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Jan 22 2018

Mailbox Monday: Using direct mail to drive traffic to a website or app

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 be looking at a piece of direct mail that I received that shows how you can use direct mail to drive traffic to your website or app.

So NextDoor is an app that people in the same neighborhood can join and then they can talk to each other about whats going on in the neighborhood. I received this envelope and the thing that stuck out to me was this cute little doodle. It made it personable and caught my attention.

The piece itself came from someone specific. It was her first and last name and the street she lived on. A lot of times we talk about personalizing the piece to the person that you are sending to, which is extremely important. But you can also personalize who it is coming from, and the fact that it came from a specific person as opposed to just the generic NextDoor App, I thought was really effective and helped build that trust factor that’s so important in marketing.

Something else about this piece is the code. The code allows you to track the effectiveness of a specific piece. So if I go to NextDoor and I join and I use this code, they are going to know that I came from that specific mailing. It just helps them to track the response to the mailings that they are sending out. And of course just some verbiage here, very simple, very straightforward that explains what the app is and encourages me to join.

So this is a great example of a way that you can combine your digital and your direct mail and you can use your direct mail to drive traffic. This is particularly effective if you don’t have email addresses of people. It’s also effective because the mailbox is less crowded than the inbox. So if you are really looking to grab people’s attention, you actually have a much better chance of doing that with direct mail than you do with an email. Those are some tips for you. Hopefully you can incorporate them into your next direct mail piece. Have a great day!

Aug 21 2017

Promotional materials for real estate apps

Do you have your own real estate app? It’s such a  valuable tool for your buyers and sellers. But have you ever thought about using it for lead generation?

Using our promotional products, you can advertise your app to people who aren’t even clients yet. It’s possible that a valuable app like yours is just the thing that convinces them to list or buy with you.

We have three different products: postcards, business card backs and sign riders. Order just one or all three and we’ll customize with your information.

Download Agent App Order Form

Jul 13 2017

Successes and failures of our first Twitter contest

I just ran @OneStepServices first Twitter contest and thought I’d share my thoughts and findings while they are fresh in my mind.

The Contest

The contest was super simple. Every time someone retweeted us, they’d be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. I planned ahead and made sure I could just email the gift card, since I didn’t want to deal with actually purchasing and mailing one. The contest lasted one hour, from 12-1pm. I used #RTtoWin

During that hour, I was on Twitter the entire time. I was retweeting others, posting lots of original tweets, liking tweets. No real strategy here, just spent an hour being engaged in the community.

The Results

I only had 1 person retweet within the allotted hour. I did, however, get 15 new followers. This took our overall following up to 500 which was exciting for me. Many of those followers were other marketing companies, which is good for networking, not so good for making money. But two were potential clients. I made sure to follow those two back and add them to lists to make it easier to stay engaged with them.

Our impressions also increased significantly. The day before, our tweets were getting about 465 impressions. During the contest, they were getting 1,359 impressions. That’s an almost 300% increase. Not too shabby.

The Conclusion

I think simply engaging in the community for an hour straight was more effective than the contest itself. While I don’t think it would be worth it to do this every day, I definitely see value in doing it once or twice a week.

I’ve gotten pretty good at using effective hashtags that get the attention of our target audience. I will continue to use those AND increase the use of photos. Readers, I didn’t use a single photo until 45 minutes into the contest. HUGE FAIL! I should have been tweeting photos from the beginning.

What I’ll do better next time

I think I need to give the contest a little more time. Perhaps a 12-5pm time frame. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try the morning. But I definitely don’t think an hour was enough. I also think I need to promote the contest ahead of time and create a unique hashtag to pique the interest of our followers.

I’m about to read an article from my favorite social media marketing gurus, Social Media Examiner, about how to effectively run a Twitter contest. I’m sure they will give me some more ideas of ways to improve next time. I plan on holding another contest next week so stay tuned!

