With a friend divorcee. She said to me, "So... What's up with your football schedule magnet on my ex's frig?" Ummm.... Is this a trick question? "Donno. Ask the X?!" More on that one later...
OK... I admit it. I haven't done much in the way of print ads in a while. And I also admit it. I can't tell you why I haven't done any ink lately. Here's why: It works!
As much as we have worked hard on our blogs, our websites, our SEO, our social media... have we focused so much online that we have lost touch with traditional means that could prove to be equally as effective in time? And lasting? Maybe even more effective and more lasting? Time will tell as we enter, for the first time, a 2nd generation of bloggers! Perhaps I have lost focus on print ads. And we may be losing a huge market that isn't as plugged in as we are by focusing online. Or losing the people who lose our printed giveaways in their divorce (there is a funny to go along with that) or hand down to their kids? And their kids' kids....
Here are my experiences, recent and old, with print ads. Funny stuff first...
So back to the friend divorcee... who found my ad on her ex's frig... like a good friend would, she asked him about it. He said to her, "Yea, that came in the mail addressed to you (to the girl) but I could see through the envelope and I could see it was something you wouldn't really care for, and I liked it, so I opened it and kept it...
"Please don't hate me!"
Thought bubble: "I LOVE HIM! Glad that worked out! Glad I sent something someone liked and wanted. Glad you asked me before you ex-friended me over a boy you don't even like! Glad I'm not the one in the doghouse!"
Lesson learned: Items in print, mailed, should be items of value, things that will be opened, kept, things they will reference for months or years later, things people will commit crimes for and open mail when they are not the intended recipient, things people will fight for in the divorce! Kidding...
Same lesson. Item of value. Something appealing. Exposure time. Something you can pass on to a child! No kidding, I was sitting in class at Coldwell Banker many years ago and it struck me! I remember how I know the agent who's been teaching my new agent classes! I have seen her name! At home! Not my home I have now, my HOME home. My mama's home!
Martha Malone, a seasoned agent in my hometown, did cookbooks many moons ago. Somehow, my mom was a recipient. That cookbook with her note, "Happy Thanksgiving from Martha Malone 498-1732" sat in my home at 128 Navajo my whole life. It has my first spaghetti in it! Now it is a treasure of my daughter's! What I learned on the "How to" side of this one is it definitely "got kept" but what I learned on the "How not to" camp is that she didn't say what she did for a living. See her sweet note on the front? My mom, when she gave it to me, didn't know Martha was a real estate agent. She didn't add that to her personal note on the book. Print ads should have a definite call to action and a number to call for the action! It should be apparent who it is from and what you do for a living. Otherwise, I can promise you, we will eat a lot of fine meals, giving thanks to some God named Martha Malone, who we don't even know who she is and what she does besides eat well?!
What other print advertising works? Get yourself in the news! Not a paid ad. An expert opinion! It works!
Keep stationery and business cards in stock and use them! There is nothing like a hand-written note. Especially now! When is the last time you received a Thank You note? Goodness... I can't recall. Gratitude is a lost art. It works.
Balloons! I had an open house visitor once. Had no intention of buying a house that day whatsoever. I hadn't seen her since Kindergarten. That balloon took her back... She saw it, recognized the married name, brand name, and stopped in. Until that day, we hadn't been in touch and she would probably never know or buy a house from me. But today she is a referral source. Printed on a balloon... got her attention like a five-year-old. It works!
Just Listed, Just Sold postcards. Repeat. Repeat one more time. Works!
Mixed the print with the tech by getting some QR code stickers and QR code signs made. My QR code stickers and signs are links to my Virtual Tours and to this blog site! I also add them to my property fliers. Works...
Business Card Magnets. They work.
Summary of Top Print Ads:
1. Stationery and business cards and business card magnets!
2. Items of value that will be kept over time like sports schedules for him and cookbooks for her (ok, I realize that's old fashioned and stereotyping, but you get the point!)
3. Just Listed, Just Sold postcards sent to the same farm more than once!
4. Specific branded signage, balloons with brand, open house signs with brand!
5. QR code stickers and QR code signs and QR codes on property fliers - Mix the old with the new, the tech with the print!