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3 Messaging Strategies to Increase Your Close Rate

May 6, 2020

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We love to share industry insights from our valued partners. In this partner highlight blog we teamed up with Taylor Engstrom, Partner Marketing Manager at Modernize.

Modernize is the leader in residential lead generation, focused on four energy-efficient trades: HVAC, Roofing, Solar, and Windows. Over the past 15 years, we’ve built a network of the most professional, trustworthy contractors across the country - we are your marketing partner in growing your home improvement business.


There are many ways to grow your home improvement business, including acquiring more leads and increasing your close rate. Solutions like Modernize can help you get more leads, but you need an effective strategy to close them.

Modernize and Hatch teamed up to analyze what works - and what doesn’t - across their home improvement customer base. You can increase your close rate by effectively using these messaging strategies.

1. Text Leads Instantly

You are 7x more likely to set an appointment if you respond to a new lead in the first hour than if you wait until the second hour, and Modernize has found their home improvement customers are most successful when they respond to a new lead in less than 15 minutes.

Time is money.

So when a new lead comes in from Modernize or your website form, you need to respond as soon as possible. At Hatch, we call this practice Instant Lead Engagement.

You could get away with just emailing and calling leads 10 years ago, but in 2020 consumers are less likely to pick up their phone when a new number calls them (thanks, robocallers) or even open your email amidst all of the spam. Texting is critical.

Hatch has found that home improvement companies average a near 80% response rate when they text new leads within 60 seconds.

Here’s an example of a window dealer doing just that:

Hatch + Modernize Joint Blog 3 Messaging Strategies to Increase Your Close Rate 5% - 10%-1

Notice how the window dealer:

  1. Instantly texted the Modernize lead
  2. Got a response within 60 seconds
  3. Discussed the project over the phone
  4. Used email send the initial estimate and confirm the in-person appointment

Hatch + Modernize Joint Blog 3 Messaging Strategies to Increase Your Close Rate 5% - 10%

2. Require a Minimum Response Time

We can all take a page out of Amazon’s playbook. 

CEO Jeff Bezos was assured during an executive meeting that customer service response times were less than a minute. He put that to the test by calling the customer support line in front of 30 executives.

Four and a half awkward minutes later, someone finally answered.

Bezos is downright customer-obsessed. You should be too. Your customers are Amazon’s customers; they expect first-class treatment. That’s why you should set minimum response times across your sales and service teams.

How to Get Started

Before you go crazy and require Amazon-type response times, get a pulse  for how fast your response times are today in your organization. Then look to improve ~15% week-over-week. Consider compensating your team when they meet the goal.

Here’s an example of a 4-week response time improvement plan:

Be sure to track your close rates and revenue as you make improvements. That way, the results will speak for themselves. 

Here’s what those results look like in Hatch:

Hatch + Modernize Joint Blog 3 Messaging Strategies to Increase Your Close Rate 5% - 10%-2

3. Rehash Cold Leads

Rehash is the sales practice of re-engaging with cold leads.

If you quote someone and don’t hear back, the lead goes into rehash territory. Your approach now needs to change from selling to starting a conversation.

Here’s a 3-step playbook to get you started with rehash.

Day 1 - Text

Hi [Contact First Name], this is [User First Name] with ABC Windows. I never heard back on your decision. I would love to get some feedback and help you with your project.

 

Why it works

  • Personalized
  • Open-ended to encourage a response
  • Humanizes the sales rep


Day 4 - Text

Have you made a decision about what you want to do with your windows?

 

Why it works

  • A simple yes/no question
  • Leaves room for elaboration

Day 5 - Email

Subject Line: Estimate for [Contact First Name]

Hi [Contact First Name], we discussed your estimate a few weeks ago but I never heard back on your decision. I reached out a couple times over text. Is [Contact Phone Number] still a good number for you?

 

Why it works

  • Subject line is direct
  • Personalized
  • Confirms the phone number (maybe it changed or got blocked)
  • Makes the lead feel guilty for not responding

 

How to Get Started

Create a report in your CRM for leads that were quoted but didn’t buy. Then go after them with the rehash playbook provided above.

Takeaways

Text Leads Instantly

Texting is the best way to get in front of your leads. You are 7x more likely to set an appointment if you respond in the first hour than if you wait until the second hour.

Require a Minimum Response Time

Be customer-obsessed - don’t keep them waiting. Track your response times today over text, email, and phone and strive for a modest 15% week-over-week improvement.

Rehash Cold Leads after 48 Hours

Change from selling to starting a conversation when leads go cold. Go into your CRM and find leads that haven’t responded to you. Build a multi-touch cadence (email, text, and call) using messaging that works.

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