Category Archives: Email Marketing

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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How Color Can Improve Your Marketing

For many small-to-mid-sized businesses, the colors used in their direct marketing materials are an afterthought; a bit of whimsy to liven up an otherwise drab promotional effort.

Dynamic Color Wheel

But for those in the know, color is the silent salesperson; a marketing weapon that can be used to attract the consumer’s eye, help convey direct marketing messages, establish a strong brand identity, and differentiate your offerings from those of direct competitors.
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The Power of Real Estate Email Marketing

real estate email marketingThere are a number of very good reasons why real estate email marketing has become so incredibly popular with today’s small- and mid-sized businesses. Below are a few the top reasons.

It’s affordable
Email is by far the least expensive of all the traditional marketing mediums used by small- and mid-sized businesses. Because there are no materials or production costs involved, the only thing you’re really paying for is the technology to implement a campaign.

It’s targeted
Because marketing emails are so affordable to create and implement, you can segment your mailing list into very select clusters, then target each of those with unique messages, reminders, updates, special offers and more. And the more targeted your offer, the more engaged the recipient will be (and, the better your response).

It’s highly interactive
Marketing email promotes interaction and two-way communication like no other marketing medium. Email recipients can easily:

  • “Click-through” for additional information about the products / services mentioned in the email.
  • Forward the email to family and friends (which means more referrals for you).
  • Reply to the sender (that’s you) with specific questions and requests.

It’s measurable
With most marketing mediums, the only real way to measure success is to add up the number of leads or the attributable sales. But with email, you can track who received your marketing message, when they opened it, what they clicked on, how many forwarded it to others, plus more.

It’s fast
You have to wait days, even weeks sometimes, to understand how well other marketing efforts perform. But with email, you receive 78 percent of your responses in the first 24 hours, so you’ll know right away how successful each marketing effort was.

It makes direct mail even better
According to a recent comScore study, when people receive both a direct-marketing mailing and a marketing email, they’re twice as likely to make a purchase than if they’d received only the email. Plus, another study proved that combining the two can also boost your customers’ spending by as much as 25 percent.

It’s ideal for “nurturing”
Generating leads is only one part of the sales process. There’s also the whole “nurturing” process (turning leads into sales, cross-selling, up-selling, and transforming past / current clients into referral sources). That’s where email holds a distinct advantage over other forms of marketing, because it’s so well suited for ongoing customer conversations.

It’s easy
If you’ve ever launched a direct mail marketing effort through Xpressdocs, you’ll be pleased to learn that sending a marketing email is just as easy:

  1. Choose one of the professionally designed templates.
  2. Customize your email.
  3. Upload your mailing list(s).
  4. Schedule your campaign for immediate or future delivery.

It works
According to the latest study from the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing produced more than $43.62 in profit for every dollar spent on it in 2009.

Xpressdocs can help you get started with email marketing to build your business!

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‘Excuse Me, Can I Market to You?’ | Real Estate Email Marketing

real estate email marketingGetting someone’s permission before sending them a real estate marketing email can be a bit of a hassle. Do you really need to do it? Absolutely. And here are the top five reasons why:

  1. They’ll love you for it – Your customers, past customers and referral resources all hate the spam that fills their email inboxes each day, and seethe at the companies behind it. But if you ask for their permission before sending any marketing of your own, your status and legitimacy will get an immediate boost.
  2. You’ll sell more – You’ll sell far more to a smaller list of people who actually read your emails than you will to a larger list of people who tag your emails as spam and / or leave them sitting unopened. Some suggest that most email marketing prospects who opt-in turn out to be 17 percent more valuable than those who don’t (however, the science behind that figure is a bit mysterious).
  3. Email services require it – Unless you can prove the addresses on your email marketing list were gathered with everyone’s permission, legitimate service providers probably won’t work with you.
  4. Your ISP account may be terminated – If your Internet service provider (ISP) discovers that you’re spamming people with marketing email, they’ll probably terminate your account.
  5. It’s federal law – The CAN-SPAM Act is the 2003 law that put a stop to much of the spamming going on at the time. It sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations (each and every violation can subject you and your company to penalties of up to $16,000). For all the details, see the Federal Trade Commission’s online compliance guide.

