When you first started out in advertising, you probably thought it was simple. Send out campaigns and wait for the phone to ring. But when the calls don’t come in, it’s easy to get overwhelmed looking for leads and forget the basics.
In this episode, you’ll uncover the key differences between two marketing channels – Google PPC and direct mail. Listen now and become the real estate investor everyone calls.
Show highlights include:
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You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: All right, hello and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. I hope you are having an absolutely wonderful day. I know I am, and this week we are continuing our series. [01:00.1]
Last week, if you haven't heard last week's episode, go back and check it out. We got into Google PPC for real estate investors, digging into this broad topic and really going back and covering our basics, going back and establishing some common terminology, going over what makes Google PPC so great for finding motivated sellers in general. I know it's personally my favorite channel and I'm hoping to convince you the same.
This week we are going to get into Google PPC versus direct mail, the ultimate knockdown, drag out, fistfight. Look, this is a common thing. Most people know me. If you know me at all, first of all, if this is your first episode, welcome. You are in the right place. But if this is not your first time, not your first rodeo with Dan Barrett here and you know me at all, you've known me as an online marketing guy, right? I mean, my company is, I think—I mean, I don't really know this, but as far as I could tell—the biggest online marketing agency that specifically works with real estate investors. [02:08.6]
We've been in the business just for a really long time now. We’re only working for real estate investors, only working on motivated seller leads, and people know me as the guy that does Google PPC or Facebook ads, or the guy that does search engine optimization or SEO or whatever. That's what they know me as.
People will assume that that means that I don't direct mail, that I'm going to poo-poo direct mail and say that it's for old fuddy-duddies who can't get what the time, and, come on, Grandpa, whatever. It’s the 20th century, Grandpa. It’s the 21st century. Who knows? Anyway, you know what I'm saying, right? People think I'm going to talk bad about it and that is not the case. I think direct mail is fantastic. I think direct mail has been an absolute staple of all real estate investing marketing for decades, and there's a good reason for that, right? [03:02.7]
The ability to buy targeted lists, the ability to really zero in on where you want to mail, the fact that people read their mail still, the cost of it, all of these things are really good strengths to direct mail. I think direct mail has a really important place in any real estate investing, marketing set up. I think that's absolutely true, right?
But I still think that Google PPC and Google Ads—and if you remember, if you don't remember from last week, PPC just means pay per click. We're talking about pay per click advertising, which is Google Ads, right?—I think that Google PPC has a lot of things that make it a very strong competitor to direct mail.
The very first thing that I care about is the ability to target, and one of the things you really got to understand when you think about PPC versus mail is that the two marketing channels target people very differently. They are profoundly different. You’ve really got to understand this in order to understand the channel. [04:12.7]
Mail, direct mail, this idea where you go out and you buy lists based on okay, how much equity they have or whether they've got any kind of housing code violations, or whether they're in foreclosure, whatever the list is, however you're building your list, and I know people do list stacking and it gets really, really complex. But no matter how you're doing that, you are basically targeting people based on who they are.
We're targeting based on demographics, right? It's their age, their economic situation. It could be where they live, but it's, it's who they are that is important to us. Google PPC targets people in a completely different way. We’re not targeting people based on who they are. We are targeting them based on what they do. [05:10.4]
This is really important to understand, so I'm going to say it again. With direct mail, we target based on who they are. In Google PPC, we are targeting based on what they do, and in the specific case of Google Ads, you can Google Search Ads, we're targeting people, not just on what they do, but what they search for.
When someone types in “sell my house fast” or “I want to sell a house in Houston” or whatever into Google, I don't know how much equity they have. I don't know how motivated they are. I don't know whether they want to sell tomorrow or next week, or they want to sell to a realtor. I don't know any of that stuff. What I know is what they did. What I know is that they cared enough about selling their home to go to Google and type it in, and that tells me something about them. [06:09.8]
What's more? If they type in “sell house fast” rather than just “sell house”, that tells me something about them, too. It tells me a little bit about their state of mind. It tells me a little bit about their motivation level. Now, some of that is just we're sort of deducing it, but generally you're going to see that play out and look at the behavioral date.
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There are things that happen in Google. People really type in their…I don't know. How do you put this? They type their emotions into Google. They type, Why doesn't my husband love me anymore? They type, How do I get my son to connect with me? People open up to Google.
Google is in many ways a therapist, a friend, a confidant, and that might be sad, I don't know, but it is what it is, and so people are willing to go to Google and type in, Look, I need to sell my house. I need to sell my house fast. I'm going into foreclosure. They're willing to do that because they have this sense of trust with Google. [07:57.6]
So, you have to wrap your mind around the idea that we're getting away from “Hey, I want people that have this much equity” or whatever and you have to get into this idea of “What are the behaviors, the behaviors that people express that I want to target?” That’s what makes Google PPC so powerful. It’s our ability to target people, not based on who they are, but what they are actually doing.
Now, the other thing that makes Google PPC profoundly different from direct mail is the level of data we can get. To be clear, I know that if you are a direct mail wizard and you're super, super sophisticated, there are lots and lots of ways to get data from a direct mail piece. There are people who put dozens of call-tracking numbers and they’re split-testing six different types of copy and seven different envelopes, and they've got these whole giant spreadsheets and they're tracking everything. [09:00.9]
If that's you, that's awesome, but 99 percent of real estate investors are not doing that. The vast majority of real estate investors are sending out a campaign over and over and over and over again, and waiting for the phone to ring. If that's you, I’m not saying this to talk down to you. It's very difficult to have a robust testing environment in direct mail. It's just hard. It's hard. It's hard to do stuff in physical space on an actual piece of paper. It's just difficult.
Online, when we're doing Google Ads, it's much easier to do that. I can test hundreds of different ads. I can test dozens of different landing pages. I can test different areas, different zip codes, different targeting methods, different demographics, and I can do it all automatically. I don't have to know everything ahead of time and figure it out. I don't have to set it all up and be super, super clean and detail-oriented about how I set up my testing. I can just let it do its thing. It's built into the system. [10:13.7]
That amount of data and that amount of testing, if you can actually use it, if you can utilize it, is incredibly powerful because it opens up the slight edge. The slight edge is this idea that tiny improvements over time are cumulative and add up to massive improvements. If you are improving one percent month over month over month, it may not seem like a lot, but it is the difference between just being another “also ran” in your market or dominating a market online.
I don't have to say that in a way where it's like, Hey, that's because I’m special and I know the secret sauce. I'm not saying that. It's not secret and it’s not sauce, right? There's no secret sauce about it, about the idea that, look, if you just experiment and test and you follow the data over time, you will improve and that improvement will be massive if you just keep at it. [11:12.4]
That's the thing that, to me, really sets Google PPC apart. One, yes, absolutely, we’re targeting based on what they do. I think that's super critical, but, look, direct mail is great, too. But I think the thing that really sets Google PPC apart is the ability to have a robust testing environment, and while that might not be worth that much to you today or tomorrow, or this week, over the course of a year, it can be literally worth dozens of deals. The impact, if most people would just put some time or effort, or money or whatever you’ve got to do into that process, would be absolutely massive—and, to me, that's the thing that puts Google PPC over the top in the epic unending battle of Google PPC versus direct mail. [12:04.2]
Now, we are not done, folks. Next week we are coming back. We are getting back into our complete guide to Google PPC for real estate investors. Stay tuned. If you did not listen to last week's episode, go check it out now, and I will see you next week for more deep dives on Google PPC for real estate investing and motivated seller leads. I'll talk to you then.
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