provide information that benefits them in an immediate, tangible way. Plan your content around solving the problems your ideal clients face and keeping them up to date on issues critical to their success.

To attract more signups, give your newsletter an appealing title, such as “Commercial Real Estate Insider” or “Condo Investment Advisor.” Create a page to “sell” your visitors on the benefits of signing up and add eye-catching signup forms to the bottom of every blog post.

Gate Your High-Quality Content

Gated content is content, such as reports, videos or tools, which your visitor can access only after giving you the lead information you want. It might be a set of helpful templates they can download in exchange for their name and email or a white paper they can access after answering a few lead qualification questions. If the content solves an urgent problem or offers valuable, hard-to-find information, your visitors will be happy to pass along their contact information for access.

Don’t gate all your good content, though. Freely accessible high-quality content shows your visitors what you’re capable of, which gives them the confidence to sign up for more.

Encourage Sharing

Getting your prospects and clients to pass your content on to people they know is a more effective method of email lead generation than hunting for leads online yourself. To encourage this, at the end of your newsletters, free reports, and other emailed content, directly ask your reader to share the material. You can take this a step further by including social media buttons and “tweetable” quotes in your emails.

For more insights on effective email lead generation, contact Construction Monitor.