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4 Helpful Tips for Maximizing Online Directory Advertising

Today hundreds of senior living communities advertise in online directories. Does your community? With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, that’s a lot of potential residents researching options. A couple of weeks ago I offered some insights on the role of online directories.  Today, I want to follow up with some thoughts on managing these directories. If you’re interested in having a presence and want to maximize your efforts, but don’t know where to start, here are four tips to help you get started.

1)    Be transparent.
Transparency of listings can improve the qualifications of each lead received. We strongly recommend listing pricing information — even if it’s “Pricing beginning at $X.” — and care level availability, to ensure that you speak to only qualified leads. Although doing so may result in a lower lead count, we believe in quality over quantity, and we guarantee you’ll notice leads who submit information requests will be a better fit for your community.

 2)    Remember online directory leads are just beginning their research.
Online directory leads are different than other leads, and even different than other online leads. Typically, the potential resident or ACI is in the early stage of researching, and is in a comparison or shopping mode. It’s important to follow these best practices when responding to online directory leads:

  • Respond to each inquiry within 3 hours, if not immediately.
  • Include a personal greeting and be sure to answer their questions, keeping the e-mail short and concise.
  • Always include a relevant personalized subject line.
  • Check e-mail for new leads at least 4 times per day, attempt to make a personal connection on your first follow-up, and always sell the tour or appointment.
  • Make at least 3 follow-up attempts – 1st within 24 hours, 2nd within 48 hours and 3rd one week later.
  • Include a personal signature in your e-mail, along with a link to your website and a list of upcoming events.

3)    Understand why paid listings offer more data and control.
The benefit of advertising in a paid listing vs. a free listing is that you have access to greater data about the leads you receive, and you have more control over the accuracy of your online directory listing.

4)    Choose directories that best align with the services you want to promote.
While most online directories offer listings for all services and options, some are better for independent living and others for assisted living.

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