5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019

2019

*from mediaspacesolutions.com

Autumn is upon us. I know this because Dunkin Donuts is selling their pumpkin donuts, which I happen to enjoy immensely, and which go very nicely with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte.

But I digress


For many marketers, autumn brings with it not only pumpkin-flavored barista items, but also a sense of urgency to figure out which marketing tactics they should be focusing on in the coming new year.

With only a few more months before the new year starts, we thought we’d look toward the future and discuss some of the upcoming marketing trends we are seeing for 2019.

Internet Watching Catches Up with TV Watching

Couple on sofa with TV remote

According to a recent study, the internet will catch up to TV in terms of number of hours watched. The study predicts people will spend 2.6 hours a day online and 2.7 hours watching television in 2019. This will cause marketers to rethink where their ad dollars go, many deciding to invest online instead of television ads.

Chatbots Will Become the Norm

2018 saw an explosion of websites using chatbots to engage customers, and we can expect even more of it in 2019. In fact, we think the novelty of chatbots will fade in the coming year and the tech will be seen as quite common, even expected. Chatbots will most likely become the first touchpoint for many consumers in 2019. Want to order a pizza? You’ll probably start using a chatbot. Want to book a hotel room or choose a mobile plan? Chatbots will let you do it, and all without the headache of having to download a native app.

Banner Ads Take A Last Breath?

The digital age has transformed the way brands and consumers interact. Not long ago, you could sell what you had through blatant advertising, but 2019 will see even more online surfers using ad blockers. This will force advertisers to optimize their content marketing and influencer marketing strategies. Banner ads will no longer cut it, brands will have to find creative ways to offer consumers real value.

Smart Speakers Will Become Even More Widely Used

Smart Speakers like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod have become increasingly popular with consumers. In fact, 65% of consumers say they wouldn’t go back to life without their voice-controlled assistant.

So how will this effective marketing in the coming year?

We will likely see more online publishers embrace voice and publish audio content to these devices in an effort to land a spot on listener’s “Flash Briefing.” Also, we will likely see Amazon, Google and Apple monetize their content by allowing companies to buy and sell ad space.

Integrated Marketing Will Become Even More Relevant

We’ve been hearing for years that print is dead, and for years we have been having tremendous success using print for our clients. And, with so many marketers focusing on new digital trends, there will be even more space in print publications with which to make a splash.

We know of companies that went against the grain and chose to spend a little extra money to send print newsletters instead of email newsletters and they got tremendous results. Imagine in the age of HubSpot and MailChimp that someone could have such a successful campaign that hinges on an old-fashioned tactic.

Now we are not suggesting that you completely abandon digital marketing. On the contrary, we are saying that print is a powerful complement to your digital channels. With so many banner ads and email boxes filled with advertising, print marketing is a great way to break through the digital noise and be heard.

REAL ESTATE POSTCARDS WORK!

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*from geographicfarm.com

In today’s device-based world, it seems smart to focus on social media and search-based internet ads for marketing. While these arenas are certainly important, old school tricks like real estate postcards still have a place in the well-rounded agent’s arsenal, especially when dealing with real estate farming.

Real estate agent postcards are a proven and affordable marketing tool for real estate professionals. A carefully designed postcard will yield both immediate and long-term results. At minimum, you’ll see an increase in emails and website registrations, perhaps even the same day your postcards are delivered. In a best case scenario, you’ll receive higher call volume with requests for both buying and selling in your real estate farm.

Agent postcards and real estate farming
While postcards are effective within any real estate marketing tactic, agents focusing on a real estate farm will have the best ratio of effort to results. If you’re focusing on a certain geographic area, you won’t even need a mailing list for your postcards; you’ll simply need your defined real estate farm boundaries!

Remember that the best results from direct mail comes from consistency. One mailing will not boost your business enough to make the tactic stand out; however, after a couple mailings, your brand will have found its home in your leads’ minds, and you’ll soon find yourself the go-to agent of your farming area.

Getting the most out of direct mailing
Real estate postcards are especially useful when used in conjunction with a door-to-door strategy. You can either bring a postcard (or flier, magnet, pen, business card, etc.) to hand to people personally, or you can plan a mailing for immediately after you go door-to-door. Either way, people will remember personally meeting you, with the reinforcement of the physical material to make sure you stay on their minds for their future real estate needs.

