In my last post, we discussed why contextual marketing is much more powerful, meaningful and important than simply creating content, for the sake of content. I also gave you a few best practice tips, when setting out to create killer contextual content.
How though, do you know if you “truly” are giving your clients and prospects relevant contextual content? The answer is simple. Track your marketing results.
Today we’ll examine a few ways you can grade the quality of your contextual content, and ensure your hard earned marketing dollars are going to work for you in the smartest way possible.
1) Old School Analyzing
For those of you “old schoolers” out there that don’t believe in computers and don’t want to use technology to track your marketing results, fear not. There are still ways for you to track how relevant your content is. It just requires more elbow grease than some of the alternatives.
-How many phone calls did you get from your mailer?: I know this isn’t always the easiest line to draw and obviously many people will absorb your content, yet not feel the need to pick up the phone and talk with you. There are some people however that will respond to your mailings and call you. There are also tricks you can use to get more phone calls. For instance, if your mailing is a Just Sold postcard, or a market update, only give the homeowner enough info to wet their appetite. Then, use a strong call to action, letting them know that they can get all the detailed info by calling you.
-Do they bring your mailer with them?: If you are having an open house, one great way to know if your messages are hitting home is to simply observe how many people bring the card with them. THEN, when you are talking with them at your open house, ask them for their opinion on the messages you are sending them. Ask them to be honest, and for sure be open to any suggestions or criticism they may have. Take that info, and if necessary, revise and test again.
2) “Newer School” Analyzing
Are you kind of committed to using tech tools and are wanting to know some easy, FREE ways you can use the internet to track your postcard responses? One fantastic way to do this is by using a strong call to action, a landing page on the internet to direct your postcard recipient to, and Google Analytics.
Before I dive into exactly how you do this, let’s make sure everyone knows what I am talking about here. What is a landing page you ask? Simply put, a landing page is a “mini website” that you direct a homeowner to, promising them some item of value when they visit. It’s not a full blown website, but rather just a single page on the internet with a single purpose. Because of this, it is VERY inexpensive to have a web designer set up for you.
What you do with this page is this: When you send out your card, offer the homeowner something of value, if they go to your landing page. For instance, give them the opportunity to sign up for monthly neighborhood market reports such as Altos Research Reports, give them some sort of brochure or report (e.g. 20 things you MUST do when preparing your home to go on the market), etc.
The item of value MUST also be contextually relevant to your marketplace, or else they won’t go to your landing page. Because of this, I generally strongly suggest market trends reports.
With the use of Google Analytics, you can track how many people went to that landing page and downloaded or signed up for whatever you were offering them. A great, virtually free way to track your marketing piece’s relevance.
3) New School Marketing – Join the revolution
The following form of marketing is the newest wave of what’s out there, and gives you “micro capabilities” to not only track response, but find out exactly what specific things people are most and least interested in, all in one nice, tight little package that makes things easy on you.
This marketing practice generally does carry some costs, but the benefits in my opinion are well worth it. We are in fact feverishly getting all our marketing clients set up on this exact type platform. While we of course are setting our clients up on our one of a kind Neighborhood Capture Marketing Platform, the reality is that there are two or three other systems out there, with varying flavors of what I am going to describe. The systems aren’t terribly expensive (ours runs $99 per month), and the benefits, as I have mentioned twice now, are staggering (can you tell I’m fanatic about mash-up marketing?)
These marketing pieces all revolve around a unique, variable printed capture code. The code is unique to that particular house and also that particular marketing piece.
So the homeowner goes to the website they are directed to and enters in their special offer code, along with their email address. From a marketing perspective, this is perfect for two reasons:
a) You get instant, real-time statistics on the effectiveness of your marketing piece (the system notifies you there was a response)
b) You are organically growing your electronic marketing database (any of these systems worth their salt MUST have drip follow up campaigns that cultivate these responses for you)
What do the homeowners get, you ask? The offerings differ from company offering to company offering. Our system happens to offer the homeowner a neighborhood capture page that gives them real-time info on homes for sale, school maps and scores, maps of local amenities (e.g. parks, restaurants, stores, etc), crime reports, real-time real estate statistics, and even local neighborhood news.
An added benefit to using the “technology” approach to your marketing is that you don’t have to create landing pages for each area, as described in idea #2, above. The reason for this is because the system that is running the capture codes automatically knows where the homeowner lives and builds the pages accordingly, with content that IS RELEVANT, specifically to them. So if you market to one neighborhood, or 100, you are never looking at added web expenses.
Obviously I have my opinions on the best way to quantify your marketing messages and the best way to give your target market, contextual relevance. I do however work with agents from all walks of life, budgets and technological knowledge, putting the drive to fit them with the best tool “for them”, above and beyond my thoughts of “how I would do it, if it were me”. If you are wondering how to track the effectiveness of your marketing and have questions, are trying to track it and getting nowhere fast, or would like to start putting benchmarks in place to analyze your marketing, contact me anytime, and I’d be more than happy to take a look at what you have and help you however I can.