We surveyed our readers to find out what kind of window treatments they prefer to use in their homes.
HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers to learn about their window treatment preferences. Find out how they responded to our February 2018 survey.
> View Survey Results
New integration enables zipForm® Plus users to transfer client data directly into marketing materials
zipLogix™ and HomeActions LLC, an e-prospecting and client relationship platform for real estate agents, today announced the integration of HomeActions within the zipForm® Plus forms platform. Additional marketing tools will soon be at the fingertips of zipForm® Plus users, thanks to zipLogix™’s latest partnership. HomeActions’ subscribers will be able to take advantage of an integration that connects their zipForm® Plus data to marketing activities.
This integration creates access to the HomeActions marketing platform within zipForm® Plus, delivering the functionality that leverages an agent’s current client data. The HomeActions platform is built for real estate and allows users to build out a robust marketing plan with the right tools. The zipForm® Plus integration enables users to push client data to the HomeActions platform to streamline workflow.
“Partnering with HomeActions enables us to provide our customers with the marketing tools they need to help increase their real estate business,” said zipLogix™ Chairman of the Board Mark Peterson. “By connecting zipForm® Plus to the HomeActions platform, real estate agents can seamlessly transfer client data to their marketing activities.”
“With this arrangement, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Barry Friedman, CEO and Co-Founder of HomeActions. “Real estate agents will get the best of both worlds: the extraordinary efficiency of zipForm® Plus transaction management and the database and communication system that comes with HomeActions.”
In order to get leads flowing in through your digital marketing, you must first make sure you have set automated lead alerts on key content. You should also check your click-through reporting to monitor prospect click activity.
“Great! I have a lead… Now what?”
Once you start generating leads through your email marketing, implement a strategy for converting click-through activity and lead alerts into new clients. Lead tracking is a key component to your success. Lay out a basic and intuitive process for monitoring and responding to leads.
STEP 1: Look at What Generated the Lead Alert or Click Activity
Check which article or banner piqued your readers’ interest, and make a note of the topic that generated the lead.
STEP 2: See Who Responded to Your Lead
Look at the individual’s contact record in your database. See if they have also been clicking on other content in the past. If you notice a trend, you definitely have a warm lead in-hand. If this is the first click, you may still have an opportunity to convert your lead into a client.
STEP 3: Follow Up on Your Leads
Send a personal email with a follow up message to your prospect. Say something like, “I noticed you recently read an article in our newsletter about [topic here]. Is this something you’re thinking of exploring? Feel free to email me at email@example.com if I can help.”
After one or two passive emails like that, take the next step and call your warm lead with a friendly approach to feel them out on their level of interest. Even if they don’t access your services at that time, you have successfully reminded them that you’re available if their needs change in the future.
STEP 4: Track Your Leads
Creating accurate and comprehensive records of your lead follow-up is a vital aspect of successful lead conversion. Make a record of your phone calls and follow-up emails either in your email marketing platform, CRM tool or tracking system of your choice.
STEP 5: Act or Release
If your prospect shows interest, schedule an appointment for a consultation or take appropriate next steps. Be sure your team is aware that you will be connecting them with new prospects generated by your email marketing.
If the lead does not show any interest after a couple emails and phone calls, step back and wait for future interactions. Review your follow-up records to make sure your team is not saturating the prospect with sales calls. As long as your prospect is subscribed to your email newsletter program, there will always be another opportunity to connect.
Where will you go on your next family vacation? We surveyed our readers to find out what they think.
HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers about potential family vacation spots. Find out how they responded to our January 2018 survey.
> View Survey Results
Should homeowners upgrade their kitchens before selling their homes? We surveyed our readers to find out what they think.
HomeActions newsletters are distributed by over 5,000 real estate professionals reaching over 3 million email newsletter readers every two weeks. This week, we’re polling our readers about kitchen remodeling prior to home sales. Find out how they responded to our January 2018 survey.
> View Survey Results
You’re strapped for time, but you still have a social media presence to maintain. What is a savvy marketer to do? Here are five smart tips for getting the most bang out of the time and effort you invest in posting content to your social networks.
1. Repurpose Existing Content
Use content from your newsletter launches, blog posts, or other online resources to maximize its exposure and stretch your resources. Repurposing content is a logical way to make your social media marketing work smarter, not harder. Plus, when you drive social visitors back to your existing content, you’re creating more opportunities for prospects to find your company.
Beyond social media, there are a ton of ways you can maximize the life and exposure of your content. Consider a single newsletter article, and imagine that it could find new life as:
- A blog post
- An infographic
- Multiple social media posts
- A call-out quote that becomes a social media graphic
- A chapter in an e-book
- A video discussion or podcast
The sky is the limit. Be creative, and consider all the ways you can stretch the life of your content to consolidate your resources, be more efficient with your time and maximize the exposure of your key articles.
2. Be Selective When Choosing Social Networks
More is not necessarily better when it comes to social media. It pays to be choosy about which social networks your company decides to use. Consider your target market. What networks are your clients and prospects most likely to visit? Before you build a profile on the latest and hottest social network, take a look at the demographics of their typical users, and make sure you will find your audience on that network. You should also be sure you have the time and man-power to post consistently and respond to activity on any network you choose.
