Real estate agents know the value of putting on a stellar open house. But how do you ensure that people show up? One of the best marketing strategies to promote an open house is through social media.
You can easily create quality social media posts to get the word out just by following these guidelines.
1. Post on Multiple Platforms
As an agent, you should have multiple social media platforms. In particular, you should have business accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. When you begin a campaign to promote an open house through social media, you should be posting across all your platforms.
2. Pick Images That Will Make People Show Up
Take good photos of the house. The quality of the photos you post will determine whether people show up. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you’re choosing photos:
Use pictures that highlight curb appeal.
Use images that capture the home’s best features, like a newly renovated kitchen.
Capture impressive views to entice buyers.
Here are some things to avoid in listing photos:
Dark or just plain bad lighting.
Bad aspect ratio of the photo.
Don’t show off bad décor, messy rooms or property flaws.
3. Don’t Forget Pinterest
It’s a common misconception that Pinterest is only for crafting and recipes. Many people use it as a search engine for the things they are looking to purchase. If they type “colonial-style home” into the search bar, they know Pinterest-quality photos will appear.
You should use this platform to set up a board specifically for your listing photos. You can link back to your Pinterest board of professional-quality photos when you tweet or post about your open house.
4. Write an Engaging Message
Employ good copywriting practices when you write your social media posts. You don’t need to become a copywriting wiz, just follow these simple tips and your posts will be instantly more engaging and make people click through.
Avoid using too many adjectives, like beautiful, cozy home. Verbs speak louder. Try, “Check out this historical home featuring all the amenities that the modern homeowner seeks. Stop by this Saturday to take in the amazing views/architecture.”
Speak to personal experience. The best way to hook people is to trigger an emotional response. Write about universal experiences when house hunting. People like to be reminded of things they are familiar with.
5. Consider Your Landing Page
The landing page is where you will direct people in your social media posts. At the bottom of your post, there should be a clear link to a page that offers more information about your open house.
You can drive traffic to a Facebook event page, LinkedIn event page, Pinterest board, your website or a blog post. Wherever you lead traffic, make sure that page has all the details about your open house and great pictures.
6. Create a Posting Schedule
Create a posting schedule to promote your open house on social media. If you come up with a couple of messages for each social platform, organize them into an Excel sheet and put the dates and times of when they should be deployed.
For more information about optimal times of the day to schedule social posts, check out this infographic from HubSpot.
7. Put It in a Real Estate Email Newsletter
If you have a real estate newsletter that goes out to your sphere of influence, make sure to include a shout-out to your open house. Whatever messages you post on social media should be reinforced in your newsletter.
If you don’t have a real estate newsletter yet, check out the HomeActions automated e-newsletter for real estate agents. A newsletter is one of the most effective ways to stay top of mind with your real estate contacts. Check us out today!
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
Successful real estate agents know the importance of setting goals for themselves. Since real estate agents are in large part responsible for their yearly earnings, setting realistic goals is part of ensuring that they can bring home the bacon. If you want to increase your real estate sales, you have to learn the right way to set goals and the appropriate action steps to complete them.
One of the biggest reasons real estate agents don’t achieve what they set out to do is because their objectives are too broad and they don’t know how to follow through. We’re here to help you narrow the focus of your goals and make sure that you reach them.
Put Your Real Estate Goals in Writing
Get your goals out of your head and onto the page. Use a notebook or Word document to write them down so they are not just floating in space. Writing down your goals sets them in stone so that they’re tangible objectives to shoot for.
Keep your goals realistic by thinking only one or two years ahead at first. Instead of writing down, Run a successful real estate business, narrow your focus to something you can achieve in six months or a year – for instance, Increase sales by 40% by 2019.
Quantify Your Real Estate Goals
Part of setting clear goals is assigning a numeric value to them so you know exactly what you’re reaching for.
Let’s use the last example, Increase sales by 40% by 2019.
Assigning numeric values to your goals allows you to reach higher success levels. If you simply write down, increase sales, that could be as easy as gaining one more sale than you did in the previous year. And that kind of goal setting will not make you satisfied. You will still be left wondering why your real estate business is not as successful as your competitors’.