Aside from using agent postcards to introduce yourself or solidify your name in people’s minds, you can also send literature when you receive a new listing, when you sell a house in the neighborhood, or when you’re hosting an open house. Keeping your postcards topical will make sure people don’t feel “spammed” but will also serve as a consistent reminder of who you are and how you can serve the neighborhood.

A major benefit of real estate postcards is return on investment. Because they are fairly simple and inexpensive to design and print, even mildly effective campaigns will yield a return of at least four times the cost, while most campaigns will yield eight to 12 times the investment.

Perfecting your postcards
One of the main keys to a successful postcard campaign is creating the perfect card design. Potential leads won’t take a second glance at your postcard if it’s messy, missing critical information, or just plain boring. Here are a few things to focus on:

  • Consistent branding with your logo, a consistent color scheme, fonts, and layout
  • Photos of recently sold homes, or homes for sale
  • Your photo on both sides of the card
  • A specific and concise message to your market
  • Calls to action

Perfecting these key elements in each of your postcards will create a clear picture of who you are and what you do. Combined with consistent mailings, a well-designed postcard will ensure that your name becomes synonymous with “real estate” in the minds of your real estate farm leads.

WIIFT
Before you stamp those cards, remember WIIFT: what’s in it for them? Put yourself in the shoes of your future clients, and give each campaign a unique spin based on what’s happening in the market or your real estate farm. Are your leads concerned or excited about the housing market? Is local employment affecting the neighborhood’s view or buying or selling? How can you offer them something different to meet their needs?

Sending out an individualized campaign focused on what’s in it for them will all but boost your return on investment. If nothing else, speaking to the hearts of your target audience will help them feel heard and understood, which are two excellent things to be remembered for.

Let the results speak for themselves
Even with years of proven success, new agents are often uncertain about using a “dinosaur marketing” tactic like direct mailing postcards. After all, isn’t this the digital age? It’s true that postcards will never take over the importance of an online presence, but the fact remains that direct mail yields results.

If you’ve never used a postcard campaign before, it’s time to give it a try and let the results speak for themselves. Be sure to take five minutes or so a day to record the responses you receive as a direct result of your mailing, whether it’s an email, website registration, or phone call to discuss buying or selling.

After a postcard campaign, you’ll certainly see some immediate results, but the big payoff comes slowly over time as you continue to see leads responding to campaigns that happened weeks or even months ago. It’s helpful to ask all new leads how they heard of you, and keep track of the marketing that’s working best for you. Chances are you’ll be surprised by how many leads reached out due to your real estate postcards.

How To Use Direct Mail For Real Estate Lead Generation

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*From realestatemarketingdude.com

Do you want more leads for your real estate business?

Then you should diversify your marketing efforts and consider using direct mail.

Direct mail is not dead. Real estate direct mail marketing is alive and well if you know how to use it properly. We are going to discuss a few ways you can use direct mail marketing in your business!

I like to break down real estate direct mail marketing into two categories.  You can use direct mail to market your database (warm marketing) or you can use it to market for cold leads. Let’s first discuss using direct mail marketing for warm or referral/repeat business.

Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing For Referrals

Prior to the Internet real estate revolution, direct mail campaigns used to be a primary method to stay in touch with your database or sphere of influence.  Real estate agents used postcards, newsletters, and other personalized marketing pieces to stay on top of mind with their referral base. A consistent direct mail campaign to your sphere of influence keeps your name on top of mind.

Why Direct Mail Works Referrals For Realtors

The whole point of referral marketing is to stay on top of mind. How much mail are you getting on a daily basis? I’m guessing no where near as much as you would have gotten 10 years ago.  Real estate direct mail marketing works so well because your marketing pieces are no longer buried in a pile of mail as so many things have gone digital.  Do you check your mail frequently? So does everyone else, and that’s why this is so effective. Everyone receives and sorts their mail!

When fishing for referrals and repeat business you should not be trying to sell anything.  The whole point is to stay on top of mind so you are not forgotten about. Direct mail nurtures your relationships amongst your family, friends, and past clients so that your name is thought of when real estate comes to mind.

Direct mail has a 100% deliverability rate. It also has a very HIGH read rate, which is something you cannot do as effectively with email.

How many of your emails get opened?

The national average is 13%!

What effect is your email marketing if no one is seeing it?

Email marketing is great, but you have to use it the right way and that’s another blog post.

