I almost can’t believe that I wrote that headline?
Yesterday, I spoke with a guy who told me he wanted to run a direct mail campaign to drive traffic to his website and capture leads to “farm” (his word) into clients.
Now, first let me say that farming a cache of leads is a great strategy. You can source your leads lots of ways. We recommend a strong online marketing campaign including strong real etstate seo efforts, ppc, email marketing, and a highly accountable reporting system.
So, this guy isn’t completely off the mark. Yes, your database of leads and customers is gold. You need to nourish this list and grow it. The more qualified users you can drive to your site, the more leads you will generate. If your site is well built to convert real estate buyers, sellers, and renters into leads, then the more traffic you have the more leads you should have.
As we’ve mentioned many times on this blog, you need to consider the cost of each lead. What did you pay to acquire the lead? If you paid $4000 for 8000 clicks (that’s $0.50 per click or site visitor) on Google Adwords and that generated 400 leads, then you paid $10 per lead. Got it?
Well, let’s think about this direct mail campaign that the guy on the phone wanted to deploy. He’s going to spend money sending those mail pieces upfront. Let’s say he sends our 10,000 pieces at $0.40 each. That’s $4000.
Now, he told me that these mailings were going to direct the users to his website. So, how many of the recipients will actually go to a website on a postcard? Here’s where the plan falls off the tracks.
It’s not likely that many of the recipients will actually go to the website. I don’t know about you, but I toss those mailers in the trash. I pick up my mail on the way into my building and the next thing I do is filter out the junk mail straight into the garbage.
So, if our friendly realtor is lucky, he’ll get maybe 5 or 10% of the recipients visiting his site. If the site was fantastic and converted leads at 10% (which is pretty high) he’d have 10000 x 0.1 x 0.1 = 100 leads. That’s $40/lead. Honestly, the cost would likely be even higher.
Bottom line – For real estate marketing campaigns, SEM, SEO and PPC are far better investments than direct mail. And please don’t be fooled and think that you can generate web traffic efficiently using traditional marketing like direct mail.
Hopefully, we just saved you some time and money.