Benefits of Publishing a Real Estate Newsletter

Producing a real estate newsletter is an effective way to fortify customer relationships and build a name for your realty or investment business. Newsletters are an excellent venue for delivering information about houses for sale and offering solutions to problems buyers and sellers often encounter.

There are many ways to produce a real estate newsletter. Most people find it easiest to signup with companies that provide newsletter templates and email delivery services. Others produce simple newsletters sent directly from their email account.

Real estate professionals ought to spend time comparison shopping for newsletter providers. Those who are just getting started or are on a tight budget can take advantage of free newsletter publication services like Mailchimp and Bravenet.

What’s nice about these providers is they offer the option to upgrade to paid service at a later time. This is very helpful because there is no need to transfer subscriber lists to a different service provider.

The drawback to using no-cost services is there aren’t many options offered for customizing templates or content. Additionally, free services usually don’t include extra benefits like autoresponder services, email marketing tracking, or email marketing API.

Newsletter publishers that want to add more pizzazz and have better control over their publication ought to look into using paid newsletter services. A few of the more affordable, yet very popular, include My Newsletter Builder, Constant Contact, and Aweber.

Each of the above has been providing email marketing tools for several years and has earned a good reputation within the industry. They often add new tools and services which help real estate professionals promote their company on a wider scale.

It’s important to develop a newsletter marketing plan to figure out the type of information you’ll be providing and the type of tools you’ll need to accomplish your goals.

It is imperative to consider what sort of information subscribers desire. Performing market research will help publishers understand the needs and wants of their target audience so they can deliver content-rich newsletters that subscribers want to read and share with others.

Finally, publishers will want to establish a publication schedule. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to send out newsletters on a random basis. People like consistency and prefer to know the exact date they can expect to receive the information in their inbox.

Producing content on a regular basis is an obstacle that practically every real estate professional struggles with. One solution is to hire freelance writers to produce original real estate articles. Another is to obtain content from article directories.

Businesses that provide electronic newsletters must abide by regulations of the CAN-SPAM Act and Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has specific guidelines pertaining to advertising disclosures, while CAN-SPAM has seven conditions which involve the way that services and products can be promoted.

Advertising disclosures are needed to let subscribers know about paid connections with advertisers. As an example, if an investor is an affiliate for a real estate investing course and is paid a commission from sales they generate, the information must be provided in the newsletter, as well as any place else the product is offered for sale.

Developing a plan and taking time to learn about the various real estate newsletter service providers can help publishers obtain a higher return on investment. Using a reputable service will ensure subscribers receive the publication and help publishers retain and expand their subscriber base.

5 Tips to Achieve Measurable Results From Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

Effective direct mail marketing brings new leads and more business; good results and return on investment are possible. While online campaigns are getting a lot of buzz, the growth in technology has not hindered direct mail marketing. Instead, the opportunities are now enhanced. Here we lay out 5 ways you can implement a successful direct marketing campaign that will generate leads.

1. Provide a Link to Your Website

You may be using traditional paper (mass and/or trade print) advertising, but that does not mean you can’t integrate this into your online marketing campaigns. Not only should you provide a link to your website in your direct mail piece, but you can also provide an incentive to do so, such as a coupon placed on a specific page that the URL links to. This page can also include a sign-up form for your email mailing list, offering future company news, coupons, and discounts.

Keep in mind modern consumers are more likely to find your company through an online search. Anything you put in print advertising can be duplicated online, to reach a different audience.

2. Enhance the Presentation

With email marketing, you are limited solely to a single sentence in the subject line, and no matter how strong your headline, it’s possible that it will be viewed as spam and end up never being seen. In a print advertisement, you can incorporate eye-catching logos or pictures, or use your company’s colors to make the piece stand out – all visible with one glance. A compelling message and graphics makes it less likely that your ad will end up in a recycling bin.

You can mix your advertisement up with fonts of different sizes and styles to showcase the particular areas of graphics and copy you want to emphasize. Depending on the piece and packaging, you could even offer a small promotional item that would be useful – such as sticky notes, pens, letter openers, and anything else the recipient might use when they most likely would think of your product.

3. Make the Content Personal to the Consumer

Take the time to study and learn about your target customer, and then customize your message with offers and information that would appeal specifically to them – right down to the packaging. Your content should directly address their needs, desires, and concerns. You can even further segment your recipients and send different pieces (with adjusted content) based on each segment. Don’t forget to include a powerful and compelling call to action, as well as an easy way to get more information and/or contact you.

