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Jun 12 2017

4th of July direct mail postcards for real estate agents, small business owners and non profits

Not every marketing piece has to be a sales pitch. Sometimes its nice to simply connect with your customer base and wish them a happy holiday. This helps build brand recognition and trust. Our 4th of July postcards do just that. Use our greeting or create your own. Choose from a rustic flag postcard or one that celebrates the nostalgia of childhood summers.

Download the order form and email it to info@onestepservices.com 4th of July Order Form

Jun 06 2017

Tip Tuesday: What NOT to post to your business social media profiles

Our lives are lived online. We post the mundane details and the life changing events. But, there is such a thing as oversharing, particularly on your business page. Posting certain things could jeopardize the safety of you and your family, unnecessarily upset a lot of followers, or detract from your main brand message. Here are a couple tips on what you should keep off your business social pages.

  • Personal details. Things like where your kids go to school, where you live, the fact that you eat at the same breakfast spot every Thursday, should all be kept OFF of your business page. You don’t know who is monitoring your activity and may want to use that information to harm you and your family.
  • Vacation details. Don’t post when you are going on vacation or where. If necessary, Avoid posting pictures until after you are back. Believe it or not, there are people who track when people go on vacation so they can rob them.
  • Strong political or religious views. Occasionally something may come up in the news that is political or religious in nature but also directly related to your business or industry. In that instance, it may be good to comment in a moderate, rational manner to open up a discussion amongst your followers. But most of the time, your opinions about religion and politics are better left offline. No need to frustrate or annoy customers over something not even related to your business.
  • Your net worth. Most people are not posting a specific number of their net worth. But all those pictures of your new car, new jewelry, kitchen remodel, vacations, etc speak volumes about what you’re worth. Again, robbery and identity theft are big concerns here. You don’t want to make yourself a target.

BONUS TIP

  • Watch what others are posting about you on Facebook. This only applies to your personal FB profile, but you can set up filters so that nothing gets posted to your timeline without your consent. And on any social media channel, if someone posts to their profile something about you that makes you feel uncomfortable, ask them to take it down.

Have you ever posted something to your business profile that you later regretted? Let us learn from your mistakes, share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
May 25 2017

Cool your jets: How one encounter can change your client’s perception

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I switched mobile carriers. We did it primarily to save money, as the one we were with was getting crazy expensive. We knew that coverage wouldn’t be as great, but we aren’t world travelers. So as long as we could text and surf the web within the 15 mile radius in which we live our lives, we didn’t care. We wanted to save money.

The actual plan was significantly cheaper. The phones, however, were not. And by the time you added phone payments, and taxes and services, our monthly payments were the same. This was not properly explained to me at the time of signup. Nor was it properly explained to me that at the end of our 18 month “lease” we would still owe quite a bit of money on our phones. On top of that, our data connection was poor and our phones consistently dropped calls even at our house. These little surprises made me angry, to say the least. But after a couple fruitless calls to customer service, I eventually just gave up trying to get solutions.

I read just the other day that it’s not the customers that are complaining that you need to be worried about, it’s the customers that aren’t saying anything. This is 100% true. I never even talked to a rep about the bad connections because I was so peeved at them for scamming me on price. I just wanted to pay off the phones and switch back to my original carrier. And that’s exactly what I would have done. Except…

Today I had to call customer service. And I was lit. The woman on the other end was very professional. She listened to my complaints. Some she was able to resolve, others she explained more thoroughly so they weren’t AS annoying as I had thought. She brought my anger down from a 9 to a 5 (since the insanity that was the 2016 presidential election, I can’t seem to get it down below that). I don’t love our current carrier. I’m not going to start recommending them to all my friends. But one interaction with a competent customer service rep got me to rethink my decision to leave, at least for the time being.

Readers, do not underestimate the power of one positive connection with a client. Every time you pick up the phone, send an email or type a text, assume that THAT is the interaction that could make or break the relationship with that customer. Also, keep an eye on those silent customers. The ones who aren’t interacting with your brand at all, who are placing fewer orders, who aren’t recommending you the way other clients do. Reach out to them and find out what you can do to turn them into brand enthusiasts.