Yes, people throw direct mail in the trash, but they still have to sort it first.  This means they have to go through their direct mail to see what they want to read.  Whether they read or it or not, is not the point. They still take a mental note and acknowledge communication from you, which is the entire purpose.

“Hey Remember me, I’m still here for your referrals and repeat business ya know just in case you want to send me some”

Your Realtor...Remember me-

Because direct mail is tangible, it leaves a longer lasting impression than an email would. People will physically touch and see it. You cannot send someone a physical marketing piece through social media or email. This is why direct mail still works today.

When you are marketing for warm business or referrals, the goal is to stay on top of mind.  Real estate direct mail marketing accomplishes that! If you do not have a consistent direct mail marketing campaign being sent to your “database” or audience, you should look into getting one going.

Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing For Listings (Cold Leads)

Real estate direct mail marketing for listings is a great way to prospect potential sellers. Have you ever seen any of these real estate investor gurus out there claiming to have bought and sold hundreds of homes? They are professional marketers and know how to target sellers. Did you know that the majority of them use direct mail as their primary marketing method?

So why couldn’t you do the exact same thing?  If real estate investors are out there buying homes left and right, why couldn’t you market the same crowd?

Lets check out some direct mail marketing ideas shall we


FSBO’s

For sale by owners are great potential leads.  You know they want to sell and the vast majority of them end up listing with an agent. Most sellers do not want your phone call solicitation, so direct mail is a great way to break the ice and try to build a relationship by offering a helping hand.

After about 1-2 months, FSBO’s begin to realize that selling a house encompasses a lot more than just popping a sign in the yard and posting the house on Zillow. The key is catching their interest by standing out from all the other Realtors you know who are calling them with their “interested buyer”.

Marketing Piece Example: Perhaps you could offer your entire marketing plan to help them sell their house for FREE. Send them a marketing checklist or a “DIY” Home Sale Guide in the mail.  Your follow up call can be to make sure they received it and you can break the ice by offering to provide a free service. This will increase your chances for getting the listing down the road.

You could offer them FREE staging and home selling advice.  Breaking the ice this way is much more likely to build a relationship than to go straight for the listing.

Cancelled and Expired Listings

You know these individuals want to sell desperately so show them what it takes.  They are getting bombarded by Realtor phone calls with the “old school” salesman script techniques.

How about mailing them a marketing piece that’s a little different?  

What about a mailing piece that makes them an offer no other Realtor is making them?

Marketing Piece Example: Most cancelled and expired sellers are already frustrated with Realtors.  This is why you need to have a REAL marketing plan that encompasses more than a sign in the yard and a listing.  Sellers want to hear about marketing specifics.

Don’t approach these leads as a Realtor, but as a marketer.  That’s all they want.

What they don’t want to hear is some cheesy script you just downloaded.  Solve their problem by supplying them with marketing content first.  Don’t focus so much on how many houses you sold as much as how your marketing plan helped someone else in their situation. When you tell stories, your marketing will be much more effective. You can follow up with a phone call after they received your mailing piece and start the relationship building process.

Absentee Owners

Absentee owners are people who own property that they do not live in.  These homes are either rented out or sitting vacant.  The cool thing about these leads is that you can target specific owners that have certain loan to value percentages on properties they own.  For example: lets say I want to target people who have over 40% equity in their properties.  You can find the data for these lists very easily. These potential sellers are more likely to sell than the ones that have a 15% or less equity position in their properties.

Marketing Piece Example: You can send them a marketing piece offering for a FREE CMA to see what their property is worth.  You could also send a direct mail piece on behalf of one of your investor buyers who is looking to buy property.  You want/need to set up a direct mail funnel for this campaign.  A direct mail funnel is a multi-step mailing.  

price postioning

The Key To Successful Direct Mail Marketing

This is not farming, but specifically targeted marketing that specifies a call to action you want your intended recipient to take. If real estate investors are having good luck doing the same thing, then why can’t you for your real estate business?  Any marketer will tell you that the success or failure of real estate direct mail marketing depends on two things:  the quality of your offer and the quality of your data.

Getting the phone to ring with these types of efforts is not the hard part.  It’s what you say when you get the calls that converts a prospect into a client, but again, that’s another blog post.

10 Cost-Effective and Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas & Strategies for Agents

*from fitsmallbusiness.com

Creating a marketing plan and need some new real estate marketing ideas? Here is a cost-effective and creative list of great marketing advice.

