Real Estate Postcard Marketing – 6 Secret Ingredients for Success

Remember a few years back when all the fast food chains crowed about their “secret” sauces and ingredients? It sure added some mystique, didn’t it? Nothing improved the flavor of a hamburger or drumstick like good old-fashioned secrecy!

Now let’s transition to postcard marketing, where a similar concept applies. A small percentage of real estate agents have discovered the “secret ingredients” of postcard marketing. As a result, they enjoy huge success each time they conduct a mailing.

Other agents, however, do not enjoy such success. They send postcard after postcard, but, alas, no response. These agents do not know the secret ingredients of postcard marketing success.

Let’s uncover some secrets, shall we?

Postcard Secret #1 — Don’t Rely on Technology

You first need to realize that technology alone won’t lead you to postcard marketing success. If it were that easy, all agents would enjoy record-breaking responses from their mailings.

In fact, technology is the most straightforward part of the equation. A postcard marketing service will handle all of the technology for you. But there’s the rub. Technology can help you deliver a powerful message, but it cannot create that message for you. That’s your job.

Nobody knows your audience or your skills better than you, and nobody cares about your success as much as you do. So the message, and everything that brings it to life, must begin with you.

Postcard Secret #2 — Know Your Audience

When creating your postcard message, start by identifying your audience. This might seem obvious, but it’s a critical step upon which the rest of the process will rest. To identify your core audience, you simply have to ask yourself a series of questions.

What area do I want to represent? Am I focusing on buyers or sellers? Where might I find these people? What’s important to them? What do they want to know? What do I have to offer that might motivate them?

When you’ve answered these questions, you should be able to write a paragraph from the combined answers. This paragraph is your audience statement, and it will help you set your postcard marketing objectives accordingly. Once you’ve defined your audience, you can more easily determine the kinds of offers that might motivate them.

Postcard Secret #3 — Identify the Desired Response

Now that you know your audience (and assuming you’ve done some research to really get to know them) you can set the objective for your postcard campaign. Ask yourself, “What do I want to happen as a result of sending my postcards? What’s the ideal response?”

Here’s the key to this step. Don’t ask your postcards to do more than they’re capable of doing. I see real estate marketers using postcards to try and convince recipients that they offer superior service. That’s a lot to ask of an 8″ x 5″ piece of card stock.

Scale back your objective until you find something that (A) gives the postcard a more realistic task, (B) follows a more natural sales progression, and (C) capitalizes on known behavior.

What’s a good response to aim for? How about a phone call or an email? Now that’s something a postcard can handle, especially if you give people a good reason to contact you (like an insightful report on future construction in your area). And that leads to our next “secret”…

Postcard Secret #4 — Offer Something Great

We know from statistics that most consumers end up choosing the first real estate agent they contact. So you can capitalize on this known behavior by aiming for that critical first contact. This is where your offer comes into play.

The value and relevance of your offer will determine the size of your response. That’s a fundamental principal of postcard marketing that many agents overlook. A postcard without explicit value is a postcard destined for the trash.

Think of it this way. The postcard is only a messenger. A messenger without an important message is worthless. But if the messenger has valuable news or information, everybody wants to hear what he has to say!

Here’s an example. If I lived in a residential area suffering from “commercial creep,” and somebody offered me an exclusive report on future commercial development and how it might impact my home value … I would want that report! And I’d contact anyone to get it.

Postcard Secret #5 — Leverage Your Website

Have a website? If so, you have a perfect marketing partner to complement your postcards. The reasons are somewhat psychological:

The goal of any marketing program is to gain new business, but sometimes you have to offer indirect paths as well as the direct ones. Direct paths are for direct people. A direct path on a postcard would be a phone number. Some interested prospects will choose the direct route and call you straightaway.

But those who are less direct would rather learn more about you first. They need to get comfortable before they “raise their hands.” So why not build an informational resource section of your website and point to it with your postcards?

The point is to offer different response channels for the different personality types. A direct phone number for the direct people, and an indirect website path for the more timid souls. Then mention both paths on your postcards, and you’ve increased your chance for response — be it direct or indirect.

Postcard Secret #6 — Measure Your Success

Make sure you have some way to track the responses you get back from each mailing. This will allow you to compare one postcard message to another to see which one performs better.

First, establish a baseline response based on your first mailing (out of X number of recipients, X responded). Next, try to improve one element of the postcard, such as the offer. You won’t know if it’s truly an improvement until the test is complete, but that’s the whole point.

Lastly, send the new version of your postcard to the same list, the same number of recipients, and with all other things being equal. Track the results as you did before, and compare the two mailings. You’ve just completed a simple A/B test to determine which of two offers is more effective.

You can continue this testing in one of two ways: You can keep putting your winning offer up against new challengers. Or you can move on to other aspects of the mailing, such as the design, headline, list, timeframe, etc. The goal is to have a postcard that combines the best of all elements.