Have you ever had an encounter with customer service or an account rep completely change your view of a company? Tell us the story in the comments below.

May 16 2017

Father’s Day Direct Mail Postcards

Download the Fathers Day Order Form and either email it to info@onestepservices.com or fax it to 949-452-0381

A simple, classic Father’s Day postcard that is perfect for your social list or farm. We can also convert this to an EDDM size.

 

 

 

This lead generation postcard is Father’s Day themed. Use light humor, an adorable picture and the upcoming holiday to encourage recipients to call you for their real estate needs.

May 09 2017

Beauty and the Rebrand

I’m a little late to the party, but I finally saw the live action Beauty and the Beast last weekend. You guys, I’m OBSESSED! The costumes, the music, the scenery. Emma Watson and that spunky, kind, fearless personality. Dan Stevens with that voice and those eyes! I love it more than a grown woman probably should but, whatever. The world is a dark place, just let me be happy.

So why am I gushing about a Disney film on a marketing blog? I’ll be honest, I was actively looking for an excuse to research the movie and listen to the soundtrack while at work. BUT ALSO, it occurred to me that remaking a movie is a lot like rebranding a company. And since the remaking of Beauty and the Beast was successful, I figured there were some lessons that could be applied to rebranding a company, something we do a lot of here at One Step Services.

Make new friends, but keep the old. I’ve watched enough bonus features to know that without composer Alan Menken and lyricist/executive producer Howard Ashman, Beauty and the Beast wouldn’t have been the blockbuster that it was. So it makes sense that they brought Menken back to rearrange original songs and compose new ones for the live action remake.* The new songs fit seamlessly with the original and the movie is once again a musical masterpiece.

When rebranding your company, think very hard about what elements you want to keep and what you want to ditch. Then decide who of the “old friends” is going to help you maintain this new vision, and who is going to detract from it. And whether you’re keeping the old or hiring the new, make sure everyone is loyal to and passionate about the brand. You’re going to have a hard enough time getting clients on board with this new brand, you don’t want to also be fighting employees, vendors and business partners.

If it’s broken, fix it. As a child, Beauty and the Beast was perfect. But rewatching it as an adult, I notice a couple of plot holes. Like, why exactly does Belle fall in love with Beast? She was terrified of him and angry, and all he has to do to win her over is save her from some wolves and throw a snowball at her? It sounds more like Stockholm Syndrome than love. Apparently I was not the only person who had this thought because the character of Beast is much more developed in the new movie, as is his relationship with Belle. There were several other plot holes that were patched up in the remake.

Before you rebrand, it’s important to know what’s working for your company and what isn’t. The rebrand should fix the things that aren’t working. Perhaps your logo looks outdated. Maybe your customer service policy needs to be changed to better fit your new customer database. Maybe your company mission has changed and you need a new slogan to reflect that. Maybe you are recovering from a major PR fiasco. Whatever the case, look at the rebrand as an opportunity to fix what is broken.

Test your audience. In an interview, Dan Stevens explained that he was originally topless when he transformed back into the prince. However, the test audience said that was inappropriate for a kids movie.** So they reshot it.

Once you decide what needs to be fixed and you come up with a solution, you need to make sure that solution is going to be effective for you. You’ve got to test it. Obviously, you can’t please everyone, nor should you try. But it’s always a good idea to run tests to make sure you are getting things right with most people.

If you’re ready to rebrand yourself and/or your company, give One Step Services a call at 949-587-5301. Come in for a free consultation with our graphic designers who can help create a new visual representation of your new brand. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to Evermore one million times and cry at my desk.

*Side Note: Howard Ashman died 8 months before the original animated Beauty and the Beast was released. The story of how his battle with AIDS affected his creation of Beauty and the Beast is fascinating and heartbreaking. Another interesting tidbit, the lyricist for the new songs on the new Beauty and the Beast was Tim Rice, who worked with Menken on songs for Aladdin. So, still an old friend of Disney. See? I told you I watch a lot of DVD bonus features.

