Myrtle Beach Real Estate by Mirela

Tracking "clicks" on printed flyers - Using with RealBird on your brochures

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 and RealBird

RealBird with Bit.lyHere 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.

Real-world example:

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 Url for it. I won't link his 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).

You can download the PDF flyer here to see it in full size.

The bottom of the flyer links to Via's analytics capability, John will be able to track traffic through this dedicated link by visiting (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:

  1. Create a Url shorting account
  2. Login to RealBird to access your existing listing websites or create an account to create one
  3. Copy your RealBird property website Url to your clipboard
  4. Shorten it with - paste the RealBird Url into and click "Shorten"
  5. Optionally, using the "Custom Name" field on, 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 code as is, but having the street address in the short Url may help with additional branding. E.g. - 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.
  6. Finally, make sure that you only use this special 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

-- Zoltan



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Comment balloon 5 commentsMirela Monte • November 09 2009 09:53PM


Absolutely a great tip to measure the effectiveness of website driven content. I have also used it to track invitations on a variety of different platforms.

Posted by James K Barath, CMPS, FICO Pro, Certified Military Housing Specialist (Canopy Mortgage, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Sounds like a great tool.  Allows you to update the listing as needed and you have real time data on those visiting the url.

Posted by Charles Perkins (Charles G. Perkins, CPA) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela, that's a great tip. I've been using realbird for a while and love the results I've been seeing. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management) almost 11 years ago

Mirela - This is another creative tool in today's technology.  (A distant cousin to the dedicated 800#'s per advertising campaign).  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kenneth Bargers (Prudential Woodmont Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mirela...The tech stuff I find on your blogs and the entire activerain platform offers so many ways to attract viable consumers...its just overwhelming sometimes. Thanks Again, you're the best!

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) almost 11 years ago