Technology

How to convert like a tech startup

'Onboarding' boosts consumer engagement and conversion

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NEW YORK — Lead conversion is a complicated art, but technology is making it easier to engage consumers and increase the chances they’ll turn into business.

Jonathan Aizen, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Amitree Inc., maker of a tool that walks consumers through the homebuying process and helps brokers and agents prospect for leads, shared how new ways of thinking about conversion and technology have helped his startup develop its lead conversion process on a panel at Real Estate Connect New York City.

Jonathan Aizen.

Jonathan Aizen

The hot Silicon Valley trend of “onboarding,” which breaks down the customer acquisition process into a science, has helped his 2-year-old firm hone its lead conversion system, Aizen said.

Onboarding focuses on developing a consistent and relevant interaction with consumers at every step they take down the path to becoming a customer, Aizen said.

A business’ story in an initial email should match the feel and design of the landing page it links to, and at other steps down the conversion road, for example.

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The concept of onboarding helped Amitree dream up new ways to engage consumers once they were on its website, Aizen said. For example, the firm’s site now features a pop-up screen with a photo of the vice president of operations that prompts users to send questions his way, he said.

Amitree also uses technology to engage consumers on its site to help drive up its conversion rate.

The firm uses a service called Unbounce to test out the effectiveness of different landing pages at getting visitors to sign up, Aizen said. The landing page that ends up delivering the highest conversion rate stays around, while the others fall by the wayside.

Amitree also uses a tool called Intercom that helps the startup tune its messaging to consumers in its database at specific stages of their path to becoming clients.

With that tool, Amitree can automate drip emails targeted to agents who have visited the site but have not signed up, for example. Or it can send emails to those who have signed up for Amitree, but have not started using it.

In addition to these tech tools, Amitree also actively seeks feedback from consumers about its product to help surface unnecessary pain points and create a better product that will lead to higher conversion, Aizen said.

“Every single touchpoint is a learning opportunity,” Aizen said.