Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to Get the MOST Results From Your Direct Mail3D Get Direct Mail Crossword

By Julie Escobar

For more than twenty years the folks at ProspectsPLUS! has been producing the kind of direct mail, and direct response mail tools that have helped agents grow their businesses — without breaking the bank.  Throughout all this time, it’s safe to assume, we’ve LEARNED a few things along the way! While we work hard to ensure that all the direct response postcards, flyers, listing domination tools, and brochures that we produce have all the elements we are about to explore below, many agents still love to create their own marketing pieces, and we totally support them in that effort with our Upload Your Own functionality.  So for all of you who are feeling creative and putting together marketing materials to reach your sphere and farm – here are 10 direct mail BEST practices to keep in mind.

This checklist is designed to quickly guide you through the process of creating a highly responsive marketing tool based on 10 Critical Best Practices of Direct Mail Marketing shared by the Direct Marketing Association. Let’s take a look…

1.  Headline: What are the three main benefits the customer will experience if they buy your product or service? Remember a benefit is what’s important or what’s in it for the customer.

2.  Who Are You: Tell the prospect the reason(s) why they should be interested in your product or service (Why should they read the postcard?)

3.  Why Should The Prospect Believe You: What type of credibility or experience do you have with the product or service? (Number of years, number of sales, largest, biggest, most experience, etc.)

4.  Competitive Advantages: What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? How are you different from your competitors? We call them differentiators.

5.  References or Testimonials: The more external social proof you have, the more credible you become.

6.  Big Promise: What irresistible claims can you make about your product or service? Example: “Your friends will swear you installed a new lawn after we fertilize it.”

7.  Create Drama: “Before and After” Pictures, or pictures of you and your happy clients. Remember response is based on emotion. What happy feelings will they feel after they bought your product or service?

8.  Guarantees: In today’s consumer world, nothing is worse than empty promises. What promises and/or iron clad guarantees can you make? Money Back? …Or it’s FREE? You only pay if you’re pleased? Make is strong!

9.  Offers: These should be simply irresistible. High value to the prospect and if possible low cost to you. FREE always grabs the highest response. A card without an offer is simply an information piece.

10:  Deadline: In most cases, if you don’t have a deadline or expiration, your offer is not complete. The customer will delay response because a sense of urgency of “Fear of Loss” is not present. What is your deadline?

We hope these guidelines help to give you the results you are looking for from your marketing. Remember we are here if you need us when you’re ready to reach out to your sphere and farm.  Call us at 866.405.3638 today! 

How a Professional Designer and Top Real Estate Agent Joined Forces for Successjennifer manley

By Julie Escobar

It’s always wonderful to hear different perspectives from folks who are thinking outside the box out there in their businesses and finding new ways to not only do more business, but do it effectively, affordably, and sharing the heavy lifting. Such is the case for Denton County, Texas Interior Decorator Jennifer Manley.  Recently, I caught up with Jennifer to learn more about this how they are forging new relationships, and new business opportunities in their market together!

Here’s what we learned…

Q:  What a pleasure speaking with you Jennifer!  Before we get started, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

A:  I purchased my franchise in August 2011, so we’ve  just celebrated our 3rd birthday! I have a bachelor of fine arts degree and was a photographer for over 12 years. I decided it was my time to have my own company and do what I love. The Manley Design Team is now in the top ten percent of our company for 2014! We are so excited to be a part of such an elite group of decorators. Decorating Den Interiors is an amazing franchise and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support. On a personal note my husband and I have been married for 9 1/2 years. We have a 4 year old son and one more on the way. Our family is expanding as fast as my business and I’m so fortunate to have their encouragement daily.

Q:  That’s awesome.  I love your outside-the-box approach to business — can you tell us what first attracted you to the Dominator System?