Continually Read Over Your Real Estate Goals
Get in the habit of reading over your goals once you’ve written them down. It doesn’t do you any good to write them on a scrap of paper and place them in a drawer where they will be forgotten.
You should keep your goals in a place where you have to see them every day, such as sticky notes on your fridge, above your desk or on your computer’s desktop.
Looking at your goals daily will give you a sense of urgency and motivate you to take steps toward what you’ve set out to do.
Create Action Steps for All of Your Goals
Goals are useless if you don’t know what to do to achieve them. For each goal, write an action step or two to accomplish them. If your objective is to increase sales by 40% by 2019, here are a couple of action steps to take.
Reorganize my database of real estate leads.
Have two phone calls a day with new leads in my pipeline.
Once you act on your goals in these small ways, you’ll see some minor success and start to realize how the rest of your goal can come to fruition.
Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Goals
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your goals is to share them with your team and/or colleagues. If you have other agents or an assistant on your team, let them know what your goals are. Making a public declaration of what you plan to do to grow your real estate business – or any business – has been shown to increase your chances of success because you now have people, besides yourself, who are counting on you. If you work in an office with other agents, spread the word about your 2019 goals – seek feedback and ask if they will help keep you on track.
Stay Organized and Connect with Your Sphere of Influence
Your real estate contacts should always be up to date and organized. If they aren’t, you will have a difficult time remembering who you have in your sphere of influence and at what stage of the moving processes they are in.
Maintaining your database of leads is a no-brainer if you want to increase sales or achieve other real estate goals.
HomeActions gathers all of your contacts from places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo and more and creates a spreadsheet of everyone in your sphere of influence in alphabetical order by what platform they came from.
Not only will HomeActions jump-start this process for you, we will then send a bi-weekly email newsletter to your real estate contacts on your behalf, using our database of hundreds of real estate articles. Click the button below to read more about HomeActions services and how we can help you achieve all of your goals this year.
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
It’s not just the real estate industry that’s going digital — almost every industry you can think of is taking the plunge. But digital marketing is especially essential for real estate agents because homebuyers are looking at websites like Zillow and Trulia as their first step toward finding a home.
They are also checking out social media to find inspiration for their dream home and recommendations for REALTORS®. That means you need to position yourself in front of these homebuyers online.
If you already have a real estate website and social media accounts, are you utilizing those spaces correctly in order to get leads? If you’re not keeping yourself abreast of how to improve your digital footprint, chances are you will get overlooked for agents that have a more robust online presence.
1. The Most Important Social Platforms for Real Estate
Some of the more important social platforms for real estate agents are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t already have a presence on these platforms, get on them today. Your potential clients use social media to find referrals for all kinds of services, including real estate agents.
Social media is also where you should showcase the best of the best when it comes to images and videos of your listings. Always post high-quality images that highlight the best features of the homes you’re selling. The standard for content is very high these days, so a few grainy images won’t cut it. You will get buried by competition using professional-looking photos.
When you post content on social media, make use of relevant hashtags. This will help you get recognized by more users and increase your followers. You can easily research hashtags by typing in some keywords into the search bar on Twitter — such as “open house” (#openhouse) or “real estate agent” (#realestateagent) — and see what popular posts come up and take note of other hashtags they’re using. Then you can incorporate those hashtags into your own social posts.
2. Paid Advertising to Promote Your Real Estate Business
Consider paid advertising using Facebook Ads or Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising.
Facebook makes it easy for you to “boost” a post, whereby you put a certain dollar amount behind a post. You choose your budget and the audience you want your post to target. For instance, you can target buyers or sellers based on location or demographics, or even their hobbies and behaviors.
You should also consider Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your real estate website. It’s a way of advertising your website on Google so that it appears at the top of the page when users search for different keywords, such as “homes for sale,” “local realtors” or “open house.” Every time someone clicks on your ad, leading them to your website, you pay Google a fee.
There are still things you want to do to get organic traffic to your site, which we’ll go over, but PPC is a way to bring in additional paid traffic through advertising.