So how do you get the people in your target market to – as the industry likes to say – “opt-in” to receive your ezines and other email marketing efforts? See our list of ideas.

Visit our website to get started with your email marketing campaign.

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10 Ways to Grow Your Direct Marketing Mailing Lists

direct marketing mailing listsThere’s one thing every direct mail or email marketing program needs to be successful: A good mailing list. No matter how good your marketing piece, if it’s not paired with an equally effective mailing list, it’s like Romeo with no Juliet, or peanut butter without jelly.

Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can use to quickly develop (and continue to grow) a responsive marketing mailing list. What follows are 10 of the best:

Gather existing contact information
If you have an existing relationship with someone, then by all means add them to your mailing lists. This includes:

  • Friends (family friends, personal friends, the parents of your children’s friends, business associates, neighboring businesses, fellow association members, etc.).
  • Referral sources (if they’ve recommended prospective customers in the past, it’s very likely they’ll do so again).
  • Past and current customers (search your files for delivery addresses, home addresses, business addresses, email addresses, etc.).

If you’ve been in business for more than a year, you’ve probably got gobs of this contact information just laying around. Now is the time to put it to good use.

Borrow a list
Ask allied businesses if they’d be interested in exchanging mailing lists. If you’re both offering related products / services, the prospects on your lists should welcome the cross-selling.

You can also “rent” a commercial mailing list. Companies compile mailing lists, then rent them to businesses just like yours. (Note: You can only mail to the names on a rented list once, but anyone who responds to that mailing is then considered your customer and can be added to your permanent mailing list.)

Sign up your social media contacts
If you have a business Facebook, Twitter and / or LinkedIn account, add your “friends,” “followers” and colleagues to your marketing mailing lists. You’ll find many people list an email or mailing address in their online profile. But you should also encourage them to sign up for your mailings (like this Twitter posting from SunSolve or this Facebook page for the Summer Camp Music festival).

Use your email signature
Include a call-to-action (“Join my email list!”) in the “signature” area of all your emails.

Use sign-up sheets
Any time you have potential customers milling about (at an open house or near the cash register, for example) have a “Mailing List Sign Up” sheet out – and personally encourage everyone to sign it.

Add a button to your website
If you have a website, ask your webmaster to add an attention-grabbing “Join Our Mailing List” button that links to a simple sign-up page (like you see on the Opal Real Estate Group website).

Send postcards
Create a special marketing postcard promoting all the reasons why someone should sign up for your mailing list. And always include a sentence at the bottom of your regular postcard mailings (e.g. “For updates and news, join my email list”).

Add a link for forwarding
Include a “Forward to a Friend” link in all your marketing emails. The hope is: Once others see your emails, they’ll want to sign up to get future mailings.

Make the most of trade shows
Giddy trade show attendees will hand over a business card with their contact information for anything fun, free or promising. But you must make it clear (in writing) that they’re going to be added to your marketing lists.

Offer a reward
Asking someone to voluntarily add their name to your mailing lists is a good first step. But offering something of value for doing so is a sure way to supercharge the effectiveness of any of the above ideas. Consider offering a promotional item, a discount, a chance to win something, a white paper, or anything else with some perceived value.

A final note
Mailing lists have a way of shrinking over time. So once you’ve got a good list going, keep using these techniques to keep it growing.

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Tips for Growing Your Real Estate Email Marketing Opt-In List

With direct mail, you can add names and addresses to your marketing list at will. So long as the contact information is legitimate and accurate, you’re good to go. But with real estate email marketing, there are checks and balances.

real estate email marketing

When gathering email addresses, you have to get permission from each person before adding them to your marketing list. Seriously. No legitimate email marketing service is going to implement an email effort on your behalf without confirmation of this step – because if they do, they face the very real possibility of being blacklisted as a spammer by Internet service providers.