4. Work With Other Companies

Consider product placements on TV and in movies. The product supplier is paying for the opportunity to “star” in a TV show. They do this not just for increased visibility, but also for the direct access to the viewing audience – an audience that already uses similar products and already has an established level of loyalty to the show.

Partnerships between companies are all around us, from the release of a movie (and subsequent merchandise) to the box of brownie mix you buy that showcases a certain name-brand chocolate syrup from another company on its box.

Small businesses can do this, too. A product or service purchase can result in a coupon or discount for a partner company who, in turn, provides the same or similar service for the primary company. This helps promoting both businesses while saving advertising dollars on both sides in the long run.

5. Connect With Your Other Marketing Campaigns

Combining your direct mail marketing program with other channels, such as social media or email marketing, allows for multiple “touches” and an expanded audience. A great example are those mailers you receive that are filled with coupons. Many of these companies concurrently advertise these offers on social media and via email to stimulate interest. A prospective customer may toss the paper coupon but notice the email from the business and take action (or vice-versa).

Another option is to use personalized URLs (PURLs) on your direct mail pieces. Your printed piece provides a link to a webpage (and/or a QR code) that would be set up specifically for that individual (or segment). When the recipient visits this page, they see a personal greeting and information specifically customized just for them.

In order for your cross-media marketing campaign to be most effective, make sure that your message is consistent across all channels, meaning that all offers and claims about your business are the same in every “location”.

There is no doubt that email promotions and online marketing have their benefits, but direct mail marketing is not just a thing of the past. It is still a rewarding strategy to reach a widespread client base and draw attention to your products and/or services. Consider these tips to make your direct mail marketing efforts more productive.

EDM: A Journey Towards Successful Conversions With Email Marketing

Email marketing has become an integral part of targeting prospective clients and building a bond with them online. In fact, e Marketer reports that 97% of small businesses use email marketing to connect with customers.

Electronic Direct Marketing (E.D.M) envisages the marketer marketing his products & services by sending emails targeted to a specific list of consumers. It is a type of advertisement campaign wherein the marketer targets the desired group of individuals depending on the product being offered in order to maximize the conversions.

Email marketing was initially tagged as spam and too salesy. However, the rising importance of online marketing and advertising has helped annul that perception. Companies these days are investing more in EDM’s and the response rate has also been on a rise like never before.

In the current scenario, EDM has become an integral part of business marketing strategy. Since it can be targeted to desired customer group, majority of small businesses are turning to this form of marketing to get in touch with their customers and offer their products & services to them. An EDM campaign is measurable, this is another major advantage which helps the marketer to understand the minute details of his customer base.

Email marketing can be turned into a success by considering some factors;

• Subject line:

To begin with, one must provide an eye catching and accurate subject line to the mail. Mails with a vague subject line would hardly be read. Certain words like free, buy now, subscribe now etc need to be parted with, if you do not want to find your mail ending up in the recipient’s junk box.

• Content:

It is the most important aspect of any email. If the content of the newsletter is not appealing, the recipient would snap out of it within no time. Good content is niche to keep him glued to the mail.

• Call to Action:

Call to Action is the next step in bridging the gap between the business and the client. It is the action which you want the recipient to perform after going through your email. If the ‘call to action’ process is complex, it will reduce the chances of successful conversions. Hence easy navigation is the key to simplify the process.

Further, the success rate also depends on other endogenous factors like the format of the email. If the format of the newsletter is complex and difficult to navigate, it reduces the possibility of a conversion. Bringing in personal touch by addressing the consumer by name also largely contributes in the success of an EDM. Providing relevant links leading to relevant pages, the timing of the mail being shot, the target audiences for the EDM etc. contribute towards the success of an EDM campaign, and in turn have significant impact on sales.

Advantages

Email marketing helps you understand what type of consumer is interested in your product, what kind of product interests him. This analysis helps alter the business strategy favorably. Some of the advantages are as follows:

1. Highly targeted:

Direct mailing can be used to target specific set of individuals by developing lists of email ids matching your product segment. It is possible to reach any market segment or buyer profile most appropriate for your business.

2. Measurable:

One of the greatest advantages of EDM is the accuracy with which it can be measured. The marketer can gauge the performance of an EDM campaign precisely by monitoring and analyzing certain metrics like open rate, bounce rate etc, which are explained further in the article.

