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Jan 12 2018

2018 Winter Olympic Schedule

Olympic schedules are very popular mailing pieces. Recipients find the information valuable and they are likely to keep the pieces, giving you more brand exposure. The Olympics start February 9th, so order now!

Olympic Schedule 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On January 1, many homes became expired listings. These owners make a great target audience for direct mail marketing. Send these postcards to generate leads.

Expired Listings Postcards Order Form

Jan 08 2018

Mailbox Monday: The right offer, at the right time, sent to the right person.

 

Hello and welcome to Mailbox Monday. My name is Brianna, I’m the marketing strategist here at One Step Services.  Today I’m going to go through a direct mail postcard that I received in my own mailbox and just point out the really good things about it and give you some takeaways that you can apply to your next mailing.

I got this postcard from Amazon, Amazon Prints, I am a client of theirs already. I keep all of my photos on Amazon’s photo cloud. So I was a perfect target audience for this offer. Right away I’m going to tell you the two key things about this are the timing (when it landed in my mailbox) and the offer. Everything else about this piece is nothing special. It’s printed on pretty cheap paper, the design is nothing to speak of, but it was an effective mailing piece because of when it landed in my mailbox, which was in November, and just like it says just in time for gift giving season. That was exactly the time I was thinking about presents and what I wanted to get people. The timing of this piece was very effective as was the offer. 40% off is a fantastic offer. It is very compelling. Typically, sometimes 10%, sometimes even 15% off, is not going to compel somebody to take action but a 40% off offer is incredibly compelling.

So those are the two things about this. You know, sometimes it doesn’t take a whole lot, sometimes it’s just something very simple. The right offer at the right time sent to the right audience for a piece to be effective. The last little thing I’ll point out is its always nice when you can address your mail piece to an actual person and instead of “current resident” or something generic like that.

So there you go. Just some of the benefits of this direct mail postcard that hopefully you can takeaway and apply to your next postcard.

 

Dec 27 2017

Marketing Mentor’s Facebook Live Events and Webinars

Back in October, I did a Facebook Live event showcasing our holiday marketing products. It was our first FB Live event and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it was great! About 10 of you logged in and listened, participated, and won some great prizes.

We decided Facebook Live Events are something we want to do on a weekly basis. These events will cover a variety of topics related to marketing for real estate agents, non profits and small businesses. We’ll discuss print and direct mail extensively, as well as digital and social marketing channels. Engagement is encouraged, so come with questions and don’t be afraid to engage in the comments section. We’ll also be doing giveaways and contests at most events.

We’d love to have you join us every week! If you’d like regular email reminders about these events, please sign up below. We’ll send an email one day before every event with a quick summary of what will be discussed. If you miss an event, you can always catch the replay on our Facebook Page.

Subscribe to receive weekly reminders for FB Live Events

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Dec 27 2017

It’s not too late to send Happy New Year’s 2018 Postcards

Unlike other holidays, it’s socially acceptable to wish people a Happy New Year a couple weeks past the actual holiday. If you weren’t able to send out Christmas cards, these Happy New Year postcards are a great way to reach out to your farm or social sphere.

SPECIALS: Order 200+ and we’ll waive the production fee.

Download the New Years 2018 Post Card Order Form

 

Dec 17 2017

5 things nonprofits can do now to prepare for a successful 2018

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t forget to keep the work hustle going. There are only 14 days left in 2017, and here are five things you can easily do in the next two weeks to ensure 2018 starts strong!

Order your save the dates. Spring is the big fundraising season for many nonprofits filled with galas, charity walks and golf tournaments. Although the event may be months away, NOW is the time to start marketing for it. Get your save the dates and invitations ordered. If you work with a mailing house, like One Step, you can also schedule those mailings for the future. Now is also the time to start working on programs, signage, emails, social media posts, and ads.

Clean your contact lists. Every direct mail piece, every email, every phone call, every door knock costs time and money. Stop wasting money on emails sent to bad addresses, postcards sent to people who no longer live at that address, or cold calling people who are not part of your target audience. Now is a great time to go through your lists and get rid of bad contacts, as well as add new ones you’ve made over the years.

Write new case studies or gather testimonials. What big projects did your organization accomplish in 2017? What were your significant impacts? Write those up as stories or case studies while they are fresh in your mind, and then you have impactful content ready for 2018. Now is also a great time to reach out to individual people who were impacted by your organization…recipients, employees, community members, donors, volunteers…and ask them for testimonials about your organization. Consider getting written and video testimonials.

