Tips & Tricks for Inspired Marketing Articles

What will fill your marketing editorial calendar in the months ahead? It can be daunting to lay out writing assignments for your marketing efforts, but it does not have to be. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can tap into writing inspiration on a regular basis.

Focus your real estate newsletter writing.

Your first step should always be to consider your audience. To really craft meaningful lead-generating content, you need to focus on your target market. The goal is to keep your readers’ needs in mind while also keeping your business growth goals in mind when writing marketing content.

What are your goals?

Map out a hierarchy of what is most important to building you pipeline.

  • Are you trying to build up specialty areas, such as vacation properties or retirement properties?
  • Looking to generate more new opportunities overall?
  • Seeking to improve client retention and nurture existing relationships?
  • Want to stand out in a competitive marketplace?
  • Growing a base of referral sources?

Lead generating content has a pain/gain approach. It is important to consider your goals when you begin building lead-generating content. Your articles should provide a path toward solving a pain point so readers naturally follow that path to seek out your services.

Think about how your services could tie into an article and offer an obvious connection back to you for help. Focus on providing just enough relevant advice to give your prospects the confidence that you are the expert source who can address their real estate needs.

The next natural step for your readers should be to connect with your firm to solve their needs.

When you have key articles focused on generating new opportunities and leads integrated into your strategies, be sure you’re setting lead alerts so you can follow up on new warm prospects.

What should you write?

Inspiration can originate partly from preparation and partly from borrowing existing ideas. It’s always good to have a stockpile of starting-point themes to fall back on when writer’s block inevitably strikes.

“Inspired” Ideas for Your Next Article

  • Interviews
  • Case Studies
  • Client Features
  • Q&A – Or “Dear Abby” Approach
  • This vs. That Strategy Comparison

All of the ideas here could come from a single interview with a client. If you sat down and interviewed a client for just 30 minutes, you could get all the information you needed to create five articles with each of the above approaches. If you did this with just several clients, you could stagger that content out and have a full calendar of meaningful content for a year.

More Ideas to Inspire Creative Content:

  • Trending Topics Following Current Events
  • Common Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
  • Spotlight Your Team Members
  • Feature Events and Philanthropic Involvement

Don’t forget to invite a bit of the human element into your content marketing to help readers develop brand loyalty and keep your audience engaged. People stories for fun, and features focused on your staff members’ pets, babies and activities can be a delightful addition to your marketing.

Fun Topics to Consider:

  • A dog day at the office
  • Match the staff member with the baby photo
  • Birth announcements – tiny tee shirts with your brand logo on new babies
  • Take Your Child to Work Day
  • Holiday or seasonal themes
  • Office family picnic highlights
  • “Where’s Waldo” theme following staff members on vacation snapping a photo at a noteworthy spot with your company mascot

When does timing impact my writing?

You should be following deadlines and seasonal trends to develop an annual content calendar for your firm. Take note of holidays and changing seasons to inject timely, fun themes into your writing. Incorporate these strategies to keep your content marketing fresh and engaging.


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How To Post Your Email Newsletter Content To Blogs And Social Media

Do you have a great email article that is just begging to be shared on your social media business pages? You may be able to easily share your email articles directly from your marketing newsletter. Many email platforms allow you to post your email newsletter articles with just a few simple clicks.

Quick Tip: Create a Guest Record First

In order to produce links from your email articles to be used in social media marketing efforts, consider creating a “Guest” contact record. Use the first name “Guest” and the last name “Contact” (or something similar) and your info@ or contact@ email distribution to set this record up. Additionally, you may complete the record with your business address, phone number and any additional contact information you would like to share to route interested prospects to your company. This way, any links or articles you use from your email marketing on social media can be tied back to your guest database record and your business contact information. Another benefit of this practice is that any personalization you may have used in your email will simply display as “Hello, Guest!” or a similar generic greeting. This will add a universal appeal to your emails when you forward your newsletter to interested parties, post the latest edition to your website or share articles with your social fans and followers.