A:  I will be honest, when I was approached to be a part of the test market for the Dominator I thought they were crazy. I thought they had blown up the original piece to emphasize the graphics. Then I realized it was actual size and it was obnoxious! After the introductory call I realized how valuable this piece was going to be to my marketing plan and bottom line.   Our Dominator beats any other piece in this category. The glossy paper, the eye catching layout, the beautiful photography all sets me apart from every other marketing piece prospects receive. And the price per piece and turnkey ordering system make the Dominator the easiest marketing that I do.

Q:  You work with a REALTOR as a marketing partner – can you tell us about that experience — how you found her and how she’s using the Dominator to market her business as well?

A:  I partner with a Keller Williams agent I met in a networking group. She is among the top Realtors in her region and it’s seemed natural that we partner up. She also works in the same area and has the same demographics (home value, dual income, etc.) as I do. Her team creates a different ad each month to coincide with her other promotions.

Q:  It seems as though the Decorator-Agent partnership is just smart business.  It helps the agent set the stage for making a home as salable as possible, and sets the decorator up as the staging expert to work with as well.  And the homeowner gets their home sold for the most money with the least hassle!  What a win-win-win.  How has it been working as a team?

A: It has been working well. I’ve partnered with an agent that has the same business philosophy as I do. So I know when I refer her to my clients they are in good hands and vice-versa. When she sends me a referral she sends as many details as possible for how she thinks her client should present their home. I never want to contradict what she has told them, however I want to meet their needs within their budget. Sometimes when it comes to staging it’s easier on the client to have someone in their corner to play “bad cop”. I do that with a tender touch. A home I decorated for one of my clients listed their home with my REALTOR and it sold in two days — before it was listed on MLS. Beautifully decorated homes will go fast and for top dollar.

Q:  You mentioned to me that you changed carrier routes after your initial order — what advice would you give others who are just in the process of choosing theirs?

A:  Find an area where you have layered with other marketing strategies — i.e. magazine ads, sponsorships, have visibility because of your vehicle with your business logo.  Find an area you are willing to drive. We changed our original routes because we determined it was too far away.

Q:  Any words of wisdom you can share with others who’d like to adopt this savvy salesmanship idea?

A:  Find a partner that carries the same business values as you do. It will make referring them much easier. Show the Dominator to your potential partner, it speaks for itself. Know your demographic and go into the meeting with your potential partner with the proposed carrier routes, costs and timing. Set up a reminder each month in your calendar or email to send your partner an email with deadlines for ad revisions. Lastly, I did not put my partners in my contract to participate in my Dominator program. If they chose to not participate I can add a newsletter article about my business or find a new partner. I always have someone waiting in the wings.

Q:  If our readers would like to connect with you – what’s the best website or social media address for them to do just that?

 A:  Sure — www.jmanley.decoratingden.com or www.facebook.com/decdenjmanley.

Great insights Jennifer.  Learn more about how the Market Dominator System is helping professionals set the stage for success in today’s market.  Need help? Contact our team at 866.405.3638 today!

Change Paves the WayChanges ahead

By Julie Escobar

As more and more agents get on board with putting the systems in place they need to CONSISTENTLY connect with the folks in their geographic farm, I sat down with Todd Robertson, who is in the field teaching agents the tools they need to succeed every day.  He shared what’s new with the Market Dominator System and why change is paving the way for powerful opportunities for agents eager to develop a 20% market share in a specific area.

Q:  Todd, a lot of agents are doing things right in this market and that’s great.  But most are just not doing those things consistently. Can you talk about the importance of consistency in staying top of mind?

A:  Yes, most agents know they need to saturate an area and that marketing is a key component to success.  But often times it’s not fun, or sexy — and unless immediate results set in, most agents fade away.  That can be GREAT news for you however.  Because it’s the exact reason why it is easier than ever before for a REALTOR to effectively separate themselves from the competition.   Meaning, once an agent puts in place a one, two or even three year marketing campaign in a concentrated geographical area in place they can:

  • Brand themselves as a local celebrity of sorts – THE turn-to agent in an area
  • Work SMARTER: Agents with systems don’t have to work has hard as those whose primary focus is chasing new business
  • Make way more money

Q:  You’ve made some changes to the Dominator System– tell us about them and why agents Real Estate Market Dominatorare liking them?