3. Make People Come Back to Your Website
Make sure that your real estate website is easy to navigate and a place where users want to return. Start by making sure all your images look professional. If you have pictures of yourself or your business, these photos need to be high quality. First impressions matter, and potential clients will choose another Realtor over you if their website looks more professional.
Another way to keep people coming back to your site is to create content that interests them. You could post weekly blogs about the real estate industry or certain markets. You could also blog about open houses, listings, up-and-coming neighborhoods and more. Try mixing up the content with some charts, videos and infographics. Creating interesting content will keep users engaged.
4. Collect Emails
The purpose of your digital efforts is to get leads, so you need to give users the option to provide their email addresses. In marketing, a squeeze page or landing page is where you collect the email addresses of those who visit your website.
Make an Offer
A squeeze page should act as an offer to the user that requires them to input their email. This could be in the form of an e-book, e-newsletter or an estimate on the value of their home. Whatever the offer is, make sure it’s essential for them to give out their email in order to receive the special gift.
5. Use Website Analytics Tools
The only way to know whether your website is working is by tracking views and the behavior of users on your site. How long are they staying on your site? How many unique visitors are you getting a month? Are users visiting your site and then navigating away almost instantly? The easiest way to track this is with a tool like Google Analytics. Google makes it easy for new marketers to learn how to use their features, which you can read about here.
Once you understand some basics of website analytics, it’s simple to start developing your website around what users want to see. Perhaps your site isn’t user-friendly enough. Maybe your content isn’t as engaging as your competitors’ content. Tracking the analytics of your site will help you identify and fix these issues.
We always recommend making sure you have a digital footprint because most of your clients will hear about you through the web. A great way to get started is by following these guidelines and signing up for biweekly real estate email newsletters. We make it easy for you by writing email newsletter articles and sending them out to your sphere of influence on your behalf. Check us out today!
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
HomeActions LLC (HA) and its IndustryNewsletters (IN) division, a lead generation and client relationship platform for real estate agents, accountants, payroll bureaus, lawyers and other professionals, have just rolled out Social Sharing, a new integrated app that lets clients seamlessly post HA and IN articles on the clients’ own LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
HA and IN provide a complete newsletter system that lets clients send out fully customizable newsletters to their clients and prospects, and the clients can choose from among thousands of professionally written library articles to add to these newsletters. Now, clients are no longer limited to using these articles in their newsletters. With a push of a button, any HA/IN library article can be scheduled into the clients’ social media platforms. With Social Sharing, clients have complete control over which platforms they use and when.
The simplicity of the system means HA and IN clients that were unsure about how to use social media platforms or concerned about how much time it would take no longer have to worry: Social Sharing does it for them with the HA/IN articles they’ve chosen.
Barry J. Friedman, CEO of HomeActions, LLC
“No professional can ignore social media today — it’s essential for marketing and client contact,” said Barry Friedman, founder and CEO of HA and IN. “With Social Sharing, we’re thrilled with how easy we’ve made it for even small firms to become big players in social media without having to write a single word.”
Social Media — and More — All for Free
Social Sharing is available to all HA and IN clients at no additional charge. HA and IN are also eliminating the cost for other well-established add-ons: its Automated Valuation Model, which helps agents market themselves with data-driven consumer engagement; Neighborhood360, which provides readers with estimated property value based on local data, as well as additional community information; and OnTarget, an email blast tool that allows clients to send up to 20,000 email communications per month to their contacts between regular newsletter launches.
About HomeActions and IndustryNewsletters
HomeActions LLC and its IndustryNewsletters division are digital marketing and lead generation solutions with compelling content and interactive widgets for real estate agents, accounting firms, law firms, payroll bureaus, professional employer organizations, human resources and employee benefits companies, and other service providers.
The HomeActions/IndustryNewsletters platform provides automated prospecting and marketing delivered biweekly via email to a professional’s sphere of influence. The professionally written articles portray a range of professional trusted advisors looking out for readers’ interests. With instant lead access, CRM capabilities and robust predictive metrics, the system has the capability to generate real-time leads and top-of-mind awareness while nurturing relationships that lead to long-term success and more referrals.
