Over the years, I have had the chance – sometimes painful – of seeing many different company marketing campaigns. I have seen scans of letters that seemed like they were typewritten in the Jefferson administration. I have come upon tacky photos of business owners that would scare away Canadian geese. I have seen letterhead created with such poor-quality ink that a light rain would turn them into an indecipherable mess.
But I’ve also seen some rather spectacular campaigns. I judge a successful marketing effort by not only looking at how pretty it is or how nicely-crafted it is, but what sort of results did it get? Today I would like to discuss what makes an impressive campaign – one that achieves results. What are the common parts of a exceptional marketing piece?
First – a robust headline. Marketers have known for more than a hundred years that the most critical part of an effective marketing piece is the headline. This is the make-it-or-break-it element that hooks the consumer into the whole advertisement. You must always assume that your customer is busy and will not completely read the article – but a title is something that they can consume in a glance.
The second rule is to only send material that you are an expert in and you want to be known as an expert on. This is a common misstep that I see many marketers make. Pick the area that you wish to concentrate on and send information on that particular subject. This means that if you are a law firm, you’re not handing out cooking recipes and baseball game schedules. When you zero-in on what you want to be known for, potential clients start to remember you as the expert, the professional for that sort of service.
You must develop an expert look. Quality does count. If you haven’t taken the time to make yourself look like a true businessperson, what message are you communicating? You’re saying to the world that you are not serious. Get your business branded and your outreach printed professionally.
Include your contact information on all your outreach. Give your buyer the liberty to choose how they are comfortable contacting you. There are customers out there who will never call your telephone number, which prefer to only use email. The opposite is just as true. Always make it as easy as possible for your customers to find out more about your services and products.
Finally, include a good image. In most businesses this is just required. If you’re in a person-to-person business, your picture communicates your interest, expert appearance, and unique energy through your materials. Clients do business with companies that cultivate a sense of connection to their wants. An image is the most direct way to start this process in your marketing materials.
To put this all together – imagine you have an advertisement from two different real estate consultants. One agent’s neighborhood mailer has a powerful headline. It’s imprinted on stand-out glossy card-stock with memorable real estate branding. It includes current market numbers and commentary geared towards couples who want to live near the action of downtown. It includes a website address for more in-depth information, e-mail and telephone number and a photograph of the agent or a representative property. Now, hold that piece of marketing up against the dime-a-dozen, commonplace, corporate-branded, cheap paper ad that delivers a sports schedule like what many agents mail out. If you’re the potential client, which one are you going to remember and feel confident contacting first? That’s the very effect that you need your marketing to have.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate training, Denise is nationally known as the go-to for all things “real estate.”