  • Market yourself in the Central Illinois Homes Guide! It’s a publication owned by its PAAR members. Offering agents affordable and high-quality advertising.
  • Host Local Neighborhood Tours: When it comes to great marketing, nothing beats the personal engagement that comes from hosting a fun event for your sphere of influence. Even better, why not host an event that shows off your own love and expert knowledge about your farm area?
  • Create a New Logo:  Believe it or not, your logo (or lack of a logo) is one of the most important elements of your personal brand. A great logo can help propel your brand forward while a bad logo
 well, let’s just say it’s not going to help you attract more leads.  According to Patrick Sanders, creative director for real estate marketing powerhouse 1000watt, a great logo should:“
 signal something exciting and new — a message to the greater world that your organization is always changing and getting better. The work should reflect that energy.” You can also check out Graphic Design services with the PAAR Marketing Center!
  • Learn Facebook Messenger Marketing: One of the most exciting new developments in real estate marketing for 2018 is leveraging Facebook Messenger. Using Facebook messenger and a free app like ManyChat, you can build real estate chatbots to engage your site visitors 24/7 and even send content to your Facebook audience as direct messages!
  • Create a Video Tour of Your Neighborhood: A video tour of the neighborhood gives prospective buyers a much better feel for what a neighborhood is like to live in. Unless you live in a major city or tourist area, chances are there are very few videos showing highlights of your neighborhood on YouTube. Stepping in to fill that void can mean a nice boost to your online presence and can help generate leads!
  • Start a Direct to Door Marketing Campaign with Door Hangers:Joshua Smith famously built his business from scratch to closing more than 100 homes per year partly by using door hangers. Direct mailers can get lost in a pile of bills but leads need to remove your door hanger to get inside their homes, guaranteeing that they see it. The PAAR Marketing Center offers a variety of door hangers for real estate agents. Check out our Door Hanger options here!
  • Use Instagram Stories: The key is to use Instagram Stories to give your audience a look at your day to day life as an agent as well as focusing on your listings. Believe it or not, many people are curious about what the heck real estate agents do all day!
  • Learn the Art of Real Estate Postcards:  Sending out real estate marketing postcards on a regular basis is a great way to inspire interest in your business and raise brand awareness. You can showcase just listed or sold properties or announce your next open house. The PAAR Marketing Center offers a variety of postcards specifically for real estate agents. Learn more about postcard options here!
  • School Yourself on the Best Ways To Utilize Social Media: Many agents make the mistake of carpet bombing social media with listings, market updates, and tips and never really engaging with their audience. Instead, you need to focus your efforts on discovering what content works best for each social media channel you use.For example, contests can work great on Facebook while behind-the-scenes videos might work better on Instagram stories.
  • Create a Client Testimonial Packet: When it comes to landing more deals than your competition, one of the aces up your sleeve can be effectively using testimonials to help earn the trust of potential clients. Nothing is more positive than a third-party account of your performance from someone who has done business with you previously. Sometimes, this is all it takes to push someone over the edge to work with you and sign the contract.

    For help with creating your marketing plan, give the PAAR Marketing Center a call at 309.688.6419!

5 Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Send Seasonal and Holiday Cards

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*from cherialguire.com

Fall and the holiday season are both approaching. There is a never ending to do list that seems to get multiplied this time of year. Is sending seasonal or holiday cards something that should make that list? YES! Sending greeting cards is a way to show your appreciation and send well wishes to your clients. In fact, here are 5 reasons to make sure sending cards makes your to do list:

  1.  Show how much you care: The act of sending a card shows the person on the receiving end that you thought about them, that you care about them, and that you recognize the fact that they contributed to your success. Everyone wants to feel special and when they receive a greeting card from you in the mail, they feel that way, not like they are just a number with your business. It is how you make them feel.
  2.  Send well wishes: The fall, winter, and the holidays come at the end of the year. When you send a card, it is a great time to wish people well. You are saying that you are thinking about them, and you wish only the best for them in the future.
  3. Cultivates referrals: I am not suggesting you ask for referrals in your cards; I am just saying that when you send a card and make someone feel good, they naturally want to reciprocate and do something for you.
  4. Keeps you top of mind: It is much easier and cheaper to keep customers than it is to get a new one. However, you still need to do something. You can’t just ignore your past clients and expect them to come running to you next time they need your product or service. You need to stay top of mind. Instead of advertising to them, remind them how much you care about them. A little (of the right stuff) goes a long way here.
  5. It is fun and easy to do – especially with the help of the PAAR Marketing Center! Call us today 309.688.6419 or email us at centralillinoishomesguide.com to learn more about the seasonal and holiday cards we offer. We can get you a quote right away!