3. Use a Social Media Management Tool
Social media managers, like Hootsuite, SocialOomph, TweetDeck, SocialPilot, and others, offer a simple way to post your content to multiple platforms or profiles at once. With these tools, you won’t need to log in and out of multiple social networks. Instead, you can post to multiple platforms simultaneously in one step. Plus, you’ll have the ability to schedule out future posts and monitor activity from one central hub.
4. Instill a Weekly Routine of Scheduling Posts for the Week Ahead
Block out roughly 30 to 45 minutes once per week as time devoted to setting up your social media posts for the week ahead. This simple, effective habit allows you to get ahead of the game so you;’re not worrying about updating your social networks on a daily basis.
5. Set Aside Specific Times Each Day for Quick Social Maintenance
You’ll want to respond to comments from followers and be aware of your social media interactions, but keep in mind that social media can be distracting. Instead of being bogged down in minute-to-minute monitoring, dedicate a specific time (or times) each day for monitoring and responding to social activity. Usually brief morning and lunch hour check-ins are sufficient. This process will help you minimize social interruptions and become more efficient with your social media time management.
Start with the five simple tips, then use your social metrics and reporting tools to gauge the impact of your efforts. You’ll find that following these simple tips helps you maximize your impact with more productive, efficient strategies.
We all know that having a personal LinkedIn profile and one for your business is essential to your social media goals. But merely setting up profiles and forgetting they exists won’t help your efforts. There are some relatively simple things you can do to make your pages more interesting to your LinkedIn community.
First and foremost, you should ensure that your personal LinkedIn profile lists your business as your current employer. When people view your profile, your current employer is among the first few pieces of information displayed, making this an important connection back to your business page. Another step toward boosting engagement is increasing your connections. Having a solid following on your LinkedIn page will help you reach more potential clients; however, procuring these connections isn’t always intuitive.
Here are six strategies that will help you increase your professional connections.
1. Compose Daily Status Updates
Being active on LinkedIn as a whole will help to increase your connections. The best way to stay present is to make sure you post at least one status update every day. This tip holds true for both personal and business pages. But don’t post just any old thing, share a link about something relevant to your business, industry or community. Having a consistent presence on LinkedIn will give users an opportunity to stay updated on your business, and relevant posts give your followers a reason to visit your page in general.
2. Send a Personalized Message to Connect Once a Day
There are two steps to this tip. First, make sure you’re reaching out to potential connections that are personally known to you or with whom you have a friend or colleague in common. A good place to start is by utilizing LinkedIn’s “Alumni” feature, where you can find fellow LinkedIn users that share your alma mater. Once you find a familiar individual you’d like to connect with, write them a personalized message to connect. Ditch the automated message that LinkedIn provides and write something that the other person knows you wrote specifically for them. Writing your own message increases the likelihood that they will accept your invitation.
3. Utilize LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform
LinkedIn’s publishing platform is a great way for you to position yourself in front of a wider audience. This tool allows you to post long-form posts, creating a string of three posts and accompanying images. These posts will be available to the entire LinkedIn audience and will appear on your profile under the “Posts” section. Not only will you have the ability to create professional looking long-form posts, but the reach of these posts is not limited to only your connections, giving every LinkedIn user the opportunity to discover your posts. You can also customize your own “about us” blurbs as the closing of your personal posts and link them back to your business profile.
4. Join Groups and Participate in Discussions
A great way to stay active in the LinkedIn community is to join groups that are relevant to your industry niche or philanthropic involvement. Pick a minimum of three groups, and stay active on a weekly basis. Membership in LinkedIn’s groups will help you to discover potential new prospects or referral sources. Furthermore, you should also make sure that you have a strong presence on these group pages. Try participating in group discussions or even initiating conversations on the page.
5. Comment on Your Connections’ Updates
A really simple way to garner more connections and nurture your existing professional relationships is to simply show interest in the people you are connected to on LinkedIn. If one of your connections posts a new job, comment to say congratulations. You can also respond to links they post or like their status updates. Displaying your interest in your connections’ professional achievements will brand you as a valuable member and make others want to connect with you.
6. Endorse Others
Endorse others for the skills that you admire. This is another way to increase your credibility, build relationships and demonstrate the value you add as a connection. In order to gain new followers, you should have a track record of being an asset to your current connections. When others endorse you, send them a personal message to thank them.
All of these tips will assist you in attracting more people to your personal and business LinkedIn pages and give you more opportunities to increase connections. Having an active presence is the key to success.
Look for our next post, which will go in depth on the type of posts you should be sharing, breaking down exactly which ingredients create the most effective posts.
You need captivating images on your business’ website, blog or email newsletter, but like most of us, you’re not a professional photographer. Without visuals, it’s hard for readers to quickly gather a visual understanding of your content. But don’t fret! There are countless places on the web to get cheap, or even free, stock images to accompany your marketing content.
