So Many Updates, We Had to Tell You About it

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Xpressdocs has so many platform updates coming soon, we had to tell you about it! We are excited to launch these updates that will not only improve your user experience, but also give you more flexibility with your orders. Click on a link below to get more detail about each update.

Shopping Cart

In addition to checking out with multiple items at the same time, we also now offer split billing and payment options. Order your business cards, flyers and direct mail campaigns with the flexibility to use multiple credit cards.

Features/Benefits:
  • Checkout Multiple Orders at a Time
  • Minimize Checkout Time
  • Enhanced Split Payment/Billing Options
Platform Updates:
  1. Shopping Cart Button – Located at the top of your navigation bar, this button allows you to access your shopping cart from any webpage. It also shows how many items you have currently in your shopping cart by displaying the number in parenthesis.
  2. Checkout Page with Multiple Line Items– Once you have completed all of your orders, you will come to the checkout page. On this page, each order will appear as a single line item ready to purchase. To edit individual line items, simply click on the edit icon. To view more details about your order, click on the Order Details tab.
  3. Future Date Fulfillment Scheduling – This feature of the platform is located on the Order Options page within the ordering process. Simply select a future date on the calendar for when you want to process your order. (see Future Date Scheduling for more detail)
  4. Enhanced Billing & Payment Options – Xpressdocs makes it easier than ever to apply multiple payment options to your order. Choose from co-pays, billing accounts, store credits, vouchers and more!
  5. Multiple Credit Card Payments – On the Checkout Page you have the option to apply multiple credit cards payments in different amounts to pay for your orders.
  6. Continue Shopping Button – On the Checkout Page you now have the option to continue shopping. Simply click on the “Continue Shopping” button and your shopping cart will be saved.
  7. Checkout Complete Page with Printed Cart Receipt – After you have completed checkout you will arrived at your Checkout Complete page. From here you have the option to print a receipt of your shopping cart. Simply click on the “View Print Version” button at the top of the page.
  8. Pending Orders Page – Your Pending Orders page features a shopping cart icon when your order has been assigned to a shopping cart. You will find this icon under the “In Cart” column.
  9. Order History Page – The orders on your Order History page are now organized by shopping cart with a Cart ID.
  10. Xpresslinks E-Postcard Sharing – Did you know you can share your postcards and flyers online and with your social network? Xpressdocs added a large Xpresslinks button to your Checkout Complete page for every order/line item. Just click on the “Share Your Campaign with Your Social Network” link to get started.
  11. Updated User Experience – You should also notice that with our shopping cart updates we have refreshed the platform design. Xpressdocs will continue to make these updates throughout the platform in the future.

Future Date Fulfillment Scheduling

Xpressdocs starts processing the fulfillment of your order the same-day you place it. This platform feature allows you to schedule the fulfillment of your order for a future date. Now you have the flexibility to order your business cards to ship now, send out a direct mail campaign in a month and ship flyers next week.

Features/Benefits:
  • Order Now for Delivery Later
  • Set-Up Strategic Ship or Mail Dates
  • Increases Order Flexibility
How it Works:
  1. After selecting the delivery method for your order during the order process you will come to the Order Options page. From the Order Options page, there is an option to Schedule Future Fulfillment Date. Simply click on the calendar icon and select a future date from the date picker for when you want your order to be fulfilled and processed. Keep in mind that fulfillment does not include shipping or mailing time.
  2. You can change your fulfillment date up to 2 business day before it gets processed from the Order History page. Click on fulfillment date under the Delivery Status column for the order you wish to update. This will bring you to your Scheduled Orders page. From here you can click on the calendar icon to open the date picker and select a new fulfillment date.

 

APM (Automated Property Marketing) Platform Updates

Xpressdocs has updated the platform user experience for our Automated Property Marketing program. Now you can easily navigate to your APM properties and APM profile all within a consolidated APM landing page.