**Boo! Those people are no fun!

May 02 2017

Direct Mail Postcards for Memorial Day 2017

The unofficial start of summer is just around the corner! Whether you want to mail a serious tribute to those honored on Memorial Day, or a light hearted lead generation postcard, we’ve got you covered.

Memorial Day 2017 Order Form

 

May 02 2017

Tip Tuesday: Improve ROI On Direct Marketing Campaigns

This month’s Tip Tuesdays are all about improving ROI. ROI stands for Return On Investment. The success of most marketing campaigns is determined by ROI. Did you make more money than you spent? Did you make enough money to make the investment of resources (time, money, manpower) worth while?

Improve ROI with a clear call to action and enticing incentive. Why are you running this particular marketing campaign? Do you want people to visit your website? To call you and set up an appointment? To refer you to their friends? Whatever action you want people to take, be very clear in telling them what that action is. Every postcard, flyers, email, social media post should have a clear call to action. It also helps if you have an incentive. This could be something big like a discount or free gift. Or something simple answers to their questions. Don’t just tell them to do something, give them a reason to do it.

 

 

 

Improve ROI by cleaning your list so you don’t mail to unresponsive addresses. It costs money to send emails and postcards. So don’t waste money on unresponsive addresses. Regularly go over your databases and delete addresses that are unresponsive, or that have asked not to be contacted, or that no longer meet the qualifications of your target audience. You’re marketing campaigns will be much more effective if they are being seen by people who are likely to respond to them.

 

 

 

 

Improve ROI by personalizing your mailings with variable data. Variable data is data that changes based on the recipient. It can be something as simple as a first name. You send out a letter that is exactly the same for every person except that the greeting changes, ie Dear Molly, Dear Matthew. You get the idea. The use of variable data can actually get very complex . But if you have the data, agencies like One Step Services can get it onto a card for you. Why variable data? People respond much better to messages that are personalized to them. We are almost constantly bombarded by marketing through email, social media, television, print and mail. We have learned how to tune it all out. But when something uses our name or other personal information, we pay attention.

 

 

Improve ROI by targeting your mailing with a specific message meant for a specific audience. You need to know who you are marketing to, and you need to know what messages are relevant to them. For example, if you are mailing a postcard to a farm filled mostly with young families living in town homes, an effective postcard would be one that talks about the benefits of upgrading to a larger house. You would not want to send this postcard to a community of retirees. Send relevant messages, through direct mail, email, social media ads, etc, and you’ll get a better response.

 

 

 

Improve ROI by branding all your mailers and including your name and photo/logo. People do business with people they trust. The more people see your branding, the more they’ll begin to trust you. Every time they are exposed to your marketing, the chances of them contacting you increase. Case in point. I sent a series of 3 branded emails to a list of nonprofit organizations. About half the list opened the emails but did not contact us. So I sent them a sample packet. From that, I got one response (so far). People need repeat exposure before they act.

Apr 14 2017

Mother’s Day and Lead Generation Postcards for Spring

Mother’s Day Direct Mail Postcards

Whether you’re trying to generate leads, or simply wishing the moms and mom figures in your life a nice holiday, these postcards are a perfect way to touch base with your farm, social list, past clients and leads.

Download Mothers Day Postcards Order Form

MothersDayQueen MothersHeart

 

Spring lead generation postcards

Spring with spring break in full swing (or just ending) many people are already thinking about summer. Travel plans, warmer days, palm trees…sweet dreams are made of these. Get them thinking about selling their home as well with these lead generation real estate postcards. Looking to educate your recipients? Go with “4 reasons to sell this summer.” Want something quick and easy to read to pique their interest? Send out the “Navigating real estate” card.

Download 4 Reasons and Navigate Order Form

4Reasons_Summer Navigate

Apr 11 2017

Ways to Engage Your Geographic Farm This Summer

ways to engageAt One Step Services, we are all about real estate farming. We truly believe it is one of the best ways for a real estate agent to market their business. And while direct mail is the backbone of farming, other channels, such as door knocking and social media, are also important.

One of those other channels is neighborhood involvement. If you send out postcards every month saying how much you love the community, how involved you are, etc, then you need to show it! And summer is a great time to get out and get involved.

