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"How to Boost Your Business with an E-Zine! "

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Nancy Michaels Photo
4/4/08 Interview with Nancy Michaels

Grow Your Business Network
60 Thoreau St., 308
Concord, MA 01742

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The Crux of Marketing

  1. Michaels still believes that VCR—Visibility, Consistency and Repetition—are at the heart of good marketing; technology has without a doubt advanced marketing efforts.
  2. The aim is to be noticed in the marketplace with a consistent message; your branding should give everything you put out the same look and feel; repeating your message over time helps make it memorable.
  3. Even small, independent business people can be successful with a limited marketing budget by focusing on a specific group and/or region.
Value of E-Zines

  1. An e-zine is an online newsletter; this application of technology lets you market to your audience in a very cost-effective way.
  2. Keep your content rich so that people are motivated to open it when they see your name and subject line; if the piece is primarily a sales piece about you, you lose credibility, but if it delivers welcome information, you become the reliable resource that people want to seek out.
  3. People want to do business with professionals they know, like and trust; valuable content addressing your recipients’ interests will establish rapport and increase the likelihood that recipients will think of you when they need an agent.
Tips for Success with an E-Zine

  1. Research shows that sending out your piece on Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the better days.
  2. Keep the e-zine simple instead of making it multi-dimensional like a printed paper; Michaels begins with a few words updating her activities, commenting on the theme of the issue and perhaps offering some resources—no call to action unless she is launching a specific product for her customer base.
  3. There are good contact management programs and good e-zine management programs available—Constant Contact is one Michaels recommends; using these programs enables creation of a professional looking piece that is html based.
  4. It is prudent to ask your recipients to designate a preference for html or plain text; always deliver information in the way your customer wants to receive it.
  5. For a defined group, using a special e-zine makes sense; consider customizing your e-zine to the degree that your market is customized; if your audience is generic, make your appeal broad.
Leveraging Techniques for Marketing

  1. Ask recipients to forward issues to people they know who might be interested in the information—encourage viral marketing of your e-zine.
  2. Launching an endorsement campaign takes testimonial letters to a higher level; ask your best customer to write a letter of praise about the work you have done; send the letter to your list of prospects as proof of the value you bring beyond the competition.
  3. Follow up with letters to people who refer you thanking them for the referral, reinforcing what you did for them and perhaps including an article or book that might be of interest.
  4. An endorsement campaign is a great way for real estate pros to build their reputation; showcasing different clients in the e-zine is another way to present testimonials and demonstrate how you address concerns and problems for others; readers empathize with the clients.
  5. Make use of a variety of media, including postcards, because people learn in different ways and have different preferences; keep a portfolio of testimonial letters, before/after staging photos and sample property marketing brochures; learn to work with a blend of tools to generate leads.
Strategies for Getting People Signed Up

  1. An easy first step is to send email invitations to people already on your contact list asking them to opt in for your e-zine; all the online e-zine companies require opting in because of anti-spam laws.
  2. Think beyond present and past clients and prospects to include media contacts, other real estate service providers, construction companies and other vendors—anyone who could be a source of customers for you.
  3. Go to meetings where you will encounter people who could become referral sources—you might be one of only a handful of agents among those groups, so it builds your reputation.
  4. Customize your e-zine content to appeal to various groups; even invite members of certain groups (e.g., builders) to contribute content that will draw in new readers—share lists; this kind of cooperation can extend into cross-marketing and affiliate programs.
  5. Running a special offer from a local business in each issue can add financial value that people look forward to receiving; restaurants are good prospects for this; a collection of local take-out menus and a gift certificate makes a nice gift for new buyers.
Levels of Sophistication

  1. Audio can be effective, but it can be annoying; you need to give people a way to get out of it; video is not yet totally reliable; a trend toward more sophisticated use of media has started, but it is not widespread.
  2. The practical approach is to keep an e-zine simple and get it into circulation—don’t delay by waiting to have everything perfect.
Contact Information for Nancy Michaels:

(v) 781-860-8818

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Grow Your Business Network:
Constant Contact: