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.
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At 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 www.mabdigitalmarketing.com for more info.
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 www.FTC.gov. Then, keep this infographic handy for quick reference when creating marketing emails:
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.
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 https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
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.
We 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.