All the insight in the world isn’t much good if you can’t take action on it. And that’s where Zurple comes in — it makes the behavior of your website visitors actionable.
Zurple is a fascinating hybrid of a robust email marketing engine and event-driven web analytics. If that all sounds like mumbo jumbo, let me put it this way: Zurple tells you what your web site visitors are doing. Then it sends visitors personal, relevant and creative emails based on their actions that are almost impossible for a client to ignore.
Think of it this way. A consumer comes to your site, hits search, and then browses around your Zurple-built , fully featured IDX feed. He’s looking at houses and condominiums. He decides to register because everything about the site is designed to convert visitors to registrants.
That’s when Zurple springs into action.
Zurple • Starting at $329/month
It sends a personal email to this prospect under your name that says that in the particular neighborhood this gentleman is looking in, houses performs 49 percent better on resale than condominiums. And it all happens within seconds of his visit.
Zurple doesn’t stop there. Now Zurple will constantly monitor your prospect’s browsing behavior and associate it with what it calls real estate “events” that trigger relevant emails.
Event Driven Email marketing
What’s a real estate event? It could be anything from a house being sold that a user has favorited on your IDX site, to a price change or even a new listing. Zurple’s events are things that happen all the time, but frequently aren’t made actionable by agents, primarily because such events are not typically associated with web visitor behavior.
That’s because it’s too tedious to manually identify what users are doing on your site and how you can effectively interact with them. Zurple solves that problem in two ways.
First, it specializes in building precisely targeted IDX web sites that are designed to convert visitors into registrants (and ultimately, prospects).
All of Zurple’s sites share a few key design elements. First, they are universally devoid of agent branding, even though a visitor might reach a site through an agent’s branded web page.
Ryan Owen, co-founder and chief strategy office for Zurple, says that this is all part of the conversion strategy.
“What we want is for the consumer, when they reach one of our IDX sites, is to have an a-ha moment,” he explains. “We want them to respond to the fact that the site has all of the listings in the specific area they’re interested in. We want them to get excited about all of the big pictures and details of the listings. But most of all, we want them to inquire about a listing — and by not making it an agent-centric site, many web visitors feel more at ease when they do decide to register.”
Turning Visitors into Prospects
The strategy clearly works. Owen says that Zurple’s IDX sites convert visitors at an average rate of 13 percent, and some sites convert at rates north of 20 percent depending on the area on which they’re focused.
But how do you get traffic to a site that isn’t focused on your brand? That’s the other side of Zurple’s solution. They’re expert search marketers, and will drive paid traffic to your Zurple site based on your budget.
Yet Owen says that Zurple shouldn’t be thought of as a search marketer, even though paid search is an integral part of the solution.
“We’re focused on creating conversations, first and foremost,” Owen explains. “Everything we do is about creating relevant, insightful and creative conversations between agents and consumers.”
That’s why Owen says you can use Zurple to manage your existing sphere. The key is to get them to register on your Zurple IDX site, so that you can see their behavior as they search and send them relevant communications every step of the way.
Partnership with Zillow
Zurple is taking this one step further. It’s the first member of the Zillow Tech Connect partner program. So that means that if you’re a Zillow premier agent, you can have your leads flow directly from Zillow into Zurple.
When a Zillow lead comes into Zurple, it will be tagged with the information about the listing that the client inquired about on Zillow. That will be treated as an event in Zurple, so that the platform can start sending relevant information to the lead on an automatic basis.
Zurple is a turnkey solution for agents that want to do more with their IDX feeds. Since it enables agents to use insightful content that is based on common events, it facilitates immediate communication with prospects. You’ll never again be stuck in front of a blank screen as you wonder what to say to a prospect about something that’s happened with respect to a property.
It’s interesting to note, though, that Zurple treats its automated emails like gold — and you can’t edit or personalize them. Owen says that’s because the company is constantly testing and tweaking its emails to improve their performance. However, if you want to pause or stop a sequence of emails from being sent to a lead, you can do so through the control panel.
Complementary to Other Marketing Programs
So should you replace your website with a Zurple IDX site? The answer is a resounding NO, according to Owen.
“Agent branded sites perform a different function than our IDX sites,” Owen says. “Agent websites are typically about marketing to a sphere of influence. But Zurple sites are about creating conversations that lead to new prospects — so they work in tandem.”
Owen says that it’s best practice to link the search on your site to your Zurple IDX site. This will enable you to get the most mileage out of your existing sphere by having them register there, so you can leverage Zurple’s event-driven email engine.
Expensive, but Measurable
If there is a downside to Zurple, it’s that it isn’t cheap. The most basic plan begins at $329 a month, and includes one IDX site that can focus on a specific neighborhood or city — and that doesn’t include paid search engine marketing. Zurple advises clients to budget another $250 a month to drive paid traffic to the IDX site.
Yet because Zurple is a quantifiable marketing solution, you can dial up (or down) the number of leads you can expect to receive via your IDX site as a result of paid search. And you don’t have to pay for search at all. You can just use the platform to manage your own sphere, and add other leads to it as you see fit.
That’s particularly handy if you’re a heavy Craigslist user, or gather leads through other means. You could potentially use Zurple to replace a variety of other lead generation and email programs.
Zurple also works on a traffic-driven territory system, so there is the possibility that multiple Zurple IDX sites could exist in a single market. However, since the territories are defined by the volume of traffic that Zurple says it can deliver to a given locale, you can buy up all the traffic for a neighborhood or city. Zurple also guarantees lead exclusivity, so that you will receive the leads you’re paying for in a given territory, even if another agent is running a Zurple IDX site near you.
So should you give Zurple a shot?
If you’re looking to drive more leads, Zurple is a viable, quantifiable solution that meshes nicely with little overlap on other marketing programs. It’s relevant and original, and genuinely creates engagement and conversation.