Do you want your real estate clients to keep coming back to you again and again? Real estate agents need to employ good client retention practices, and the first rule of thumb is following up after a home sale. Never assume that the job is done after the sale – not if you want those clients to use your services again. Stay in touch. Follow up. Don't let them forget you.
Buyers and sellers want to use the same agent for their next real estate transaction. According to NAR, 88% of buyers say they would use the same agent again.
So how do you make sure that they call you the next time they are moving? Communication. You need to keep yourself top-of-mind with your clients. That doesn't mean you should email or call every day. Chances are they won't use you again if you bombard them. Instead, aim to send them some sort of communication just a couple times a month.
There is an art to following up after the sale, but it does not need to be complicated. Here are some tips for staying in touch with your real estate clients.
1. Send Your Real Estate Clients a Survey After the Closing
Send your clients a quick five-question survey about three weeks after they move into their new home. This three-week time frame is the sweet spot because it gives your clients enough time to get comfortable in their new home. You don't want your follow-up to seem like jusn another chore in the middle of a slew of moving boxes.
Include a personalized note at the top of the survey congratulating them. Ask for some feedback about how they thought the sale went, and inquire if they were satisfied with your service. It may also help to include a housewarming gift with the survey so clients feel as if you were a part of welcoming them into the next chapter of their lives. In most cases, your clients want to hear from you and will be happy to send you feedback.
2. Reach Out to Your Real Estate Clients on Their Birthdays and Anniversaries
Sending holiday cards is a popular way for real estate agents to stay in touch with their clients, but since December greeting cards are so common, they can easily get lost in the holiday shuffle.
Be a little creative when it comes to mailers. Send your past clients a card for their one-year anniversary in their home. No one else will remember that but you, and it's a nice reminder of their milestone. You can also send birthday cards and wedding anniversary cards – even pet birthday cards! If you inject a little fun and creativity into your mailers, this will set you apart from other businesses. Be sure to make everything you send personalized and not generic.
3. Be a Real Estate Resource to Your Clients
More than anything, people will come back to you if you position yourself as a resource to your clients. Be a one-stop authority for everything they need related to their home. Once they move in, be there to provide names of landscaping businesses, plumbers, electricians, roofers and more. You can even create a referral network of local businesses who will mention your services when you mention theirs.
It's also important to let past clients know about other home sales in their neighborhood, information about mortgage rates or new developments in their area that may impact property values. Your past clients will recognize your expertise and want to hire you again if you possition yourself as an expert and a helpful resource.
4. Get Your Real Estate Contacts in Order so You Can Reach Your Entire Sphere of Influence
You might be surprised to learn how many people you're connected with who know someone considering a move. Your sphere of influence includes your friends, family, current and past clients, neighbors, and everyone you're connected with on email and social media. You should be reaching out to these people on a regular basis to remind them that your services are available and you're a trusted resource for everything related to their home and moving. Make sure you organixe all your contacts into one centralized list and communicate with them regularly.
5. Most Agents Utilize Automated Real Estate Newsletters to Stay in Touch
You can easily stay in touch with your sphere of influence by sending out your very own automated email newsletter. Real estate email newsletters are one of the easiest and most effective ways of reaching past and potential clients. Your newsletter can offer advice about buying a home, home improvement tips or information about your own listings.
An email newsletter is a soft approach to keeping in touch with your sphere of influence while offering them useful content about everything related to home-ownership. It's also one of the best ways to position yourself as a real estate resource and stay top of mind with new and existing clients.
A Real Estate Marketing Opportunity Awaits
Real estate agents are always on the move, so it is understandable that you might not have time to organize all the contacts you have in Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. HomeActions provides a twice-monthly automated e-newsletter to everyone in your sphere of influence by doing the organization part on your behalf. The setup takes no more than 48 hours, and you will be delivered an alphabetical list, organized by where the contact came from (Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), which will be used to automatically send your contacts a newsletter chock-full of great content. Once you have an organized sphere of influence, you can use it however you see fit, such as for real estate farming purposes.
