The adult children of prospective senior living residents are doing a lot of their own research before they come to the table for a call or a tour — and their parents are too.
So picture this.
A senior begins researching communities, and part of her process is to sign up for a community’s online newsletter. That sign-up is an invitation to the community to begin a relationship with that senior, and yes, you can reach out manually to connect with that senior. But that is often inefficient. To truly get the most of that relationship, an operator needs that process to be automated.
“Just having touchpoints like that on autopilot is a good thing,” says Jennifer Lovely, Executive Vice President of Conversion Logix, a digital marketing agency that transforms anonymous prospects into pre-qualified leads. “It also makes someone feel good. They get that communication back immediately, but it’s not an aggressive type of communication.”
That automation, known as lead nurturing, is the first of five steps operators can take today to capture their future residents. Here is a look at the five.
Tip #1: Lead nurturing
The first three steps of this process are all lead-based: nurturing, attribution and development. Lead nurturing is simple: the act of using technology to build relationships at scale. For the senior above, lead nurturing is as simple as an automated email reply that says something like, “Hello! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. If you ever have any questions or comments, email us here. If you’d like to opt-in to our text messaging, click here.”
As Lovely notes, this is much easier to do when automated.
“If you were actually manually doing something like that, A, that becomes cumbersome. B, you could have spelling errors. C, you might have a walk-in and forget to do it,” she says. “It’s that nice soft touch: ‘We have your information here. If you need anything, please let us know.’”
The automated system can then deliver follow-ups that lead to additional information, live or virtual tours or invitations to events. Otherwise, lead nurturing can get lost in the shuffle.
Tip #2: Lead attribution
It’s a common question from operators: “We’re spending money on a campaign, but how do we know our campaign is working?” A report that shows clicks and impressions doesn’t tell the whole story. What operators need to know is where those leads are coming from.
In other words, they need to attribute those leads to a source and know which portion of their campaign — such as social ads, a paid search campaign or Google Business Profile — is working.
“The reason you want to see which part of your campaign is working, and which isn’t, is because it enables you to be agile and drive performance,” Lovely says. “If I see that one aspect is working, I can either move money around or I can add money to that solution or to that strategy to then increase leads, move-ins and ultimately revenue.”
Lead attribution also gives operators insight into other areas of prospect engagement, such as who RSVPs to their event, or why clicks on a promo link might be low.
“The great thing is that we’re seeing this in real time, so if something’s not working and we’re not getting the traction we need, we can adjust pretty immediately,” she says.
Tip #3: Lead development
Lead development is next, and a big way that operators can develop leads is if they embrace 24/7 development through a live chat feature.
Through live chat, an operator can ask qualifying questions that help operators get to know a prospect more personally. Sales teams can then use those insights to guide future conversations, whether in person or on the phone.
“You’re able to visit with them in more of a social setting where you’re not trying to sell them — just getting to know them,” she says. “These questions can uncover other aspects of their needs, too.”
Tip #4: Virtual assistant
Using technology to connect with prospects whenever the prospect is ready — that is the essence of finding your future residents. A virtual assistant is a big part of the process. At Conversion Logix, that virtual assistant is “Claire,” who instantly answers commonly asked questions. Claire encourages prospects to schedule a tour or claim an offer after an initial inquiry, increasing lead generation from an operator’s site.
Website visitors have access to Claire 24/7, ensuring their questions are immediately answered before, during, and after business hours.
“Some people really just want a softer conversion. They don’t necessarily want to talk to somebody, they just need to ask a few questions,” Lovely says. “Claire is good for adult children who don’t have time to call during that eight-to-five time period, and just want to get a simple question answered. It’s really good in the initial stages when people are just trying to uncover a few details and they don’t necessarily want to chat with somebody.”
Tip #5: Live events
While much of the preceding four steps are great at the top of the funnel, strategically planned live events are perfect to connect and convert. To do that, an operator must know their audience.
“We’ve been in situations where someone will say they’ve got a brand new senior living community and they’re going to hold a big luau party,” Lovely says. “But there’s a really high percentage of people who are introverts. Does everybody want to come to a luau with possibly a hundred people there? Is that really everybody’s mojo?”
The information gleaned from lead nurturing, attribution and development can ensure that an operator is setting the right event, not merely the flashiest.
“The more opportunities you have to connect, the better,” she says. “If you’re going to add one of these steps to your website, you’re only doing it partially right. In order to build a relationship with leads through the sales funnel and understand a campaign’s effectiveness, you have to leverage all of the steps. That way, you learn from each piece of the puzzle.”
This article is sponsored by Conversion Logix. To learn more about how to find your future resident, visit conversionlogix.com.