HOW TO CHOOSE A REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER
Here are the key things you need to look for in a real estate newsletter.
It must have entertaining, through-provoking content
Ever been trapped at a party with someone who is so boring… so painfully dull… that you want to climb the walls?
Anything to escape the agony!
The funny thing is, many real estate agents make their own newsletters equally dull. And what’s more, they actually expect people to read them!
Here’s the thing, your newsletter is a reflection of you, so it needs to show you in a good light.
Its content should be interesting, useful and entertaining.
Ideally, your newsletter should be something that people look forward to reading. (Imagine that – someone looking forward to marketing material from their real estate agent!)
It should be something they keep around their home and come back to read later.
So… make it a mix of real estate and general content.
Include topical articles – the kind of things people talk about in real life.
Make it thought provoking.
Make it useful.
That’s the kind of newsletter that will get read – and win you more business.
We suggest requesting samples of various newsletters and deciding which one does justice to the quality product you offer.
It must be easily editable
There are many ready-made newsletters out there, but not all of them can be easily changed.
(Indeed, some say you should never change them because they are perfect just as they are!)
The thing is (and most companies won’t admit this) the ideal newsletter would be one you write yourself.
Of course, you probably don’t have time to do that (and you have better things to do anyway.)
But… even if you don’t write it yourself, it is important to have the option to change it if you want to.
Great newsletters make a connection with their readers, which means you should include content that is relevant to them.
So… neighborhood information, local events – they all make great content.
As does something about your life – make that personal connection.
So, if you find a ready-made newsletter that you like, be sure that you have the option to change it to make it really yours.
It must have print and email formats
They say that print is dead.
But they say that about a lot of things.
And you know what? Smart marketers are ignoring what “they” say… and instead doing what works.
So, while email is cheap and effective, print can sometimes be even more effective because it sticks around in people’s homes.
You can’t hit the delete button on a printed newsletter.
And you can’t beat that physical ‘touch’.
The bottom line is, you need to have access to both formats so that you can market the way that you want to.
(And don’t even think of sending a print format newsletter by email or printing out an online newsletter. It just won’t work, whatever that newsletter company tells you.)
It must have ‘calls to action’
You can tell which ready-made newsletters are created by marketing experts – and which ones are made by people who “like to write”.
If your newsletter doesn’t have multiple ways to encourage people to get in touch with you, find a different newsletter.
Otherwise you’ll be leaving money on the table.
Here’s the thing: People don’t take action unless they are given a prod. Think of them as like a teenager who won’t get up in the morning.
That’s why smart marketers (and you want to be one of them, right?) provide incentives to encourage people to take action.
So, see if the newsletter you are considering will give your clients the prod they need.
It must have a fully-featured email sending system
Here’s a big, red flashing light: Don’t even think about sending email newsletters from Outlook or Gmail or Yahoo... or whatever you use.
Why? You could harm your ability to send regular emails from your own address – and you could get in trouble with the law.
Now, I’m no lawyer, so this is not legal advice, but… to comply with the CAN-SPAM law, you must have an easy way for people to opt out of receiving your newsletter.
If you are relying on people to reply and ask to be unsubscribed – and then you forget to unsubscribe them - you could get into trouble. An email sending system will put an unsubscribe link in each email, as well as add your physical mailing address (another requirement).
The other big danger of sending directly from your own email address is spam complaints. Too many and your email address could end up on blacklists. Not good when you need to tell a listing client that they’ve had an offer.
And anyway… email sending systems have all sorts of bells and whistles that will make your newsletter more effective.
- You can track which newsletters had the most opens and the most clicks (and who is opening and clicking)
- You can easily make changes to the layout of the newsletter
- They manage your contact database
- They give you the best chance of having your email delivered.
So – bottom line: don’t consider any newsletter company that doesn’t offer a proper email sending system.
It must offer printing and mailing advice and service
Sending out your first printed newsletter campaign is like stepping out in the darkness: you’re not sure what is ahead of you.
And because you invest more in a print campaign than you would an email one, you want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.
So make sure that your newsletter company can help you make the right choices when it comes to printing and mailing.
There are lots of great mailing options, particularly if you want to farm a neighborhood – and you can save a lot of money if you it right.
So ask newsletter companies if they can help you with this. It will be worth it.
It must allow you to include local real estate market data
Ready-made newsletter companies can have difficulty making the newsletter relevant to your farming area.
There’s not much point putting national real estate statistics in your newsletter – they’re meaningless to the homeowner down the street.
So make sure you have the option to include some market info – either by adding it yourself from your MLS or having the newsletter company supply it.
A newsletter that tells a homeowner how much their home is likely to be worth will be read all the more eagerly!
It needs to have awesome customer service
Everyone claims to offer customer service – but do they really?
Can you call them on the phone?
Will they take the time you deserve, or will they just try to get you off the phone?
After all, you’re investing your hard-earned money in a real estate newsletter, so make sure you have the support you deserve to do it right.
Try giving their customer service lines a call (if they have one) and test them out.
Real Estate Newsletters Compared
Notes: This comparison chart was made according to the best information available. If you notice an error in the chart, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be corrected immediately.