We hear a lot about marketing funnels nowadays, and how they are important to your marketing – and ultimately your bottom line. And it is true – a good marketing funnel can keep a steady stream of revenue coming in for any home inspection company, and a leaky one can cost you a lot of money.
For most of us though, a marketing funnel may seem like something outside of what we really know – or care to know. We are more concerned with the day-to-day of our inspection business, and not so interested in “funnels”. But you likely know more about marketing funnels than you may think.
In this article, we are going to discuss four points:
- What is a marketing funnel
- How to create a marketing funnel
- How to stop funnel “leaks”
What is a Marketing Funnel
Many people use the term “marketing funnel” very loosely. Many advertisers also use it in very complex looking graphics with lots of data and info. But a marketing funnel is much more simple than any of that (for large companies, funnels can become complex, but for most, they are actually quite simple).
Picture a funnel like the one in the image above. At the top is where people find you. For instance, you may use Inspector Media, which can bring you hundreds of visitors to your Facebook Business Page and to your website. But you don’t want just visitors, you want those people to become clients – to hire you for an inspection. And there is the point – a funnel is guiding people who find you down the funnel, and to turn them a home inspection.
So it is very simple in its overall meaning: a marketing funnel is just a way to get people to do what you want – to hire you. While the concept is very easy, it does take a bit more thought to actually execute it. So let’s go over some of the basics of a funnel so that you can help build your own. Keep in mind, building a “funnel” should not be intimidating, as it is just a logical series of events for the client, and doesn’t take long to do.
How to Create Marketing Funnels
The Top – With any good funnel (literal or figurative) it starts at the top. So the first step is getting people to find you. All too often, many home inspectors put up their website and say they are good-to-go. They have online scheduling, beautiful pictures, and they are proud of their home inspection website. The problem is that your website is usually the bottom of your funnel – and not the top. You could have the best, most amazing home inspection website in the world, but if no one is finding you, then your funnel doesn’t work.
So how do you do that? How do you get people to the top of your funnel? It all comes down to being found. Inspector Media offers Facebook marketing that can bring you hundreds of people to the top of your funnel. There are also other ways, such as SEO, Google Ads, and grass-root efforts such as getting people and agents to visit you on your Facebook Business Page and on your website through business cards, direct contact, email campaigns, etc. However you decide to do it, be sure that you are getting people to (and then in) the top of your marketing funnel.
The Bottom – We will talk about the middle of your funnel in a few moments, because the top and bottom of your funnel are the key points. What is the bottom of your funnel? It is people hiring you. For most inspectors, that is typically in three ways: an online scheduler, by phone, or by email. All three are effective, but online scheduling is more so. Why is that?
Online scheduling is becoming more popular. We at Full View Home Inspector Marketing see this every day, and we find that our most successful home inspection websites are the ones with online scheduling. People like the convenience of it (especially millennials). And the issue with not having online scheduling is that you will never know the clients you are losing – i.e they move on to another inspector and you never knew they were even in your funnel at all. An online scheduler also makes sure that the bottom of your funnel has a definitive end.
However you do it, be sure people can easily flow to the end of your funnel. If they find your Facebook Business Page, can they click your contact/book now button? Is your contact information clearly available and up to date? If you tend to convert leads on your website as many inspectors do, how long does a client have to look for your phone number? Is your phone number/contact button/schedule now button clear at the top of the page before anyone has to scroll down? Remember, you spent a lot of time to get someone to the bottom of your funnel, so don’t lose them by making it harder to schedule with you.
The Middle – So let’s talk about the middle of your funnel. You work hard to get people to find you, and you have made it clear how they can hire you – so what is the point of the middle of the funnel? The middle is all about WHY they should hire you. So it is a logical progression – 1: client finds you, 2: client sees why they need you in particular, and 3: How they can hire you.
So this comes down to two things for the middle of your funnel – timing, and content. The content that the client sees on your website or wherever the funnel leads them should be compelling. When we say compelling, we mean it. Too many home inspection websites say “Welcome to such and such. We perform home inspections in such and such county. Click here for our SOP”. That isn’t compelling, and won’t really work very well. Don’t just state facts, convince people you are the best person for the job. Try hiring a professional content writer if you can’t do it yourself. If you are on a budget, write your content and then send it to a friend or two who will give you their honest opinion (don’t take offense, and get HONEST feedback). Also, Inspector Media or Full View Marketing will be happy to help look at your content for you. Remember your audience too. While it is good to have other home inspectors look over your content, when would compel them is completely different than what would compel a potential client. So get the opinion of people who are not in our industry as well.
However you go about it, you need to write content that will move people to want to hire you. What about timing? Well, that takes a bit more effort. Timing comes down to when someone wants to hire you. If you show someone content about an 11th-month inspection when they haven’t closed on their new house yet, that was a wasted funnel. Be sure that you direct people to the right content when they need it.
So what is a funnel leak? That basically means a spot in your funnel where you are losing people. It is good to use Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics on your website to see where you lose people. Do you lose them on your homepage? Then change it. Do you lose them halfway through a signup form? Then figure out why. Here are some common leaks that happen with home inspection websites:
- Improper content at the bottom of the funnel. Not every funnel leads to the same spot. For instance, maybe you are using a custom video on thermal imaging from Inspector Media, but then that ad ends up on your schedule form – that just skipped part of your funnel. Have a page specific to what the person was looking at. If they were interested enough in thermal imaging to learn more – show them more, and why you are the best choice.
- Not having a clear CTA (call to action). A CTA is basically the bottom of your funnel, and it needs to be clear. I see many home inspection websites with no “schedule now” or “call me” buttons. Instead, there is an information page with links to “if you want to learn more, click here”. It is a very anti-climactic end to your funnel. If you just brought someone down a funnel for pre-listing inspections, show them why and how they should hire you.
- Being too “salesy”. Some inspectors take the bottom of the funnel too far and make it very salesy and not genuine enough. Every time a potential client goes down the page there are too many buttons and popups in your face, and this often turns people off. Having clear CTA’s without being in someone’s face has been shown to work better time after time. Think about which salesman you like better at a dealership – the respectful and helpful one, or the pushy one in your face.
- You. Yes, you can be a funnel leak as well. If you don’t answer your phone right away (another reason to use online scheduling), if you have a hard time turning a phone call or email into an inspection, or you just don’t make yourself available – all of this causes your funnel to leak. We did a test one time and we contacted a couple of dozen home inspectors in our area to inquire about a home inspection. Only one or two got right back to us, better than half never responded, and a few got back to us a day or two later. Only those who are responsive would have closed that deal.
A home inspection marketing funnel is simple, but vitally important. Make sure your funnel is put together properly, running well, and not leaking. Inspector Media or Full View would be happy to help you with your funnel and fine tune it for you.
This article was written by Full View Home Inspector Marketing, a website and SEO company specifically for home inspectors.