The good news: Getting people’s permission to send them marketing emails (often referred to as “opting-in”) isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds … not if you pay attention to these tips:

Your email signature
One of the easiest ways to encourage friends, family, clients and prospects to add their names to your email list is to include an automated call-to-action (“Join my email list!”) in the “signature” area of all your emails. Do it even if you have nothing to send currently (after you have a list, then you can start creating some content).

A button on your website
If you have a website, ask your webmaster to add an attention-grabbing “Join the Mailing List” button that links to a simple sign-up page.

Social-media shout-outs
Facebook and Twitter are perfect for promoting your email list:

Postcard mailings
Marketing postcards are another great way to grow your email list. Create a special card promoting all the reasons someone should sign up (see the example at the end of this article), or just add a sentence to the bottom of your regular mailings (e.g. “For regular updates and news, join my email list”).

Hardcopy sign-up sheets
Any time you have potential customers milling about (at an open house or near the cash register, for example) have an “Email Sign Up” sheet out where everyone can see it – and easily sign it.

Trade shows
Giddy trade show attendees will hand over a business card (with their email contact information) for anything fun, free or promising. But you must make it clear (in writing) that they’re going to be added to your email marketing list.

Forwarding
Include a “Forward to a Friend” link in all your marketing emails. The hope is: Once others see your emails, they’ll want to sign up, too.

Additional tips
Asking someone to voluntarily opt-in to your email marketing list is a good first step. But offering something of value for doing so is a sure way to supercharge the effectiveness of any of the above ideas. Consider offering a promotional item, a discount, a chance to win something, a white paper, or anything else with some perceived value.

On the sign-up form/page, be sure to promote the benefits of opting-in, reassure the signee that their contact information won’t be used for any other purpose, and ask for only the most necessary of details. For an example of a sign-up form that does everything right, see this page from the 20 x 200 art gallery website.

Of course, once you create an email mailing list, you need something to mail.

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Email Marketing Campaigns Tips for Growing Your Opt-In List

With direct mail, you can add names and addresses to your marketing list at will. So long as the contact information is legitimate and accurate, you’re good to go. But with email marketing, there are checks and balances.

Email Marketing Campaigns Tips

When gathering email addresses, you have to get permission from each person before adding them to your marketing list. Seriously. No legitimate email marketing service is going to implement an email effort on your behalf without confirmation of this step – because if they do, they face the very real possibility of being blacklisted as a spammer by Internet service providers.

The good news: Getting people’s permission to send them marketing emails (often referred to as “opting-in”) isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds … not if you pay attention to these tips:

Your email signature

One of the easiest ways to encourage friends, family, clients and prospects to add their names to your email list is to include an automated call-to-action (“Join my email list!”) in the “signature” area of all your emails. Do it even if you have nothing to send currently (after you have a list, then you can start creating some content).

A button on your website

If you have a website, ask your webmaster to add an attention-grabbing “Join the Mailing List” button that links to a simple sign-up page.

Social-media shout-outs

Facebook and Twitter are perfect for promoting your email list:

Postcard mailings

Marketing postcards are another great way to grow your email list. Create a special card promoting all the reasons someone should sign up (see the example at the end of this article), or just add a sentence to the bottom of your regular mailings (e.g. “For regular updates and news, join my email list”).

Hardcopy sign-up sheets

Any time you have potential customers milling about (at an open house or near the cash register, for example) have an “Email Sign Up” sheet out where everyone can see it – and easily sign it.

Trade shows

Giddy trade show attendees will hand over a business card (with their email contact information) for anything fun, free or promising. But you must make it clear (in writing) that they’re going to be added to your email marketing list.

Forwarding

Include a “Forward to a Friend” link in all your marketing emails. The hope is: Once others see your emails, they’ll want to sign up, too.

Additional tips

Asking someone to voluntarily opt-in to your email marketing list is a good first step. But offering something of value for doing so is a sure way to supercharge the effectiveness of any of the above ideas. Consider offering a promotional item, a discount, a chance to win something, a white paper, or anything else with some perceived value.