3. Cost effective:

EDM is much cheaper as compared to conventional means of marketing, and since it can be targeted to desired group of individuals, it helps utilize the budget optimally.

4. Personal Reach:

Mail merging techniques can easily help add a personal touch to the email by addressing the potential customers by name. This has a significant impact on the reader than when addressed in general.

5. Better conversion rates:

The response rate to personalized mails is usually higher than other mediums of marketing. With the response rate being high it leads to better and quicker conversions. Not only is direct mailing cost effective but it also yields a high conversion rate.

Disadvantages

Unsolicited mails:

One of the main drawbacks of e-mail marketing is that some companies use it to send unsolicited bulk email known as spam. Since the volume of spam is huge, it sometimes leads the recipient to ignore a genuine mail from spam. Though email providers are doing their best to prevent spam, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a genuine mail and a spam.

Hoax Email ids & delivery problems:

An EDM campaign will be ineffective if the opt in email ids are not genuine. Delivery is another major issue causing hindrance. According to a report, only 56% of mails get delivered in the US. To prevent this, dead weight mail ids must be cleared frequently.

Spam Filters:

Spam filters installed by email providers in order to avoid spam messages also act as an obstacle to legitimate email marketers.

Now to understand the exact impact of EDM on the conversions, branding & advertisement; tracking and analysis of every campaign needs to be done. Certain metrics listed below need to be regularly monitored to gauge the performance.

• Firstly, in order to know how many people have actually opened the mail, one must take a look at the open rate. Open rate gives you the percentage of people opening the mail.

• Secondly, you need to monitor call-to-action, ie the percentage of people responding to your call-to-action, to obtain the conversion rate.

• Further you also need to keep a check on the bounce rate, which provides a list of emails that fail to get delivered. Such dead weight mail addresses need to be cleared frequently in order to ensure an effective EDM campaign.

E-mail still remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media-nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s because 91 percent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily, and the rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher. In a nutshell, marketing is more of a journey than just a click, and Email marketing is one of the integral parts of that journey.

Secret Internet Marketing Strategy Lets You Buy Ad Space And Other Business Services At 90% Off

What if I told you there really is a “secret” way of buying everything you want and need for your Internet marketing business for 20, 15 even 10 cents on the dollar?

Believe it or not, you can.

In fact, I’ve saved thousands of dollars with the secret I’m going to show you in this article. And you will, too.

Here’s how:

There is a billion dollar global industry called the barter or “trade” industry — where literally every kind of business you can think of does business in a large network called a “barter exchange.”

And these exchanges are like huge “buying clubs”, where all the different member businesses are automatically inclined to buy from one another.

For example…

When the web designer joins…everyone in the exchange gets a notice about it, and whoever needs a web designer is probably going to hire him.

And the same goes for everyone else who joins — the plumber, the lawyer, the dentist, the copywriter, the pharmacy, the magazine, the consultant, the newspaper, the web hosting company etc. (Almost every single product and service provider that exists are in these exchanges.)

And here’s what’s interesting:

These businesses do not buy and sell from each other with regular “government circulated” money.

Instead, they use “trade” dollars — which are actual currency, just like a U.S. dollar bill is currency — but that can only be spent within the barter exchange.

It’s like a giant “Monopoly” game. You can only spend Monopoly money within the game itself. But outside the game it’s completely worthless.

And the same goes with trade dollars. They can be used like cash, but only with the businesses in the exchange.

And these businesses buy each other’s goods and services with these “trade” dollars, instead of regular dollars.

Now here’s the kicker:

A few years back I discovered a secret “loophole” — 100% legal and ethical — in the barter industry that lets you buy any of the thousands of products and services (including Internet marketing services) sold on trade for as little as 20, 15 even 10 cents on the dollar of “real” money.

Here’s how:

What most people in the trade industry don’t realize is trade dollars are not as easy to spend as regular dollars. And many businesses in barter end up accumulating thousands of trade dollars they are either too busy or too lazy to spend.

Remember, it’s not like regular money you can spend anywhere. You can only spend trade dollars within the exchange.

And you can get tens of thousands of dollars worth of products and services for mere pennies…simply by contacting people with excess trade money, and offering to buy their “trade” dollars with regular dollars — and at a steep discount.

In other words, let’s say Mary the copywriter has $5,000 in trade. She’s too busy to spend it and it’s sitting in her trade account doing nothing for her.

Then you come along and offer buy that $5,000 in trade for $500 of “real” money.