HomeActions offers a set-it-and-forget-it product that you know is delivering your contacts valuable content on your behalf. However, there are tons of options to customize the content as you see fit, and we encourage you to feature your current listings.
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting with your clients after the sale and building more referral opportunities.
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
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.
During an interview with ATTOM™ Data Solutions for their June edition of the Housing News Report, Barry Friedman, CEO at HomeActions, explained the different forms of lead-generating content in real estate marketing. Some content is created to provide information for the reader. While this type of content may not explicitly promote a brand, its intention is to stimulate interest in the brand’s products or services. There is also actionable content designed to trigger a response from a consumer, indicating a warm lead. Paired with an interactive neighborhood data feature called Neighborhood360, actionable, lead-generating content is designed to both help the consumer learn more about a desired area and produce a high-quality lead for a real estate professional.
Barry J. Friedman, CEO of HomeActions, LLC
1. What is your elevator pitch for HomeActions?
HomeActions is a cloud-based platform designed to help agents communicate more effectively with their sphere of influence: their clients, prospects and referral sources. We try to get agents connected to a potential customer as early into the buying cycle as possible, before the customer has decided to buy or sell. And we do that primarily through content marketing.
We provide the content in the newsletters, and we’ve developed unique systems to tell when a client or prospect has put their toe in the water, meaning they are ready for a real estate transaction.
We’ve found that content comes in different forms. There is just information, just designed to provide information, not to elicit a response. Then there is trigger content. We start all trigger articles out with “is this your situation?”. If this is not their situation, they are probably not going to read it. No matter what we say afterward, if someone clicks on that article in my mind it is a warm lead — someone you would want to go in your pipeline.
Another key type of content we use in our newsletters is an interactive article. There is special technology associated with it. What this is about is how do you build your pipeline so that eventually people come out of your pipeline and become clients?
I started a previous company called BizActions which was sold to Thomson Reuters in 2012. From 2012 I really got into HomeActions wanting to build it up. We think we are the largest in the real estate space delivering about 3.5 million newsletters every two weeks on behalf of our 5,000 Realtor clients. We help those clients put together their database. We learned you can’t have content marketing without a database. We de-dupe it and cleanse it to make sure the email addresses are as clean as possible.
2. How is HomeActions utilizing ATTOM Data Solutions?
Our interactive articles are what uses ATTOM data. It’s basically a know-yourneighborhood type of article. Or if you are looking for real estate, check out the neighborhood first. When they click that article, we provide some content about why this information is important. Then we ask for their name and phone number.
We ask “why are you interested in this content?”. You wouldn’t think people would answer that but they do. These are purpose questions, and there are six purpose questions. They check off the ones that apply. When they hit submit, we then go to ATTOM’s servers and grab that property and we deliver a URL to them that gives them all the property and neighborhood information.
We’ve kept certain things in and kept certain things out. We don’t include crime statistics. We used to include AVM (Automated Valuation Model) in there but we took that out and we made AVM a separate article. Some Realtors like the AVM component because if someone is looking for the value of a property that is a heck of lead.
We then deliver that neighborhood data to the client. And they are always happy about. They often check it for several properties. Then we send it over to the Realtor with the reason why they are looking for the information. Mr. Smith is looking to buy a house. That’s a heck of a warm lead.
3. How is the marketplace responding to HomeActions products/services?
Realtors are happy with having that type of local information. I would say that it has gone over well with the Realtors.
We kept on getting more and more interest in this information, and how we managed the information. We figured out a way to take your data and make it work in a lead generation environment.
We just came out with a new feature where you can add advertisements to your newsletter and there is a shared revenue component so you can share the revenue from that. We do all the work. We are sending out about 7 million newsletters every month. Let’s build the template of our newsletter in such a way where we can embed unobtrusive advertising, share the money with the Realtor, and that way we can make money off all these contacts. We already have 100-plus Realtors signed up.