On the sign-up form/page, be sure to promote the benefits of opting-in, reassure the signee that their contact information won’t be used for any other purpose, and ask for only the most necessary of details.

Of course, once you create an email mailing list, you need something to mail.

Five Reasons Why Email Marketing Programs Rock

If you’ve been using direct mail to grow your business, you’ve no doubt wondered how email marketing compares – and whether it could be effectively incorporated. This month, we pull back the covers on this powerful marketing medium, explain its advantages, show how to side-step the most common mistakes, and provide a simple marketing plan anyone can use. Spend a few minutes today with the three articles below, and you’ll be able to launch an effective email marketing campaign of your own tomorrow.

Five Reasons Why Email Marketing Programs Rock

Email Marketing Programs

Email Marketing Programs

 

  1. It’s Affordable

    Email is by far the least expensive of all the traditional marketing mediums used by small- and mid-sized businesses. Because there are no materials or production costs involved, the only thing you’re really paying for is the technology.

  2. It’s Targeted

    Successful salespeople tailor their pitch to the wants and needs of the person standing in front of them. Email allows you to do the same thing. You can segment your mailing list into very select clusters, then target each of those with unique messages, reminders, updates, special offers and more.

  3. It’s Measurable

    With most marketing mediums, the only real way to measure success is to add up the number of leads or the attributable sales. But with email, you can track who received your marketing message, when they opened it, what they clicked on, how many forwarded the email to others, plus more.

  4. It’s Easy

    If you’ve ever launched a direct mail campaign through , you’ll be pleased to learn that sending a marketing email is just as easy. In minutes, you can create and launch a powerful email marketing effort with no technical expertise whatsoever.

  5. It Works

    Okay, so it’s efficient, effective and easy … but does email marketing really work? You better believe it. According to the latest study from the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing produced more than $45 in profit for every dollar spent on it in 2008. Isn’t it time your marketing started generating those kind of results?

Five Tips for Email Marketing Success

Five Tips for Email Marketing Success

There’s no need to become an expert before launching an email marketing campaign, but follow these five rules, and you’ll avoid the most common mistakes.

    1. Get Permission

      Ever heard of the CAN-SPAM Act? It’s the 2003 federal law that makes it illegal to send marketing emails to people against their wishes. To avoid the penalties, make sure you have permission to send emails from everyone on your mailing list.

    2. Grow Your Mailing List the Right Way

      So how do you get prospects and clients to volunteer to receive your marketing emails? Offer to enter them in a sweepstakes. Dangle a free white paper, a limited-time trial, a special discount or other prize. Add a button to your website (and a poster to your trade show booth) that says “sign up for our FREE newsletter.” Use direct mail to attract new subscribers. And encourage everyone who receives your emails to forward them on to family, friends and coworkers.

    3. Use Professionally-Designed Templates

      Don’t try creating your own marketing emails. Seriously. With all the different email service providers out there – each with its own quirks and set of rules – it takes a real pro to create a format that works for them all. The best templates feature:

      • Layouts that display clearly in the “preview” panes so popular today
      • Text for headlines and key messages (so they’re visible even with images disabled)
      • Lots of opportunities to personalize the email template with your own photos, logos, key messages and more.
Email Marketing

Email Marketing

  1. Make Sure Your Subject Line Attracts Attention

    Choosing a good subject line for your marketing emails is crucial. Be direct. Mention the main benefit of reading the email. Include your company name. Avoid the words that spammers use (“free,” “trial,” “money,” “limited-time”), as well as multiple exclamation points and dollar signs. And limit the whole thing to less than 50 characters (including spaces).

  2. Don’t Forget the “From”

    Some marketers don’t realize the importance of the “From Name” in a marketing email. Big mistake. In a recent survey, almost 60 percent of consumers said knowing and trusting the sender is their primary reason for opening an e-mail. Use a name your target audience will recognize right away (usually a brand name or a company name; sometimes the name of a specific contact person), then continue to use that same name for all your future marketing emails.