Platform Updates:
  • APM Landing Page – Click on the APM tab from the Home page and you will access your APM landing page. This page features an overview of the APM program and enables you to easily navigate to your APM Properties page or your APM Profile page from the tabs at the top of the page.
  • APM Properties Page – From the APM landing page, select the APM Properties tab at the top of the page. This page features a table of all your APM properties/new listings and their details. Simply click on the “Place/Edit” link next to your new listing to start a new APM order.
  • APM Profile Page – You can update your default APM profile at any time by clicking on the APM Profile tab at the top of the APM landing page. From here you can make changes to your default APM template, radius list, contact information and more.

Enhanced Image Editor

Xpressdocs Image Editor has gotten a makeover! Now it is easier than ever to crop and edit your images to fit perfectly within your marketing templates. The editor will still have its basic editing functions such as crop, rotate, grayscale and crop to template, but now they are easier to use.

Features:
  • Crop – To apply a basic crop to your image, start by clicking on the Crop icon. Then simply move and re-size the red crop box to the desired crop area on your image and click the “Apply Crop” button. If you are pleased, click the “Save and Continue” button and your cropped image will drop into your photo gallery.
  • Crop to Template – With the “Crop to Template” option you have the ability to crop your images to fit within the photo areas of your chosen template. Start by clicking the “Crop” icon, then select “Crop to Template”. This will load your template into the Image Editor. Select Side A or Side B to choose which side of your template and photo area you would like to adjust your image to fit. Once selected, start by re-sizing the red crop-box to match the photo area you would like to replace within the template. Next move around and re-size your uploaded image by clicking and dragging it until it best fits within the red crop-box area. Then click the “Apply Crop” button. If you are pleased, click the “Save and Continue” button and your cropped image will drop into your photo gallery.
  • Transparency – This tool is used in conjunction with the “Crop to Template” tool. You can toggle the transparency of your uploaded image on and off to more easily re-size and find your desired crop location on the template.
  • Rotate – Use this icon to rotate your image.
  • Grayscale – Use the Grayscale icon to convert your image to black and white, this will take away the color.
  • Undo – Click the Undo button to delete your last actions
  • Reset- Click the Reset button to delete all changes and return your image to its original state.

Updated Left-Hand Navigation

Xpressdocs has updated the left-hand navigation under the Print and Direct Mail tab on your platform. The new navigation allows for dropdown categories, making it easier to find your desired print and direct mail templates.

To find out more about our online and print marketing tools or to help with your personal marketing strategy, visit http://www.xpressdocs.com. Be sure to join our Facebook Community and follow us on Twitter for real estate marketing tips.

5 Ideas for Marketing Your Real Estate Business at the Holidays

Many real estate agents take a break from marketing during the end-of-year holidays. Business is slow. There are so many activities outside of work to keep you busy. And there’s all that holiday shopping, cooking and preparation to do.

5-ideas-for-marketing-your-real-estate-business-at-the-holidaysBut make no mistake: Home buyers are out there; sellers, too. In fact, this is the time of year when the people who are active in the marketplace are serious about doing a deal. So if you aren’t marketing your services at this time of year, you’re missing out on sales – quick sales with motivated clients.

Sending marketing and public relations materials at holiday time is also a great way to sow the seeds for next year’s success: Make a name for yourself now, and people will think of you first when they (or their friends) need an agent for the spring selling season.

Hold a photo contest

Want to get your Facebook, Twitter and other social media followers excited (and talking about your business)? Hold an online contest for the local home with the best holiday decorations: people can submit their own photos of decorated homes and/or vote for their favorite.

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Five Reasons Why That Reporter Isn’t Calling You Back

You’ve sent press releases and made follow-up phone calls, but your ideas for featuring your company in news articles aren’t getting any attention. Sound familiar? Included below are the most likely reasons:

You’re targeting the wrong reporter

Reporters typically work “beats” – which means each of them covers a specific type of news issue. If you’re targeting the wrong reporter, chances are very slim that person will forward your idea to the right reporter. Sending your story idea to an editor or the general “news tips” email account means it will have to clear a number of gatekeepers before reaching the right reporter.

five-reasons-why-that-reporter-isn't-calling-you-backYou could call the front office and ask which reporter covers your issue. Or, sometimes the information is listed on the news outlet’s website. But, even then, the details can be vague.

