Nudge marketing for apartment websites

Feb 28, 2024

Hand holding a magnet that is attracting arrows as a metaphor for nudge marketing driving clicks

Getting a lot of website traffic but not a lot of leads or leases? Sounds like you may need something to nudge those prospects further along the leasing journey. Nudge marketing just might be the strategy you’re looking for.

If you’re currently using nudge marketing on your property website — or you’re not, but it’s something you’d like to learn more about — this article is for you!

What is nudge marketing?

In broad digital marketing terms, nudge marketing is a strategy that uses cues or suggestions to influence customer behavior … nudging them to take the desired next step.

Specific to RentCafe websites, nudge marketing is timed and triggered messaging that appears on the screen. It’s designed to help prospective renters get the information they need to take action on your website.

In a study of 3,130 property websites, nudge marketing was shown to have a 15.64% conversion rate.

There are different types of nudges for different purposes. We’ll review each of these nudge campaigns, sharing when to use them and how to make them as effective as possible.

Lead generation nudge campaigns

First up is the lead generation nudge campaign. This campaign does exactly what its name suggests. It generates leads.

Lead generation nudge campaigns feature a simple, non-intrusive banner that spans the full width of the website on desired pages.

The most important thing to remember with the RentCafe lead generation nudge is that it creates a guest card in Voyager each time a prospect fills out their contact information.

If your short-term goal is to build out a prospect pipeline, potentially for a lease-up property, we suggest enabling this nudge campaign to show on all pages.

Specials nudge campaigns

As its name suggests, this nudge style promotes specials. It’s helpful because it encourages prospects to consider a larger layout that they may not have otherwise considered.

Example of a specials nudge marketing campaign

If you’re tech-savvy, leveraging the specials nudge campaign can be a great way to market specific floor plans that are currently running discounts.

When clicked, the RentCafe specials nudge campaign will take the user to the unit availability page so they can start their online application. 

Specials can be configured within either RentCafe specials or Voyager specials. Integrating the Voyager specials with this nudge campaign allows you to automate the setup quite a bit. Site Manager will recognize the date range the Voyager special is configured with. It will automatically publish and unpublish the specials nudge during the specified time frame.

We find this to be incredibly useful to drive prospects’ attention to certain floor plans that may have lower occupancy than others.

Promotions nudge campaigns

Similar to our specials nudge marketing campaigns, we also offer a promotions nudge campaign. Instead of advertising discounted floor plans, it promotes other savings and deals, like application fee discounts. This nudge integrates with your Voyager promotion codes.

The RentCafe promotions nudge campaign can be used to promote seasonal discounts or to drive applicants over a specific weekend. It can also be combined with PPC campaigns. When the end-user clicks on a PPC ad, they can be taken to a custom page where a promotion nudge appears for them to use towards their online application.

The promotion nudge targets website or landing page visitors that need a little extra push to start their application.

Custom message nudge campaigns

Custom message nudge campaigns allow you to create a custom HTML nudge campaign to suit any marketing need you may have. They can be a fun and quirky way to showcase an event the property is hosting. You can leverage it for just about anything to be shared with the end-user.

We’ve seen clients use custom message nudge campaigns to promote newly renovated units, pet-friendly policies, on-site events and local announcements. We’ve even seen it used to celebrate upcoming holidays.

The RentCafe custom message nudge is an opportunity to show prospects how well you take care of your residents, so let them in on the fun!  

Unlike the three nudge marketing campaign types above, there is no built-in functionality with Voyager. For this reason, we recommend also using lead generation, specials and promotion nudges where relevant on your site.

Personalized nudge campaigns

Last but not least is one of our favorites: personalized nudge campaigns! The RentCafe personalized nudge displays a personalized message based on which pages the website visitor views.

Example of a personalized nudge campaign

When a website visitor first comes to your website, the standard message displays. If they view a floor plan and then come back to your site two or more hours later, the floor plan message displays (along with which floor plan they viewed). 

This nudge is innovative in that it recognizes the returning user and gently reminds them of the floor plan they were previously interested in. It asks them if they want to start an application and/or schedule a tour.

We recommend choosing the fixed-at-bottom layout option, so it gets the user’s attention as they read through the content of the site. The dynamic functionality within this nudge allows prospects to be recognized as they come back to visit your site and creates a welcoming user experience.

It really is a gentle way to welcome a prospect home. Kind of the digital equivalent to seeing a familiar face as they walk through the clubhouse door.  

Company-level nudge campaigns

Before you rush off to go set up some nudge campaigns, there’s one more thing you should know. We offer these three nudge marketing campaigns at the company level:

  • Lead generation nudges
  • Custom message nudges
  • Personalized nudges

That means you can streamline the setup and configuration in one place, then select which properties you want the nudge campaign to be visible on.

In this scenario, the custom message nudge is a great way to get information out to all prospects and/or residents at one time. For example, you could use it to share a health notification or call attention to virtual tours available in any community.  

Final thoughts on nudge marketing campaigns

In a world of pop-ups and information overload, it’s important to be selective with your prospect messaging. Nudge marketing can help by making sure your customers’ most important questions are answered (without them having to jump through hoops to find the information).

With all the options available, the potential for nudge marketing success on your RentCafe website is huge. For example, when you combine nudge marketing with the built-in RentCafe and Voyager functionality, you can fill your pipeline with new guest cards, book tours, apply specials to a lease and include an application discount automatically without any extra steps from onsite staff.

Getting your brand seen is one thing. Saving your leasing staff time and increasing efficiency for everyone is next level. Now go out there and nudge your way to success!

See the results of a nudge marketing case study we recently completed. It will help you figure out the best placement and timing for your nudge campaigns.

Nicole Landfried

Nicole Landfried is the East regional manager for REACH by RentCafe. She loves focusing on creative operations and partnering with clients on their next big website initiative. Her background is commercial photography, and she is the proud baker of an award-winning white-chocolate raspberry cheesecake! Nicole is based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

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