Lead Generation Trends – In Sync with Sales Success?
Five+ years ago when lead generation results for print media were strong, the industry in general resisted spending on print advertising. Now, however, we see an industry trend toward much more spending on print advertising despite the minimal lead results it produces in today’s world.
The fact is, that in the senior housing industry today it is much harder to cost-effectively reach a mass market. The lead producing ability of print advertising has diminished from a cost per inquiry of $100 ten years ago to $700+ today. Yet we see many communities grasping at straws by reaching far beyond their primary market areas in an attempt to increase sales without any justification of the effectiveness of spending on print advertising and its contribution to sales.
Today, the top three most productive lead and sales generators are:
- The very best sale producer, bar none, with the highest lead to sale conversion rate. Last year, a Hamlyn-created resident referral program achieved 429 leads in one west coast CCRC.
- The cost is minimal – usually just to host events for residents and their special guests plus an incentive payable only when a referral moves in.
Direct mail with immediate telemarketing follow-up:
- Stands out as one of the most cost effective lead generators at an average per inquiry cost of only $450, nearly half that of print advertising. By targeting appropriate market niches with specific messages that resonate with them, direct mail combined with telemarketing is one of the most powerful, efficient contributors to sales success.
E-marketing (website and internet-based marketing, e-newsletters):
- Just beginning to come into its own in senior housing marketing. Yet e-marketing has leap-frogged into one of the top lead generation vehicles, particularly at communities targeting a well-educated audience.
- The cost is minimal once the initial structure has been set-up (website content and design, facebook page, e-newsletter format). And email correspondence is emerging as an important tool for interacting with prospects.
That brings us to our next benchmarking topic: Follow-through is Key – How Well is your Sales Team Following-up on Leads? Look for our next post in a few weeks to find out what your sales team needs to do with these leads to achieve the greatest number of sales.
For help in bringing your marketing metrics up-to-speed and cost effectively producing leads and sales in 2011,call Cathy Martin, President, Hamlyn Senior Marketing, LLC at 856-857-0800.