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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   January 2005

Keeping in Touch & Nine Other Benefits of E-mail Newsletters

How many times have you called one of your clients or real estate partners to check in with them and learned that they were working with a different mortgage company?  When you asked what happened, they said, “I didn’t know you did that kind of loan,” or “I didn’t know you could get me the same rates.”

This scenario is a direct result of not communicating enough information to your clients and partners on a regular basis. Unless you are in touch with the people who are important to your business, it is easy for them to forget who you are and what you do, or for them to assume you do only one kind of service when you can actually provide much more.

Staying in touch is the simplest and most effective way to generate new business from old customers.  Remind them that you are in their business space and ready to help close their real estate transactions.  Keep your messages in front of them, and they will remember you and call more often.

To accomplish this objective, many mortgage companies publish a newsletter. However, traditional newsletters are time-consuming and expensive to produce. And because the newsletter is often laid aside, it is difficult to measure how often, or if, it is even read.

In the last year, many companies have transitioned to HTML e-mail newsletters. These newsletters have the same graphic appeal as a traditional newsletter, but require far less content, can be produced in hours instead of days, and can be built and distributed for less than the cost of postage for a traditional newsletter. Another benefit is that the publisher can measure the response to the mailing since e-mail newsletters provide hard data on the following:

  • How many e-mails were opened;
  • Which articles were read (and by whom);
  • How many people opted out of the newsletter distribution;
  • How many people visited their Web site after reading the newsletter.

Still not convinced? Consider these nine other ways HTML e-mail newsletters will help you to communicate with your target audience and generate warm leads for your company:

  1. Training your audience how best to work with you:  Use your newsletter to educate clients about your business and how it relates to their business, so they call you for a mortgage at the proper time in their sales cycle. This will put an end to time-wasting phone calls from clients who are not yet able to start their paperwork. This education process will also make the transactions they do with your company smoother and more pleasant. 

  2. Being ready to go when you have Big News: When you have an e-mail newsletter distribution list that is maintained regularly, you can re-purpose the list as a communications vehicle to instantly announce special rates or respond to breaking industry news. And you can make these announcements to everyone in your business universe in just a couple of hours. The business response is fantastic because your audience will appreciate being “in the know.

  3. Educating your audience about your offerings:  If you continue to remind your audience that “in addition to service X, we also provide competitive rates for service Y,” you will receive more calls for services X and Y. The reason for this is simple: Clients are not very motivated to remember who does what in their industry. They will often purchase a service from a company simply because of a recent reminder that they can obtain the service there. As do the most successful companies, your job is to remind these clients often that they can get the services they need from you. 

  4. Positioning your company as the leading expert: If your newsletter contains compelling information about your industry and how to do business better, your company will be considered an expert by your audience. This will ensure business because clients will become a little nervous about doing business with another company that is not as “on top” of the issues.

  5. Driving traffic to your Web site:  Use your e-mail newsletter to drive traffic to your Web site by adding a “for more information” link at the bottom of your articles that sends readers to a relevant page in your Web site. This tactic will immediately allow your Web site to continue the dialogue that you started with the newsletter. Your Web site will then become the next step in your sales cycle, eventually leading to an application submitted on-line or to a warm lead via phone. 

  6. Introducing your staff:  A new voice on the phone can be jarring to clients, especially when they are used to dealing with your regular staff. Use the newsletter to communicate the new person’s credentials and educate your audience about the services in which he/she specializes.

  7. Reinforcing your good reputation:  Occasionally a real estate transaction does not go smoothly. Use the good information and the friendly messages in your newsletter to mend fences with clients so that they feel better about calling you in the future. 

  8. Creating the feeling of community among clients and partners:  One of the greatest benefits of e-mail newsletters is the ability of recipients to hit “reply” and start asking questions right away. The ease by which clients can begin a dialogue with you is key to building relationships.  Many HTML e-mail newsletter publishers answer client questions right away and receive applications and leads within hours of sending their newsletter. 

  9. Making it easier for clients to call:  With the creation of the community feeling described above, the recipients of your newsletters assume that they currently have an open relationship with your company. This assumption allows potential clients to feel more comfortable calling you for business or for answers to questions that will lead to business.

It is easy to see why HTML e-mail newsletters have become a key component in marketing for the mortgage industry. They are simple to make, quick to send and effective for generating business. To set up your own HTML e-mail newsletter, talk to your Web site designer or public relations provider. If they can’t help you build one, they should send you to someone who can. Staying in touch is definitely easier with an e-mail newsletter strategy. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked.


 


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