4. Why did HomeActions decide to use ATTOM Data Solutions?
There were a few companies that had the data so it wasn’t like ATTOM was the only one. But I like the way they presented the data, and there was some flexibility so I could add some things and subtract some things. And the people were nice. I didn’t know if I could afford this. I didn’t know if people would like it or not. So we were able to start out with flexible pricing. That worked out really well for me because I could gauge whether my clients were interested or not, and we kept on getting more and more penetration. Then we decided to integrate into our overall product. And that’s when I went back to negotiate a fixed-price contract. And that is working out well.
5. What has been your experience with the data delivery?
We have had no problem. Maybe one little problem where the data was not updated promptly, but we got that fixed quickly.
6. What has been your experience with the data quality?
I’ve had no problem with data delivery or data quality with the exception that ATTOM hasn’t built an API that allows me to send information on Realtors so that when you present the neighborhood data you present it as branded with that Realtor. We haven’t been able to do that in an eloquent way.
7. What has been your experience with customer service?
Customer service has been fine. People have been very nice.
ATTOM Data Solutions is a leading provider of publicly recorded tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data along with proprietary neighborhood and parcel-level risk data for more than 155 million U.S. properties.
As published in the June 2018 issue of the Housing News Report Newsletter.
Deliverability is generated by algorithms using a wide variety of signals to determine whether an email gets through to an inbox. In order to increase the chances that your emails are getting consistently delivered to your readers, it is important to maintain a good list.
When your subscribers open your emails, click through your email content or have some other positive responses to your messages, this helps your deliverability.
If readers simply delete your emails without opening them or mark them as spam, they are sending negative signals that can hurt your deliverability.
Here are three tips to help you keep a squeaky-clean list and improve your deliverability.
1. Remove or fix bad email addresses.
Some email marketing platforms will automatically suppress bad email addresses for you. If they do not, make sure you are taking steps to manage bad email addresses. A bad email address will be marked as such by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) because it has one of the following errors:
Bad format—A format error could indicate that an email address is missing a period, contains a misspelling, or has other incorrect or duplicated characters. This type of error could simply be a typo that needs to be fixed. When the format error is obvious, like a double period, this can be corrected by making a small adjustment to the email address in your subscriber record.
Bad domain—Sometimes domain names are changed, merged with those from other companies or are simply deleted. When this happens, it renders the domain portion of your email address (or everything after the @ sign) ineffective. Watch out for company name changes, mergers, email service provider domain name changes and other domain name issues in order to avoid bad domain issues in your database.
Bad account—When an employee leaves a company, his or her email address often becomes invalid after a certain period of time. For example, email@example.com may have retired. In the case of professional office environments, staff emails might be forwarded to a third party for a period of time before they are rendered invalid. When this occurs, there are often auto-response emails sent out asking you to delete or update a former employee’s contact information. Pay attention to these auto-response messages and take action to update information in order to avoid bad account issues.
On occasion, it will be impossible to tell why an email was marked as bad. If you have attempted to remedy format, domain and account issues, and the email address is still being marked as bad, it is time to either suppress the contact or remove the record from your database.
2. Remove generic email addresses.
When an email address is publicly available, it can often be harvested by unethical list sellers. Because of this, generic email addresses are often heavily policed by spam traps. Unless you absolutely know that the person or people behind a generic email address expressly consent to receiving your messages, you should remove any of the following generic email addresses from your account:
Additionally, generic email addresses often have low open rates and low engagement, which also negatively impacts your deliverability.
3. Remove inactive subscribers.
To keep up to date with email deliverability best practices, we consult with some of the top delivery and anti-spam engineers from major mailbox providers, as well as senders that are like our company, in order to coordinate better ways to get wanted emails to the readers.
One of the most important email marketing best practice trends we identified is to track user engagement and remove inactive subscribers. Engagement means that your readers have opened, read and/or clicked a link in your email. The major mailbox providers such as Gmail, AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo all track how long a message is open and whether the links within it were clicked. They take note if a message was deleted without opening it. They also detect when messages are sent to accounts that no longer check email at all.
Clean up dead weight
A common suggestion for cleaning an email list is to remove all disengaged or inactive subscribers. What this means is that you will be determining all the people who have not opened or clicked on one of your emails in a given period of time and simply removing them from your list.
