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"Plant Your Name in Prospects Brains! "

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Nancy Michaels Photo
12/3/04 Interview with Nancy Michaels

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

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Using Email to Boost Visibility

  1. Email is the most cost effective marketing tool for connecting with customers, so collect, with permission, as many email addresses as possible; offer an e-zine with helpful tips to gather email contacts.
  2. Consider presenting a top-ten list in your e-zine because such a list is appealing to read and makes a good subject line for your email message; a file of "Great Subject Lines" that have attracted you is a useful resource for structuring your own messages.
  3. The sender line also gets attention, you want recipients to recognize you as the sender, so having people opt-in is important; keep email messages brief, too much information discourages people from reading.
  4. Track the success of your messages by using a tool such as ConstantContact, which at low cost allows you to see how many people actually open your email and how many click through to links that you included.5. The Constant Contact program is easy to use for a customized newsletter; you provide your email list to be tracked.
  5. Additionally, having information online is important, your web site replaces your printed brochure.
Building an Email Database

  1. Start with anybody you ever did business with; also include prospects,anyone you have met, even if they have not used your services.
  2. Add people who can refer business to you, such as mortgage brokers, bankers, lawyers, accountants or even plumbers and electricians, anyone who has contact with homeowners, so that these people are aware of you.
Marketing Strategies

  1. The crux of marketing is "VCR",Visibility, Consistency and Repetition in the marketplace; make your identity consistent and memorable.
  2. Purchasing email lists raises spam issues; a list you build yourself is by far the most effective list.
  3. Although you might buy a list for local ZIP codes and send one opt-inmessage, the strategy violates the advertising rule of thumb that you need to make six impressions; the rule is true for direct mail and probably for email as well.
  4. Don't overlook direct mail as a valuable way to reach people; e.g., an agent sent Michaels a refrigerator magnet with phone numbers of local restaurants that Michaels will definitely keep and use.
  5. Beyond who it comes from, the subject line and the top-ten content, include the function for the recipient to forward the email to a friend.
Tips for an Effective E-mail Program

  1. Send something on a regular basis (monthly works well) to achieve consistency; the Society's customizable, free CyperTips, suits this need.
  2. Consider interviewing an expert or getting one to write your top-ten list; reciprocal exposure can benefit both you and the expert.
  3. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to send email; the best months of the year are less certain, though people are busy in December and the summer; consistent effort is the best policy.
Web Strategies

  1. To drive traffic to your site and hold visitors' attention, keep the site current by regularly updating content, including the home page; archive articles that might be of interest.
  2. Run contests to attract people; think in terms of a long-term campaign to bring people back; promote things in your e-zine that link back to the website for more information.
  3. Be sure your site is visually appealing,seek a designer's help with appearance and navigation; LogoWorks is a good resource for this.
  4. Content for your web site should include information about you as an agent (photo, bulleted biography, references, testimonials) as a confidence-builder for prospects; show pictures of current listings and/or past properties sold and give contact information.
  5. Playing up information about properties, about your area and about resources in your area is an effective strategy,even post links (which has revenue potential to support your site).
  6. For people moving from another area, getting contacts with an accountant, attorney, banker, mortgage broker and service people is especially helpful; as you work with people, send an email that you have such information and link them to your web site.
  7. Address issues on a Frequently Asked Questions page on your own site rather than using message boards or online discussion groups.
Ways to Get Feedback from Clients

  1. Offer an obvious mechanism on your web site asking for comments; solicit satisfaction comments by email after you work with someone.
  2. Consider surveying your contact base (e-zine subscriber list) utilizing providers such as Zoomerang (relatively costly) or Tuglet (a source for free surveys).

  1. Michaels has produced and recommends the Web Café series for Office Depot; these web casts feature speakers geared toward independent salespeople and small business owners; 300­3,000 people hear the sessions live, and another 300­3,000 access them archived.
  2. Web casting, though costly, holds potential for large firms to reach a large audience; independent people might do better offering free tele-classes, e.g., a home-buying clinic.
A Favorite Web Site

Jane Pollak, an artist and speaker, has a great web site that creatively integrates all of her business activities.

Contact Information for Nancy Michaels:

(v) 781-860-8818

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:
Office Depot Web Café
Jane Pollak's integrated site