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3 Reasons You Need to Use Capture Marketing In Your Real Estate Farming Program

March 04 2013

leadingagent farming captureI have written many articlesarticles about how many REALTOR® postcard farming practices are outdated. It's such a true statement, and such an important topic, that it comes up time and time again with our clients, prospective clients and even people I meet when giving seminars or speaking at conferences.

When asked, "What is the one thing I can do that I can roll out easily, without a lot of hassle, that will change my farming practices?" I immediately answer, "It's simple. Add capture marketing to your postcard program."

Capture marketing can come in many flavors. Regardless of what system you use for your capture marketing, they all work in a similar fashion:

  • You send a postcard out to prospects in your farm area.
  • Prospect has a special offer code on their postcard. The call to action on the postcard leads them back to your website.
  • On your website there is a "capture widget" where the prospect can enter in that special offer code (our system also asks for an email address).
  • Prospect gets an item of value (in our system, that item of value is a custom tailored Neighborhood Capture Page).

Adding a capture system to your postcard marketing campaign is the easiest way to make that campaign more effective, or turn around a failing campaign. Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity. You will immediately benefit. Three of the key advantages to a system like this are as follows.

1) Capture Marketing Systems Allow You Immediate, Real-Time Results on Your Postcard Farming Campaigns

I've written about this time and time again, explaining the necessity for you to be able to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. On a general level, tracking effectiveness is the number one reason you'd want a system like this. Much deeper than that though, there is a treasure chest of intelligence you can gather by using a capture system with your marketing campaigns. For instance:

  • Advanced analytics give you detailed intelligence as to EXACTLY what homeowners in your farm are most interested in. For instance, if a homeowner visits one of our Neighborhood Capture Pages, our system allows a REALTOR® to track what they clicked on, any searches they made, what they shared online via social media, etc.

    This is extremely valuable to know, as it will give you insight into the kind of marketing messages your prospects may most like to see in their mailbox.

  • You can easily bundle in second and third layers of "Capture" into these pages. For instance, include an opportunity for the prospect to sign up for a "Saved Home Search" (listing alert). Once a prospect signs up for this, they will immediately be emailed listings that match what they are interested in.

    The power of this is that you get an additional level of insight. Our system, for instance, tracks which homes were emailed to the prospect, which ones they looked at, how many times they looked at them, which ones they saved, which ones they sent to friends to look at, etc. Truthfully, on a micro level, we could even tell you every single mouse click, search or entry the prospect made while on the site. There literally isn't anything you can't find out.

    The advantage to this of course is that before you even contact the prospect to start the buying process, you will have a firm idea of what they are looking for, and will be able to prepare ahead of time, making you look like a superstar.

2) There is a Saying, "To Get Something, You Have to Give Something." The Same Holds True Here, and Capture Systems Make This Easy.

With capture marketing, this can be the case, as well. For instance, the sample of the "Capture Widget" from one of our client's websites, on the previous page, shows you that we not only ask for the prospect to put in their special offer code, but ALSO their email address.

If people find the item of value tied to your call to action compelling, without hesitation, they will give you their email address to access it.

Will they give you their "actual" email address? Actually, yes. We've tested various levels of "skin in the game" the prospect must give to access the capture item. In almost identical percentages, we find that having the email address a required field versus an optional field, not only does not impact the number of responses in a campaign, but the instances of a bad email address being given are almost nil.

Again, if you offer them something compelling, and only are asking for something as simple as their email address, they WILL give it to you. This gives you plenty of opportunities to follow up in the future via your drip marketing campaigns, allowing you a way to build rapport with the prospect in ways that simply aren't possible with the "old school" method of sending out farming postcards.

That is very powerful.

3) Capture Marketing Takes a One Channel Marketing Campaign and Gives You the Ability to Make It a Multichannel Marketing Campaign

Using a capture marketing system gives you immediate intelligence as to who is interested in what you are sending out to your farm. Why not use that intelligence and put these people on an even more refined campaign? After all, they are expressing some level of interest. Now it's time to use that interest to build rapport and hopefully pick up a new client. There are many ways you can do this:

  • The email drip marketing example above is one such way you can do this. You can devise many different drip campaigns, and based on what the person is looking for on your site, what home searches they make, or where they click, you can determine what campaign would be most appropriate.
  • You can offer them even additional items of value. For instance, our Neighborhood Capture System is integrated with services from Cloud CMA. When a prospect uses an offer code, our system can be set to automatically have Cloud CMA either email a CMA for that homeowner's ACTUAL property to their email inbox (a good scenario), OR it can email a high res PDF to the agent, who can then print it out, bind it and actually knock on the door of the home and present it in person (an even better scenario).
  • Much like the Cloud CMA solution, you can also incorporate automated reports, such as market statistics for the neighborhood in which the prospect lives. Our system has been integrated with Altos Research, but there are literally dozens of options out there, depending on what exactly you are looking for.
  • You know these prospects respond to print media (they responded to your original postcard with their offer code after all), so why not put them on a secondary, more specific mailing campaign? This could be letters you mail out in addition to your regular postcard farming, handwritten notes (this could be impossible, depending on how many homes you farm), or perhaps a special newsletter or something that you reserve strictly for your clients and prospects. The more touches you drip down on these prospects, the greater the chance of gaining them as a client. Additional print marketing is a great way to build that rapport.
  • Are you an avid door knocker that likes to get out in your farm area and get some face time with the people that live there? If so, use your capture postcard response list to plan your door knocking route, you can be super effective. Why not hit the people most interested in your marketing first? It makes logical sense, and they for sure will recognize you when you knock on the door, getting you past the first hurdle of door knocking (they don't know you and aren't interested in speaking with you).

So as you can see, there are numerous advantages to turning your postcard farming campaign into a capture marketing campaign. The high-tech era has changed the game and because of that, capture marketing isn't just a "cute novelty" anymore. It is a necessity if you want to be successful.

Because of the internet, people are used to custom tailored experiences that pertain exactly to them. Capture marketing gives you that advantage. If you don't believe that people want custom tailored experiences, you need look no further than at what companies like GoogleGoogle, TargetTarget, and even Ad Retargeting agencies are doing.

Intelligent marketing is going nowhere. It's time to get on board before you miss the bus. Capture marketing is a great step in this direction.

Do you want to get on board and start intelligent marketing to your farm areas? It's easier to get started than you think. Contact me anytime and I would be more than happy to help you and give you any advice I can.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.