Consider your brand. Take at a look at your visual brand and your messaging. Does it still reflect the values and goals of your organization? Does it convey the message you strive to live out in the day to day? If not, now is a great time to tweak it, or revamp it altogether.

Schedule your January marketing pieces. Order your direct mail postcards, write your email newsletter, schedule your social media posts and get that newspaper ad submitted. When everyone else is scrambling to get their stuff out that first week of January, you’ll already be done and strategizing for the next month.

Dec 15 2017

5 Things real estate agents can do NOW to prepare you for a successful new year

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t forget to keep the work hustle going. There are only 16 days left in 2017, and here are five things you can easily do in the next two weeks to ensure 2018 starts strong!

Create a marketing budget and strategy. Marketing should be something you do throughout the year, not just when you get a listing. Check out our detailed post on how to create a successful marketing strategy.

Clean your contact lists. Every direct mail piece, every email, every phone call, every door knock costs time and money. Stop wasting money on emails sent to bad addresses, postcards sent to people who no longer live at that address, or cold calling people who are not part of your target audience. Now is a great time to go through your lists and get rid of bad contacts, as well as add new ones you’ve made over the years.

Ask for testimonials. Ideally, you should be asking for testimonials after every closing. But if you’ve fallen behind, no worries, now is a great time to catch up. Reach out to everyone you helped sell or buy a house for in 2017. Consider a video testimonial in addition to a written one.

Consider your brand. Take at a look at your visual brand and your messaging. Does it still reflect your values and uniqueness? Is it still appealing to your target audience? Does it convey the message you strive to live out in every transaction? If not, now is a great time to tweak it, or revamp it altogether.

Schedule your January marketing pieces. Order your direct mail postcards, write your email newsletter, schedule your social media posts and get that newspaper ad submitted. When everyone else is scrambling to get their stuff out that first week of January, you’ll already be done and strategizing for the next month.

Dec 12 2017

How to prepare a real estate marketing strategy for 2018

Marketing should not be something you do only for listings. You need to be marketing yourself and your business throughout the year…that’s how you get the listings! Below are some of our tried and true tips for creating an effective real estate marketing strategy.

Set a budget. I know this is hard for real estate agents, because your income varies with each listing. But a great way to start is simply by determining what percentage of each commission is going to go towards marketing. To get an idea of how much you’ll make, look at your income from last year. Create a budget based on those two factors, and then adjust as necessary throughout the year.

Example- You decide you will use 10% of each commission for marketing. Last year, you made $80,000 in commission. Therefore, you could plan for a 2018 marketing budget of $8,000. If that feels high to you, set your budget a little lower. It’s always easier to add money to the budget than to take it away.

Create tangible goals and know how to track them. How many leads do you want a month? Are you trying to increase your referrals? Are you looking to increase your listings above a certain price point? Set these tangible goals and then monitor your marketing strategies to see which ones are helping you accomplish these goals.

Example. You want 50 leads a month without having to make cold calls. So in January, you set up a regular email campaign, direct mail campaign and Facebook ads. After about 2 months monitoring clicks and asking leads how they heard about you, you determine that email is bringing in the least amount of leads. So you scale it back and use that time and money on Google Ads. After a few more months, you realize this combination is helping you go above and beyond your goals, so you commit to it for the rest of the year, while still monitoring and being open to change should one of those strategies start to dwindle.

Determine a visual brand. A consistent visual brand is crucial to real estate marketing. Some agents use their broker’s brand…the colors, the logo, etc. Others find a professional graphic designer to create a brand that is unique to them and communicates their unique value. There are advantages to both, the important thing is to stay consistent. If you already have a brand, now is a good time to review it. It is relevant to your target audience? Is it modern? Does it still communicate your unique value and they key elements of your business?

Define your audience. I know you WANT to sell everyone’s home, but realistically, you cannot. And your marketing will be a lot more effective if you define an audience and tailor your marketing to them. Many real estate agents define their audience by location. They choose a geographic farm and consistently send direct mail, door knock and participate in community events within that farm. Other agents choose to focus on retirees, while others are marketing to luxury property owners. It’s also okay to have a few different target audiences, as long as each are defined.

