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Small Business Advertising: ROI of SEO vs. Mailers

Small Business Advertising | SEO vs. Mailers

Deciding on the right marketing strategy for your small business can seem like a daunting, and overwhelming task. There are so many options, and oftentimes – if you are like most small business owners – your budget is somewhat limited. When it comes to small business advertising, you want the “biggest bang for your buck.” Enter SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization offers some of the best returns for your money, especially compared to traditional “old school” methods such as the mailer/flyer strategy.

The chart below gives a succinct summary of the differences between the two small business advertising methods: SEO and mailers.

  Mailers SEO
Costs Associated costs include: purchasing mailing list, brochure/flyer design, printing, postage Associated costs include: writer, website designer
Time Frame All at once Continuous stream overtime
Campaign Life Expectancy/Reach A few days Forever
Educate Leads Limited to one or two pages at most A website has pages of information targeted to reader’s specific needs
Customer Experience Often seen is bothersome and intrusive – often reaches customers with no real interest Found by customers already searching for your products and services, and seen as useful and welcome

Why SEO is a Better Approach for Small Business Advertising

Small Business Advertising Costs

When it is all said and done, the cost per lead is much lower when you choose SEO for your small business advertising. Let’s dig into why:

When building a small business advertising mailer, unless you want to spend hours or days of your time, you first need to purchase a mailing list. These mailing lists often include people who do not even realize they are on such a list, so there is no guarantee they will react favorably when they receive your small business advertising. Next, unless you are skilled in design, you need to find someone to design your mailer. Add in printing and postage, and you have a high price tag for a one-time small business advertising campaign.

For example: factoring average costs, if you send out 20,000 mailers you may spend around $13,000 for all the aforementioned expenses. In general, a mailer campaign is considered successful at a 1% response rate. So, in this example, your cost per lead is around $130 – that is pretty high for a small business advertising campaign! With SEO, everyone who finds your site was already searching generally for your products or services. You are having a conversation with customers who want to buy, instead of shouting at people who do not.

Time Frame

Small Business Advertising | Local SEO Benefits

Mailers are typically part of a one-time small business advertising promotion. They all go out at the same time, and any responses generally come in around the same time as well. This can be overwhelming for a small business, and you may find that your sales staff has a hard time designating the time necessary to nurture each potential new customer. With SEO, you see a steady stream of new, interested customers over an extended period of months and even years.

Campaign Reach and Life Expectancy

As mentioned above, a mailing campaign is usually part of a one-time small business advertising promotion. This means that once mailers go out and you receive your initial responses, you probably will not be receiving any more. If you want to try to replicate the results or modify the small business ad, you will have to – at the very least – spend money on the printing and postage all over again. With SEO, making changes to your website is easier, faster, and less expensive, and the small business advertising runs forever unless you decide to stop or change it.

Educating Leads

A small business advertising campaign like a mailer generally consists of, at most, one or two pages. Anything more and it could seem overwhelming to the recipient and they may throw it away. A website, on the other hand, has multiple pages of information targeted specifically to the unique needs of the visitor. Where a flyer is just a piece of paper, web content can be dynamic and engaging – hyperlinks to learn more, videos to grab and hold attention, and image slideshows to emphasize your points.

Customer Experience

Small business advertising flyers and mailers are generally seen as intrusive. People do not like clutter, and that is exactly what it feels like to have a large amount of unwanted ads show up in the mail. Add in the effort it takes to open the letter (it matters!), and people are already primed to throw away your flyer. With SEO, you are only engaging customers who want to be engaged. They are already looking for your products and services, they just do not know they need you yet! These people want to hear your pitch, which makes them far higher quality leads than what a mailer – and many other forms of small business advertising – can generate.

Learn More About SEO and Small Business Advertising

Now that you know the differences between these two types of small business advertising, contact the experts at Silver Scope Design to learn more about how SEO can benefit your business. Our web design professionals can build you an engaging, functional website and promote it to primed and ready to buy searchers using Google to seek out your products and services. Contact us today to get started!