Now before you go getting yourself in a huff, and shout at your computer, “OF COURSE I TRACK MY POSTCARD MARKETING EFFORTS!!!”, take a breath and think about it. Do you really track your postcard marketing efforts?
What exactly do I mean by this? If your answer is “yes, I track my results”, but your way of tracking is by noting when you get a phone call from a mailing, or a listing appointment off a mailing, then you really aren’t tracking your results. At least not in an effective way that is going to allow you to hone and refine your marketing efforts, to yield the greatest results possible.
In the fifteen years I’ve been running Status 5 Studio, I am constantly amazed by how few Realtors® actually have a plan for tracking the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. It’s just a widely accepted norm, for the most part. Postcard campaigns seem to be the worst offender in this camp. The reason I find this amazing is because the Real Estate industry is the ONLY industry I can find that operates this way.
Even though we specialize in the Real Estate industry, we do a fair amount of marketing projects for high tech corporations as well. These corporations range from .com start ups, to established, Fortune 500 companies. If I were to pitch a project to one of these companies, and they were receptive to the idea, the very first question they would ask would be either a) how do we track results?, or b) how do we track our return on investment? If I didn’t have an answer to those questions, I would most likely get thrown out of the conference room and they would move on to the next marketing agency.
Everything you do in life has some sort of tracking. You join a gym to get in shape. Your overall change in physique and number the scale tells you are two ways you can track your progress. If you are training to run a half marathon, the amount of time it takes you to run that distance, from the day you start training, until the day of the race, tell you how well you have prepared. You have investment accounts with your financial adviser. The rate of return you get on those investments are detailed on monthly statements that are sent to you. You get my point. Everything in life has some sort of tracking. So why is it that your postcard marketing does not?
Why is tracking this stuff important anyways?
An effective way to track the response rates and results for your postcard mailings is important because:
• You can find out if your messages are being well received or falling on deaf ears
• You can do A&B testing of messages (to see what the most effective message is)
• You can pinpoint the issues most important to your prospects (thus further increasing your future response rates and the success of your business)
• Knowing that geographic farming takes some time to start generating results, at bare minimum, knowing “some people” are reading and/or responding to your message, will keep you from getting frustrated
Okay, so you believe me. Now, what do you do about it?
Okay, now, as I step down from my soap box, I am happy to tell you that there are many ways you can track the effectiveness of your postcard marketing campaigns. Some are very high tech, clean and easy. Others are low tech, and require elbow grease to pull off. Because we are a Real Estate Marketing agency that focuses on the tech side of the equation, I am going to discuss one way to track this, that is a high tech way. That is through the use of variable data printing and postcard capture code technology.
Our Leading Agent CRM and Marketing Tools come equipped with this technology, by default. Even if you don’t use our systems, there are two or three other companies in the Real Estate Marketing Industry that utilize some flavor of this technology. Here is how it works:
1) You send a postcard out to your farm area(s) that has a call to action on it.
2) The homeowner gets a postcard in the mail and it has instructions to go to your website and punch in offer code “xxxxx”, to get up to the minute market information for their specific neighborhood.
3) At your website, the homeowner punches in their offer code AND their email address. When they do so, they are directed to a map of THEIR neighborhood and a real-time listing of all the homes on the market in their neighborhood.
So you are giving something of value to the homeowners in your geo farm area. You are able to track the results of your postcard mailing campaigns, in real-time (thus giving you trackable metrics for this portion of your marketing efforts). Everybody wins.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know that “response rate” is simply the number of people that got your card and were willing to go to your website, and NOT the number of people that gave you actual business. But think of the power of this type of a set up:
-You are organically growing your email database (homeowners are supplying you with their email address when they punch in the offer code)
-You get peace of mind that your messages are being received
-Because the system uses variable data printing, you can segment your mailing list and easily try a few different calls to action, across your database, giving you a true idea of the messages and topics that are most important to your farm area(s), thus giving you a leg up on the competition
-If your back end system is anything like our Leading Agent CRM System, you’ll have access to a wealth of drip follow up campaigns that will give you more opportunities to communicate with homeowners, cultivate your relationships, and further test the messages and content that is most important to them.
These days, marketing is more science than art. The beautiful thing about the time we are living in, is that there are MANY affordable ways to leverage this “science” and benefit from it, in ways that were never before possible. As with all things, there is a little bit of a learning and planning curve. But, if you aren’t doing these things, I can guarantee that someone in your marketplace is. And one day, if you continue to ignore this stuff, they will eat your lunch. We don’t want that, do we? 🙂
If you want to learn more, ask questions, or find out about other great ways you can track the results of your postcard marketing campaigns, contact me. If you like my posts and want to learn more about Real Estate Marketing, our Leading Agent Marketing System, and how we might be able to help you get to the next level, subscribe to our blog, below: