This is a test – it is only a test (of print advertising)

I have long advocated against print advertising – in 2006, 2007, and this year (there are more stories here, but this is but a sampling) and my argument has been consistent – there is no method by which to track print advertising’s ROI.

But – How does one track a Realtor’s Q Score?


This week marks the second week of an ongoing experiment that I have entered with the C-Ville. Can I increase the number of subscribers to my blog through a print ad – consistently placed – in a popular local print publication? In partnership with local real estate search site CurbPlaces and C-Ville, a similar ad (hopefully this week without the typos) will run – time will tell.

Part of business is innovating, and innovation includes trying new things. I tried a banner ad on a local site last year – with no measurable results – so now I’ll try print. Who knows? I doubt I will sell a house directly from this ad, but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if I gain a subscriber who in nine months decides to contact me about something real estate related.

I’m trying to not set any expectations for myself or this experiment. An honest question I have is – who benefits more?

This week’s theme? I am actively requesting new subscribers. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE.

Here is last week’s ad, which takes up about 1/3 of a page.

Maybe I’m wrong about this experiment, but there is only one way to learn – and failing is a great way to learn.


* The incorrect data displayed in this week’s issue aside, I think this could be a good venue.

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  1. Pavel May 7, 2008 at 08:44

    I guess the only question I have is how come there is no mention of any broker? Also, the pictures of the two top properties are next to the wrong descriptions. Good luck with trying this out!

  2. Jim Duncan May 7, 2008 at 08:51

    RE: the Broker thing – that was supposed to have been remedied this week, but it didn’t make it to print for some reason. Re: the pictures – again, unfortunately, I don’t proof them before they go to print, so this week and last have had significant data inaccuracies. I am hoping that next week will be better.

  3. Jeff May 7, 2008 at 09:31

    I’m a reader, not a subscriber – I bet you’ll get a bump in subscribers because you ask for them in your article, even if people aren’t steered here by the ad. Probably better to just look at traffic to see the ad’s effect.

  4. Daniel May 7, 2008 at 10:43

    Jim – My fault on the errors. I should have proofread better. I thought it would go through Cville’s editorial process but they just dropped it in. Again: my fault.

    We are also curious as to the print-to-web translation. We are actively monitoring the links mentioned in the ads to see what kind of traffic spikes there are.

    Of course, I’m sure any print Ad Manager will tell you to focus more on the “branding” capabilities rather than direct visitor translation (i.e. how many people remember your name later because of the ad). I added your name to the bottom of your text in this week’s ad for that reason (and to even out the spacing). The majority of the public have no idea what RSS is, but may remember your name from the ad 6 months from now.

    We’ll see.

  5. Jim Duncan May 7, 2008 at 10:53

    Daniel –

    Thanks for the comment. There are going to be growing pains with any new thing, so I’m ok with it.

    Thanks for adding my name. I hadn’t even noticed that. Regarding how many people remember after six months – that’ the whole differentiator with print, IMHO. We’ll see.

    Next week will be even better, I am sure.

  6. Pavel May 7, 2008 at 10:55

    It’s a creative/forward thinking effort. I hope it works out well for you.

  7. Fred May 7, 2008 at 20:44


    Interesting approach. Like “Jeff,” above, I’ve been a reader, not a subscriber, probably because there’s too much stuff in my inboxes already. (In fact, if you can track email addresses via your comments section, you’ll see that I’ve been here before.) I’ll go ahead and subscribe because you’re asking–but obviously, this new subscription isn’t due to the print ads, as I only pick up C-ville every few weeks….

    I do enjoy your blog, and I appreciate all your hard work.

  8. Bobbie May 8, 2008 at 08:03

    Great ad! Hope it brings many new readers.

  9. Jim May 12, 2008 at 20:28

    Your ad is nice – for the web. Print advertising is fading.


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