Friday, February 02, 2007

Top 11 Marketing Budget Wastes—and How to Avoid Them

Part 3 of a 4 part series

Marketing Waste No. 6: Direct mail and rental lists

Email promotions to your permission-based list will usually generate response rates that are 5-10 times higher than email to rental lists and 10-15 times higher than direct mail, at a fraction of the cost. As a result, cost per response from your email list can be over a hundred times lower than for any other method. In addition, turnaround time for email promotions is shorter, which means you can communicate in a more timely fashion.

A good permission-based email list is your biggest marketing asset and your best lead-nurturing vehicle. At the same time, if your email is not permission-based, you run the risk of breaking the law and alienating your audience.

Marketing Waste No. 7: Failing to use your permission-based list

You don't want to inundate your prospects with too much communication, but keep in mind most agents fail to communicate enough. Newsletters and blogs and email drip campaigns are great vehicles to keep the communication flowing. One to two ‘automagic’ touches a month (emails) and a personal touch (phone call, handwritten note) quarterly is a basic formula. As your pipeline reaches into the thousands you’ll need to modify the formula.

Your prospect customers are eager for knowledge; so, as long as you keep your content relevant (see # 4) to your audience and tone down the sales pitch, most of them will welcome your emails. For those who don't, offer ways to opt out of specific items so they don't have to remove themselves entirely from your list.

Marketing Waste No. 8: Failing to get the most out of your email marketing

A well-designed message (not necessarily a pretty one) can increase response to your emails by up to 50%! That's a huge difference in the return on your marketing dollars.

There is no magic formula for a good email message. To make sure your message is well designed, you have to test every element of the message—from the subject line to the placement of the links and the call to action (offer).
To be continued tomorrow…

Come back for Part 4 with details on:
Marketing Waste No. 9: Losing people on your Web site
Marketing Waste No. 10: Not knowing what you get for your money
Marketing Waste No. 11: Not taking action on what you’ve just learned