Print is Not Dead

Ok, full disclosure: Yes, as you can see, I write for the Denver Post, but the Denver Post does not tell me what I can or cannot write. Nor did they ask me to write this piece. I am writing it because it’s true and it’s valuable information to the real estate community. Now with that out of way, let’s get to the rest of the story.

As many of you know from reading this column, one of my specialties is marketing. I enjoy it, study it, follow the trends, and track closely what works and what doesn’t. Over the last six months, I have embarked on two very ambitious marketing campaigns utilizing text messages, direct mail, newspaper ads, email blasts, signs, banners, internet advertising, blogging, and public relations. Out of the 10 marketing channels listed above, which one had the greatest return on investment? Did you answer newspaper advertising? If you didn’t, you should have. Our newspaper ads ranked as number one or in the top three for ROI out of all the marketing avenues we tried. I must admit, I was a skeptic. I was beginning to believe that people did not pay attention to newspaper ads any more particularly since real estate lends itself so well to the internet age. Now after tracking these two marketing campaigns, I cannot ignore the data and that tells me that the majority of our traffic and leads came from our newspaper ads.

One caveat before you jump on the bandwagon, and that is, not all newspaper ads are created equal. There really is a science and skill to developing newspaper ads that get results. Some definitely work better than others and I think that we’ve nailed down a good formula. Newspaper executives will tell you that it’s all about frequency and that’s partly true, but other factors like what day your ads runs, what page it’s on, what side of the page: right, left, up or down, color versus BW, and when you are running the ad in relation to the event are all vital factors in the success of the campaign. Finally, make sure you have a way to track your ads. You must be able to find out if your advertising is working.

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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