 

THE KEY TO GETTING SELLER LISTINGS: JUST LISTED AND JUST SOLD REAL ESTATE POSTCARDS

The Key to Effective Real Estate Postcards

*from quantumdigital.com

Learn how to use postcards to get the word out about open houses, new listings, and sold homes

When it comes to promoting your business, you’ve probably heard this advice: “just be out there!” Everybody seems to have plenty of ideas of how business owners should grow and succeed, but actually putting those ideas to practice in a well thought out way can be challenging. Since there is an increasingly large number of businesses out there, it’s growing more difficult for realtors and other small business owners to stand out and thrive. One must try to be as creative as possible.

In order to get the desired outcome from a marketing strategy, you must get to know your clients and have them recognize and trust your brand. In the real estate business, there are specific best practices to follow for more successful listings and closings.

Smart realtors have learned how to use just listed and just sold real estate postcards to frequently reach out to their farming areas. So, before you start sending just listed, just sold, or open house real estate postcards, there are certain steps to follow in your campaign in order to become the new go-to neighborhood real estate agent.

This comprehensive guide will teach you how to use just listed and just sold real estate postcards to reach out to targeted prospects.

Focus on a Specific Neighborhood 

First and foremost, you must choose the right neighborhood in which your real estate business has the most potential to grow. Your efforts might be in vain if the neighborhood you choose to mail real estate postcards to is not the best one in which to invest your attention and resources.

Be sure to carefully research the options out there and, according to your interests and budget, choose a neighborhood that best fits your goals. Be careful to consider the fact that direct mail is a long-term marketing technique. If you don’t see success immediately, the issue may not be that there are not enough transactions out there, but that buying or selling may not be on people’s radar yet for them to think of choosing you. Therefore, the neighborhood you choose should be one that has the potential to satisfy your long-term entrepreneurial goals.

Become a Good Neighbor

People are usually more comfortable with things that are familiar. It makes people feel safe, connected, and offers a certain amount of reassurance. Putting a family home for sale or considering a home purchase is usually one of the most intimate and life defining moments. Beyond the success of buying or selling, people seek the feeling of comfort, trust, and support throughout the whole process. As a realtor, this should be an objective in your business. The real estate business involves connecting with people in their homes, where clients have made large investments and seek your advice to ensure a stable future. To establish that kind of trust and closeness with members of a neighborhood, work to become a great neighbor. Being professional, honorable, and friendly can grow trust among those in your sphere of influence, and you can accomplish that by simply being a good neighbor.

Be Consistent In Your Postcard Marketing Technique

Once you have decided on a target neighborhood, it is time to commit and invest. You’ll get the most out of your investment in postcard marketing if you commit to being consistent. Simply sending a few postcards every once in awhile is typically not going to be enough to move the needle. Given that people receive many promotional materials all the time, you need to commit to sending postcards on a very regular basis to be recognized and remembered. Getting seller listings is a process that takes time to show results, which requires patience and persistence. A regular, trickling schedule of mail showcasing your success through new listings and sold homes will gain trust, build familiarity, and leave an impression for when that prospect needs your services. According to RISmedia, when a house goes up for sale in a given neighborhood, within the next six months there will most probably be two or three going up for sale as well. Real estate postcard marketing is without a doubt a long-term strategy.

Invest in Great Design

While it might be tempting to stick with the same old design you’ve been using for years, investing in great visual postcard design will help to establish your brand long-term and and make the most of your marketing investment. People sift through their mail on a regular basis, weeding out the “junk mail” from the marketing materials that grab their attention. Design can make the difference between someone simply throwing that postcard straight to the garbage or actually reading it and having an interest in it. Visuals are a great way to instantly get a prospect’s attention, and great design will steer them to take action.

Consider trying a clean and professional design. Postcards and other printed materials are a direct representation of you and your real estate business, and you want to always put your best foot forward. Include a nice head-shot, logo, and clean text to communicate your message. Investing in a great layout will be of benefit, particularly if you are showcasing big, expensive listings.