A:  Yes, in terms of changes to the Market Dominator it has been incredible for both the agent and the homeowner (the agent’s future listing).  For the Realtor, we have made it much easier for them to get out their monthly edition.  On the front is a new article each month, powerful info-graphics with the kind of content that consumers are hungry for in today’s market.  We’ve also added additional agent branding formatting, and as always call-to-action direct response offers throughout that help get the phones ringing.  On the back, we’ve included more plug-and-play articles, direct response offers, and powerful content. Now, the agent doesn’t have to change a thing if they don’t choose to.  It’s all done for them. For that 10% of agents that do want to add their touch, there are panels that are simple to make those adjustments in a matter of minutes such as a panel for current listings, and one for local market statistics.

The homeowners love it because it is visually very appealing, has great, relevant, timely content that answers some of the top questions in consumers’ minds today.  It’s non-threatening, non-aggressive way.  It’s designed to position you as the area expert, keep your name top-of-mind, and connect with the information people want and need in a consistent, branded manner.

Q:  What do you think agents are looking for in today’s marketing? 

A:  What agents are looking for in today’s marketing is a marketing piece that is 90% automated.  They are busy, and focused – so they want most of it done for them.  Yet most want the ability to make a change, add their own details if they choose to.  They also want something that’s affordable enough to stay with it month-after-month.   With the Market Dominator we are actually able to give the Realtor the biggest most impressive marketing piece in the industry, with the best possible return on investment.  Most recently we have acquired a National Marketing Partner who has committed to help 50 agents reduce their marketing costs.  Their commitment is 1/3 of the total cost of the program, for the privilege of sharing 1/3 of the back of the marketing piece.

Q:  That’s awesome.  Todd, if you had to give your best advice to an agent eager to build market share in a specific area what would it be?

A:  That’s an easy one!  In the past “farming” to become the branded agent in an area was challenging. There really was really no easy way to get out a monthly mailer consistently without a lot of time, money, and energy spent.   Today, we can help agents automate the process.   By utilizing Every Door Direct from the United States Post Service and a national marketing partner it becomes a win-win-win.   The one missing ingredient however is the duration of the campaign.  I would say whatever the agent does, make it a two year campaign.   Imagine a Realtor has an impressive two year marketing plan in place.  In addition, he or she hosts aggressive open houses in that area, puts a just Listed/Just Sold program in place, and stays focused on the three things that are closest to their bottom line results: prospecting, presenting, and closing.  That’s powerful.  And it’s the track that will help them earn a 10% market share the first year and at least a 20% market share the second year. WITHOUT chasing new business.  That’s the goal.  Our goal?  Is for every salesperson we work with to have more fun in their career because they are using systems that make it simple to drive business – AND help them keep balance.

Thanks Todd!  For those of you interested in learning more about the Market Dominator System, head over to www.DabbleorDominate.com to see why this program is fueling momentum across the country. 

As always, happy listing.  If you need us, we’re here to help.  Call our marketing team at 8/66.405.3638. 

Why Consumer Information Can Be Key in Direct Response Marketing

By Julie Escobar

Do you know one of the biggest reasons why so many real estate agents LEFT the business when
the going got tough?  And what was a key component in helping those that stayed in succeed, even thrive?  A database.  A strong, reliable, well-nurtured, up-to-date database.

The best ones start with a solid sphere of influence, and grow exponentially over years in the soi calculatorbusiness.  Adding niche markets, new geographic farms and new customers.  And what do the agents get in return?  A referral base they can count on without having to constantly chase new business.

