In these blog posts, I generally take on topics of online marketing as they relate to home improvement marketing. This week, however, I’m going to stray a bit from that theme and consider the changing strategies for leveraging broadcast media for lead generation.
First, it’s great that home improvement manufacturers are working hard to generate leads on behalf of their dealers. This is more and more important as media channels continue to fragment and the buying power of a centralized, national entity becomes an essential element for media success.
We’re asked by more and more home improvement manufacturers to bring our call center to bear in support of their broadcast efforts. As we implement these programs, we see some interesting trends in regards to broadcast media and offline response.
Let’s dig in with an example. One of the national home improvement brands we support recently began running television spots for some of their dealers. The dealers were to receive the leads generated by this campaign either via telephone hot transfers, or via e-mail for Web form submissions.
Feedback on the program was generally positive. However, there were lingering concerns among dealers, all centered around the same general theme:
“We’re not able to reach all of these leads over the phone.”
This is a common refrain in the home improvement business – and particularly important when it comes from expensive offline media. So here are some tips – and some benchmarks – for turning TV responses into appointments, and eventually sales.
- Great dealers that move product and grow are those with strong appointment-setting skills. They always find a way to make contact with offline leads.
- Dealers who grumble about not being able to contact homeowners from TV leads simply aren’t contacting them properly or diligently enough.
- The sooner you make contact after a lead arrives, the higher the likelihood of success. The opposite is also true. The longer it takes to make contact, the less likely you’ll set the lead and sell it.
- To improve your set rates on broadcast leads, you need to respond within 5-10 minutes after they arrive. Not this afternoon, and not within an hour. Immediately.
- For those homeowners you don’t reach back immediately, know that great times for callbacks are 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Because that’s when your prospects are most likely at home for dinner and the evening.
- Diligent call centers should be able to make contact with Web leads (driven by TV) more than 95% of the time. That doesn’t mean that all of those contacts will result in appointments. However, one thing’s for sure: you lose out on 100% of the homeowners you can’t connect with.
- Quality scripting, training and relentless practice will also improve your response performance. Unfortunately, far too few dealers make a sufficient effort on this front.
TV commercials are expensive. That said, they are certainly great for brand support and as importantly for lead generation. But with the cost of TV continuing to rise, driving as many appointments as possible out of your media dollars is critical to ROI…as well as your eventual success.