Creating Marketing Qualified Leads With the Right Form
The excitement of starting an inbound marketing strategy for your organization can lead to initial eagerness to get things rolling. But in that sprint to kick off your multifamily marketing, you might find yourself missing a step or two.
The use of content to gather apartment leads is, without a doubt, the primary focus of inbound. Therefore, many marketers and property managers spend their time emphasizing content strategy to generate those apartment leads.
However, optimizing your content without optimizing your lead strategy defeats the purpose of inbound altogether. Instead, marketers should spend much of their intro to the inbound process on apartment lead generation and business strategies to guarantee their content is meeting objectives.
What is the purpose of an apartment lead generation form?
Nearly every multifamily website these days has an apartment lead generation form. But the effectiveness of those forms depends on many factors, including:
- Location on the page
- The offer
- The questions
- How the contact data is used
Have you ever been interested in a new apartment complex or shopping center around town? Maybe you had a specific question while they were in development, so you filled out the contact fields — and waited. And waited. But no one got back to you.
Chances are, you provided a decent amount of personal information on that apartment lead generation form. You did so willingly because it was an exchange you found reasonable: your contact details for the offer or answers you wanted. Understanding this exchange is the key.
In short, an apartment lead generation form is a means of gathering information — the level of which is dependent on what you are offering on the other side. In multifamily inbound marketing, forms are also a means of progressive profiling (i.e., qualifying your apartment leads by asking for a little more intel) each time they fill one out. This progressive profiling is meant to get more and more information that qualifies leads by lifecycle stage and determines their point in the buyer’s journey.
What questions should you ask on your apartment lead generation form?
Now that you know the importance of your fields, the next issue becomes, “What questions should I ask?” This is where your apartment lead generation strategy comes in. If you followed the multifamily inbound marketing strategy correctly, your teams all came together to identify your buyer persona. Doing this should have resulted in defining your lead lifecycle stage.
If you have not done this, go back and do it now because this data is vital to your progressive profiling.
Let’s say you are a tenant representative for a large new commercial office building downtown. The project is not complete yet, but it has generated a lot of buzz, and companies are showing interest. You want to be sure you lease up before opening. However, you also need to make sure the companies you bring in are a good fit. This is where progressive profiling comes in.
Your first apartment lead generation form (the awareness one) will always cover introductory information. This includes the basics:
- Company name
- Job title
If you are using certain marketing automation software like HubSpot, you have the opportunity to add smart fields that will populate if you already have this particular information. Smart fields help expedite the lead qualification process by letting you ask for additional relevant information. These fields also make things easier for sales down the line if the lead becomes “sales qualified.”
Developing your questions
Gathering your teams together for your apartment lead generation strategy would be pointless if you don’t have a process by which to direct them. Thankfully, that process is relatively simple. Early in the multifamily inbound marketing process, your team should have come up with an ideal buyer profile and a buyer persona, as well as SMART goals for the year to determine what type of leads you are hoping to attract. Need help building your ideal buyer profile? Check out our other blog here.
At this time, you get to bring all those details together. By using lead and customer goals, persona details, and sales data, your team should be able to determine the necessary lead information to create marketing-qualified leads.
Back to the tenant rep example from above. You know the office building in question has a specific number of spaces with an anticipated rent range. You also know the amenities that the building does and does not have. Given the nature of the building, along with your business goals, you know you will likely need to build a large awareness funnel to meet the occupancy goals by open.
While your awareness questions are simple enough, the details you need in the consideration and decision stage are much more in-depth. For one, the type of business and size is important in determining fit, as the building may not support the needs of certain companies. If the building is high-end, questions around “current rent” or “monthly revenue” may be important to help you discover if the company is a good fit from an affordability standpoint. By gathering this information early on, when it comes time to start leasing, the tenant rep’s job should be fairly simple in picking sales-ready leads that met the requirements.
Segmenting your list
While the ultimate benefit of progressive profiling is to shorten the sales cycle, there’s a secondary benefit that can help. List segmentation is the act of separating contacts in your CRM by various criteria. If you run a multifaceted business with a lot of different verticals, list segmentation is a lifesaver.
If you have a new offer for clients in the senior living space, for example, you don’t want to send it to the people in the economic development of mixed-use developments. Furthermore, people interested in your ad services probably aren’t interested in what you offer in multifamily branding. By gathering this information from apartment leads, you can use it to segment your multifamily marketing for a more streamlined message.
For content marketing success, an apartment lead generation form is much more complex than slapping a few fields on a page. Forms require a certain amount of business strategy to be used for their optimal effectiveness. This is a powerful tool that can improve the life of your sales cycle while requiring little more than some upfront strategy. All it takes is asking the right questions.