A Big Misconception About An “Important” Senior Living Marketing Metric

There’s a mistaken belief within the senior living industry I want to dispel. Particularly, with regards to internet marketing. Many people have been conditioned to believe there is an important metric to focus on in their marketing efforts. However, if you happen to be only measuring by this metric, you’re shooting blind with your senior living marketing. Worst of all, the results can be downright dangerous!


The misconception I’m referring to is the idea of measuring the success of a marketing campaign by cost per lead.

Here’s why that’s important…


What seems like a low cost per lead can actually be very costly to your business. And what seems like a high cost per lead can actually be a very profitable avenue.

Anybody can generate many leads for you. Whether or not they’re quality leads, that will actually turn into a paying customer is a different story. Cost per lead is an incomplete number to your business. It’s only a piece of the sales process and an arbitrary piece at that.

I can generate a ton of low cost leads to your community tomorrow if you want. What I can do is host an event at your community and run a direct mail promotion. I will give away a $100 Visa gift card, free lunch for prospects and their family, and have a carnival with face painting. The problem with this is, while I will generate a lot of responses they’ll be responding to the $100 gift card, the lunch, and carnival. The actual amount of qualified leads will be low and new residents will be costly.

What really matters to your community, is how much it’s costing you to acquire a new resident. Residents pay the bills. When you know how much it costs to acquire a resident, you have important numbers to work with.

When you know how much it cost you acquire resident, and you know this down to the different marketing mediums, than you will know what to do with your resources and can allocate more resources to one medium or another.

Reading a Newspaper

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have an internet marketing pay per click campaign generating $25 leads. And on the other hand you have a newspaper ad generating $300 leads. When you look at those number’s and are measuring by the cost per lead, it looks like the pay per click campaign is beating the newspaper ad by a large margin.

However, let’s say you implement new tracking methods and now know how much it’s costing you to acquire a new resident through each medium. You discover that the pay per click campaign is costing you $4,500 to acquire a new resident, but on the other hand, your newspaper ads are costing you $2,500 to get a new resident. Which one looks like the winner now?

With this new knowledge, you go to your marketing company and ask why the pay per click campaign is taking 180 leads to convert into a new customer. ($4,500 per Resident/$25 per Lead= 180 Leads). Upon investigation, you discover that this company is advertising 500 miles outside your target market and having your ads display on phrases that have nothing to do with senior living, and is costing you a boatload! (boatload is a technical term)

Based on this new knowledge, you’ve gained massive insight into your marketing. This is the type of position we all want to be in when determining the success or failure of a senior living marketing campaign.

I hope this article gets you to focus on finding out how much it’s costing you to acquire a new resident. And if you’re marketing company is telling you that you have a low cost per lead, and this is what you need to measure, then you need to question if they’re serving your best interest.