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Here's some good news: The hot tub industry has finally regained some of its swagger.
Let's face it: Lead generation can be a slog. While passive strategies like word-of-mouth are quite effective, lead generation often takes work. It's passing out business cards, sending direct mail to homeowners in your area, canvassing the neighborhood and setting up shop at home shows.
Then there's the other side of the coin: following up on leads. If you've had a particularly strong home show, for example, you might have dozens of leads to sift through. With limited time and resources, it's inefficient for salespeople to dedicate significant time to every lead. Instead, they should be spending more time on qualified leads, or the ones that are most likely to convert into a sale. But how can you sift out qualified leads from the rubble of bad leads?
Digital marketing techniques, cleverly used, can offer help. Marketers can now reach potential customers in more ways than ever, and also learn more about them than before, making it easier to determine which leads are worth pursuing.
Using online quizzes, a technique that is growing in popularity, digital marketing can even make lead generation fun. Pool and spa pros, take note.
Let me explain with a personal example: After many years of renting, I've been lightly considering buying a house. (Emphasis on "lightly.") It is, of course, a big decision with a lot of considerations involved, so I've been doing some casual research.
So imagine when, while surfing Facebook, I stumbled on a quiz from a local realtor called "Should you rent or buy a home?" It's like Facebook read my mind. I had to click.
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I began by answering a few expected questions: my income, what debt I may have, how much money I'd expect to have for a down payment and so on. However, I was pleasantly surprised by other questions that made me pause and think: "How do you feel about having to take care of a yard?" "How important is it to be able to move again quickly and easily?" "If something were to break in your home, like a leaky faucet, how would you react?"
Once I completed the 11 questions, I was prompted to enter in my email address before seeing the results. Because I had already invested time in filling out the quiz and genuinely wanted to know the outcome, I filled it in. My answer: "You're ready for your first home!"
The quiz was developed using LeadQuizzes, a software program that cultivates leads through quizzes and, more importantly, helps pros filter those leads down to the most promising targets, saving salespeople time and effort.
This approach is a boon for pool and spa pros. Similar to buying a home, a pool build is a big-ticket purchase with an intimidating sales process. The quiz format, however, offers a lighthearted, yet educational, introduction.
Say you created a quiz called "Is a Swimming Pool Right for You?" It could include questions like the following:
Once you distribute your quiz (more on that later) and start collecting leads, you can view individual responses to get a better feel for the potential customer. For example, if Mr. Green's answers indicate he could be a valuable prospect, but is budget conscious, you can send him a follow-up email about your financing options.
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If Mr. Plum indicates he would be interested in a pool, but isn't crazy about the maintenance side of pool ownership, you could follow up with a message about your comprehensive service options.
If Mrs. White says she's willing to spend no more than $15,000 on a pool, and that doesn't work for you, you can move on to a more fruitful lead.
(No need to individually email all prospects; you can create lists of leads sorted by message — financing, service, etc. — and send mass emails accordingly.)
Let's revisit the home ownership quiz I took. There are four reasons why that strategy worked:
It's no coincidence I saw that quiz. In my preliminary research, I visited a few local realtor websites to take a look at homes on the market. One of them had a retargeting campaign in effect: After visiting that realtor's site and leaving, I was served an ad on Facebook from that same real estate agent.
You can try retargeting your quiz in a similar fashion, or you can cast a wider net by creating a Facebook post and boosting it, targeting people in your zip code only. It won't cost much (I'd suggest starting with a $50 budget and go from there), and you'll be reaching the audience you're looking for.
I'm not at the point yet where I'm ready to reach out to real estate companies to learn more about buying a house. I want to dip my toe in and see what happens.
As outlined earlier, buying a pool or spa can be intimidating. Customers today want to be prepared — as any salesperson well knows, the vast majority of customers research a product online before going to a store to purchase it.
An enjoyable quiz can help potential buyers test the waters, so to speak, while also helping them assess whether a pool or spa purchase is really something they're interested in pursuing.
Unlike your typical Buzzfeed quiz, the quiz I took was presented by a real estate agent, giving it an air of credibility. I was willing to provide my email address to see the results of my quiz because the experience and insight was valuable.
Pool and spa pros can do the same with quizzes as well as PDF guides. For example, say you create a brief PDF booklet called "5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Pool." You can upload it to your site and promote it in your newsletter and on your social pages. Let customers know the guide is free, and when they click to download it, ask them for their email address first.
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Tools like quizzes and PDFs make you look like a credible expert, provide customers the research they're looking for and generate email addresses you can use for future marketing. It's a win-win.
I'll take just about any quiz I see, from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to which character from "The Office" I am. (I'm Pam, by the way.) I'm not alone in that — there's a reason why there's a Buzzfeed quiz for everything you can imagine.
Quizzes aren't just fun: It's gamification at work. "Gamification" refers to the application of game-like elements in a non-game space in order to drive participation, engagement and excitement. Quizzes, even those created for marketing purposes, do just that. They draw people in and get them excited.
Pools and spas embody fun. Shouldn't the entire buying process, from lead generation to the first dip, be fun?
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