* If I was a Keller Williams Agent.
For those that don’t know, Keller Williams has a cool piece of technology for their agents to use called eEdge. Within that is a program called 33 Touches. The basic idea is to make it easy for an Agent to stay top of mind with their clients; past, present and future. I believe they have found that over the course of a year, 33 different touches is the optimal amount. Goldilocks Science. Not too much, and not too little – just right.
I maintain that while the tool is great, the instruction on how to properly use the tool has been lacking. There’s a real problem when I get more than a dozen emails, exactly the same, from Agents I have never met or talked to, from all over the country.
When I posted my complaint on my Facebook Profile the other day quite a few others piped in stating that they too get nailed many multiple times each by different agents for each touch. Remember, that’s just the people paying attention.
What about the general public? Take an average American couple. Let’s even say they spend a few weeks curb shopping. They walked into a bunch of open houses, grab a bunch of flyers and along the way they sign in to a few KW guest books. No big deal, eh?
Unsolicited Bulk Email or UBE is the general definition of SPAM. Unsolicited is fine, Bulk is fine, Unsolicited AND Bulk is not. While you may not agree with me that getting one UBE is bad, what if that couple went “open housing” weekend after weekend for a year? How many UBE’s do they need to get before we agree that it’s SPAM?
Kathy Kenney spoke up with some very valid points. I very much appreciate anyone who has an opinion and thanked her. I’ll agree that I am bashing, not the program itself but like I mentioned above, the application of the program.
As for asking to be removed… Why should I have to? I didn’t ask to be on their lists. Meh. We could argue the small points for days.
But she got me to thinking. While I’ve been posting what’s wrong, I haven’t suggested anything they could do better. So that’s the backstory. Here is my attempt (as an outsider) to suggest 33 ways to do it better.
Warning: The following instructions may actually contain something called WORK. If you are allergic to WORK or may be allergic to WORK, see a Doctor and discontinue your use of WORK. There are no substitutes for WORK. In rare cases application of WORK has resulted in increased instances of INCOME. If you notice a higher INCOME for periods over 4 months, consult a Travel Agent immediately… (okay, I’ll stop there but you get the point right?)
Let’s start with your lists. Do you have a single list for 33? If so, delete it and start again.
NOTE: We’re not deleting the actual contacts, just their inclusion in the list.
Now take a moment and think about how you could best segment your contacts. Past, Present and Future Clients are easy places to start. How about Buyers and Sellers? How about Equity vs Short Sales? Investors and Homeowners? Condo’s, SFR and MultiFamily? Experienced vs First Time Buyers? The conversations with each of these groups is going to be different, right? So why send them all the exact same material? I just came up with 14 possible lists for you to create. With a little thought you could eliminate some of them and add a few others.
Rebuild Your New Lists:
You’ll still have everyone in your contact database – we didn’t delete them just removed them from a list. Now we need to start adding people to the various segments we created. One by one you should go through each contact and place them in the list(s) that apply to them.
As a bonus plan, why not call each of them up personally? That’s a great way to reconnect – right? Ask them what’s going on in their lives right now, what’s important to them, how the family is doing. Mention that you have newsletters for various niche’s and ask them what they would be most interested in. No, you can’t outsource this and can’t automate it. It’s old fashioned stuff and luckily it doesn’t need to be done in a single day. Just do 10 calls a day. That’s it. You can manage that right?
The Open House / Networking / Conference Script:
Let me first say, I love networking and love conferences. I hate the idea of having a script. I offer up the following as an example as to what you might want to say, not in the truest form of a script.
