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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   December 2012

7 Tips for Crafting Online Newsletters

E-newsletters can be a great way to reach clients — or turn them off

E-mail newsletters have become a popular approach to marketing, especially for small brokerages and banks. And why shouldn’t e-newsletters be popular? They’re inexpensive, easy to distribute and — theoretically — easy to produce.

When it comes to actually writing e-newsletters, however, the task often is easier said than done. Many marketing directors have spent hours slumped at conference tables while copy was edited and re-edited by well-meaning executives, a process that can leave articles feeling dated, sterile and irrelevant. Ambitious professionals seeking to raise their brand awareness may plan 10-page newsletters that go out daily, only to have those expectations immediately dashed. 

It’s certainly true that e-newsletters can be an effective way to market yourself and deliver some value to prospects. In this day and age, however, mortgage professionals’ marketing has to do more than tout their own services. Failure to realize this critical point will lump your e-newsletter in with the dozens of other well-meaning but ineffective newsletters that go straight to the recycling bin. With that in mind, here are some tips for putting together your e-newsletter:

  1. Explain what the newsletter is and why your recipient is receiving it for the first time. Otherwise, it’s likely that your e-mail will be regarded as spam. Don’t assume that your prospects are just sitting around waiting for your e-mails.
  2. Keep it short and to-the-point. Be wary if your e-newsletter requires too much scrolling.Even if your prospects have been anticipating your e-mail, they likely haven’t been waiting to read thousands of words.
  3. Make your e-newsletter about something more than just your service. The only thing worse than getting unsolicited e-mails from people is getting self-serving pitches from them. Of course, e-newsletters are marketing collateral for your business, but they need to include information that goes beyond your business.
  4. Take care in using graphics.We’re all familiar with stock photography: models in suits shaking hands or making other meaningful gestures as if they’ve just discovered cold fusion. Try to avoid this type of photo. Spam filters love graphics, so if you overuse photography, your newsletter may never even reach its audience.
  5. Edit your text.Poor syntax, bad grammar and spelling mistakes can make your audience immediately lose respect for your brand. Consider this: You’re asking this audience to trust you with the most important transaction they’ll ever make. Chances are, those prospects will want a mortgage professional who’s clearly on top of the details. Quality, edited text reflects exactly that.
  6. Ensure that your unsubscribe function works. It’s frustrating to attempt to unsubscribe from an e-newsletter and then continue receiving it. If certain recipients don’t want to read your newsletter, don’t make them.
  7. Have more than one issue. So many brokers and originators release one newsletter and then never follow through with any more. This can be detrimental to the impression of your brand, your strategic discipline, your ability to execute and your dedication.

A good newsletter — one that delivers value to the reader, looks professional and is worthy of your prospects’ time — can do wonders for your brand. Even so, there are few quality e-newsletters out there. Set yourself apart by following the aforementioned suggestions and start crafting better marketing materials today.


 


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