Start with your sphere.  (Those people who know you, like you, and would trust you to do business with them.) And build from there.  If you don’t already have your sphere of influence or book of business in a solid database – don’t waste another month putting that together.  (There are plenty of college kids who could use the extra money inputting data for you this summer!)  Top agents tell us that 66% of their business comes from their sphere.  And that one in every twelve result in a transaction per year.

We can help you calculate how many people should be in your sphere to realize your goals – and help you identify top 150 people who should be in your sphere right now.  Click here to calculate your SOI.

Next add a geographic farm and a niche.  We can help you with that data as well.  Continue marketing to those folks until you connect and build a relationship with them as well.  Click here to see data options.

Then continue to grow your book of business – and your bottom line by taking care of the 20 Year Value of a Real Estate Customerfoundation of your business – your database of clients and customers.  Create touch points every 28-45 days using a multi-media method.  Send postcards or powerful newsletters for an easy touch once a month. Add email, face-to-face events, phone calls, and neighborhood canvassing.  And stick with it! Remember – most agents quit after the SECOND try, most transactions happen after the FIFTH.

As an organization that has developed top-of-the-line marketing tools for real estate agents for more than 20 years, we know the true value of a customer for all of our customers.  That’s why in terms of products, services and data—we leave nothing to chance.

And that’s why we’ve done the research – and we deliver the very best data resources — Experian® — for those agents eager to market to:

Renters – including high-income renters who are candidates for home ownership. On our site, we use Experian® data to make it possible for agents to search by data selects such as renter, and income level.

Move-Up Market:  Not only can you select confirmed home owners, but you also can define your target market more specifically by considering a real estate lead’s estimated available equity or property characteristics such as year built and presence of a swimming pool.

• Potential Downsizing or Second Home Market:  One real estate trend is Baby boomers who are downsizing or investing in second homes right now. To target baby boomers, you can use the year of birth demographic selection available in our consumer database to narrow your pool of real estate leads to those born between 1946 and 1964.

• Potential Investors:  Targeting high-income earners as investors.

• Generational Niche Markets:  Target specific generational niches such as:generations

  • Silent Generation (1925-1945)
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
  • Generation  X (1964-1976)
  • Generation Y (1976-2000)

How does Experian® get their data?  They are an original source compiler, which means they collect data directly from more than 3,500 original public and proprietary sources, including:

  • White pages
  • Census data
  • State and local public records
  • Product registrations and surveys (self-reported)
  • Property/Realty records such as property deeds
  • Mail-order transactions
  • Other proprietary sources

The data we receive is then tested and validated. It is cleansed and combined using Experian’s proprietary logic to create the most accurate and comprehensive repository of consumer marketing information available. This process sets them apart from other data suppliers who typically rely on secondary data sources. Since they acquire data directly from the original source, they have in-depth knowledge of the data.

So every time you choose to use our list service, whether you are choosing from data selects such as income and age, or even geographic – to market around current listings, know that you are getting the very best data on the market.  And those lists are yours to keep.  We tell our customers to add them to their marketing list and stay in touch, at least once every 28-45 days (a Direct Marketing Association recommendation).  Before long you’ll have taken those contacts from being a potential lead – to a contact that has come to know you as the brand name to call in real estate.

Need help understanding data and lists?  Call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638.  Good luck and happy listing!

 Google

Three Strategies for Summer…Mailbox and mail

by Julie Escobar

I know, I know – it’s all about EMAIL right?  Or social media.  Or networking.  Or all of the above which are must-have items in your toolkit for sales success.  Never discount, however ,the power of direct mail!

Did you know that according to a national survey, direct mail postcards are read by over 75% of recipients and they’re kept for weeks as opposed to the life of an email message which lasts a second on average?  With that in mind – it just makes GOOD SENSE to layer your marketing.

But not just ANY old direct mail.  Think Direct Response mail.  Done consistently.  To a targeted audience.  With track-able results.  For top of mind branding.  Oh yeah – now you get the picture.