I used to exchange business cards like everyone else. These days I give out stickers. Why? To steal a quote from Chris Brogan who said, “I’m reaching out to shake your hand and you’re trying to put your tongue in my mouth.” You see, after attending a conference I’d come home and start getting bombarded by all sorts of “Newsletters”. It’s just plain wrong to put people on a newsletter campaign without their permission. Yes, I know your “coach” told you to start doing it, but they probably meant to say “start doing it right”. (I hope that’s what they meant to say)
When someone gives you a business card or signs a guest book we would never say something like, “Thanks for the email address. Oh by the way, I’m going to put you on an automated system that sends you emails I don’t write, tracks when you open them and lets me know which links you click.” Ewwwwww right?
But what if you had a better way of saying that? Something like, “Thanks for the business card. Would it be ok if I send you relevant information from time to time?” Sounds much better right? And since you are just learning about them, when they give you permission you now have an opening to the next question… “Speaking of that, what would you be more interested in – the Condo Market or what’s happening in the single family area?“. I know my example is cold an un-human sounding, I leave it up to you to Humanize it. Obviously, I can’t write the script for you but that’s the idea. This is called conversation – and the more of it the better.
Now that we have our new lists segmented for each audience, let’s also make sure what we’re sending them is relevant to them.
John engages me on Twitter and recently asked
@MikeMueller if I was going to send you an email newsletter, what would you like to be in it?
— John Ziemba (@JohnZiemba) April 1, 2012
Great question. Here’s my answer. It depends on what “I” am interested in. I know you can pick and choose what goes out for each campaign. While some pieces might be general in nature others are not. Sending an article about Cap Costs to First Time Buyers doesn’t make sense (not that you would, just creating an extreme example).
But let’s personalize it as well. I’m pretty sure you can include a paragraph of your own writing at the top, right? So take a moment and write a little for each touch. For the Cap Cost Touch I made up you could talk about what’s happening in the local commercial market. For the Newbie’s Touch you could write 100 or so words on the appraisal process. (just 100? We’re at 1,200 words now!)
Speaking of writing? Do you have a blog? Do you write to it?
YOU DO? Triple Double Kudo Points for you!
Instead of sending out articles you clearly didn’t write (yeah they know you didn’t write that stuff) you could instead send them snippets to your blog posts. I say snippets so that you include the beginning of your article with a “read more…” that links out to the full article on your blog. Why? It’s your home base silly. It’s your money maker. It’s where you have all those calls to action. It’s where we want to drive people to.
So now that we theoretically have all the people in all the circles we think they belong in – what if we’re wrong? What if Bob and Cindy said they were interested in multifamily back then but now that they have a teenager ready to move away to college they are thinking of buying her a Condo to live in? That’s where the cross promotion comes in. Not sure where, maybe underneath your signature and contact info, you simply mention that you also have similar newsletters available for the other topics. Have them call you or send an email to get on the other list. Is there a way you can place a link where they could see the latest version of each or sign up themselves?
Ready to Send:
Not quite. With any mail merge campaign the magic is in the details. Get the details right and we create ‘magic’. Get them wrong and, well you know… I’m talking about the little things like <first_name> <last_name> and <address>. Those would be called fields. Put the wrong field in the wrong spot and you’ll be sending email to Mueller Mike or worse yet just Mueller.
Remember, there’s three parts to a merge.
1. Your database
2. The template we are merging to
3. And the final output or product
DO NOT go through all this work and then send all your touches to “Dear Client,” or “Dear Homeowner,”
We also need to check the data within those fields. Head on over to your database and make sure that the name is capitalized and where it’s supposed to be (i.e. first name in the first name slot). It’s not the programs fault if you have Mueller in the space where Mike should be. Next check the template to see you have the proper fields inserted where you want them. Finally check to make sure the merge happens the way it’s supposed to work. Nothing is worse than sending a mass email campaign out with an obvious error right at the top.
It’s not the tool I have a problem with, it’s the misuse of the tool. Hopefully this posts helps.
That’s 14 lists + 10 calls a day + a few ideas on personalizing, blogging, and cross promoting and 1709 words.
While it doesn’t exactly add up to 33 ways it’s way better than just whining about it – right Kathy?