Jul 21 2016

Why Use An Email Marketing Agency

direct mailAt One Step Services, we use email marketing to promote our products and services. Typically, the job of creating and sending those emails belongs to me, the Communication Strategist. I consider myself a decent email marketer. I’ve read articles, I pay attention to the send reports, I keep our lists clean and organized. Plus, I have a great software program, iContact, to help me stay on top of everything. When it comes to keeping our current client base informed, my efforts do the job.

However, I recently learned that I’m not very good at converting leads. We had a list of warm leads and I was so excited to get an email out to them and watch the phone ring. But that didn’t happen, not even once. I got ZERO response on that first email.

So, I decided to bring in a professional and turned to the team at MAB Digital Marketing. I’ve been in marketing long enough to know that there is a lot of psychology that  goes into it. What I didn’t know, is that the psychological “rules” that apply to print marketing don’t necessarily apply to email marketing. So while the email I sent out would have made a great printed piece, it wasn’t so good for email. The guys at MAB made a more minimalist design, reworded my calls to action, swapped out graphics and changed the placement of buttons. The email certainly looked better, but I was still a little doubtful.

MAB set it up so that I got a notification anytime somebody clicked on a button in the email. The day the email was sent out, I got 6 notifications in the first hour. The notifications kept popping up, and at the end of 24 hours we had had 70 clicks off a 2500 list, which is very impressive. The sales team was then able to follow up with those leads.

While I still use iContact and my own expertise to send emails to those who are already our clients, I leave conversion campaigns to the professionals. If you have been using email marketing for a while and haven’t gotten the results you want, or if you are new to email marketing and don’t know where to start, I encourage you to contact MAB. Like One Step, they thrive on custom jobs. They’ll sit down with you to discuss your specific needs and goals, and create a plan to meet those needs and goals. Plus, they’ll work with us to get all your branding files and print marketing content so that your email marketing corresponds with your print. Visit their website for more info. 

Jul 06 2016

What is the CAN-SPAM Act?

The CAN-SPAM Act is a set of rules that apply to all commercial email messages, whether sent in bulk or individually. These rules are enforced by the FTC and there are hefty fines associated with non compliance. So it’s beneficial for companies and individuals to become well acquainted with it before they begin an email marketing campaign. I highly recommend reading through the Act in its entirety on Then, keep this infographic handy for quick reference when creating marketing emails:

What is the CAN-SPAM Act-


The importance of opting in

The most important thing to remember about email marketing is that recipients must opt in. This means, they must tell you “Yes! I want to receive commercial messages from you!” They can do this in a variety of ways. They can fill out a form on your website, check a box on an order form, enter a contest, etc. At the time of opt in, you must make it clear what they are opting in to receive. For example, if you have people filling out a contest form, you can have a box that says “check here to receive our monthly newsletter.” People who check the box can receive your newsletter, however, they cannot receive the weekly coupons you send out because you did not disclose that at the time of opt in.

This is very different from direct mail. While people can be asked to be put on a “do not mail list” and you have to honor that, people do not have to opt in. You can send direct mail to anyone that is not “do not mail list.” But with email marketing, people have to make some sort of effort to be put on your list.


The CAN-SPAM Act is a little vague and understandably causes confusion for those who don’t think about email marketing 24/7. Fortunately, there are people who do think about it all the time and know how to craft effective marketing emails that are CAN-SPAM compliant. Our business partner, MAB Marketing, is a digital marketing agency that specializes in custom digital content creation, in the same way that One Step Services specializes in custom print content creation. Their work is effective, their service superb, and we highly recommend them! Contact Haris Karim at 949-464-8973 and tell him One Step sent you.

Jul 05 2016

Tip Tuesday: Tips For Successful Email Marketing

Many of our clients have started, or want to start, implementing email marketing into their marketing strategy. While One Step doesn’t provide a specific email marketing service, we work with clients and digital marketing vendors to ensure your marketing materials are coherent and carry the same brand. As a company that does email marketing for ourselves, we’ve got a couple tips that will help you build and maintain a successful email marketing strategy.