Perfecting Your Message

Spending time thinking through your messaging is an important step to be sure your call to action and main headline align with your goals. However, the balance is in keeping the message concise as well. People want to read something short and to the point, so do not go overboard with the details on the postcard. Your website is a better platform for paragraphs of information, so use the postcard to send them online for more information. Utilize the front and back of the card, but keep in mind to repeat your message on both sides to ensure they know what you do, no matter what side they look at first.

Consider establishing a slogan to use along with your real estate logo to leave an impression and communicate your service. Research other slogans for inspiration and get as creative as possible while still being informative. Adapt the slogan and the rest of the text to the audience you are addressing, and keep the writing style friendly, professional, and informative.

Use All Types of Postcards

  • The Open House Postcard – According to Examiner.com, the best way to promote an open house is by sending open house postcards. There is something about receiving a printed invitation to an event that makes the event seem more formal and also more personal. By using customizable postcards, you can make the recipient feel special. It’s also an opportunity for them to bring a friend that may be looking to buy a home nearby. People expect an open house to be a professional, yet friendly encounter, so make sure the postcard communicates this message. Don’t forget to state clearly why your guests should come to the open house event and mention any additional attractions the event might have to draw visitors. One creative idea is to organize a raffle or drawing, where every guest arriving can enter by simply showing their postcard invitation.
  • The Just Listed Postcard – Its main purpose, beyond the utility of promoting a new listing, is to make your business known in the neighborhood. So do not hesitate to send them to your farming area, even if many of them might not even hold an interest in buying a property at that moment. What is important in this process is that people get to see you are active and successful, which ultimately translates into long term confidence. Make sure to include the best pictures of the property. Pictures can speak for themselves, allowing you to keep the writing to a minimum.
  • The Just Sold Real Estate Postcard – Some might wonder about the purpose behind sending just sold postcards, given that the property is already sold. Celebrating your victory and making this a community event is a great way of promoting your real estate business. It shows people that the market is hot and you’re selling properties. Just sold real estate postcards can be also be viewed as an indirect testimonial from the owners who chose you as their realtor. Since you and the seller are celebrating, try to communicate that feeling in the postcard, making it an important announcement for everyone.

Go Old School: Printed Postcards Are In

In an era where much of our communication is virtual, it’s refreshing to put your hands on a written letter or a beautiful postcard. If enough attention has been put into choosing the right design to represent your brand, you can optimize the quality with the paper selection. Based on what budget is appropriate, you can either choose a more luxurious printing paper or a more understated one. Considering the materials your target audience receives can help you decide how much you should invest in paper quality. If your business mainly focuses on luxury listings, stepping up in printing quality and selecting a high-end matte or gloss may be best.

After all of your postcards are professionally printed, the next step would be to mail them to the recipients or hand deliver a group of them to VIPs.

Share Through Email and Social Media

When developing a postcard campaign, leverage your digital channels as well. Simply sharing your postcard design is a simple way to get your message out to your social media network or email newsletter subscribers. Depending on your technology knowledge and budget, you could even consider incorporating other visual effects such as a listing video. People love eye-catching visuals that are quick and interactive. Explore ways to differentiate yourself creatively to make the most of your postcard campaign.

Consistency is Key

Again, being consistent is not only important in real estate postcard marketing, but also in making your business seen and recognized by all members of the community. Given that clients who choose you as their realtor trust you to handle a very personal and important life event, you will have difficulty thriving if you operate from a distance. Use automated real estate marketing technology to keep your postcard campaigns running while you spend time on the face-to-face communications that foster long-term buyer and seller relationships.

5 Advantages of Magazine Advertising You Shouldn’t Miss

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*from MarketingWit.com

Advertising is an important part of everyday sales and exposure when it comes the services and products distributed by a company. Without it, companies and franchises wouldn’t have an outlet of promoting what it is they are trying to sell and enhance in terms of widening their reach and existence in the market. You have to understand that advertising requires planning with regard to packaging and timing, because audiences rely on certain services and products based on events and seasonal requirements. Magazines tap into a niche audience where designer brand companies and other sponsors of this type of media in print, know that by putting up ads in these pages they’re targeting an audience of a selective kind.