Conclusion

I hope you see now that the “secrets” of postcard marketing success aren’t really secrets at all. They are proven methods that have been used by direct mail marketers for years. And now that you understand them, you have everything you need to create your own postcard marketing success.

* Copyright 2006, PostcardSmart. You may republish this article online if you retain the byline, author’s note and active hyperlinks.

Expense Report Processing Software Which Helps in Workflow Of Business

Software for calculating expenses is utilized by many organizations, both private and public, to keep accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive expense accounts. The accounts contain travel expenses as well as sales and expenses, and the administrative expenses related to business operations. These software applications are specifically designed to make the chores involved in managing expenses straightforward and efficient. There are two types of software on the market that are desktop-based and web-based. Each kind has its own qualities and drawbacks.

Web-based expense report software is a single platform that lets you access a variety of different user profiles. This permits the creation of expense reports for different departments at the same time, without requiring additional deployment of personnel to create reports for each department. This also implies that the business can increase efficiency as departments grow. A typical package includes territory management software that manages territory, it’s POS system, the ability to export data, as well as an ability to integrate reports with other systemslike those for accounting and payroll.

Desktop software requires minimal setup and is generally installed on the user’s computer. It also provides log-in the accounting software that lets users build custom expense reports to enter relevant information, as well as print the data. The main disadvantage of this kind of program is that it doesn’t allow sharing of data between departments or examine past transactions. Desktop software is typically only appropriate for large corporations, since it may not be beneficial to small businesses that typically manage all of their own invoicing.

In order to use software for expense reports effectively, the user must be able to explain the various types of information needed. The types of input fields used will be described below. They let the user choose the account to be entered along with the number of business units to be included within the transaction. The employee that is to be charged for the service, the date when the transaction took place in the transaction, the amount to be charged, and the person who is invoiced for the service. Additional details can be entered by the person in charge.

Many electronic billing systems come with the ability to enter claims electronically that allows customers to assign their expenses electronically to designated vendors, as well as to keep track of the status of their claims. Electronic claims make it easier to manage the recurring transactions. The next section of the expense report will provide the actual expense data. The report includes the date as well as the total amount of the transaction and also the code associated with the service that was contracted for. The next line includes the invoice number of the contract originally given, the service code for the service contracted for, as well as the description of service that relates to the services ordered for.

After describing the different kinds that of info, last line item is the actual amount of money associated with each transaction. Most fields will list the expenses in the account by vendor name as well as service code or description of the service. Additionally, there should be up to three lines that indicate the actual dollar amount. If there’s an unresolved issue between the amount of all charges as well as the dollar value of the initial contract, a word box should be added here. The final line item in any expense document is the state of the chargeback. This will be indicated by an asterisk when the field is paid, however the invoice is being issued

Television Marketing Made Simple And Easy

Marketing your business via television may prove to be a long standing venture, or a venture that most people simply ignore. Along with television advertising, you have seminar marketing that allows you to show off their latest products, all while making every thing goes as planned.

Today we will start with television advertising, and then will discuss seminar marketing. When marketing on TV, your ad has to get the attention of the reader and do so in a time fashion. Make sure your TV ad has the ability to get prospects’ to stop what they’re doing and focus in on the detail of your ad.

Television advertising used to be cheap to run in the old days, but because it has become so popular prices to do it has skyrocketed. It used to be easy to approach a news source and ask them if you could run an ad on their news station. However now, to advertise, it can easily cost you thousands of dollars.

If you still want to run a television ad, then good for you! I will give you some tips that you can use to take your business to the next level. All of these tips are easy to do, and some are actually benefits that you’ll gain from running these ads. Here’s the first tip that I can offer you.

1) You’ll gain credibility

When people see you on TV, and then finally meets you in person, they will think of you as a celebrity. This is something that you should be happy about because celebrity status can help to boost your sales. The more your TV ads runs, the most people will know you, and the more people will visit your business. Here’s another tip for television advertising.

2) You’ll earn more money

Because of the broad nature of television advertising, your marketing message will reach millions of people. With this prospect base intact, it’s almost easy to make more money using television advertising. The more your ad runs, the more response you will get, and the more money you will make. Here’s another benefit of television advertising.

3) Results are fast

This is direct response marketing at its finest. You will know quickly whether or not the TV ad is working for you or not. Hopefully you have a tracking system in place where you can measure how much response your TV ad is pulling. If it’s not pulling in the way that you want it to, then you may want to scrap the medium altogether – because it can be quite expensive to do another test for your ad.

Television advertising has progressed over the years and because of its popularity, the costs to do it also has went up. If you think that you can profit from using television advertising, then give it a shot. For each customer that you get, make sure you have a strong marketing plan in place that will allow you to follow up on your customers on a timely basis, so that they can buy more from you.