A lot of agents send newsletters in hopes that they’ll create business. They hope that someone will see the new property they’ve just put on the market, or read all about why working with John or Sue is the right move when buying or selling a home. Sadly though, the vast majority of those newsletters end up in the recycling bin, sometimes before they even make it into a prospective client’s home.
So what does it take to create a newsletter that actually gets opened, read and responded to?
First, let’s cover some mistakes that everyone is making. Then, we’ll get into some steps for making sure your newsletter drives your business.
5 Newsletter Mistakes:
- It looks like a piece of trash. Where do you sort the mail? If you’re anything like me, you sort your mail over the trash. It’s ok, we all do it. We all sit there trying to quickly figure out if that piece of mail has any value. If it immediately looks like marketing mail, into the trash it goes.
Most likely, that’s because your newsletters are in color, glossy, and often not even in an envelope. They look like an ad, instead of a personal letter or something with value. They scream “I’m trying to sell you something!” Let me ask you, what is your immediate thought when you receive a piece of mail like that?
- It’s all about you and your properties! Many of the real estate newsletters I still receive to this day, start out talking about how great you are and how you have amazing properties for sale. Look, I know, you’re an amazing agent, I get it. You’ll sell my home faster and for more money… and you have homes you really want me to see… but why do I care?
If you only talk about real estate, you’re immediately not relevant to at least 50% of your audience who aren’t currently in the market to buy or sell a home. Worse yet, if you keep serving people real estate information when that’s not what they’re looking for, they’ll tune you out entirely. It’s ok to remind people you’re an agent, but if you keep your content covering a broad range of topics, you’re more likely to draw people in and be top of mind when it is time for them to buy or sell a home.
- Consistency! Let’s be clear about newsletters. If you’re looking for an overnight return on your investment, newsletters probably aren’t for you. However, if you’re looking for long term, consistent, and quality return on your money, newsletters are a great option. Ideally, according to the Direct Marketing association, you should be contacting your sphere of influence once every 21 days to stay top of mind, and a monthly personal newsletter can be a great addition to your follow up strategy.
- A CALL TO ACTION! It’s easy for clients to forget about you if you don’t remind them you’re here to help, and you’re a REALTOR. It’s also easy for them to forget when someone asks if they know a good realtor – I bet you’ve had this happen with your own friends and family. If you don’t ask for referrals, or don’t tell people to call you if they need your (free, expert!) advice, they won’t.
Beyond that though, what about those folks who don’t need your services right now? How are you keeping them engaged? Even simple tricks like monthly “movie ticket” giveaways, or brain teasers can keep people interested and engaging with you and your content. I know… it might sound a little hokey, but trust me, it works.
- Doesn’t help to set you up as an expert. Those glossy newsletters your broker provides do tell recipients that you work at that company. But so do all of the other similar mail from realtors they receive. To show you’re an authority on real estate, you should provide content that answers important questions about buying and selling homes.
How about a monthly “Question and Answer” section in your newsletter that IS about real estate? You can offer free real-estate focused reports, information or services- and have a ‘call to action’ for readers to give you a call to receive that expert info!
Direct mail (your newsletter) isn’t the be-all end-all of everything you need to do as a REALTOR. But, it’s an important tool that can help set your practice up to be consistent, help you stay top-of-mind, and stay in touch with your sphere of influence – your Power List. CLICK HERE to read more about the Power List.
At the end of the day, your newsletter must be something that is welcomed and valued by the recipient on its own merit. By this I mean it must contain information that is engaging, informative, helpful and seen as valuable in the eyes of your reader. If you keep this in mind, you’ll create some stellar newsletters moving forward.
Want to learn more about direct marketing? Our founder Craig Forte developed a free course – developed after years of research with direct mail – but it’s not something we give away to most people. Why? Because it’s over 200 pages, and we only want to provide it to those who are going to take the time to read and understand it! Click this link to download the course if you want to start implementing this time-tested strategy in your practice.