Create your messaging. I recently wrote an entire blog about how to create good content. While a marketing plan is not the place to create specific messages, it is a good time to determine general messaging themes and goals. For example, maybe you want your 2018 marketing to focus on why people should live in your farm specifically, or giving people reasons to list this year instead of waiting, or encouraging them to choose you over your competition. Having a  general theme, or a couple themes, will help you avoid content writers block and keep your messaging consistent and powerful.

Be willing to be flexible. Real estate is an ever changing industry. It’s likely your marketing needs and ability to execute will change throughout the year. That’s okay! A marketing plan isn’t meant to be a chain, but rather a solid foundation from which to build and change an effective marketing strategy that works for your specific business!

CALL ONE STEP SERVICES! Need help creating a marketing strategy? Need to update your visual brand or create a new one? We are real estate marketing experts ready to help you grow your business. We are currently taking appointments for December and January, so please give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email info@onestepservices.com to request and appointment with Valerie, our Director of Client Relations.

Nov 29 2017

Newsletter Freebie – 2018 First Quarter Social Images

To use these photos, left click on the image to make it bigger. Then right click and hit “save as.” Save to your computer, then use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, in your emails or wherever else you want.

Nov 22 2017

2018 Calendars make great holiday direct mail pieces

These 2018 calendars are great for direct mail marketing or as walk and drop pieces. They provide a great return on investment because they are “sticky” meaning they stick around houses for a while and recipients refer back to them multiple times, therefore getting repeat exposure to your brand, your name and your message. Each design is available in two sizes, 4×9 and 8.5×11.

Download 2018Calendar Order Form

Nov 21 2017

Asked and Answered: How to incorporate referral marketing into your long term marketing strategy

I frequently participate in forums on Alignable, asking and answering marketing questions. I occasionally bring bits of the forum here to the blog. Today, I’ll be expanding on a conversation I had with a bookstore owner about how to generate referrals. 

Bookstore Owner : Looking for advice as to how best to market my audio bookstore to the local neighborhood and online. Here’s my issue. Our business model, that makes us unique to bookstores, is that we offer audio books for Rent. I believe we give a great value to our customers for the price we charge. But I have tried everything including radio ads, print ads, Facebook Ads and writing articles. Yet, most people find the store by accident. After 9 years in the same location, people still walk in and say to me “Wow, I didn’t know this place existed”. Thanks in advance.

Brianna at One Step: Do you have any sort of referral or rewards program? Often the best marketers are those clients who already love your business. Maybe you could offer a free month’s membership or a free book rental if they share your Facebook page, bring a friend to an event, tell a friend about your business, etc.

Bookstore Owner: We have tried several types of referral plans. Giving $5.00 credit for each referral. Offering a 1 Free month to our customers if they get a customer to sign-up to a plan. We usually advertise these referral programs for three months in a row. Out of the 300 customers we sent the offer out to only less than 1% referred anybody. That’s not say that we don’t get referrals from our customers, because we do. They just happen to be given organically. I don’t think our customers which skew in a older demographic care so much about getting a free month or receiving a dollar amount for each referral. Plus our business is so unique, I don’t think most people are thinking about it when they are out with friends. 

Brianna at One Step Services: Rather than trying 3 month plans, I recommend thinking of ways that you can consistently and constantly remind your clients to refer you. You may be right that they aren’t interested in rewards and that organic referrals are best for your clientele. However, there is nothing wrong with reminding them to make those organic referrals. Many studies show that the more you remind or ask people to do something…refer you, like your social media post, write a testimony, etc…the more likely they are to do it.

So to increase those organic referrals, consider including a referral card in every book you mail out. Just a little something that a client could pass on to a friend with your info. Keep those same handouts near your cash register so people can grab them on their way out. Every time you send an email, make sure there is an obvious link so they can forward it to a friend. If you’re on social media, about once a week make a post asking for referrals or asking them to share your post/page with their friends. Here at One Step, we send out handwritten welcome notes to new clients and we include referral cards. We also send handwritten notes to our most consistent and loyal clients, people we think would speak highly of us. 

It may sound obnoxious, but keep in mind one single person will probably only pay attention to one of these touch points. And it’s critical that you constantly stay top of mind to get those organic referrals. This is not a three month program, but something that is part of your long term marketing strategy. And I do think that you are off base in saying that your service is so unique people don’t think about it when out with friends. Media is a very popular topic amongst friends and movies, music and books are easy conversation starters. Your clients will refer people if you tell them to. 

Good Cause Marketing