Email and Direct Mail: a Competitive Marketing Strategy Duo

Email and Direct Mail: a Competitive Marketing Strategy Duo

Direct mail is great at generating leads, while email allows you to nurture those leads and turn them into sales. Combine the two, and you’ll find yourself sitting behind the wheel of a marketing machine that feels like a super-charged muscle car.

Distinctly different marketing mediums

Competitive Marketing Strategy

Competitive Marketing Strategy

Direct mail and email each have unique strengths, and smart marketers know how to make the most of both. Direct mail marketing is ideal for establishing a presence and generating leads – getting people interested in you, your products and services, and building a brand.

Of course, email marketing can also be used for prospecting purposes, but many small- and mid-sized companies are finding its even better suited for the difficult and time-consuming work involved in “nurturing” prospects through the sales process. Plus, it’s become a core component of many “viral” marketing campaigns, as well. (Both of these marketing strategies are discussed in detail below.)

Why not use email to blast low-cost mass mailings? Because, unlike direct mail, it’s considered bad form, and potentially illegal, to fire off even a single marketing email to someone without getting their permission first (something the industry refers to as “opting in”.) Ignore this basic principal, and the federal law it’s based upon, and you risk stiff financial penalties, plus being labeled a spammer.

The nurturing process

As you know, generating leads is just one part of the sales process. Even more difficult is the “nurturing process” (turning leads into sales, cross-selling, up-selling, and transforming past/current clients into referral sources). That’s where email holds a distinct advantage over other forms of marketing.

In fact, according to the latest reporting from industry observer MarketingSherpa, a whopping 64 percent of U.S. adults say email is “the best way for companies to communicate with me.”

Such a high level of consumer acceptance makes marketing email ideal for:

  • Telling past and current clients about new products, properties and services.
  • Promoting special offers and limited-time pricing.
  • Communicating changes and improvements to existing programs and services.
  • Offering seasonal greetings.
  • Relaying industry information and professional advice.

And because you can target each of those emails to very select segments of your overall mailing list, the marketing efforts can be highly personalized and targeted.

Creating viral campaigns

Competitive Marketing Strategy

Competitive Marketing Strategy

Another inherent benefit of email marketing is its “interactivity.” It promotes interaction and two-way communication like no other marketing medium can. Take the simple but highly effective “forward” button, for example. If you include some truly helpful information in your marketing emails, you can expect some of the recipients will forward them on to family and friends. Industry insiders call this “viral” marketing because, when done right, it just keeps spreading.

Not only is this a great way to quickly and easily spread your message, but each person that sends it on to someone else is giving you an implicit nod of approval. Now that’s referral marketing at its best.

Combining forces

Email can take your marketing to a whole new level. But it needs direct mail to get started (and to function most effectively over time). Once you weave the two together into a comprehensive marketing program, that’s when the real magic starts.

According to a Royal Mail study, combining direct mail with digital marketing (such as email) can boost your customers’ spending by as much as 25 percent. That’s breath-taking. What’s more, the study’s participants said they actually prefer to be contacted with a combination of direct mail and digital marketing.

That means you need to continue using a steady stream of direct mail to generate leads and build your brand. Keep following up with your target market until they eventually respond. (In a recent Pitney Bowes survey, 37 percent of consumers said they were motivated to try a new business only after receiving direct mail from it.)

Once you’ve made contact (or landed the sale), that’s the time to sweep in with a regular program of email marketing – with the recipient’s permission, of course – to seal the deal, sweeten the deal (with an upgrade or additional products and services), strengthen the relationship and start asking for a few referrals.

When you’ve got both forms of marketing pumping at full speed, start switching back and forth between the two – not only to keep either one from wearing out its welcome, but also because this synchronization makes it much more likely your key marketing messages will truly resonate with your target audience. According to studies from the Direct Marketing Association, most consumers have to see a marketing effort at least nine times before they’ll take action.

Your final task: test

Once you gain some initial success with this combined marketing strategy, the best way to build on it is by testing new approaches. Nothing will improve your marketing more. With both email and direct mail marketing, you have to routinely try different marketing messages, different mailing times, new offers and more. Then review the results and see which performs best: your current approach or the new way.