How Parkbench Made Over $300,000 By Re-Engaging Abandoned Visitors
Parkbench sells neighborhood-centric websites to realtors. The company’s technology automatically aggregates information about a neighborhood into an online home that includes the latest news, a local business directory, and upcoming community events.
Realtors pay an upfront yearly fee—between $3,000 to $12,000 depending on local housing prices—to be the sole sponsor of their neighborhood’s website. Using Parkbench’s “Prospect Interview System,” realtors build relationships with local business owners that lead to niche website content, quality real estate leads, and becoming their neighborhood’s digital mayor.
Within a period of five months, Parkbench’s Autopilot journeys have both directly and indirectly contributed to over $300,000 in revenue. Here are the journeys, emails, and thinking behind how the company did it.
Designing a journey to re-engage abandoned visitors
Parkbench started with a list of 16,000 contacts who’ve visited their website, but haven’t become paying customers yet. How many of these potential clients would convert with the right engagement? To find out, the company decided to create an educational journey that had two goals:
1. Re-engage abandoned visitors with helpful lead nurturing content
2. Re-target people who click on the content, but don’t book a demo
Here’s the actual journey Parkbench’s digital marketing specialist, Rahul Ghosh, set up:
The journey kicks off with their 16,000 contacts smart segment, and then runs a quick check to exclude anyone who’s interviewed local business owners, has the “customer” lead status, and is on a their webinar contact list. Anyone who meets those criteria are ejected to eliminate the inevitable “oops” email.
That covers the segmentation piece of Parkbench’s journey. Everyone who still meets the criteria then receives eight automated emails over eight days, with a few on-website messages and update field actions sprinkled throughout.
Here’s the first half of the automated email structure so you can get an up close view:
You’ll see their actual emails in the next section.
Here’s the second half of the automated email structure:
Notice the “Update Field” action. When a person clicks through an email, Parkbench updates their lead status to include what the lead viewed or visited. This opens the door to future journeys around these events.
There’s also three Headsup messages to reinforce the email messages while adding a human touch.
The journey ends by doing a final check if the person is on the “All_clients” list, also known as “became customers.” Those who didn’t get added to a list. Those who do are removed from this journey’s list.
Parkbench’s high-level journey structure is smart segment → eight-emails with on-website messages → remove or add to list at the end. Along the way, there’s lead status updates and ejections where required.
Creating the right content for the job
The journey’s primary goal was to re-engage abandoned visitors with helpful lead nurturing content that educates without being sales-y. Parkbench wanted their leads to view the company as an authority in the real estate niche, which would build enough trust to lead to booked demos.
To figure out the best content to create, the team hopped in a room and asked “What emails could we send that would cover every aspect of real estate marketing, and impress our target audience?” The group used a combination of top-performing content and custom stuff written from scratch.
Parkbench landed on this email series:
1. Preventing other agents from getting potential clients
2. Generating local leads
3. Podcasting for real estate professionals
4. Doing relationship-based marketing versus online lead generation
5. Launching Facebook remarketing ads
6. Showing up on the right side of Google search
7. Utilizing marketing automation
8. Optimizing for local SEO
The first email includes a book a demo call-to-action, but the rest are value-adding resources that have nothing to do with the Parkbench platform. This is content marketing at its best.
See for yourself.
Day 1: Winning potential clients before other agents do
The copy shines here. Grant speaks to their audience’s pain point of “Your potential clients…are getting stolen…right under your nose…” After that, he pitches the company’s real world relationship building methodology (aka solution) then invites the reader to book a demo. “We only work with 1 REALTOR per neighborhood is bolded,” creating scarcity and urging the reader to take action. Brilliant.
Day 2: Generating local leads
Realtors are always wondering how to generate more local leads. Parkbench put together the best practices in a “step by step blueprint” along with a promise that “if you implement all the steps mentioned in this e-book you will see an increase in your local leads within 2 weeks.” There’s no ask to buy here. Just a value-adding resource and a promise that it works.
Day 3: Podcasting for real estate professionals
Podcasting is blowing up. According to Clammr, there was a 32% increase in the number of Google searches for “podcast” from 2014 to 2015. Parkbench is riding this wave by tailoring podcasting to the real estate niche. It’s another complete guide in this email to educate realtors on how to grow their business. Trust is continuing to be built.
Day 4: Doing relationship-based marketing versus online lead generation
After three educational emails, the company sends a video comparing their platform and online lead generation. Since trust has been built, readers are more open to learning about Parkbench’s platform. Notice how the company doesn’t go for the hard sell here. It’s still educational by offering a comparison that speaks to people who are saying “I trust Parkbench as a company, but want more information to see if their service is the best choice for me.”
Day 5: Launching Facebook remarketing ads
In this email, Parkbench is back at it with real estate marketing tips. The intro states that “Facebook has over 4 million advertisers including Real Estate Professsionals.” This plants the idea that Facebook ads could work for realtors. Full-time marketers aren’t the only ones who can test their way to profitable Facebook ads, after all.
Day 6: Showing up on the right side of Google search
For any realtor who’s “Ever wondered how to get your name and real estate business on the right side of Google search?”, Parkbench walks them through the process to make it happen. We still have a few emails left, but the theme in these emails is helpful, helpful, helpful, and value, value, value.
Day 7: Utilizing marketing automation
Now we’re in marketing automation territory. Grant lays out the benefits by saying “Wouldn’t it be nice if most of your marketing strategy was automated saving you lots of time to go out there and meet people.” This is genius copy, especially considering that real estate is a relational, face-to-face business.
Day 8: Optimizing for local SEO
“With good local SEO you can take on big players like Zillow and Realtor.com.” Again, we see Grant speaking to a pain point. How can a solo real estate agent compete against established tech companies? Parkbench shows them how.
The company also throws in a couple of Headsup messages to start sales conversations:
The messaging positions the company as a partner to help the realtor succeed, and invites the visitor to start a conversation.
The company’s “digital mayor” language comes into play here. This Headsup displays later on in the journey, and boldly goes for the demo ask.
Booking demo after demo
Parkbench’s journey teaches realtors the best of the best marketing techniques for their industry, for free. This sets the stage for the next step in their customer’s journey…
The demo ask.
Parkbench sends a “book a demo” email every two weeks separate from their engaging abandoned visitors journey.
Here’s a real-life example:
To further drive demos, the company retargets anyone who clicks through an article sent from their educational journey. This way, they’re not dependent on just emails to drive conversions.
Clickers land on this landing page that uses scarcity messaging and includes a phone number field to introduce leads to sales for a demo.
The people focus stands out, and appeals to relationally-minded realtors.
Generating revenue on autopilot
With the combination of automated customer journey marketing, smart retargeting, and landing page best practices, Parkbench has brought in over $300,000 in revenue over the past 5 months directly through these efforts.
Paying customers saw, engaged with, and ultimately converted because of the educational emails they received from the re-engaging abandoned visitors journey.
The beautiful thing? This journey is running on autopilot.
How do you re-engage abandoned visitors? Let us know in the comments.