Today I am really excited to share a brand new guest post from my friend Scott Costello over at StrugglingInvestor.com.
If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I've always placed a pretty high level of importance on my internet presence (because it's an incredibly cost-effective & scalable way to generate new leads for your business).
Scott understands this concept very well and in this post, he's going to share an innovative new approach that is proven to increase the number of leads and conversions on your real estate website (seriously – it's pretty brilliant, I just with I had thought of this years ago). Check it out!
Every year, companies spend millions of dollars on marketing to help drive people to their websites. You can’t blame them because you can’t sell to someone if they don’t know you exist. I was no different when I first got started building websites for my real estate business. Even though I didn't have money, all my effort went towards driving traffic to my websites.
Huge Mistake! and I’ll tell you why…
The name of the game is not getting the most traffic to your site. It’s how well you convert the traffic you DO get, into actual leads. And let me tell you it is not easy.
The average online conversion rate for the “We Buy Houses” website is about 1% to 2%, which isn't very high (i.e. – if you get 100 people looking at your website, you’ll get 1 or 2 actual leads out of that – and I'm just talking about leads here, not motivated sellers).
So how can we increase those conversion rates?
In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (if you have never read this it is a MUST!) he goes into great detail on the power of getting quick, small yeses. This sets the psychological process of the your visitors and gets them on the track to committing to you, your product or your contact form.
Here is an example that really illustrates the power of the small yes…
Every day, I fight an internal battle with myself about working out (I'm sure most of you are with me on this). Over the years, I've learned that the most effective method for overcoming my fight with motivation is to just say “Yes” to putting on my workout clothes. It's a small small commitment for sure, but I will tell you… I've never put on my workout clothes and NOT gone to the gym.
Take that thinking to your websites and I promise you – you will increase your conversion rates exponentially.
The Contact Form
To convert your website visitors into leads, you need to have a contact/opt-in form for them to send you their information. The typical information you'll want to get is…
That’s not bad but the problem with short contact forms is that you are not going to get enough information to pre-screen the leads at all. Plus you get A LOT OF TIRE KICKERS and let's be honest – who has the time for them??
Let’s add some more fields…
- # of bedrooms
- # of bathrooms
- How long have you owned the property
- Is the house vacant?
- Is the house listed?
- Square footage
- Year Built
- What is the current condition of the property?
- What kind of repairs and maintenance does the house need?
- Do you need to sell your house fast?
- What is your ultimate goal with your house?
- Best time to call
Your contact form is now getting REALLY LONG!
This can become a huge problem because it will scare away your visitors. A case study by Brian Malone about the number of fields on a contact form revealed that a form with 4 fields out produced a form with 11 field by 160%!!
Great! The contact form that converts the best doesn't give us the information we need and the contact form that gives us the information we need sucks at converting. What to do?
The 2-Step Opt-in Form is Better for Online Conversions
Over the last few years, the idea of having a 2-step contact form has been introduced and tested…and the tests are returning fantastic results.
Two step contact forms increases conversions up to 60%
Remember what Dale Carnegie said… a small yes leads to a big yes. A site visitor who commits to filling out that short contact form is much more likely to complete the longer contact form afterwards.
How a 2-step contact form works
The premise is to combine the short and long versions of the contact forms. The initial contact form that a visitor will see is the short version (Name, Email/Phone and Address). Once they submit (commit themselves) their information they will be sent to the long contact form.
Here is a 2-step contact form that I use on my SellYourNJHouse.com website
Does it Really Work??
Yes! I've had over 85% of the people who fill out the short contact form continue on and complete the long form. It really is very effective.
How to Setup a 2-Step Contact Form
The process for setting up a 2-step contact form in WordPress is fairly straight forward and simple. That is if you have a contact form plugin that can handle it because not all of them do. I've tested out a few free ones and a couple premium plugins…
Free WordPress Plugins
Which plugin you choose is up to you. You have to weigh ease of use, price, features and support. My choice has been Gravity Forms. If I had to go with a free contact form plugin I’d probably go with FastSecureContactForm.
OptimizePress and LeadPages look awesome as well and I know some great internet marketers who kill it with these services.
Step By Step Guide For Setting Up a 2-Step Contact Form
Fast Secure Contact Form
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
The 2-step contact form technique can really make a difference when it comes to converting your visitors to leads. However – you should always test out different configurations to make sure you get the optimal performing setup. Don't be afraid to change up the information you're collecting on each step.
If you have any questions regarding the setting up of a 2 step contact form, feel free to leave a comment below!
Scott Costello is an active wholesaler with limited funds, a full time job and a growing family. He is the founder of StrugglingInvestor.com where he writes about his experiences in wholesaling real estate in New Jersey. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.