What Are the Advantages of Advertising in Magazines
The benefits of magazine advertising are aplenty since advertising techniques are designed in such a way where the audience is the primary and obvious focus. Who buys magazines? They see it as a medium that businessmen and women, well-off people and young adults buy on a regular monthly basis, because they can afford to, since there is something appealing about the magazine that draws them to it. Advertisement exposure scores big ones when it comes to magazines because there are people who buy them and can afford to splurge on what it is they come across. It benefits the advertisers because they’re being looked upon by those who live lifestyles that require them to if not indulge lavishly, at least do so on an occasional basis.
Reach
A magazine has considerable reach either globally, nationally, regionally, or locally, appealing to a fan following that is ready to buy/subscribe to these reads be it monthly or every quarter. You can expect a cornucopia of different people buying your magazine, with the hope that your ads are something they will pause to look through and at least mull over subconsciously if not make a conscious decision on the spot.
Attractive Display
The advantage of magazine advertisements is the fact that ads can look realistic and can jump out at readers, because of their glossy detailing and show of colors that calls for attention. Readers don’t have a choice but to notice these well-placed ads that cover a whole page spread or run for successive pages in a connective order. Marketing well put together ads that surpass the ordinary and mediocre, will have audiences enthralled at what they see, with a high possibility of them being your number one consumers.
Events
No matter what event date is fast approaching, magazines know that the focal point lies now in brands and services that will give consumers a reason to attain these depending on what lies ahead. Be it weddings, award functions, anniversaries, season sales or vacation getaways, magazines know how and when to release these very advertisements depending on their sponsors’ needs.
Audience Selection
Not all magazines will have random ads splashed across their pages, especially those with big names in the business. It is a well-planned strategy of assigning only certain kinds of issues with the right sponsors. For example, youth magazines will have affordable services / products from brand houses; fashion magazines will have expensive jewelry and clothes from well-known designers around the world, and so on. It’s a selling point strategy because you know exactly what kind of people are reading that issue and looking into your ad selections.
Shelf Life
It is true that a lot of people collect magazines therefore lengthening the lifespan of an ad, which is one of the many objectives of advertising. It gives it the benefit to be looked upon again and again.
Interested in advertising in the Central Illinois Homes Guide? Greater Peoria’s must-have home hunting companion for the last 35 years? Give us a call at 309.688.6419, email us at centralillinoishomesguide@gmail.com, or click here to place your ad, in Advertiser’s Corner!

3 Reasons for Agents to Send out Just Listed Postcards

*from continuityprograms.com

shutterstock_247058125After giving yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for securing your latest listing, the next step should be to immediately send out your “Just Listed” postcards. Some agents question if they’re still worth the trouble of sending, and the answer is a resounding yes!

Just Listed postcards are an effective and economical way to help you reach your business goals and their ROI is proven. Not simply a means of reporting on your success, the postcards may be just the encouragement other sellers and buyers need to make a move of their own. Here are three of the benefits of sending out just listed postcards.

“The Ask” as a Call to Action

Make your postcard an offer to help others with their real estate needs. Use a Just Listed postcard to attract and motivate potential new listings by including a small CTA paragraph at the bottom which offers your assistance to all sellers and buyers in the neighborhood of the listed home. Use wording along the lines of “If you’re thinking of selling your home, or looking to buy, I would love to work with you. Give me a call!” Or, put a different twist on it and offer a “Not For Sale” complimentary market analysis to determine the value of their home and start a relationship.

Stay Visible

Even if people are not buying or selling right now, seeing your branded Just Listed postcards shows potential clients that you are busy and successful. That’s always an image worth promoting to those on your mailing list. You’ll also increase the chance of your information being shared with others, and as you know, word-of-mouth marketing is vital to an agent’s business.

Show Them Your Success

Use Just Listed postcards to raise your brand awareness and generate new leads. Potential buyers will welcome an additional option, other agents will show your listing to their own buyers, and on-the-fence sellers may be encouraged to list with you based on the way you are marketing this listing.

Contact the PAAR Marketing Center to set up your MLS Auto Just Listed Postcards today!

5 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes You Hope You’re Not Making – But Probably Are

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*from Mediaspace Solutions

According to findings from a Temple University study, direct mail campaigns have a greater effect on buying decisions than digital ads. The study found that participants had stronger emotional responses from physical ads, and that those physical ads left a longer lasting impression.

So, whether or not direct mail marketing works is not really up for discussion. What is up for discussion is how to do it the right way and the wrong way.

If you’ve been struggling to get your direct mail campaigns to work for you, chances are you’re making some common mistakes.

Mistake #1: You’re Not Leveraging Data

All of your customers are different, so lumping them into one “target” group won’t work. To launch an effective direct mail campaign, you’ve got to spend some time looking at your data so you can properly segment your audience into specific groups. This will allow for more relevant communication that they will actually respond to.

