Now about Favorite icon for Microsoft Explorer users. Icon looks nice, but I also found this is a good way to find how many visitors bookmarked my site, by checking in the server statistics how many times this file was requested.
Please share what tools/materials/resources you are using to market and automate your REI site. I realize this question covers a broad set of topics, but I’ll take any tidbits I can get. Areas of interest are:
driving traffic to your site
add a link capabilities
publishing email newsletters
autoresponders for reports, info
scheduled autoresponders for follow-up
autoresponders with mail merge capacity
capturing visitor info for follow-up
writing effective sales copy
automating visitor and forms info into databases
As far as marketing a web site, there are really only two ways to do that in my opinion.
Put your web address on every single thing you hand out and in your newspaper ads. Business cards, letterhead, brochures, pens, note pads etc. Get a rubber stamp made up also.
Web search engines. This is easier said than done and even harder in real estate. First thing that needs to be done is having your ENTIRE web site optimized for search engines. This can be a total “do over” of your site to make it work or some minor adjustments. The days of having key words in the Head section are long gone. If you want your site to list in the top 10 to 20 for each search engine, that in its self can be a full time job. If your interested in more info here, email me and I will send you some links that will explain and help you. Just stay away from companies that sell web positioning and claim they submit to 250 search engines for $50 or what have you.
As for what to include on your site I think is more hit and miss. Try a few different things, make sure you can track traffic through out your web site and see what is working and remove or change things that get little to no traffic. Forms might be a good thing, I personally dont and wont put them on my REI site. I want people calling me, not filling out a form. If they wont take the time to call I dont think they are motivated enough to bother with, again just my opinion.
Capturing info and sending a unsolicited email I also dont like. Plus a smart surfer would have made sure you cant capture this info anyway.
Email newsletters I like. This is a great way to keep in contact with people you have sold and bought from and a way to promote changes and info about your site and business.
Wow!!! Nice post. Not only would I love to pick your brain for this type of info but I sure could use some tutoring.
I almost have all the stuff done we discussed the other day and will fax it to you soon.
Sorry we couldn’t connect on Thursday. Hope your meeting went well. I will call you this weekend.
I’ve been putting the url on everything for probably a year now, but what’s the rubber stamp for?
I’ve been doing the submissions and had some success (#1 for “we buy houses” on Lycos for a while), but I still need to spend the time for optimization.
My current host uses Webalyzer for monitoring traffic and it seems to be sufficient for my current needs.
Why don’t you like forms? I have pretty good success with them and I don’t want to spend time on the phone with tire kickers on either the sell or buy side. I email my Buyer List each time I have a new listing.
I recently purchased an app that will supposedly automatically parse and database the information on my forms into a mail merge format so the autoresponses (whenever they get set up) will be personalized. If I can get that working, I will have essentially completely removed myself from the buyer process until someone is ready to give me a check. That’s the end goal for many of my processes.
I agree with your comment about unsolicited email and didn’t mean “capture” in that sense. Right now I manually respond to all requests for reports, information, buyer forms, seller forms, other investor forms, etc. I want to automate those response processes and follow-up as well and set up opt-in choices on my site.
I have a functional site which averages approximately 100 unique visits a day and I want to increase that number as well as increase my conversion ratio. I guess I am looking to advance to Level II, where the copy actually reads well and compels action and processes are much more automated.
So, hopefully that helps make my initial request a little clearer. I’m ready to take steps toward making the site be the 24/7 marketing and automation tool it should be. Any additional suggestions for newsletter tips or other topics would be greatly appreciated.
Also don’t forget about some small web site enhancements - for example “Tell a friend” script or “404” page. I personally like 404 page. In my case each month it redirects several hundred visitors back to my site. Otherwise this traffic would be lost.
“Favorite” icon for Internet Explorer users is also pretty neat trick.
Main thing once they are done, those enhancements will work for you all the time without any supervision.
If you interested, I will be glad to provide more details.
Ahh the rubber stamp…LOL…my mind was working faster than my typing on that one. What I mean is have a rubber stamp with the business name and web site URL, so you can stamp pretty much anything when people ask you for a copy of something etc. or as a cheap option to get the url on something you might already have printed or hand out that does not include the url in the original print.
As for forms, its not that I dont like them, they are a great tool, but for me, as a newbie, I want the phone call. This lets me brush up on my technique and get better at answering questions etc. I didnt mean to indicate forms wont work.
I believe what he is talking about are custom 404 error page scripts. This is a page you can create that redirects folks back to a valid html page on your site. These work if someone say bookmarked a page to your site and you have removed that page, or if someone types in your URL wrong (still must have the main url correct to work obviously), rather than getting the standard all white page telling them “file not found”, they woulf get a page you created that points them back to valid pages within your website.