Engaging with your community allows you to:

  • Stay in contact with past clients (those buyers you moved into the neighborhood).
  • Meet new prospects face to face, learn about them, and target your marketing to them.
  • Build trust in you and your brand. When people see you putting your words into action, they’ll trust you more and will be more likely to do business with you.

Here are some ideas to get you engaged with the community this summer:

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. There are so many ways to do this, a simple search on Pinterest will lead to lots of ideas. This idea would be especially effective if you have a lot of new people who have moved into the neighborhood in the past year. It will help them discover new places and people in their new neighborhood.

Icecream Social. Everyone loves free ice cream! Simply set up a table in your driveway (or on a street corner) with ice cream supplies and some homemade signs. This works great as a last minute idea. Just do it in the evening as everyone is driving home from work and school and you won’t need to send out invitations.

Driveway Movie Night. This is great if you live in the neighborhood, or have a good friend that does. Set up a projector and show a movie on your garage door serve up popcorn and drinks, and encourage everyone to bring chairs and blankets. This is an easy low cost way to bring the neighborhood together.

Neighborhood Improvement Project. It can be as simple as a trash pick up day or something a little more complicated like fixing the yard of a neighbor in need. Whatever it is, getting everyone to rally around a cause that improves their community is great for morale, and property values.

Sponsor an HOA event. Every Easter, my HOA hosts an egg hunt at the clubhouse. One of the local real estate agents sponsors it. Her name is on the promotional material, and the day of the event she passes out prizes to each of the kids. Most people in the neighborhood recognize her name and brand, and many are friends with her. This annual event is a great way for her connect with old clients and new prospects.

Hand out Pop Bys. – Pop bys are little gifts you leave on doorsteps. The longer summer days give agents extra time to do some door knocking, and the gifts a great way to get prospects to remember you. Lots of agents hand out small yard flags for 4th of July. Other fun summer ideas would be a bottle of bubbles, a packet of seeds, a shovel and pail, insulated cups with your logo, reusable grocery bags. Make sure the gifts are relevant and can be used by people in your farm.

We’d love to hear your ideas. Tell us, what do you do to engage your farm?

Mar 29 2017

4 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Mailing

save on direct mail

In order to be successful with direct mail marketing, you need to be consistent. If you find yourself low on funds, you may be tempted to skip a mailing. DON’T! This will lead to inconsistency and loss of the momentum you’ve already gained. Instead, consider cutting costs with these tactics.

  1. Convert color postcards to black and white. You can convert one side or both. Many people choose to just convert the back to black and white, since most of the card is taken up by text and address anyways. At One Step, this one change will save you about 8 cents a card. You can also convert both sides to black and white to save even more. Just be aware that some of the design may be compromised once the color is taken out. If possible, tell your designer ahead of time that you want the postcard to be able to print well in black and white so that they can design accordingly.
  2. Check for quantity discounts. At One Step Services, we offer discounts for 500+, 1000+, 1500+, 2000+. In some cases, ordering more will actually save you money. For example, if you are ordering 475 full color 8.5×5.5 postcards, you’ll actually save about $10 if you bump your order up to 500.
  3. Clean your mailing lists. It’s a waste of money to send a mailer to bad addresses. A bad address is any address that doesn’t fit into your target market. For example, if you are a real estate agent looking for listings, you won’t want to send the postcard to renters. You also don’t want to send to people who have asked to be taken off your list, or to addresses that are undeliverable. Regularly clean your list to make sure you aren’t wasting money.
  4. Order smaller postcards. At One Step Services, we have a lot of different postcard sizes. If you need to trim your budget, consider going with a smaller postcard, especially for mailers who’s main job is to simply build brand awareness and trust. For example, perhaps you go with an 8.5×5.5 postcard for your mailings about community events and testimonials, but go back to your 10.5×5.5 for your Just Listed card so that you draw extra attention to it.

Don’t let a tight budget keep you from doing your marketing. The more you put your name out there, the more business you’ll get. Call our friendly customer service reps at 949-587-5301 or email info@onestepservices.com to discuss specific ways to cut costs on your next mailing.

Good Cause Marketing