Strategy one:  Direct response.  Is your postcard  asking your prospects a question?  Are you time and optionsraising their awareness?  Are you giving them a reason and means to contact you?  Are you just staying in touch or do you need them to take action?  I love the pretty pictures – I do!  I also love when a postcard speaks to the heart of what your targeted audience is thinking and feeling such as the one from our Fence Sitter SeriesStill on the Fence?  Or the one from our expired series that asks, “Are you running out of time and options?”  

Sent to the right audience and send up a resounding, “Heck Yes!”

It’s a great way to match your message to your marketing audience.  Keep this little tidbit in mind:  According to the Direct Marketing Association 79% of consumers read their mail daily.  Another stat shows that since 2004 direct mail response rates have risen by 14% – (email response rates are down 57% in that same time frame.)

Don’t miss that.  Even holiday postcards can effectively raise awareness and include a message to not only have a great holiday but to call you should they need you.   A just listed card too – is not just a just listed card.  It’s an invitation to see a new listing, to get a list of other homes like it, answer questions or evaluate another potential seller’s ability to sell their home.

Strategy two:  Consistency.  Again and again and again.  That’s how often you need to “show up” in their mailbox, on their radar and in the lives of your prospects and customer base.  Our market is too competitive and life is too short for one-shot wonders.  Plus – it’s just too darned expensive to just waste time, effort and of course, marketing dollars on a one-hit mailing.  They don’t work.  Never have, never will.  And in today’s world – people want to see that you’ve got that stick-to-it-tive-ness before they want to work with you.  If you give up easily on your marketing – what message does that send to your customer base?  Success comes to those who show up not once but over and over again. With the right message, the right attitude and the right promise of service.  Show them you’ve got what it takes.

Strategy three:  Take care of your list.  Your mailing list is not just “a list.”  It’s not just a spreadsheet of names and addresses.  It represents the lifeblood of your business.  It hosts the people that, if cared for, if catered to, if serviced right, if stayed in touch with, if impacted – will take care of you for the entirety of your career.  In fact, studies show that one in twelve will result in a transaction per year of you consistently and effectively stay in touch.  That said- how many do you want on your list and how committed are you to taking care of them like the  VIPs that they are?

Find a database you’re comfortable with and don’t stop with names, addresses and phone numbers.  Fill in the gaps.  Who is their spouse? What are their kids’ names?  What do they do?  What do they like?  When did they purchase/sell with you last?  What referrals have they sent?  What common interests do you have?  It’s not easy at first – but once you’ve formed the good habit of contacting your list at least three times a year (not all at once, of course!) you’ll start to be able to feed the details into your database.

Don’t lose those lists you get when you purchase a just listed postcard either!  Every time you send a postcard out with us and choose to do a radial or neighborhood search, that list is yours to keep so that you can continue to build your book of business.  Add them to your list and start building a relationship with them as well.  For more ideas of who should be in your sphere of influence – download our free BusinessBASE – and check out the 150 Questions to Help You Build Your Business Relationships.  It’s a great ‘refresher’ course for remembering all the people you SHOULD be building relationships with!

So as you’re racing into the second half of the year and tweaking (and tweeting about) your business and marketing plans that will have you crushing it long before December rolls around – add direct mail to your repertoire and start reaching and converting those prospects into customers today!

Oh – and if you need a few EXTRA ideas about how to capture the attention of the potential clients in YOUR market – hit up our free reports section of our site and download all the great consumer reports we’ve got for you to download – no cost – no obligation!   Find them all here:  Free Reports

And if you’re looking to see what’s new – what’s cooking and what other agents are using to drive traffic to their sites, their social media and – oh yeah – their phones – bookmark our Specials page to see this month’s offer and get our latest and greatest promo codes to save some summer dollars!

Need help?  Call our marketing department at 866.405.3638 today!  They can help you decide what pieces are right for you, building a good farm list, scheduling a campaign and more! Happy Summer! Google