Internet leads represent 50% of all new lead generation in the senior living industry. There are many flavors including organic lead generation from your own website, subscription (monthly flat fee) models, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-move-in options. So, if you need to increase lead generation, which model should you choose and how do you measure the Return on Investment?
Here are the results from a six-month evaluation of every internet lead model, the financial results, the occupancy impact, and lessons learned about internet lead management.
We formed two groups of communities representing every possible combination of IL, AL, ALZ & CCRCs. One group received leads from every internet lead model and managed the leads on their own, and one group received leads from the identical sources and their leads were managed for 30 days by a call center. Our goals were to measure the cost per lead, the cost per qualified lead, the cost per tour, and ultimately the cost per move-in. We also wanted to measure the impact of allocating dedicated resources to responding to internet leads on conversions, revenue, and occupancy. The two groups had almost identical occupancy (an average of 83.75%).
If we skip to the end of the story, the call center results were significantly better than the community results – even though the call center staff had no experience in senior living. What they did have was a mindset to 1) respond immediately to every lead; 2) believe that every lead was viable (no pre-conceived beliefs that internet leads were low quality); 3) ask every question on the Discovery form; and 4) if the prospect was not ready to tour on the first interaction, just follow a 30-day nurturing process to look for opportunities. Here are some lessons learned from the call center results:
- Day one immediate response is critical for internet leads and having dedicated resources available 7 days a week led to improved opportunity.
- 56% of “connects” (voice-to-voice contact for Discovery) happened on Day 1 (Day 2 dropped to 10%)
- 53% of tours scheduled occurred on Day 1 (8.6% Day 2)
- Quick response allowed the call center to connect with more urgent leads (28% looking within 30 days).
- Following a consistent process for follow up with call outs & email nurturing for 30 days creates opportunity.
- Although 75% of tours were scheduled in the first 7 days, 131 tours were booked Days 8- 30.
Results By The Numbers
Here are some of the comparisons between the community results and the call center results:
Show Me The Money!
The communities who had the call center support grew their occupancy by 52 Units in the six-month pilot, and the communities that managed their own leads lost 28 Units of ADU. This translated into over $3.5 million dollars in estimated revenue for the call center cohort based on an 18-month length of stay – even after paying the call center expenses.
Which Internet Lead Model Produced the Best Results?
The best results are always generated from organic leads. Prospects who visit your website are not only interested in senior living, they are interested in your community. The lowest cost to lead, tour and move-in and the highest conversions are from organic leads. This is why investing in SEO and live chat on your website is a great investment.
Pay-per-move-in models performed significantly better than either subscription or pay-per-lead. A Place For Mom produced the very best conversion rates across the board. The cost per move-in ranged from a low of about $3700 to a high of over $11,000 so it is important to choose wisely!
Visit the Senior Living SMART Marketplace to learn about our resources to help maximize organic lead generation, improve conversion results, find live chat, website optimization, and call center support.
How does your community track internet leads? Let’s Chat!