Why does this help?
You may feel like it stings a bit to remove a bunch of people from a list that you’ve worked hard to grow, but if they are sitting in your database in an inactive or disengaged status, they are actually hurting your sending reputation. A bad sending reputation means you’ll be less likely to be successfully delivered to those who really want to hear from you.
Improve your reach
If there is no engagement for a large portion of your list, then it is more likely that your marketing emails will not reach a majority of your audience. To increase the chances of reaching inboxes and not getting filtered out, take steps to remove all list members who are not engaged.
Take a tiered approach
You can begin removing people in waves. First, remove those who have not clicked or opened in the past two years. Then change your email strategies to see whether you can boost engagement among your existing members. When you see open and click rates improving, take some time to do a second purge of all those who have still not engaged within the past year. You may also repeat this process as a last step, and look at all those who have not engaged within a six-month period as your final purge.
Purging long-term inactive subscribers also means you’re much less likely to end up in a spam trap. An extremely inactive list with long-term disengaged members can be “gravestoned” by ISPs. This means that ISPs will flag your messages as irrelevant or meaningless to your subscribers, thus negatively impacting your deliverability.
“Healing” your deliverability
Even though this process will cause the number of active list members in your database to go down, you will receive the benefit of better delivery rates among those recipients who enjoy your messages. When you view your metrics and reporting, you may notice that the number of opens and clicks will remain steady, but since fewer inactive email addresses are on your list, the open and click rate percentages will gradually increase as mailbox providers begin to recognize your improved sending reputation.
Over time, this process will result in more emails getting into the inboxes of your recipients, producing higher traction and engagement with fewer complaints and filtering issues. When the mailbox providers detect the higher percentage of recipients reading and clicking on links, they will tend to give those messages more favorable treatment by keeping them out of the spam folder. The absolute numbers of clicks and opens will likely go up as well, based on experience from testing this strategy with our existing customers.
Time to Grow
Now that you’ve cleaned the dead weight out of your database, you’ll have room to add more engaged, happy subscribers to your list.
When growing your database, avoid purchasing email lists. Typically, these lists are expensive, have inaccurate contact information and encourage opt-outs since the individuals don’t have a context of how they got on your list.
A good way to ensure that your list is always healthy and full of readers who really want to hear from you is to give individuals the opportunity to opt in.
Provide new prospects with opportunities to opt in to receive your email newsletter:
Add an email newsletter sign-up call to action to your website and social media pages.
Invite blog visitors to sign up to receive your newsletter.
Design CTAs so they stand out from the rest of the page.
Where to place newsletter sign-up CTAs:
On more than one page (test multiple pages to see which gets the most traction).
Above the fold (the part of the webpage or email you see without scrolling down).
On your high-traffic pages.
There are many other digital resources you can leverage to gather up new subscribers.
Here are some ideas to drive list growth:
Include a “Sign Up for My Newsletter” link in your company’s standard email signature.
Regularly post reminders for your social media followers to subscribe to your email newsletter.
Post email newsletter articles to spike the interest of your contacts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with an invitation to receive similar information if they sign up for your newsletter.
Include your newsletter sign-up URL on your business cards as well as your direct mail and/or print marketing materials.
Create newsletter sign-up sheets and distribute them at seminars, conferences, trade shows and events.
Encourage current subscribers to share or forward your email newsletter content.
Promote an online contest that includes signing up for your newsletter as a contest entry requirement.
Place content on your website for visitors to download, making email opt-in an option for those who access the content.
Host online webinars, and let attendees know how they can sign up to receive your email newsletter during your closing remarks.
Use word of mouth — don’t forget to simply tell new contacts about your email newsletter. During in-person meetings, ask people whether they would be interested in receiving your newsletter and show them where they can opt in.
Look to collaborate with influencers or business partners in your community. By establishing reciprocity with one another, you can ask them to promote your newsletter on your behalf while you do the same for them.
There are many creative ways to grow your email marketing database. The key is to get creative and always be looking for opportunities to add more valuable, engaged subscribers to your list.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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.