Successful email marketers follow the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act.  The CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law in 2003 and sets specific rules for the sending of commercial and marketing emails. It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with these rules before you start sending emails. Read the full act on the FTC website  

Successful email marketers focus on the quality of contacts as opposed to the quantity. Many people worry about the CAN-SPAM Act requirement that states you must make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your mailing list. But the truth is, it’s better for you that people who don’t want to receive your emails unsubscribe. Unhappy subscribers report unwanted emails as spam, which could land you on the blacklist. They also ignore emails, which means you’re paying to send emails to people who aren’t reading them. It’s better to have 100 subscribers who actually read your emails and act on them, than 1,000 subscribers who don’t.

On the same note, make sure the people you are subscribing have asked to be subscribed. Don’t simply start sending emails to everyone on your contact list. Instead, send one email asking if they would like to receive marketing emails from you. Then, put a signup form on your website and social media. You can also place pen and paper order forms at open houses, cash registers, trade show table, etc.

Successful email marketers use an agency or email service provider to send mass emails. Email service providers like iContact, MailChimp, and Constant Contact are very affordable (sometimes free) and provide a lot of tools to make your email marketing successful. They help ensure that you stay compliant with CAN-SPAM rules, they provide a variety of effective templates and they monitor recipient’s response.

Some people need more services. For example, you may want a completely customized look that can’t be accomplished with a template. Or you may be looking to start a complicated multi email campaign that requires the advice of an expert in the field. Or maybe you just don’t want to mess with setting up and sending emails and you’d prefer someone else did that for you. In that case, we recommend you use a digital marketing agency such as MAB Digital Marketing.

If you’re a client of One Step and you have a brand with us, we’d be happy to work with your digital marketing company so that your emails match your brand.

Successful email marketers pay attention to their send reports and adjust their strategy accordingly. When you use an agency or an email service provider, they’ll provide reports that tell you who opened your email, what links they clicked on, who unsubscribed from your list, etc. Pay attention to those reports. When I started our monthly newsletter, I paid special attention to which links within the email people were clicking. I noticed that one section in particular was consistently ignored. So I switched things up a bit, and now that is one of our most popular sections. Making adjustments will keep your emails relevant to subscribers and increases the likelihood that people will stay subscribed and engaged.

Jan 21 2016

New Product: Emailed Content Ready Postcards

digital productsWe are excited to announce a brand new product for our clients: emailed content ready postcards. As you know, every month we create content ready postcards for real estate and small business owners. These postcards are fully designed and can be personalized with an agent photo, company logo and contact information. Now, we are offering an HTML version of these postcards which we will send to your list of contacts on your behalf.

Ordering is easy. When you fill out the order form for your printed postcards, simply check the box that says “Email My Postcard.” Once you have approved the printed postcard, we will create an HTML email for you with the same content as the printed postcard. Please note, layout of the email postcard will vary slightly from the printed version. However, all design elements, photos and pictures will be the same.

Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about our new program. If you have further questions, please feel free to email us at

Are you simply emailing an image of the postcard?
No. We are creating an HTML version of the postcard. This means your email is more likely to land in inboxes rather than be marked as spam. It also means that the email is formatted to work on a variety of different browsers and devices, making it easier to see than a simple JPEG would.

Can I email a postcard without printing it?
No. you must print a minimum of 100 postcards if you want to order an HTML email version.

Where will my email be sent?
You are responsible for mailing your digital postcards. We will send it to you and simply copy and paste it into your email service provider. 

Will I see a proof of my email?
Because we send you the digital postcard to send out, you will see it. If changes need to be made, you will incur an additional cost. 

Can I request an email that looks different from my printed piece?
The flat $49 fee only applies to emails that mimic the printed piece. However, if you would like something customized, we can do that for you. Please email us with your request and we will provide you with a custom quote.


Mar 26 2015

Easy Ways To Convert Digital Marketing Into Direct Mail Marketing

digital and direct mail marketingAre you looking to add direct mail marketing to your current marketing strategy? You should!

