Tips from Ad World 2021 All Home Builder Marketers Should Know

Last week, the OpenHouse.ai marketing team attended Ad World, the premier digital advertising event for marketers. While the event itself is not solely directed at the home building industry, there were several key takeaways and ideas that we believe would be beneficial for homebuilder marketers. In this blog, we are bringing you some hot takes from the event, from email marketing to iOS-14. Let’s jump right in!

EMAIL MARKETING

Email marketing has been around forever, and for good reason. It’s the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers. At Ad World there were several informative sessions that discussed email marketing best practices for measurement, and here are a few of the things we think you should know from experts in the area.

Open Rate: Your open rate is the percentage of recipients that open your email. Naomi West from Invoice2Go mentioned that on average you should be looking for an open rate of between 10-20%. This metric is based on multiple factors such as inbox placement, subject line, the relationship a subscriber has with you, and your tracking capabilities.

If your team is seeing a low open rate there are a few tips and tricks to help improve this metric:

#1. Be direct with your subject line. Your subject line should be delivering the value proposition of your email. Unengaging or irrelevant subject lines may be the cause of a low open rate.

#2. Develop a predictable sending cadence so that your subscriber knows what to expect from you.

Click-through Rate: The click-through rate is the percentage of subscribers that click through your email. On average you should look for a click-through rate of between 5-10%. A unique click-through rate is a better measure, that displays the number of users that clicked through your email out of those that opened it. This metric is based on multiple factors such as the effectiveness of your call to action and the value the recipient perceives of the click-through location.

The best way to improve your click-through rate is to improve the value within the email itself. Your messaging should be adapted to your audience to ensure that they resonate with your brand message and are eager to learn more. It’s important to develop a deep understanding of your recipient’s stage of their buyer journey and what resources they will value the most when improving your click-through rate.

Unsubscribe Rate: The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of users that opt out of your emails. This is a metric that will negatively impact your sending reputation over time if ISP’s see this metric occurring at high rates. You should see on average an unsubscribe rate of 0.2-0.5%. This metric will vastly vary depending on the number of recipients in your recipient list. Unsubscribe rates can be okay, as your brand grows so do your subscribers, their preferences or needs may begin to change. If your team is seeing a high unsubscribe rate, there are a few questions to ask yourself.

#1. Is my sending cadence too much for my subscriber?

#2. Are my emails still providing my subscriber as much value as they provide my business?

#3. Can my subscriber opt-in or opt-out of different topics?

It’s important to ensure that your email marketing efforts are continuing to evolve as your brand grows and the industry changes. By putting value creation for your subscribers at the core of your email marketing strategy, this medium can be an extremely effective tool for nurturing leads down the buyer journey and creating brand loyalty.

QUIZ FUNNELS

If you’ve ever been sucked in by an online quiz, you understand why so many companies these days are turning to quiz funnels for their lead generation. No, I don’t mean the BuzzFeed quizzes about what type of sandwich you are or which Disney character you should dress up as for Halloween. I mean the quizzes that ask you about your hair type to try to sell you shampoo or ask where you buy your clothes so they can sell you a subscription box.

It seems like every Facebook and Instagram ad is based in some sort of quiz funnel now. If you are anything like me, you’ve been caught up in these engaging lead-grabs…they’re just fun. And they work. Not only that, but they can be a quick way to get more information about your potential customer, and address customer uncertainties, which helps you direct them to the right product.  

In learning more about the nitty-gritty of quiz funnels, our team was intrigued by how valuable this method could be for the home building industry. When someone begins their home search on your website or are looking for resources on the home buying process, there is an opportunity to use a quiz funnel to both offer value to your customer and also gather some basic information about them. Within a few short questions, home builder marketers can get an idea of what type of home a buyer is looking for, how far into their buyer journey they are, etc. In order for this to be an effective medium, marketers will need to have a firm understanding of their product-market fit and which resources/ products will best resonate with your quiz takers.

We believe that this method combined with a personalized catalog experience can help support the buyer's journey from where to begin their search to ultimately finding the right home for them. We would encourage you to look in to quiz funnels as a tool to create another point of personalization along the home buying journey.

iOS-14 UPDATES

This should come as no surprise, but a major conversation at this year’s event was iOS-14 and Facebook advertising. Regardless of industry, business type, or ad spend, the changes to Facebook advertising and consumer tracking will disrupt the marketing ecosystem.