Don’t create messaging that speaks to a target group – use data to speak to individuals within that group.

Mistake #2: Using a Not-so-Clean List

If you like missed opportunities and wasting money, then by all means, use a messy list. But if you want a solid ROI on your campaign, clean your database from time-to-time to check for address or name changes, and scrap any duplicate records. No one will think fondly of your brand if they keep receiving two or more postcards from you.

Mistake #3: Your Mailings are Boring and Not Personal

You may think that, these days, a person’s mailbox isn’t as cluttered as their email inbox, so you don’t have to try as hard to get their attention. Wrong! Boring and nonpersonal mail will be tossed immediately into the trash (or recycling bin for those conscientious recipients).

Your communication is still vying for attention so make sure your creatives are creative and grab attention. Always be thoughtful and personal with your messaging. Remember, your goal is to connect, engage and inspire your audience to action.

Mistake #4: You Have No Point

Or if you do, it isn’t very clear.

Remember, you’ve got like 3 seconds to convince a recipient to spend some time with your mailer to digest your offer. If, right off the bat, your message has confused them, you’re going in the bin.

Make sure your copy is very clean and makes complete sense. If you don’t have someone in-house who is strong at direct mail copywriting, outsource to someone who can create a message that is clear, direct, and drives your desired reaction.

Mistake #5: You’re Not Testing

If you have no idea what is and isn’t working, you’re obviously not testing. And if you’re not testing, you’re not optimizing your campaigns to get the biggest return.

There are an awful lot of moving pieces to a direct mail campaign, and the chances of you getting everything 100% perfectly right your first time ‘out of the gate’ are fairly low. A/B test everything, your colors, images, headers, bullet points and calls-to-action. Only when you have reached peak optimization should you roll out big.

Need help with your next direct mail campaign? We help our members improve their creative execution, expand their market presence, drive action and maximize their budgets, and we can do the same for you. Get in touch with us here at the PAAR Marketing Center today.

Leveling Up Your Marketing Strategy with Direct Mail

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*from lumegent.com

It’s no secret that marketing campaigns have shifted to the digital realm. Companies are ditching flyers and postcards and are instead opting for social media, email, video, and other digital channels. While the internet serves as the bedrock for most marketing efforts, it’s important for a company to implement an integrated marketing strategy to maximize reach.

This is where direct mail comes in. Direct mail creates a tangible connection between company and customer—an interaction that digital campaigns simply cannot replicate. Most mail recipients take time to sift through their mail, whereas emails can be lost in spam folders, video links ignored, and Facebook posts passed over. Even if recipients don’t respond to direct mail, they at least look at the flyers and postcards they receive. With my years of experience in printing and direct mail campaigns, I can attest to the high conversion rates that accompany direct mail. You’d be surprised at how many people fill out reply cards to request information or the increase in web traffic after mail pieces are delivered to customers.

Direct mail also offers flexibility to accommodate a company’s marketing strategy. A common use of direct mail is to promote sales and events, but that’s only the beginning. Companies can use direct mail to gather information about existing and new customers, to offer coupons and discounts, and as a reminder of important dates. Direct mail can meet both the short-term marketing goals of a company, such as driving sales for a promotional event, and the company’s long-term goals, such as building relationships with customers.

Another significant aspect of direct mail is its trackability. Data and analytics are central to a marketing campaign, so being able to track the number of responses from reply cards or the number of times a customer uses mail-only coupons provides important insight into a company’s marketing strategy. Companies can then use direct mail data to improve or readjust their campaigns as needed.

One concern with direct mail, however, is cost. With most digital options free or nearly free, it’s understandable why a company would put away the paper and focus on web-only collateral. Although direct mail does cost money to design, print, and ship, the cost isn’t as prohibitive as you may think. The unit cost for most mail pieces is only a few cents (if that), so it’s possible to incorporate direct mail into a marketing budget without breaking the bank.

In today’s business climate, an integrated approach to marketing has become more essential than ever before. As marketers, we want to reach customers and clients largely through digital means, but connecting with individuals over multiple channels—including direct mail—ensures the highest rate of return for our efforts. As a bonus, multichannel marketing solidifies a company’s brand and flavor of messaging. Direct mail ultimately provides an inexpensive, effective channel to supplement a company’s digital marketing endeavors.