By far your best option is to monitor the publication/broadcast and see for yourself which reporter tends to cover issues/businesses like yours.

 

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Learn from the Best: Tips from the Top Marketing Gurus

College marketing professors spend their days researching which promotional techniques and strategies work, and which don’t. They’re unbiased sources of information with a deep understanding of what drives sales, referrals and bottom-line profits. So we searched out some of the collegiate world’s most respected marketing experts and gathered their best advice below:

tips-from-top-marketing-gurusTip #1 – from Philip Kotler (Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management):

Stop soliciting everyone and anyone and instead identify a specific category of clients you want to acquire. Figure out what that target audience really wants, then build a reputation for doing that better than anyone else. Write articles, give speeches and send marketing materials that all position you as the best of the best in those key areas.

Tip #2 – from Jeffrey Pfeffer (Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford):

Too often, sales people view networking as something uncomfortable and inauthentic; a marketing effort cloaked in personal friendship. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Before trying to network with someone, use social media to learn as much as you can about them. Once you find something(s) you both have in common, it will be far easier to strike up an honest, heartfelt conversation that could lead to a long-lasting and productive working relationship for the both of you.

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How to Become a Faster, Better Writer

Even if you don’t think you have much writing talent, you can always become a better writer. And even the best writers can always learn to write faster. Included below is a process that will improve anyone’s writing skills.

Give the subject some thought

Many people think a good writer can simply sit down and start typing out scintillating sentences. Not true. And if you try to do the same, you’ll most likely end up with a nasty case of writer’s block (nothing to say).

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-writer-image12726801Instead, let the subject matter knock around in your head a bit. A day or two is good. Consider different ways to present the content. Focus your thoughts. Think about real-life examples. Read what others have written about the same subject.

Consider your audience

Think carefully about who’s going to be reading what you write. How much do they already know about the subject? Do they have some preconceived notions that you need to address head-on? What’s the one learning you really want them to take away? Are they naturally interested in the subject, or will you have to draw the reader in with a hook in the first sentence? How much time will they be willing to spend reading what you write?

Try to picture someone you know who personifies the reader you really want to influence. Then write with that person in mind. It’s okay if some readers aren’t going to relate to what you write. If the writing is going to be good, you need to single out those you want to really engage.

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Fall Seasonal Marketing Ideas from Xpressdocs

Have you decided on your marketing plan for the fall season? Xpressdocs seasonal marketing is a great way to connect with customers and clients because it applies to everyone in your sphere and can be done year-round. To see the full collection, log in to your Xpressdocs account and click on the Seasonal tab.

Cozy up to fall with these marketing ideas:

fallcollagepostcardpic1. Fall Postcards – Celebrate the fall season by sending your customers a postcard from our cozy fall collection. And with so many beautiful designs to choose from, our fall themed postcards are sure to catch the eye of your clients and customers.

2. Fall Back Postcards November 2nd is Daylight Savings Time. Now is the time to send out a thoughtful reminder to your current and prospective clients to turn their clocks back. Your customers will not only appreciate it, but they will think of you next time they need a service like yours.

3. 2015 Magnet and Wall Calendars – Calendars are a great way to stay up front with your customers for a full year! Choose from a mail able strip magnet postcard or a hanging wall calendar. And we have lots of beautiful designs to choose from!

4. Halloween Postcards – Did you know that we design cards for Halloween? These are a fun and different way to connect with your sphere and are sure to delight your customers.

5. Thanksgiving Day Postcards –We know you love the Thanksgiving holiday as much as we do. Say thank you to your customers on a holiday that is all about giving thanks for the good things in life.