Next Step: Start Sharing

The social sharing function of an email article varies between platforms but is usually a straightforward process. To give you an idea how an article can be shared, here are the steps you would take if you posted an article from this newsletter to Facebook.

1. Click through to the full article. At the top of the article you will see a “Share” option. Click to share.

1. Click through to the full article.

2. Choose which social network you prefer. At the bottom of the social sharing tool window, you will see an option to share the article to one of the four major social networks. Click the icon of your preferred social network.

2. Choose which social network you prefer.

3. Choose whether you’d like to share to your personal or business page. In the Facebook example we’re showing here, you’ll have the option to share to your own timeline or to a page you manage.

3. Choose whether you'd like to share to your personal or business page.

4. If you manage multiple business pages, choose a business page. Pick from a possible list of business pages you manage, and then click the “Post to Facebook” button.

4. If you manage multiple business pages, choose a business page.

Success! Your post will now be on your social media site for all your fans and followers to read.

Success! You have now posted an email article to Facebook.

Using a social media management tool? Platforms like Hootsuite and others allow you to post to multiple social networks simultaneously, and also schedule out future posts. If you’re using a social media manager to schedule your posts, simply grab the URL from your full article (once you have clicked through to the full article view) and schedule your article to multiple networks as a link post.

Posting a Newsletter Article to Your Blog

Posting an article from your email newsletter to your blog can be as simple as copying and pasting the text from your article into your blog. You will need to take some additional steps to format the article to look appealing on your blog. You will also need to make sure you have the right to distribute any purchased content you may have bought for your email marketing on your blog and social media sites. HomeActions does allow our users unrestricted use of content on social media and blog sites, but each marketing provider differs in that respect.

Blogging TipsAdditionally, you can make your newsletter articles more SEO-friendly by changing 100 words of the article to be unique to your company’s blog. Google and other search engines will look at your content as original if you change a portion of it and put your own stamp on the article.

You should also add keywords to your blog post. In the first article of this newsletter, Is This Your Situation? “I Need To Get The Word Out About My Ancillary Services…”, we list four ways you can add relevant keywords to your blog posts to help get found in organic search results:

  1. Do some keyword research
  2. Add keywords to your blog’s title, URL and subheadings
  3. When using images, add keywords in the image file name and alt and title tags
  4. Also use links to outside resources in your posts to increase your likelihood of receiving backlinks in return

Don’t forget to connect blog readers with your email newsletter. Once your newsletter article is posted to your blog, add a closing call to action that says something to this effect: “Do you like what you see here? SIGN UP to receive more tips from us every two weeks. SUBSCRIBE NOW!” This will give organic blog visitors a chance to opt in to your email marketing program.

This marketing best practices strategy is an excellent way to repurpose content across multiple channels to maximize the value and life of your marketing articles. Stay consistent in your efforts. Set up a social media and blog schedule that follows your email launch schedule. With these simple steps, you will be well on your way to increasing the exposure of your email marketing content by sharing it to your blog and social media sites on a regular basis.

Improving Your Open And Click Rates

Improving Your Open And Click RatesWhat Are Open And Click Rates?

The open rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered newsletters were opened by subscribers. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered newsletters registered at least one click.

Why Open And Clicks Are Important

Open and click rates can give you a good idea of how your newsletters are performing with a particular list. If an open rate is strong, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience. If your click rates are good, the message content is relevant to subscribers who open the newsletter. So, how do you know if your rates are good?

According to a leading email delivery source, the average open rate for the Real Estate industry is 22%. The average HomeActions subscriber far surpass this rate with an average open rate of 30%. (based on 3 million e-newsletters sent per month). HomeActions knows Content is King.

How To Improve Open Rates

A low open rate generally indicates:

  • Your subject line is not relevant or interesting enough.
  • Your member list is outdated or contains a wide variety of subscribers unrelated to your target.
  • You may be sending too many or too few campaigns​.

Test Your Subject Line

The best way to know what resonates with your subscribers is to try different things. An effective subject line clearly describes what’s inside your campaign, but you’ll want to test a few variations to find out what works best for your list.