The 3 main areas impacted by iOS-14 are:

1. Conversion tracking and attribution on Facebook

2. Algorithm optimization and ad personalization

3. Website retargeting

To try and mitigate the effects of these 3 areas there are several actions that home builder marketers will need to take to ensure accurate and cost-effective advertisements. For a guide on navigating these changes, check out Facebook’s support center. Stick with us here as we know this section gets a little technical.

Step 1: New Facebook Attribution Window

It’s important to note that with the new update marketers will see a significant change to advertising attribution and reporting in Facebook. Prior to iOS-14, advertisers have been able to track and measure post-click behavior on their ads for up to 28 days. Going forward, 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will no longer be supported for active campaigns. After these changes take effect, the default 7-day click attribution window can be modified to one of the other windows that are still supported (ie. 1-day click, 7-day click, 1-day click and 1-day view, and 7-day click and 1-day view). Your team should be prepared to measure campaign success based on these new metrics.

Step 2: Prepare for Facebook Analytics to be removed

Facebook announced that they would be removing Facebook analytics altogether as of June 30, 2021. Therefore, to properly measure campaign performance, marketers will need to use dynamic UTMs for better cross-channel tracking between Facebook and Google Analytics. Dynamic UTMs can be generated within Facebook when you set up your ad and will allow for better tracking and breakdowns of your ad performance within Google Analytics.

Step 3: Activate Conversions API

Conversions API is a Facebook Business Tool that lets you share key web and offline events, or customer actions, directly from your server to Facebook’s. Conversions API works in combination with your Facebook pixel to help improve the performance and measurement of your Facebook ad campaigns.

You can use Conversions API to:

  • Measure customer actions in more ways.
  • Help improve accuracy of information sent for targeting, measurement and optimization when used in addition to the pixel.
  • Control the data you share and when you share it.

The implementation of the Conversions API will be important for all home builders looking to advertise on Facebook or Instagram. The set-up is very similar to setting up your Facebook pixel and Facebook has a step-by-step guide to this process.  

Step 4: Check your resource center

To help marketers and businesses seamlessly transition through these changes, Facebook has launched a resource center that can act as a guide for this set-up process. We encourage you to look at your resource center in detail to see what tasks you need to complete and any updates you should know about.

Step 5: Verify your domain

Another important step in the process of preparing for advertising with Facebook in 2021 is ensuring you verify your domain to help avoid any future disruption of your website campaigns. Domain verification allows you to manage editing permissions over your links and content to help prevent misuse of your domain. This includes both organic and paid content.

Step 6: Prioritize your 8 conversion events per domain

Facebook has created “Aggregated Event Measurement” (AEM), a protocol that allows for the measurement of web events from iOS 14 users. AEM limits verified domains to 8 conversion events that can be used for campaign optimization. Advertisers can set up and track as many conversion events per domain as they like, however, they can only choose and rank a maximum of 8 for Facebook’s algorithm to use for conversion optimization. Advertisers must rank these conversion events from 1-8 and only the highest-ranked event connected to a conversion will be recorded, regardless of the order, the events took place.

Step 7: Invest in knowing your customer

With the rollout of iOS-14, home builder marketers can expect their Facebook Ad performance to trend down. The data loss from iOS 14 will lead to a decline in the effectiveness of personalized advertising. Additionally, less user data will hinder Facebook’s algorithm from making smart decisions on where to show impressions and precise ad targeting.

Home builder marketers will need to develop a deep understanding of their buyers’ demographic data, location, preferences, and resonating messaging to ensure that they target the right people with the right messaging in their advertisements. If there ever was a time to invest in knowing your customer, that time is now. By using platforms like OpenHouse.ai, home builder marketers can unlock deep anonymized insights into their buyers to make informed advertising and marketing decisions.

SUMMARY

While there are several technical changes and tips that we highlighted in this blog, the greatest takeaway from nearly every session at Ad World was the importance of knowing your customer. Whether it’s to enable your team to better advertise in 2021 or brainstorming creative ways to get the attention of your market. Having a profound understanding of not only the people who do convert but also those who do not, is more important than ever. At OpenHouse.ai, we believe that privacy and personalization can and should coexist. We offer home builders real-time anonymized data on their website visitors and product performance that equips them with the knowledge and understanding to make high-impact marketing and operation decisions.

-The OpenHouse.ai Marketing Team

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