Chartford Homes is a Yorkshire property developer, specialising in building residential homes that incorporate modern technologies and high specifications, to create homes that are well built and economical.
Their portfolio of housing developments is centred in and around suburban Leeds with more recent developments expanding throughout other desirable locations in the Yorkshire region.
The biggest challenge during this project was balancing the flexibility requested by the content management team at Chartford Homes, to ensure they could add, remove and change content quickly and easily, with the need to also deliver a highly optimised and SEO friendly website.
It was also important that the website functioned as a fully integrated part of Chartford Homes’ wider digital strategy, which relies heavily on email marketing, so the challenge was to successfully link this new website, in an intelligent way, with their email marketing platform.
We developed widget driven page templates to give Chartford the ability to easily create new page layouts that can be tailored to suit any new content they wish to publish. This has two key benefits: one, it delivers the highly flexible and easy to use content management functionality Chartford requested and two, it reduced the development time required to get the site ready for live by limiting the number of templates we needed to create.
Kentico’s Global Event Handlers were also used to provide further functionality and improve usability for both end users and CMS users. This works by applying data entered in the Form tab of child pages to the front end content of the parent page. This saves content managers both time and effort, as well as reducing the chance of data input errors and simultaneously ensuring consistent and accurate front end content.
Custom Filters for Pages were also used to allow the manipulation of how content is ordered on site, giving users the ability to see the sub-section of information they’re looking for clearly and easily, further improving the user experience on site.
The Mailchimp integration was key for successfully ensuring the new website was capable of allowing effective data collection and easy email marketing segmentation.
This integration uses Kentico’s Custom Forms combined with the Mailchimp API, so the Global Event Handlers can push appropriate information from Kentico’s Forms to the Mailchimp System, and this works for existing forms on the site and new forms implemented through the Page Widgets.
The form data is captured and pushed to Mailchimp as well as information on what content the user chose to interact with, allowing Chartford to follow up on site actions with highly targeted and relevant email marketing. This information is also stored in Kentico itself, essentially creating an automatic back up of the Mailchimp data.
In the first week since launch the new Chartford Homes website saw a 16.31% increase in sessions, a 12.74% increase in users, a 44.82% increase in page views and a 24.51% increase is pages viewed per session in comparison to the previous week.
Year on year the new website delivered a 10.24% rise in sessions, a 14.19% increase in users, a 47.58% increase in page views, a 33.87% increase in pages per session, a 14.63% increase in the time spent on site and an 18.44% decrease in bounce rate between the 19th and 25th December 2016, when compared to the same period in 2015.
As well as building their brand new website, Chartford Homes also asked us to help them secure more of the competitive property market by delivering highly engaging digital marking campaigns to their target audiences.
To do this our team created a broad range of digital collateral all carefully tailored to suit the Chartford Homes’ digital portfolio, to ensure a strong brand consistency across all their customer touch points. Email campaigns were developed to first, to allow Chartford Homes to promote incentives and new products in a number of different ways and second, to keep users visually engaged with the emails, by avoiding repetition of the same messaging.
As emails were key to the success, a simple structure was used, alternating from full width banners to equal half width columns, which allowed the email to work successfully on both desktop and mobile devices.
To ensure consistency between the different email templates, hard coded HTML elements were used for standard sections such as the email headers and footers. Other elements of the email remained editable, so images and text could be changed at short notice, to keep pace with the wider marketing strategy Chartford Homes were using.
Emails were scheduled using insights from Chartford Homes’ customer data and our understanding of relevant industry trends, to determine the best days and times to send emails. Personalisation was also used where the data was available to further increase the likelihood users would open and click the emails.
This digital marketing strategy has subsequently delivered consistent open rates which more than doubled the industry average, increased click through rates to over 15% and limited unsubscribe rates to less than 1.5%.