BEST PRACTICEElite Agent

Are They Getting the Message?

You may be sending out a regular e-mail newsletter, but how do you ensure it is being opened, read and your message acted upon? Here are some tips for ensuring your emails are highly effective. Story by Belinda Jackson.

Try not to think of e-mail marketing as just another opportunity to send out your latest listings and hope for some interest from recipients.

E-mail marketing remains a highly effective marketing strategy. In saying that, if you’ve been doing it for a while you may need to rethink your strategy to ensure you are addressing the demands that are relevant to e-mail marketing right now. And if you are new to e-mail marketing now is the perfect time to get started.

The most effective emails are the ones that your clients and prospects open, read, share and respond to. It is not as simple as writing some words, adding an image and hitting ‘send’. It’s a longer term strategy that requires planning and consistent management.

One e-mail done wrong can cause immeasurable damage. In fact, one e-mail done wrong can mean the rest of what you do, even if done really well, can all be wasted. People WILL judge you by your e-mails. If you send them e-mails that are not relevant, that they did not consent to and that are not quality you need to be ready for damage control.

I’ll share with you four factors to ensure maximum results. Remember, if you can get it right you will see an increase in conversions, return customers and referrals. It’s well worth the effort.

Tip 1: Keep it simple!
Keep your layout simple and keep the message simple. These days many of your recipients are probably multi-tasking as they view your message. If you bombard them with too much information or too much choice or a difficult layout to scan, then the chances are high you will not get their attention. Instead you will be ignored or even worse, you may just overwhelm them to the point that they unsubscribe.

Tip 2:
Quality
Your prospects and clients deserve consideration. They don’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant and unattractive e-mail messages.

Before you hit ‘send’ on any campaign have a think about it from the point of view of your recipient, and ask:
– Is the information relevant?
– Will it be of interest to your recipient?
– Does your message look professional?
– Are you proud to have your name on this message?

Quality also encompasses how you manage your campaign process. Consider sending your newsletters using a reputable e-mail service provider to avoid formatting and deliverability issues that are common with using Outlook or other non specialist services.

Tip 3:
Relationships rule
Now is your opportunity to lead your industry and really do e-mail marketing well with long term payback. Try not to think of e-mail marketing as just another opportunity to send out your latest listings and hope for some interest from recipients. Consider the sending of an e-mail message as an opportunity to build a quality relationship with your prospects and clients.

What is more valuable to you? A response from an interested recipient that wants to view a property today? Or a response from a potential client thanking you for the wonderful information you’ve passed on and letting you know that they’ve told several of their friends who are in the market about you?

Both are positive responses and ones that can be achieved from e-mail marketing. The second one though is one that not many achieve unless the real value of e-mail marketing is understood.

Treat your e-mail recipients with respect and value the opportunity to keep in touch. A relationship with your prospects and clients can last a lifetime and can develop into many referrals over time.

Of course, it’s still important to go after the direct and immediate results but put the time and effort into making e-mail marketing a long term strategy and really reap the benefits.

Tip 4: Share the social love
Social Media like Twitter and Facebook are growing at a rapid pace and can no longer be ignored. If you are not already utilising these mediums to build relationships and market your business then now is the time to get started.

Just like a piece of web content can become viral as people share it across social networks, your e-mail promotions can get a big boost by making it easy to share them. One way to make your e-mails interactive is to include share-to-social functionality in your emails. This is basically links that allow your recipients to click and upload a link to your e-mail to their social networking accounts.

The second way to share the social love in 2010 is to consider including social media links in your newsletters. Include images and links to promote your Twitter profile and Facebook profile or page. This provides opportunity for your readers to connect further with you in other ways.

Remember that implementing the above will only work if content is good and worth sharing! So that’s it, a few tips to help you roll out e-mail marketing for maximum results. Remember that the end result of your e-mail marketing should be to build relationships with your recipients over time that will ultimately result in more business and more referrals for you.

My own e-mail newsletter makes my marketing so much easier. Almost without fail, each time I publish a newsletter, I will hear back from subscribers ready to work with me. I haven’t had to convince them or sell to them. They’ve come to know, like and trust me over time through the medium of my newsletter. If you don’t currently have a newsletter in place that permits you to reach out and “touch” potential clients regularly, I encourage you to start one.

Belinda Jackson is CEO of Web Chameleon, an established Australian company dedicated to the education, inspiration and empowerment of business owners. Belinda is personally dedicated to helping business owners embrace technology and Online Marketing to grow their business. Learn more at www.webchameleon.com.

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