Understanding the Association and MLS Marketing & Communications Funnel
In our first article in this series, we outlined the CRM for Associations and MLSs. For example's sake, we will assume an entirely robust funnel environment, supported by the existence of your Association or MLS CRM. But keep in mind that any level of implementation is advantageous, and a technology plan can be developed to prioritize needs.
1. Top of the Funnel
a. Mobile Phone/Tablet
i. Push notification to a mobile app
ii. Messaging thread in a mobile app
iii. Text message
b. Enterprise Level Website
i. Browser notifications on the AOR/MLS website
ii. Custom messaging on the AOR/MLS website (business logic written directly into the code or on powerful CMS)
2. Middle of the Funnel
a. Custom messaging on a Member Portal
b. Custom messaging on an SSO Dashboard
3. Bottom of the Funnel
Custom messaging on the MLS Front End
We now have redundant layers of communication. It is utterly impossible for a member to conduct business without seeing the message or call to action. Notice that we haven’t mentioned e-mail. Purposely so, in such an environment email is by far the weakest channel. Agents, brokers, and consumers are so overwhelmed by bulk email that it is hard to drive engagement beyond open rates of 20%. With notifications on mobile apps, the engagement levels more than triple in our experience.
The days of email being a primary route of communication are gone. Automated email marketing, segmentation, nurture campaigns, IFTT (If This Then That) enrollment workflows, AB testing are for lead generation and conversion --to be used to engage and build a customer base. I am by no means saying that the endeavor is useless. It must be used as complimentary component to developing a center of excellence in communication. Associations and MLSs have already accomplished the capture phase of onboarding customers. What remains is engagement, retention and upselling. In the world of organized real estate that implies quantifiable value proposition and conversion tracking so that all of the benefits and services that we work so hard to bring to the membership are utilized and appreciated.
If reduced to the lowest common denominator what we want our members to do is just two things.
Read important communications-e.g. New Laws; We have new forms
Complete a call to action-e.g. pay dues, register for class/event, contribute to the PAC
Side Note: Last quarter, dues were collected 27% faster than ever before without running a discount promotion. Email unsubscribes were down 63% (transactional blaster used for parent email and regular for nurtures). Inbound phone calls to pay down 42%. Service center walk-ins to pay down 77%.
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