What’s better than a job well done? A remodeling job that brings in more referrals. A common way to grow business is by hosting an Open House. Though there are some tried-and-true elements (yard signs, door flyers, anyone?), there’s a big opportunity that a lot of people overlook: and that’s integrating on-the-ground efforts with online marketing. Before jumping into the basics of creating an amazing Open House campaign, here are two main reasons why integrating online and offline efforts are so important:
- Promoting an Open House online empowers remodelers to reach a wider audience. When yard signage is the only form of advertising, remodelers are highly dependent upon someone driving through the neighborhood, getting out of their car and reading a flyer.
- Flyers can only (effectively) share so much. An Open House flyer can address the who, what, when and where–but the “why” of an Open House is really tough to squeeze in. The “why” could be a series of before pictures or a story about the family’s cramped lifestyle before the remodel. The “why” is the most natural place remodelers have to connect a potential client’s need with a very clear solution without being too salesy in the process.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the four main parts to an Open House campaign. For remodelers setting up their first online campaign, these items take about four hours to complete; for seasoned online marketers, it’s probably closer to two-and-a-half hours. It’s a good idea to start promoting the Open House three weeks in advance of the event.
No. 1: The Landing Page
Think of the landing page as command central for all of your online efforts. If any written or online materials ask people to do any one thing: we want them to visit this customized landing page. An Open House campaign landing page should follow all of the basic rules of conversion: make sure it’s simple, straightforward and appealing–and above all, make sure there is only ONE call to action on the page. In this case, you’ll likely want people on the landing page to fill out a form or RSVP for the Open House. Imagery is really important on this page because you’re inviting someone to a tactile experience (come and see, touch and interact with a remodeled kitchen or house!), the visuals on this page should awaken a curiosity about what someone might see at the Open House.
Insider’s Tip:Look at landing pages in light of what you’re asking from the visitor versus what they’re getting. Make sure you aren’t asking for too much information and consider the appropriateness of the call to action. If you’re asking for a phone number or email in your form, consider offering something valuable like a text message or email reminder.
No. 2: Email Promotions
The same basic email rules apply for Open House campaigns. The subject line needs to be enticing; the visuals need to be stimulating, and the frequency needs to be carefully considered. Since emails in an Open House campaign function as an extension of the landing page, their visuals need to be in harmony with one another. Email is also a great way to capitalize on an existing database and invite them to see a transformation.
Insider’s Tip:Everybody has their own email volume tolerance, so we suggest a minimum of two reminders and perhaps an email titled “We’re excited to see you” three days in advance. A final reminder the night before the event could also include a Google map.
No. 3: Facebook Boosted Posts
With Facebook targeting, it’s almost too easy to target the exact audience remodelers are hoping to capture in an Open House campaign. For between $5 and $40, remodelers can target an audience by zip codes, age, home value and household income, to name a few. For these targeted posts it’s a good idea also to include surrounding zip codes near the Open House location. Most people choose to use simple copy such as “Open House” with the date/time and a “before” photo of the project; clicking on it will send people to the landing page.
Insider’s Tip: Facebook also lets remodelers create an invisible post, which means it won’t show up on the business’s Facebook page and will only be populated on your target demographic’s news feed/home page.
No. 4: Blog Posts
Blogs are just another way to push the Open House message out to your list and subscribers, though there’s more creative space to tell the “why” of the project. The blog post for an Open House campaign should provide more value than the landing page and give people a reason to want to learn more about the project and perhaps your company.
Insider’s Tip:The blog post is a good place to tease readers by only showing the “before” pictures. Consider creating a CTA button that leads them to the Open House landing page where they can sign up to see the “after” pictures.
No. 5: Direct Mail
An Open House Campaign wouldn’t be complete without some direct mail. One of the best things about direct mail is that remodelers can know exactly who is receiving their message. An average direct mailing for an Open House campaign would probably include about 500 homes and cost about $1,000 if a new design is needed (otherwise, that price drops in half!). Consider sending out a postcard that’s designed to give just enough information to entice the reader to go to the landing page (make sure the URL is easy to type in!).
Insider’s Tip: The timing on direct mail is important. The first postcard should arrive up to two weeks before the event (and be in coordination with the online campaign launch). If there’s room in the budget for a second piece, then that reminder should be timed to arrive a few days beforehand.
An Open House is a great opportunity to get face-to-face time with a remodeler’s ideal customers, and making a good first impression is just as important as getting them to show up to your event. To that end, use these elements to create a killer open house campaign and make sure that the actual event lives up to the hype in the campaign. Whether that’s by hearing the homeowner’s testimony or setting up a Q&A with the designer, bringing value to an Open House will rarely leave a remodeler empty-handed.