Mary thinks about this, realizes she’s never going to spend all that trade money (making it as worthless as Monopoly money to her), and $500 sounds pretty good. So she agrees.

And you then look at all the different products and services in the barter company (the big ones have thousands of different products and services) and essentially buy $5,000 worth of products and services for your Internet marketing business on trade…for just $500.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

This secret lets you get $100 of products and services for $20 — $1,000 of products and services for $200 — $10,000 of products and services for only $2,000 — and so on.

The money-saving potential for Internet marketers like us is enormous.

Because in addition to advertising and marketing services like ad space, classified ads and email blasting, there’s also computer repair, software, web design, web hosting and just about anything else you need to run your Internet marketing business.

And all you do is contact a few of businesses who are involved with trade, and ask if they would like to sell you their excess trade dollars in exchange for real money.

Yes, it really is that simple.

NCOA for Email – Is Your Email Address List Clean and Up-To-Date?

Introduction Shrewd marketers devote a great amount of attention to crafting their email messaging campaign. They scrutinize the subject line, fuss over the content, and carefully monitor the timing of delivery. Once the perfect message has been created, it is just as important to focus on its successful delivery to the intended recipients. Unfortunately, it is likely that your current email address list has a number of significant problems. Your List Has Inappropriate Addresses The beauty of the Internet is that it connects you to everyone. The danger is that there are people out there you would rather not be connected to. Obviously, you want to keep these people, and their moments of malice, off your list. Some common situations include: 1. Bogus Addresses Some of your visitors will never disclose their email address to you. If an entry is required, they will make something up. A frequent occurrence is some variation of “[email protected]”, which happens when the user hits random keys. 2. Prank Addresses An innocent person may be getting added to new lists daily, simply because they made enemies with the wrong person. Sometimes the abuse is a prank subscription from one friend to another; other times it targets a public figure (e.g. [email protected]). 3. Malicious Addresses Another common type of abuse is when someone targets your company. Without you noticing, your email message is directed to someone who will make your life miserable. This might be an email address to report spam (e.g. Your List Has Old Addresses Unfortunately, people change their email addresses all the time – when they switch jobs, move, switch Internet service providers, or enter or graduate from school. Technical advances such as cable modems, as well as ISP pricing competition, mergers and failures continue to encourage this movement. In addition to their ISP-provided email address, users acquire additional email addresses from their jobs or schools, hundreds of free web-based email services (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.), and even pagers and cell phones. According to IDC, registrations for webmail accounts are growing at 91% annually, and now exceed 100 million addresses. Email address changes are also fueled by the growth in unsolicited email, as users switch email accounts to escape “spam”. Services such as AOL allow users to create and manage separate screen names and associated email addresses, which may be used and abandoned at will. As individuals change addresses and maintain multiple working email addresses for multiple purposes, it is unlikely that they will make a point of updating you. Recent studies indicate that nearly 35% of Internet users change their email addresses each year, and this does not account for the multiple working email addresses being added every day. Ideally, you are aware of this problem, and monitoring the percentage of your database that is bouncing. Every bouncing address is an unread message. After repeated testing, you may determine that some addresses are truly “dead” (rather than being a short-term bounce) and be tempted to remove these from your list. It is equally important to pay attention to a much harder statistic to track – what percentage of your database are old addresses that aren’t bouncing? These are messages that are ending up in abandoned or throwaway Hotmail accounts, unread school accounts, ignored AOL screen names, etc. Messages sent to old addresses will remain unread no matter how much you tweak your text, change your subject line, etc. Or worse, the email account has been recycled, and you are actually reaching the wrong person. Your List Has Typos No list is immune from the introduction of typos. These errors tend to be introduced through three different mechanisms: 1. User Caused If you accept email addresses from your website, you probably experience a 1-8% typo rate (or more!), depending on the stringency of your email address validation routines and the carelessness of your visitors. Typical mistakes include: [email protected] – missing the “.com” [email protected] – input box too small, user stopped typing [email protected] – double periods, sticky keyboard joe smith @ aol.com – extra spaces [email protected]” – invalid quotes [email protected] – transposition error [email protected] – likely misspelling of hotmail2. Internal Entry Many companies collect email addresses through phone centers, mailings, inquiry cards, etc. The data entry of these addresses is another common source for typos, as often the validation routines are much less stringent internally than on your website. In addition to the challenges of reading and interpreting handwriting, auditory misunderstandings can enter your database. One of our favorite typos, entered by a phone customer service agent, is “[email protected]”. 