Generating a consistent flow of inbound leads is something that almost all communities would love to have.
The idea of not having to make cold calls, not needing to send out regular direct mail campaigns, and not having to pound the pavement for new leads is something that any marketing or sales manager dreams of. Generating inbound leads takes time. If you create an inbound marketing strategy and stick with it, however, the results will follow.
This column breaks down five steps needed to consistently generate a stream of qualified inbound sales leads for your senior living community.
1. Create an amazing content offer
Content that is relevant and valuable to your potential residents is where it all starts. Downloadable content can come in the form of e-books, white papers, webinars, virtual tours and checklists.
You could create a downloadable e-book, “How to Know When My Parents Need Assisted Living?” for instance, or a checklist that your website visitors download, titled “Things to Look for When Choosing a Senior Living Facility.” Whatever the content offer is, it just needs to be both relevant and valuable to the people you’re trying to capture.
The best way to get website visitors’ contact information is by having them submit a form on your site. And the only way to get them to volunteer this information is by offering something that they will find both relevant and valuable.
(NextWave clients typically are interested in assisted living marketing; therefore, we create e-books such as the one pictured in the accompanying image to help provide them with content they’ll find valuable.)
2) Create a call to action that rocks
Calls to action are the buttons on your website that drive visitors to your content offers. If your calls aren’t effective at capturing people’s attention and persuading them to the click, then it makes the offer itself useless.
Not all calls are created equal, however. In a world where every brand is fighting for consumer attention, it’s critical that prospects choose your offer over those of your competitors.
Some quick tips for your calls to action:
- Keep them short. Each call should fit in the call to action button. In most cases, your call should not exceed five words.
- Be specific. The call should state the benefit of clicking the button. Instead of “click here,” for example, try “get my free report.”
- Be active. Remember the ‘a’ in call stands for action. Keep your call active by starting it with a verb.
- Personalize. The more personalized your call feels to your reader, the better. This comes with understanding who your readers are and what information they find valuable.
Calls to action are meant to send visitors to a dedicated landing page where they receive a specific offer. Do not use them to drive people to your home page or straight to the content offer itself before having them submit a form on your landing page. There are many benefits to having valuable content on your site, but at the end of the day, it’s for you is to collect prospects’ contact information so you can follow up later and request an on-site visit. Don’t forget this part.
3) Create landing pages that convert
Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation. The use of landing pages enables marketers to direct website visitors to targeted pages and capture leads at a much higher rate.
Once a visitor arrives on a landing page, it’s your job to keep him or her there. If there are links on the page to move about your website, they will distract the visitor and decrease the chances of him or her converting on the page.
One of the best ways to increase your landing page conversion rates is to simply remove the main navigation from the page. That’s it!
4) Create optimized forms
Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, there is no way to “convert” a visitor into a lead. Forms come in handy when it’s time for people to sign up, subscribe to your site or download an offer.
Choose the information you collect wisely. Only ask for the most basic information that you need to follow up with your new lead.
Creating unnecessarily long forms or asking for information that you don’t need is a surefire way to get your visitor to back out and lose the conversion. The fewer fields you have in a form, the more likely you will receive more conversions. This is because with each new field you add to a form, it creates friction (more work for the visitor) and fewer conversions. A longer form looks like more work and sometimes will be avoided altogether.
On the other hand, however, the more fields you require, the better quality those leads might be. The best way to determine what size form works best for you is to test it.
5) Promote your offer through multiple channels
Once you have the four aforementioned steps in place, you’re ready to start promoting your content and collecting leads. The following channels all are ways that you can spread your content offer around and maximize your lead-generation efforts.
Some of the channels to promote your new content offer:
- Blog posts
- Email marketing
- Social media channels
- Organic search results
- Paid advertising (pay-per-click)
- More – get creative
Generating leads online has the power to transform your marketing. Using great offers, calls to action, landing pages and forms — while promoting them through multiple channels — can reduce your cost per lead while delivering higher-quality prospects to your sales team.
The basic elements of inbound lead generation in this column are just the beginning. Continue to tweak and test each step of this process and you’ll be able to improve lead quality, schedule more on-site visits via inbound leads, and ultimately reduce the vacancy rate at your assisted or independent living community.
Download a full a guide on senior living lead generation by clicking on the link.
Alan J. Duro is director of marketing for Brighton, MA-based NextWave Care LLC, a new inbound marketing agency founded by Robert Torchetti to serve the senior living industry. The company will be launching at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference, exhibiting in booth 1869.