How a small business earned sales with a press release

Six years ago, if someone had told Matt Landau he’s put out a $200 press release and land sales, he might have shrugged it off as hype.  But he didn’t. He gave it a shot.

Matt wrote and published this release for his fleet of Panamanian vacation rentals in the neighborhood of Casco Viejo – the Latin Soho – and earned $3850 in bookings.  Today, press releases are a staple of marketing for his small business, primarily because he can measure the results and clearly define the benefits.

Matt recently spelled out the metrics in a blog post – a few hours of time and a $199 PRWeb release led to:

- 42,035 impressions
- 682 page reads
- 398 visitors to his blog
- 12 sales inquiries
- 9 bookings for 22 total nights

Why is this so effective?  Search is by definition, as Lee Odden says, an explicit expression of need or desire.  When we need something we search for it.  If we had the ability to reach prospects at the very moment they were expressing that need, it’s arguable, this is about as direct as one can get. 

Few other tools demonstrate this like the press release.  When optimized for search – a simple process – it transforms the mass communication medium that Ivy Lee first created in 1906 into an arrow for targeted marketing.  In fact, “press release” may not even be a fitting categorical phrase anymore.

Matt says he knew little about managing a vacation rental business when he got started, but he’s learned by doing – and by creating valuable content.  He started a blog, he pens guest posts for trade publications in his industry, he’s used Help A Reporter Out to earn interviews with CNN and Businessweek – and he’s using PRWeb consistently with great success.

Moreover Matt’s tireless work for learning about the business has led to another business – vacation rental consulting. He’s poured over data, conducted research of his own and has compiled his findings in a series of vacation rental consulting reports he’s published online.

And he still finds press releases a valuable component.  For a release he recently published on a Vacation Rental Marketing Survey he breaks down the results like this:

- 32,567 impressions
- 96 interactions (social shares, email forwards, etc.)
- 528 reads
- 289 visitors to his website
- 92 new newsletter subscribers
- 27 sales of the Boost Occupancy report at $97 each

As he summarizes the results, “with $199 and the time spent writing a great press release, I generated roughly $2,619 in sales from the Boost Occupancy report alone.”

He is cautionary against thinking it’s simply a matter of overnight success.  In a phone interview, Matt noted that marketing with content is a “Slow, long hard process that requires a commitment, but if you are confident and persistent, that persistence pays off.”

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
4 tips small businesses can use to overcome an online PR crisis