Here’s the problem:
The word ‘marketing’ is a big word. I mean massive. The term encompasses dang near half of the activities you could undertake as a business owner. Everything from hammering bandit signs in the ground to designing a new slogan or tagline is marketing.
You need to get clear on the TYPE of marketing that makes sense for your business.
By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly where to focus your time, energy and money as a small real estate investor that needs to generate motivated seller leads.
Types of Marketing: Branding vs Direct Response
You can divide marketing tactics into two very distinct categories:
- Branding – Creating a unique image, feeling and/or design in the mind of customers and prospects.
- Direct Response – Eliciting a specific and measured response to a clear call-to-action.
In just a minute, I’ll tell you where you should be spending virtually ALL of your time as a real estate investor if you want to get seller leads. But first, let’s look at an example of each type of marketing.
This marketing message is pure branding:
Notice that this advertisement isn’t asking you to do anything at all. The purpose of this ad is to simply associate the product (Sprite) with a famous person (Lebron James) in your mind. As a result of this branding, the company (Coca-Cola) expects to sell more Sprite.
On the other hand, this is an example of a direct response advertisement for the same product (soda):
Same product, very different marketing tactics. Here are some differences between these two marketing campaigns:
- The branding example is much more expensive – How much do you think it costs to hire Lebron James as a spokesperson?
- The direct response example is much more measurable – I can measure two important things in this second advertisement. 1) How many people put the code in to receive a Buy one, get one free coupon? 2) How many people redeemed the Buy one, get one free coupon?
- The direct response example has a deadline – This campaign lasts until 11/23 (as shown in the fine print) at which point measurements can be taken to determine the effectiveness of the campaign.
See the difference? If you don’t, go back and read through that section again. This is critical stuff.
Here’s where to spend your marketing time as a real estate investor…
You should be spending north of 95% of your time, energy and money on direct response marketing and less than 5% worrying about branding.
Do you need a website with great design? Sure. But a few clicks of a button in REI BlackBook will get you a beautiful website.
Do you need a fancy logo? Well… kinda. But don’t get all hung up on it. Even the largest companies in the world aren’t super worried about getting their logo absolutely perfect when they are small.
The truth is that some of the largest companies simply use a text-based logo:
If a simple text logo was good enough for WalMart — it should be good enough for you.
Is branding important? Sure, at some point I’d love for you to spend some time figuring out the color palette of your business and the fonts you’ll use in your marketing materials.
But, if you want to make money — you’ll need to spend far more time mastering the art of direct response marketing.
A Direct Response Marketing Example for Real Estate Investors
Remember that the key to generating motivated seller leads is to create marketing campaigns that:
- Have a clear call-to-action
- Can be measured
For example, Anita wants to generate seller leads for her real estate business.
Anita determines that direct mail is the best lead generation method for her circumstances and skillset.
(RELATED: Don’t know which direct response lead generation method is perfect for you? Read this article.)
First, Anita uses her REI BlackBook software to set up a dedicated phone number for her direct mail marketing. With this dedicated phone number, Anita will be able to track how many phone calls she receives from her direct mail campaigns.
So… Anita buys a list of 1,000 possible distressed sellers in her area and designs a simple postcard with a clear call-to-action to call her dedicated phone number:
Anita mails the postcards to her list every month for 6 months and here are her results:
- List Purchase: $600
- Postcard Design and Printing: $900
- Postage: $1,000
- Leads and Deals
- 14 sellers call Anita
- Cost-Per-Lead (CPL): $178.57
- 2 closed deals
- Cost-Per-Deal (CPD): $1,250
- 14 sellers call Anita
(RELATED: For more information and a worksheet to calculate Cost-Per-Lead and Cost-Per-Deal, read this article.)
Anita could have spent a few thousand bucks and hours of time having a gorgeous custom logo and/or website designed.
Instead, she spent her time, energy and money on marketing campaigns that produce direct and measurable results for her business.
Yep… marketing is a BIG term that includes thousands of different activities. Don’t get distracted. Stay focused on generating seller leads using direct response marketing.