3. Data Manipulation & Corruption Regardless of how careful your company may be to validate or double opt-in every email address, the list is still vulnerable to errors in ongoing database management. For example, on several occasions we have seen a forced truncation of records, which results in the last few characters of long email addresses being dropped. Other times, a well-meaning database manager will design a quick (but insufficiently targeted) query to clean up or correct a typo they have seen in the data. Unless the error is dramatic, faulty data manipulation or data corruption may remain unnoticed in a list for many months. Your List Has Duplicates Duplicate email addresses can result in disgruntled customers and database management challenges for your company. Obviously, it is unprofessional to email your customer multiple copies of the same message. Even though many duplicate addresses are the result of double entries by your customers, these very same people often become so irritated by receiving multiple messages that they unsubscribe from your list altogether. These “obvious” duplicates are easy to catch and most database managers can quickly do a scan of your list. Ironically, not all companies catch these duplicates, especially if they maintain several lists and forget to de-dupe between them. The more difficult duplicates to detect are multiple unique email addresses owned and read by the same person. Imagine if your customer initially gave you their Hotmail address, and then later gave you their AOL email address. You need access to a sophisticated and comprehensive database of email addresses to discover these duplicates and to decide which is the customer’s current preferred email address. So Now What? Now that you know your list has inappropriate addresses, old addresses, typos, and duplicates, what can you do? There are a number of solutions, including: Improve your email address validation routines Worth looking at, but is this really your area of expertise? Switch to double opt-in Has pros and cons; won’t solve all your problems Manually review all email addresses for accuracy and appropriateness Requires substantial effort by your staff Start building your own block list and use the DMA’s e-MPS (and other) suppression lists Smart idea Consider sending a standalone message confirming your customer’s current preferred email address and requesting any updates Are you willing to devote an entire message to this? Maintain a list of your customer’s alternate contact methods so you can be sure to reach them Making telephone calls and sending letters to get updated email addresses will be costly Remove every typo and bouncing email address from your list NO! Did you forget your customer acquisition cost? How about the projected revenue a typical customer brings in each year? Each lost customer is costing your company from $10 to $50 or more. Removing an email address from your list simply because it is undeliverable is throwing your marketing investment away! Welcome to NCOA for Email You may already be familiar with NCOA for your postal addresses, a service that corrects and updates your snail-mail list. What you may not have known is that since 2000, this service has also been available to freshen your email address lists. A typical NCOA for Email service includes the following functions: Identification of addresses that should be removed from your list. These may be addresses that match a list of suspicious addresses (e.g. [email protected]”, “[email protected]”, etc.), match a block list, are unrecoverable bounces, or are duplicates. Some services can also catch different addresses belonging to the same person, so that you don’t double-message these people. Flagging of addresses that should be manually reviewed. These might be addresses that meet certain rules maintained by the provider, or simply violate standard guidelines for email addresses (e.g. containing unusual characters, etc.) Correction of typos. Using tables of known typos as well as heuristic rules, your provider can help you recover customers lost to “dead” addresses as a result of thousands of typos and syntax errors, including every typo example presented earlier. Some providers even offer recursive processing, which can intelligently correct multiple typos in one pass. Updating of old addresses. All true NCOA for Email providers operate popular consumer websites designed for individuals to use when their email addresses change. These updated addresses, in addition to across the board domain changes, are then made available to you. Typical vendors offer pay for performance pricing. On average, this works out to less than fifty cents per recovered address. Depending on the type and quality of your list, initial match rates will vary from very small to over ten percent. Your relationship with a vendor may be a simple one-time run, or a contract-based relationship where they will help you keep your list fresh over time. Don’t Wait! Your customer database is one of your most valuable and expensive assets. To let it waste away at a rate of 25%-33% per year is not a viable way to do business. You should start thinking now about the problems lurking in your database, and resolve to take care of these as soon as possible. Using an NCOA for Email provider can help you reconnect with customers lost to “dead” addresses immediately, and ensure that your well-crafted messages earn you the maximum return on your investment. Austin C. Bliss President FreshAddress, Inc. FreshAddress, Inc., The Email Address ExpertsTM, provides a comprehensive suite of industry leading database and email deliverability services to help companies increase their e-commerce revenues. For more information on how we can help “Build and Update” your email list, visit http://freshaddress.com/biz or email [email protected] (c) 2002 FRESHADDRESS.COM