Here is our roundup of the 5 best websites for freebie stock images.
Free Images is exactly as it sounds. The site houses thousands of free images for you to download and use in your email marketing, on your website or blog, or in social media. All that is required is that you create an account. From there, you have access to their diverse range of quality images. You can search for images by typing a basic keyword search, or you can make use of the “Tags” tab, which takes you to a page full of commonly used words like “Business” or “Finance” that will direct you to images associated with those keywords.
This site has some very impressive first-rate photos. Search for the type of image you need and click on the image you like. Then you can download images in a variety of sizes: original, large, medium, small, or you can choose the “custom” option and input your own dimensions. One feature unique to Pexels is their own Photoshop Plugin Subscription. It isn’t free, but it is super cheap at only $4 a month or $2 a month if you pay annually.
Pixabay is another site with totally free images for you to use. Sign up with your email to start downloading images in a variety of sizes. Pixabay offers many high-quality photos as well as a large database of illustrations and vectors. If you’re only interested in illustrated images or vectors, you can click to browse only these types of images. You can also choose to explore “Editor’s Choice,” which offers the most sophisticated and quality photos. Furthermore, if you find several images that you like by the same photographer, you can choose to browse images only by this artist.
High-quality images and lots of them. What more can we ask for? Stocksnap is a no-nonsense site, pretty basic, but delivers what it promises. All images are provided by Creative Commons so there are no licensing issues, meaning you don’t have to worry about attribution. Every image includes the number of downloads it’s received and how many people have favorited it. This can help you decide on an image based on if you prefer photos others have already liked or if you want to steer clear of images that have been heavily used. If you make an account, you can keep a tally of your favorite images and use them whenever you’re ready.
The selection on this site isn’t as varied as the others, but this is a very aesthetically pleasing site full of dramatic images. The images are big and the overall layout of Unspslash is very simple and elegant, giving you the opportunity to browse their beautiful database of images with ease. Downloading is so simple that you barely notice it. If you like an image, just click the download button in the bottom right corner of the photo and the image instantly pops up on a separate page. The site has an incredibly user-friendly download process, but it requires that you resize the image on your own if you need different dimensions. If that’s the case, just save the image in Paint (or another image editor) and change the dimensions to your liking. Make sure you take a look at Unsplash’s “Collections” tab where you can peruse photos from categories.
Other Image & Design Resources
Once you have all these great photos in your inventory, take it one step further by checking out ways to edit those images and create new, original graphics. Sites like Canva.com and Befunky.com offer free design tools to edit images and create things like newsletter mastheads, invitations, collages, social media images and more. Stay tuned for my next post to get even more tips on how to utilize these free graphic design sites and create show-stopping images for your marketing projects.
HomeActions and its IndustryNewsletters division announce Version 3 of their exclusive e-newsletter product, putting it on the cutting edge of the e-newsletter industry. The companies provide professionally written articles and a system that lets a range of professionals send out e-newsletters to clients and prospects. They primarily serve real estate professionals, payroll companies, accounting firms and estate planning attorneys.
With Version 3, the newsletter system becomes even more customizable and user-friendly. Among the improvements:
- A more contemporary look for the user interface, and a better design for tablets and smartphones.
- A cleaner and more functional client dashboard that shows readership stats at a glance.
- A completely revamped image system that lets users choose among three different sizes of images to put into their newsletters.
- A smoother, more intuitive system to allow users to add their own content to company-provided content.
- The ability to easily remove company-provided content and replace it with an article from extensive article libraries available to users.
- The addition of a completely new Web banner library so users can easily find and post banners to make their newsletters even more useful.
And as always, help is just a click away. The system comes with an easy-to-use, automated help feature that lets users follow along step by step as the tool gives interactive answers to questions.
Barry J. Friedman, CEO of HomeActions, LLC
Barry Friedman, CPA, founder and CEO of HomeActions and IndustryNewsletters, said, “Our clients are busy and successful professionals, and they want a system that lets them communicate with their clients with perfect ease while providing sophisticated options — without any hassle. That has always been our goal, and with Version 3 our system is even better than ever.”
About HomeActions and IndustryNewsletters
IndustryNewsletters and HomeActions were founded by Barry Friedman, CPA, who managed many CPA firms for over 25 years and subsequently sold them to American Express. He then created BizActions LLC, which became the largest marketing e-newsletter company for CPA firms and payroll companies, and he sold that to Thomson Reuters in 2012. He has over 15 years’ experience in the email newsletter space.
HomeActions and IndustryNewsletters are virtual companies that employ more than 30 people. Both are headquartered in Green Cove Springs, Florida.
For more information, please visit our websites, HomeActions.net and IndustryNewsletters.com, or contact Richard J. Koreto, chief content officer, at 845-642-4314 or Email.
Were you able to get a new listing or sale as a result of using your HomeActions newsletter? Has HomeActions helped to move your business forward? Share your success with us and enter to win a $ 50 VISA gift card.
Send your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how you have benefited from using the power of HomeActions. We’ll announce the winner on November 30, 2014 on our client dashboard page as well as notify the winner directly by email.