The great thing about blogging on ActiveRain is that the community many times helps us with real-world examples - case studies that we could hardly produce ourselves. The collective creativity of the RealBird members - on and off ActiveRain - is way bigger than what we could produce on our own. This was the case with Mike Conner's example of online marketing results with RealBird and this is the case with the next example.
The credit goes to John Slocum of RE/MAX Vancouver. John had a great idea and he actually implemented it with his listing flyer. With his permission I share it here in a form of a tutorial and as an introduction to the power of web analytics segmentation.
Enhance your printed flyer: track views with bit.ly and RealBird
Here is the concept:
Printed listing flyers are passive by nature. You design them, you print them and you distribute them at your property's location. Once you leave the scene, you have no idea where they go. Kids, neighbors or random people take them and eventually many of them discard the flyers. A lot of waste. Hopefully, many interested homebuyers get them too, but there is no way to tell. As opposed to online marketing - where you can track visitors and conversions (the money spent vs. a meaningful action taken) - with offline marketing it is hard if not impossible to measure your marketing activity. Unless of course you utilize the simple technique suggested by John Slocum
What if you could add a special link to your printed flyer with your call-for-action, one that is short and easy to type in, even on a mobile devices? A special link with web analytics capability that can be accessed from any web capable device. If this link is only shared on the printed flyer, you end up having a web analytics segmentation, a technique that can track consumer actions via your printed flyer.
For this example, we'll use John's listing at 2770 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661
John created a listing website on RealBird and then set up a bit.ly Url for it. I won't link his bit.ly Url here because we do not want mix up web traffic with the traffic through the printed flyer. When designing the flyer, John added a special call-for-action message with the link at the bottom of the flyer as you can see below (the arrow annotation is by us).
The bottom of the flyer links to http://bit.ly/MyCondo2770 Via bit.ly's analytics capability, John will be able to track traffic through this dedicated link by visiting http://bit.ly/MyCondo2770+ (Note the plus sign at the end of the link). It's a simple, but very powerful solution.
You can do this for your own print flyers by following the simple steps below:
- Create a bit.ly Url shorting account
- Login to RealBird to access your existing listing websites or create an account to create one
- Copy your RealBird property website Url to your clipboard
- Shorten it with bit.ly - paste the RealBird Url into bit.ly and click "Shorten"
- Optionally, using the "Custom Name" field on bit.ly, you can enter your property address to have a vanity short Url. I suggest to add only the number and the street name to keep the Url short. You can of course leave the default bit.ly code as is, but having the street address in the short Url may help with additional branding. E.g. http://bit.ly/streetaddress - Careful here, the Url will be case sensitive. I suggest to use all lower case letters as they will be less likely to mistyped by your clients.
- Finally, make sure that you only use this special bit.ly link on your printed flyer, not on the web. Do not share it on any other places, in order to be able to track the traffic from the flyer.
Give it a try, it does not take much extra effort and you will get some special insight using these technologies, a benefit that is not available otherwise.
Thanks John for the great tip.
While you are at it, please fan John Slocum's Facebook page about Vancouver, WA real estate