Posts Tagged ‘Email Marketing’

Traditional vs Online media – Judging ROI

Hey folks. For the local readers (we’re based in Boston) the 3rd installment of the course I’m giving for the North East Association of Realtors is happening this coming Monday. Here’s a link to the course outline. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

The next session is going to be an in-depth look a the subject of this post. We’re going to be talking about traditional media as it compares to online media. Of course real estate seo is an online marketing medium. So, we’ll be touching on SEO and talking about how it stacks up against the other media.

Now, at Boston Logic, we’re on the side of those who proclaim the digital marketing mantra “Print is dead!” Well, maybe not yet, but it’s circling the drain.

The basic question is, why is this happening? Why is traditional media losing favor while online media is gaining a larger and larger share of the marketing dollar? From our perspective, there are two forces at work.

First of all, our lives are moving online. You need to market to the customers where they are. Your customers are online. Everyone quotes the fact that 80 or 90 percent of real estate buyers start their search online. But the reality is that we do a lot more than just search for property online. We spend hours each day online. We’re buying fewer newspapers, listening to less radio, and we use our TiVo to skip the commercials when we’re watching TV.

The result of this trend is that the number of impressions that each ad spot gets has come down. A TV spot used to be 25% more effective than it is today. And this is steadily declining. Newspaper circulations are falling off a cliff. The news is free online. The paper wastes trees. Pick your reason, we’re all just buying fewer newspapers at the news stand. All of this means that the value of these media is decreasing. So much so that lots of papers are cutting staff, closing their doors, or moving to a completely web-centric model. This means that they’re only going to offer their content online. Hallelujah.

The second reason that marketing dollars are going on line is accountability. Online marketing media, SEO, PPC, social media, banner placement, and email marketing, are all relatively easy to track. You can know how many visitors came from Google’s organic results to your site and how many of these users turned into leads or customers. This means you can calculate the cost of each lead based on the number of leads and your investment into SEO. Calculating ROI is even easier when you’re using Pay Per Click.

In stark contrast, it’s hard to know if a user came from a TV ad or just typed in your web address. Sure, you can print a promo code in the newspaper ad and use that to try and track effectiveness, but then you need to offer some kind of a discount and not everyone will use the promo code. So, you don’t know if your ad is a flop or if it’s actually performing better than your numbers are telling you, based on the number of folks who entered the promo code.

Most small and medium sized businesses don’t even try to track the effectiveness of their print campaign. To most business owners, marketing is a black box. You insert money on one end and hope that it produces business out of the other end. The black box provides little accountability and really doesn’t help you understand your ROI.

If you are one of the smart ones and you are working to understand the ROI on your many marketing media, then the results are probably quite clear. Most marketers know that they get better value out of online media than they do from traditional media. This is the nail in the coffin.

When the numbers tell you that SEO leads are costing you $5 and PPC is costing $7 but the newspaper produces leads at $35. Well, it doesn’t take an MBA to know that you should stop paying for newspaper ads and invest more of your marketing dollars into SEO and PPC. Everyone who runs the numbers is seeing this trend and they’re all moving online.

I could, very honestly, go on. This topic is quite broad. I’ll touch on it in another post soon. I’ll certainly be going into much greater detail on Monday. I hope to see you there! Thanks.

Real Estate SEO and Email Marketing, Part of the chain

This blog is about more than simply Real Estate SEO. Our regular readers know that. SEO affects so many parts of your marketing campaign. Also, to get the most out of your investment in SEO, you’re going to need to need to make some other marketing and technology investments. Email Marketing is just such an investment.

For a long time now, we’ve been partnered with Constant Contact. We’ve done work with iContact, and we use Campaign Monitor regularly too. We’ve been designing email campaigns for years. Every one of these campaigns is designed to help our clients maximize the value of each contact in the email list. This is the reason email marketing is so important. It’s going to help you get the most out of your other investments.

In Real Estate, as in many industries, your SEO efforts are focused on finding leads and customers. Often we judge the effectiveness of a marketing media – be it SEO, PPC, or any other – based on the cost per lead. Now that you’ve paid that money for each lead, you want to maximize the conversion of those leads into customers. Email marketing plays a key role in doing so.

Every lead you get needs to be added to your email list. When they sign up on your site, they should be automatically imported into your contact list and be saved in your CRM system. If you’re using the ONE System by Boston Logic, this is already happening for you automatically.

Now that your leads are in the list, you need to communicate with them. Send them a newsletter. Send them nightly property updates. Add them to your drip campaign. Our clients with email campaigns are far more likely to convert their leads into clients. Alert! this is the conversion rate that really matters. Now we’re talking about client acquisition cost and this is really where the dollars and cents get counted…

A small example:

Let’s say you’re spending $10,000 per month on your online marketing campaign and this is generating 1000 leads per month. This means you’re paying $10/lead. Now, if you’re not emailing them, you might be converting your leads at 2%. So, for those 1000 leads you’re generating, you’re doing 20 deals. Your customer acquisition cost is $500.

Now, you implement an email marketing campaign. Say each month your list grows by 1000 email addresses. Remember, it costs very little to email each person. So, the incremental cost of adding each email address may as well be ignored for the math in this example. So, you’re collecting these email addresses and you send them a message on a regular basis. Over time, you see your conversion rate go up to 3%. Now, your cost per lead has stayed the same and you’re only paying a $333 customer acquisition cost and you’re doing 30 deals per month instead of only 20.

In this example, you can see that your marketing expenses don’t change all that much, but you do 50% more deals! And these numbers are realistic. These kinds of results don’t happen overnight, but they do happen. Your list is gold. You’re investing in SEO in order to get leads, but that’s not the end of the end goal, of course.

When you’re making your strategic SEO plan, think about how you’re going to maximize the conversion of those loads into sales. When you do, remember that email marketing is an important link in that chain.

Thanks for reading.

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