Draft two subject lines that differ slightly, for example, “News you can Use for {date}” and “Homeowner Tips for {date}”. We recommend only testing one variable at a time, in this case the subject line, so that your report data is clearly linked to just one change. Then send out your newsletter one time using that subject line, then the next launch, choose the other. Then compare what subject line delivered better open rates. Keep testing/modifying to your get the results expected.

How To Improve Click Rates

Your click rate essentially tells you how many of your subscribers find your newsletter content useful. To improve your click rate, you’ll need to create content that’s useful to more subscribers. Try these suggestions:

  • Embed more links – your newsletter offers 6 personal + 3 social media links, use them all.
  • Insert a Banner from our Library then embed the URL link to take your reader to an interesting site (example-“What’s Your Home Worth?)
  • Include articles on your Open Houses and New Listings – then set a Real-Time Alert to get warms leads right to your Inbox.

9 Ways to Work Better With Negative Customers

9 Ways to Work Better With Negative CustomersIn real estate, you can’t avoid unhappy or dissatisfied customers. Buyers with wish lists twice the size of their budget and sellers who demand you find a buyer willing to pay more than fair market value create stress for even the best agents.

Here are nine ways to stay upbeat in the face of negativity:

1. Always visualize a large $ stamped on your unhappy customer’s forehead.

Your customers pay your bills and feed your family. An unhappy customer may cost you this job and lose you a future referral. A happy customer creates a happy pay day for you.

2. Skip the news before work and listen to music or motivational talks on your way to work.

How you spend the first part of your day influences how the rest of your day unfolds. Don’t watch negative newscasts before work. Listening to music that pumps you up or motivational talks prepares you to tackle problem people or situations.

3. Find something to like about every customer.

Maybe your client has great eyebrows or good taste in ties. During unpleasant encounters, keep your focus on the 5% you like about them and your focus off the 95% you dislike.

4. Use Daily Affirmations to support yourself such as:

“I’m doing the best I can!”
“I am a winner!”
“I trust myself!”
“I can handle any problem!”
“I deserve this job!”

Affirmations keep your mind focused on a future positive outcome rather than the negative situation at hand.

5. Always reward yourself for a job well done.

When you successfully make it through a difficult day, show yourself some appreciation: Spend more time with family, get a massage or go out for a nice dinner.

6. Keep a Glory File of thank you letters and compliments. Review it often to remind yourself how fabulous you are.

When you have to deal with a tough customer, balance your self-esteem with a trip through your Glory File. Reminding yourself of your past successes and how much customers love you can motivate you to keep going.

7. Avoid gossiping about negative customers.

Retelling the tale of your terrible encounter intensifies your anger and negativity. Instead, do your best let go of the negativity as soon as the customer leaves your space. Until you can let go, the customer owns and controls your thoughts.

8. Avoid complainers, criticizers and whiners in your office.

I hope there’s still someone left in your office to talk to when you avoid all the complainers, criticizers and whiners. Their negativity can cause your productivity to falter.

9. Make a list of reasons you must appreciate your customers and thank them.

“I appreciate you giving me the privilege of serving you.”
“I feel lucky, honored and blessed to have a job I love.”
“Thank you for choosing me to do your business with.”

Most of all, never for one minute believe that your broker pays you. Your broker only supplies the check. Your customers fill in the blanks. Be grateful to them.

Why You Need Email Exclusivity

Why You Need Email ExclusivityThe original Mona Lisa is priceless, but you can buy a $10 version from any poster shop because mass produced items are always cheaper than their one-of-a-kind inspirations. The same value proposition holds true for your email marketing.

Do the emails you send to stay in touch with clients have unique value or are your competitors sending the same email or robo-blog post to your clients?

In today’s real estate market, much of the “stay in touch” emails used to build relationships with clients and prospects follow a me-too formula.

It’s usually a campaign of drip content set up via the broker’s intranet and shipped out once a month by every agent in the office. If you share a prospect with the agent across the sales floor or across town, your clients may get the same email on the same day from another agent.

The client instantly realizes the content isn’t special and isn’t really from you.