Get Creative: Design Tips for Custom Marketing Postcards

Most agents love how simple it is to launch a prospecting effort with Xpressdocs’ pre-designed marketing postcards. But did you realize there are blank templates you can design yourself?

For those who want to let their creative side shine, here are some tips from the Xpressdocs design team:

designInvest in a quality SLR camera – Photos taken with a phone or a point-and-shoot camera almost always lack the richness and detail necessary for a printed marketing document. A quality digital single-lens-reflex camera will allow you to adjust for low-light situations (especially when shooting indoors), take wider-angle shots, generate high-resolution results, manipulate your photos in post-production, plus much more.

Make sure your image is 300 dpi – Any image you include on a postcard (a photo, a logo, a graphic) should have a resolution of 300 dpi. Lower-resolution images (typically 72 to 96 dpi) are fine for viewing on a digital device. But for a printed postcard, the quality needs to be much higher.

Get inspired – The best (and easiest) way to develop ideas for a custom design layout is to study other great layouts. Click through the Xpressdocs postcard designs and make note of the elements you find particularly attractive (layout, design, colors, images, fonts, etc.), then combine, rearrange and replicate those ideas to develop something totally unique.

Leverage the power of color – According to Pantone, the world-renowned authority on all things color, every shade has a direct impact on a person’s emotions and psyche:

  • Red: Sexy, passionate, provocative, exciting and dynamic.
  • Hot pink: Shares the same high energy and spirit of red, but it’s more energetic and youthful.
  • Orange: Generally preferred by extroverted personalities, it’s perceived as playful, gregarious happy and childlike.
  • Yellow: Cheerful, mellow and soft to the touch.
  • Brown: Rooted, secure, down-to-earth and durable.
  • Blue: Reliable, trustworthy, dependable and committed.
  • Green: Refreshing and fresh.
  • Purple: Sensual and spiritual; artistic and unique; with a futuristic quality that speaks well for new concepts and technologies.
  • Neutral tones such as beige, gray and taupe: Solid, dependable and classic.
  • White: Perceived by the human eye as a brilliant color, and most often used as an eye-catching contrast color, white communicates clarity and cleanliness.
  • Black: Powerful, dramatic, elegant, expensive and strong.

Be consistent with your brand colors – Using color to establish a personal brand is relatively easy: Choose a combination of colors that defines your business’ attitude (and makes it stand out from competitors), then use that palette consistently on all your marketing pieces, everything from sidewalk signs to marketing postcards. The key is to be consistent. Trouble starts when you get tired of seeing those colors over and over, and you start mixing in new colors – which voids all the brand recognition work you’ve done to that point.

Consider using a professional – Designing marketing materials is a lot of fun, but creating something that looks truly professional is a lot harder than most people realize. So if your best try doesn’t produce the result you want, hire a freelance graphic artist to help.

How to Make a Name for Yourself in Company Meetings

Company meetings are a great place to boost your image and impress the boss. Yet many professionals today totally overlook these opportunities. Consider using one or two of the following tips at your next conference-room gathering.

Leave your phone at your desk

acing-the-presentationIt’s annoying to whoever is speaking when the other meeting participants are distracted by their phones. Be the only person who comes without their phone, and the personal connections you make by simply staring the speaker in the eyes will pay off big down the road. The best way to make deeper, more rewarding personal connections at work is to make those around you feel heard, understood and respected.

Be positive

When the boss uses a meeting to introduce a new program or a big change, most people at the table will immediately start thinking about the negatively impacts. It’s human nature. To set yourself apart (especially in the boss’s eyes), react positively – but without making any commitments you can’t keep. Say something like, “I’m intrigued by this. I’m going to gather my team first thing tomorrow morning and start brainstorming implementation plans.”

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No Fear: Seven Tips for Those Who Hate Public Speaking

Countless books have been written about how to make an audience sit up and take notice when you give a business presentation. But what about the people who become so nervous and anxious that they have trouble simply speaking and thinking clearly in front of a group? For those folks, we offer the following tips:

Consult with a professional

nofearpublicspeakingJust about everyone gets nervous before speaking in public. But if your nervousness is debilitating, the root cause is most likely something from your childhood: other kids laughed when you spoke in front of the class; an adult criticized your speaking; you watched a friend get humiliated in public. These are deep-rooted traumas that only a professional therapist (or hypnotist) can help you overcome. Make this the year that you finally put those childhood memories where they belong: in the forgotten past.

Start small to gain confidence

You can’t simply tell yourself to be confident. Rather, you need to gain confidence by actually experiencing some public-speaking successes.

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Clinton Counting on Marketing Postcards for Election Win

It’s true: Hillary Clinton’s presidential political campaign will almost certainly be relying heavily on marketing postcards and other direct mail to communicate her stands on important issues, drum up financial contributions, criticize opponents, encourage voting and more. Her last presidential run did. All political campaigns do – because direct mail is inexpensive, and it has a long history of being able to influence human behavior.

But that’s not really what this article is about.

The headline and first paragraph of this article are simply examples of a marketing technique called “Newsjacking.” In short, to illustrate how effective postcard marketing can be, we linked it to a trending topic in the news: Hillary Clinton’s latest presidential run. You can use the same technique to promote your business.

(And just to be clear: We’re completely impartial; we take no sides in this or any other political race.)