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 79% of direct mail recipients act on a mail piece immediately. According to a USPS survey, 64% of people value the marketing mail they receive. At One Step Services, we have several clients who consider direct mail an important lead generation tool.

Adding direct mail to your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or increase your workload. One Step Services can easily convert the content you are using for digital marketing into direct mail marketing pieces.

Tweets about community news
A great compliment to tweets about community news and events would be a community events calendar which could be placed on a postcard, a flyer, or even a large door hanger. Another great piece would be a community newsletter that bears your brand and has helpful information about real estate and the community.

Articles shared on Facebook
While it’s not effective to simply paste an article on a postcard and send it out, you can use an article for postcard content. Summarize the article in 3-5 bullet points or create an Infograph. Include a strong call to action and encourage recipients to contact you with further questions.

YouTube Videos
If you have created a video for a listing, include the URL on the Just Listed postcard and the property flyer. If you’ve created an instrauctional video, create a door hanger with a strong call to action and a URL to the video.

Yelp Reviews
turn those reviews into a postcard. People appreciate recommendations from trusted community members for restaurants, shops, servicemen and other local businesses.

Follow Me
You can use direct mail to get more followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or any other site. Compile a list of your most popular tweets, put them on a postcard and say something like “Want to stay up to date on the latest real estate news? Follow me on Twitter!” To encourage people to follow you on Instagram, you can create a collage of your most popular Instagram photos and pair it with a strong call to action.

Direct mail marketing and digital marketing are powerful tools in their won right. When used together, real estate agents and small business owners see unparalleled success in lead generation, increased sales and more loyal customers.

Don’t have time to do it all? No problem. Call One Step Services and we’ll do it for you! 9494-587-5301.

Oct 17 2013

Anatomy of a Real Estate Website

A good web designer will give your real estate website all of these elements but present them in a way that is unique and doesn’t look like a template. If your getting a new website build, you definitely want to take the time to look at this infograph and make sure your web designer knows that this is what you expect.



Apr 11 2013

Dear Internet, You Sit On A Throne of Lies!

A couple months ago, customer service got a call from someone asking if we fix printers. It seemed a little odd, since we’ve never been in the printer repair business, but we didn’t really think much of it. We are in the print business, so maybe that person just got confused.

However, these calls kept coming. Every few weeks we’d get a call asking about our printer repair services. Clearly this was more than the confusion of a few people. So the next time someone called, customer service politely explained that we do not fix printers, then asked where they had gotten our number. “The Yellow Pages. You’re listed there under printer repair.”

I checked our online Yellow Page listing, which we had never set up, and sure enough, we were listed under printer repair instead of print services. There was nothing on that listing about us being a marketing company, mailing house or graphic design firm. Our office phone number was there, along with 4 other phone numbers that weren’t related to our business at all. As I said earlier, we had never even set up a Yellow Pages listings so I have no idea how that information got posted. Luckily, it was fairly easy to fix now its set up exactly the way we want it to be. And we haven’t received a printer repair call since.

This experience taught me that I need to be more proactive in monitoring our company’s online mentions. I know what online profiles I’ve set up and I check them regularly, but clearly there are websites where profiles have been set up for us and reviews have been written about us without our knowledge. Below are the steps I plan on taking, feel free to copy me.

  • Set up Google Alerts so you receive and email every time your company is mentioned.
  • Got to sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, Google Places, and City Squares and search for your business. If a profile pops up, claim ownership and edit it so it displays the proper information about your business. If there are reviews for your business, take the time to read and respond accordingly.
  • Periodically Google your company, as well as the names of key players in the company. This will help you keep tabs of what is being said about your company in the news and on social sites.
  • There are free online tools that allow you to track mentions of your company, and terms related to your company, on social media. Take a look at Social Mention and Ice Rocket.

How do you manage your company’s online reputation? Are there specific tools or software you use?

And in case you’re wondering where I got the blog title, do yourself a favor and watch this clip. It will make your day.




Good Cause Marketing