Xpressdocs Blog

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June 2013

Opening Doors with Word-of-Mouth Marketing

According to WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) a whopping 92% percent of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising. And, when asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product,” 72% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence.

Sure. Okay. But you can’t control what people tell their friends and family about your product or service, right? Wrong. Customer service and advertising are actually the two most powerful drivers of word-of-mouth marketing.

Satisfy their Customer Service Needs First

There’s nothing like exemplary customer service to get people talking about your business. But don’t make the mistake of believing you only need to be better than your direct competitors. Your customers and prospective clients are actually judging you on how well your service stacks up against UPS, Wal Mart, Amazon, and all the other service providers they use. They don’t differentiate, and neither should you: Study how companies in other industries handle things, and incorporate their best ideas into your own service offerings.

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Who’s Talking About Your Business Online?

With all the places for people to post their personal opinions online today, it’s more important than ever that you know how to monitor and track what’s being said about you, your products and services.

A few positive tweets or blog postings from respected sources (“He was smart and savvy from beginning to end; I’d recommend his services to anyone.”) can have new customers clamoring for your attention – especially if you’re an independent sales agent whose livelihood depends on referrals, word-of-mouth marketing and repeat business. While negative listings on any of the peer-review sites (“The lobby was filthy and the customer service non-existent.”) can just as easily send sales into a slide.

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May 2013

Low-cost Marketing Strategies That Get Results

If you’re willing to invest some time and effort, you can launch powerful marketing strategies with little to no money. Here are five examples:

1.       Ramp up the referrals – When it comes to referrals, two of the greatest sources are “influencers” (people who are outspoken and influential) and “aggregators” (accountants and other professionals who serve groups of small-business clients). Search out a few of each and propose an exchange: in return for any referrals, offer to provide those prospects with pricing discounts, free add-on services and/or other special advantages that make the person doing the referring look like a hero.

2.       Become a committee member – Spend some time serving on a committee, and the personal relationships you develop will reap professional rewards now, and for years to come. Look for volunteer opportunities with industry associations, community organizations, alumni groups and local chambers of commerce.

3.       Get Listed – Everyone knows Google (by far the most popular “search engine”). But what most small businesses don’t realize is they can achieve a top sub-ranking on the service just by creating a Google Maps listing. Plus, as the Google Maps site says (maps.google.com) “It’s easy, free, and you don’t even need a Web site of your own.” The major search engines, online yellow page directories (www.SuperPages.com), as well as many newspapers, allow you to list your Web site for free. The more online listings for your site, the easier it will be for prospective clients to find.

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Marketing Copywriting: Let the Facts Speak for Themselves

Let the Facts Speak for Themselves

No one would be surprised to hear that the airline industry is responsible for a lot of lost luggage. But what if we told you a whopping 31 million bags were misplaced by the airlines. Not only are these statistics true, they’re also examples of how facts and figures can put things into perspective for your audience in ways that clever writing and catchy slogans never could. But knowing how to use statistics is key. Here are six suggestions:

Use Real Numbers – Statements like, “most people lose all the weight they want in a matter of weeks,” are too general and don’t pack the same punch as facts and numbers.
Simple Math Makes for a Better Argument- Simple statistics, like “two out of three” or “three out of four” are easy enough to comprehend. But most people won’t know what to make of statements like “11 out of 15.”
Find a Reputable Source – Consumers today are a suspicious bunch. If you want them to believe what you have to say, only use trusted sources (like the U.S. Statistical Abstract), and always include references to the sources (i.e. “according to U.S. Census figures.”).
Get Permission Before Borrowing Too Much- Under copyright law, you’re generally safe using facts and small amounts of verbatim text from published materials without asking the source for permission. But if you plan to use more than a few sentences, ask for the original writer’s blessing beforehand.
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Writing That Sells: 6 Tips for Business Owners

Stumped about what to write? Not everyone can be a professional copywriter, but anyone can write compelling copy. Here Xpressdocs gives you six techniques copywriting pros use to overcome consumers’ do-nothing attitudes, make their messages stand out and entice perfect strangers to open their wallets.
1.      Grab the reader’s attention right away by stating a question, a fact, or the number one most compelling benefit.

“Prices for new homes are down 16% from last year!”
“How can you get the year-round tan you crave without burning your budget? Sun Center has the answer!”

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April 2013

New Movers Are Big Spenders

Most small businesses have a niche they like to target with their marketing (a particular neighborhood, an age group, people from a specific socio-demographic, etc.). But there’s one niche that just about every business can benefit from: new-movers.

“New-movers” are households that have been living at their current address for 12 months or less. And boy are they eager to develop relationships with the service providers in their new neighborhood. Think about it: These are folks who need to find a new bank, a new gym, a new gardening service, a new tanning salon, new service providers for their pets, new doctors and so much more.
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Real Estate Marketing: The Initial Sale is Just a Starting Point

Congratulations, you made the sale! Now it’s time for some follow-up marketing.

Say what? Why bother a buyer after they’ve made a purchase? Well, because ….

Finding and acquiring a new customer costs about five to seven times more than simply maintaining a profitable relationship with a current customer.
Recent buyers are interested in accessories, upgrades and related products / services.
Satisfied buyers are excellent sources of referrals.
Satisfied buyers make great success stories.
Being proactive with tips and advice can cut down on customer-service calls.

A five-step process
Everyone knows making the sale is key. The problem is, most small- and mid-sized businesses focus so much on making those initial sales that they miss out on the post-sale growth and income opportunities.

Don’t let new customers languish. Use this five-phase follow-up marketing plan to turn them into long-term sources of revenue, referrals and more:

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Which Marketing Strategy Is Right for Your Business?

The debate about which is better, brand marketing or straight selling, has raged in the marketing community for decades. The two camps have fundamentally differing views on the topic, and have even developed names to distinguish themselves.

On one side of the argument are the “rationalists,” or those who believe the best way to sell a product or service is to give consumers the straight facts – plus a good discount every once in a while. On the other side are the “emotionalists,” or those who feel you need to develop an emotional bond with the consumer before they’ll pay attention to your products, services (or advertising).

Which group has it right? The truth is, the most effective marketers are those who have found creative ways to combine the best aspects of both approaches.
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March 2013

The Four Essential Elements of Every Real Estate Marketing Effort

Most of us don’t plan exactly what we’re going to say, and how, before striking up a conversation. That’s life. However, that’s not good marketing. Launch a direct mail, email or social media marketing effort without contemplating the key messages, the market, the medium you’ll use and the design of the materials, and you’ll most likely regret the results.

The Market
Before launching any marketing effort, the first thing you’ll want to determine is, who’s going to be on the receiving end. Will it be current customers, past customers, prospective customers, or perhaps customers that live in a subsection of your target market? Before you answer “all of the above,” consider this: Marketing efforts that speak directly to a subsection of your total target market will always perform better than mass mailings.
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Real Estate Marketing: The Power of Promotional Products

One of the best real estate marketing ideas is to use promotional products, such as pens, notepads and other items, branded with your company logo, yet many companies overlook the benefit of such products.  Branded promotional products keep your logo and company in the mind of everyone who uses those items, as well as the people around them who see the products being used.

Instant Recall

According to the latest survey from the Promotional Products Association International, 88 percent of people who received a promotional product during the past year remembered the advertiser imprinted on those items.  In addition, the survey found that 53 percent use a promotional item at least once a week or more often.  With such a large percentage of people remembering your company because of a free pen or coffee mug, it is easy to see why promotional products are one of the best real estate marketing ideas.
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