How to get started

newsjacking-how-to-do-itJust pick a topic (it doesn’t need to be political) that’s getting a lot of attention (news stories, social media comments, etc.) then think of a connection to your world of real estate sales.

Once you’ve discovered a connection, create a blog post discussing it, dash off a tweet mentioning it, launch a postcard campaign featuring it, send out a marketing email focused on it. Among marketing experts, Newsjacking is most often mentioned in relation to blogging, but the technique can easily be applied to most any form of advertising / marketing you use.

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Part 2: Eight Ways to Turn Sales Leads into Valued Clients

In a blog post last month, we shared four things you can do to make a prospective home buyer – or seller – want to hire you as their real estate agent. This month, we’re back with four more:

Use CRM software

“Customer relationship management” software helps you manage all your sales leads more effectively. Wildly popular with sales people from a wide variety of industries, there are a number of very good CRM programs designed exclusively for real estate professionals. With a good CRM solution, you can:

  • Determine which leads are the most valuable, the most pressing and the most likely to turn into clients.
  • Keep track of which leads you’ve contacted, and when.
  • Be reminded when it’s time to reach out to certain leads.
  • Easily manage all the contact information for your leads.
  • Communicate different marketing messages to different types of leads.
  • Track the social media postings of your leads.
  • Plus much more.

part2-turn-leads-into-clientsLeverage those kudos

Compliments from past clients are very effective at swaying prospective clients. Keep a record of all the kudos you get (the more specific they are, the better), and hire a graphic artist to help you format them into an attractive flyer. Even better, use the complimentary quotes in a simple postcard marketing campaign: Mail a new postcard to your sales leads every four to six weeks, each featuring a different complimentary quote from a past client.

Flaunt your expertise

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USPS Postage Rate Increase : May 2015

The United States Postal Service has announced postage rate increases that affect all orders placed after 4pm CST on May 27, 2015. Xpressdocs rates for mailed products are being adjusted to reflect this postage increase.

 

Impact of USPS Postage Increases on Current Xpressdocs Rates
Products First Class Standard
Small Postcard – 5.5 x 4.25 in $.02 N/A
Large Postcard – 8.5 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
XL Postcard – 11 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
Folded Postcard – 8.5 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
Mega Postcard – 11 x 8.5 in $.04 $.02
Rectangle Tri-fold Brochure – 8.5 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
Newsletter $.02 $.01

Please contact any one of our client service specialists with questions by calling 866.977.3627 or email us at info@xpressdocs.com. We appreciate your business.

Part One: Eight Ways to Turn Sales Leads into Valued Clients

Xpessdocs’ list service is great for generating sales leads. But many real estate agents struggle with the next step: turning those prospects into paying clients.

The truth is, there is no “best” method for converting leads. There’s no telling when a potential client is going to make the decision to hire you as their agent. Every situation is different. Every prospect is unique. That’s what makes a sales career so exciting.turn-sales-leads-into-clients-part-1

But there are some lead-conversion approaches that have proven more successful. Included below are four of them. Next month, we’ll be back with four more.

Emphasize what makes you different

In the eyes of most prospective clients, it’s tough to tell a difference between real estate agents – which means, if you want to convert a sales lead, you need to emphasize the little things that make you unique (or at least seem unique).

Consider real estate agent Dan Kingsley. He sets his practice apart from the rest by playing up his paperless transactions:

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Dirty Mailing Lists Are Bad for Business

The last thing you want to do is waste time and money sending marketing efforts to the wrong address, to an outdated address, or to someone who no longer even has an interest in real estate services. If you want your marketing to pay off, you’ve got to keep your direct mail and email marketing lists clean and up-to-date.

Cleaning your direct mail list

dirty-mailing-lists-bad-for-businessAccording to the U.S. Postal Service, about one of every six families moves to a different address every year. That’s approximately 45 million people moving every 12 months. If you don’t have a way to accurately update the mailing addresses on your marketing list, not only are you wasting money, you’re losing touch with your contacts.

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How to Grab Attention of Generation Y

According to a recent report from Redfin, 92 percent of “Generation Y” (those born between 1981 and the early 2000s; also known as “Millennials”) say they’re eagerly awaiting the day they can buy a home of their own. So if you have an affordable city listing that might appeal to a first-time buyer, tap into this group’s desires with marketing they can’t resist.

To make your property listing as appealing as possible to this pool of 100 million young men and women, consider using statements like

gen_y_pic_1“Affordable living in the heart of the city”

Generation Y enjoys renting in urban areas. And that’s where they want to own, as well. They’ll even settle for a home that doesn’t completely satisfy their basic needs if its location puts them where they really want to be – which is within walking distance to shops, restaurants and other support services.

“Located in a cell phone sweet spot”

Believe it or not, nearly a third of Millennials say that the quality of the cell phone coverage is a “deciding factor” in their home-purchase decision. If the home you’re listing is well served by cell phone towers, be sure to promote that fact.

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Three Mailings are Better Than One

three-mailings-are-better-than-oneOne thing that makes postcard marketing so successful is that it’s so cheap. In the direct marketing industry, affordability is key.

If you only have enough money to launch one marketing effort, you won’t generate many fresh sales leads. The same is true for cash-strapped marketers who wait months between mailings. Your target audience will certainly notice your marketing effort(s), but they won’t respond in big numbers. You just can’t build a business relationship with one mailing – or a mailing every once in a while.

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