To find out more about our online and print marketing tools or to help with your personal marketing strategy, visit http://www.xpressdocs.com. Be sure to join our Facebook Community and follow us on Twitter for real estate marketing tips.

300 Million Potential Referral Resources Are Waiting to Meet You on LinkedIn

Facebook and Twitter are great tools for engaging your clients, past clients and potential clients online. But when it comes to finding referral resources and gaining their trust, that’s where LinkedIn excels. In fact, with 300 million people currently using the service, you could spend years getting to know them all.

If you haven’t already, open a LinkedIn account today (it’s free).

If you already have an account, but you’re struggling to grow your network of connections, try these tips:

How-to-get-referal-sources-on-linkedinSign up for the premium version

LinkedIn is a free service. But if you pay for the premium version (it’s cheaper than you might think), you’ll gain access to the functions and features that make this a truly powerful networking tool.

Use the Find Friends feature

If you’re new to LinkedIn, the first thing you’ll want to do is click the Find Friends button in the upper right corner of the LinkedIn screen to search for old clients, friends and coworkers, current clients, friends, family members and coworkers, and accept the invitations of other LinkedIn users.

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How to Get More Attention, Be More Interesting and Close More Sales (with Your Marketing Emails)

Xpessdocs makes it super simple – and cheap – to promote your business and real estate services via email. But it’s up to you to make the content of those marketing emails interesting for your target audience.

Someone searching for a house to buy today can easily find hundreds of listings online with just a few clicks of their computer mouse. Neighborhood information, school-rankings, agent reviews, mortgage rates and buying tips are just a few more clicks away. So if you want those folks to read your marketing emails, you’ve got to provide them with something they can’t easily find elsewhere, in an engaging format.

To make your emails must-read marketing, you should …

Get the reader’s attention right away

better-marketing-emailsThe best way to grab your reader’s attention is to state a question, a fact, or a truly compelling benefit right off the bat. Imagine how much more interesting your marketing email would be if it started with a sentence like, “Prices for new homes are down 16% from last year!” or “Are you wondering when’s the best time to sell?” or “My client didn’t think there was any way she could sell her home for a whopping $600,000. I proved her wrong.”

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Turn Your Car or Truck into a Moving Billboard (Without Embarrassing the Family)

There’s a reason why semi-trucks, city buses, delivery vans, work trucks and even some passenger cars are covered with advertising: Moving vehicles make good billboards.

But what if your work vehicle is also your family car? How can you leverage your vehicle’s advertising capability without your children – and spouse – needing massive-embarrassment therapy?

smart-car-signageMagnetic door signs are passé

The magnetic door signs people slapped on their cars in the 1980s and 1990s are old-school. While the easy-on/easy-off nature of the signs was supposed to make it simple to switch between your work and personal lives, few people ever took them off. Then they became popular with construction contractors and lawn-mowing services. Once every beat-up work truck in the city was sporting a pair, magnetic door signs eventually came to symbolize the fly-by-night operator.

Use vinyl lettering instead

It used to be that custom, vinyl-lettered vehicle advertising was only an option for big companies. It was too expensive for independent real estate agents. But as the technology took off, the prices came down. Today, you can transform the rear window of your vehicle into a vinyl-lettered ad for about $50.

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Why Some People Are Ignoring Your Marketing Emails

When you send a marketing email, do you assume most of the people who receive it will open it? Big mistake.

Most novice marketers don’t realize it, but you need to entice recipients into opening a marketing email. Most newbies mistakenly focus all their energy on the words and photos in the text of the email but pay little attention to one of the real keys to success: the subject line.

How-to-improve-your-emailsIf you want to experience more of what email marketing experts call “opens,” you have to be creative (and smart) with your email subject lines.

Make them interesting

Think of your subject line as an advertising headline. It’s got to grab the recipient’s attention and make that person want to open and read the email. Examples include:

  • How to sell your house when no one is buying.
  • An 8-week plan to finding your dream home.

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