Last week I the pleasure of working with a builder/remodeler to discuss their newsletter strategy. When I met with them, they were well aware that they were allowing their leads to dribble out of their businesses simply because they didn’t have a mechanism in place to “stay in touch” with their customers. They knew that publishing a monthly newsletter would help them accomplish this – yet they didn’t know how to approach it.
This was their situation (let me know if it sounds familiar).
This company still actively builds new home and have always remodeled. As you can guess, with the change in the economy a few years ago, this company is doing more and more remodeling and addition work than in the past. Having said that, on their horizon is a new neighborhood currently under development (tentative start date is 2014), and ideally, they’d love to have part if not all of the neighborhood pre-sold before construction begins. This may seem like a lofty goal, but they are already getting a steady stream of inquiries about the neighborhood. It is in an ideal location, and I must admit, this award-winning builder creates some beautiful homes – inside and out.
Here’s the kicker (and why they recognize they need a lead follow-up system): When a consumer inquires about their “coming soon” neighborhood, the builder has a pleasant conversation with the person about the features of the neighborhood and the timeframe in which they anticipate construction beginning. And that’s where the communication ends. Sure, they have plans to reach out to these folks once the neighborhood is underway – but by then, these potential new home buyers could have lost interest and found another lot and builder – simply because they never heard from them. YIKES!
Luckily, this builder/remodeler recognizes the big sinkhole in their lead nurturing process and understands the value in publishing a newsletter (wise decision, my friends). But they still had plenty of questions:
- Do we publish a print or email newsletter?
- How often should we publish it to be affective?
- What types of articles are effective in a newsletter?
- How many articles do we need?
- If we decided to start with an email newsletter, what email marketing services should we consider?
- Who should get our newsletter?
This is why they decided to work with me to develop their newsletter planning strategy. I understand that every contracting business is different, so together, we ironed out the details of what would work best for them, and in turn, this gave them a great place to start.
Not only will they use the newsletter to nurture leads that are coming in about the new neighborhood in the works, but the newsletter will help them stay in touch with past customers (both new home and remodeling customers) and prospects. In the newsletter content, they will share remodeling projects (called project spotlights), home maintenance tips and yes, progress on the new neighborhood that many are interested in.
Do you use a newsletter to maintain a connection with customers and prospects? If yes, what improvements have you noticed?