Monday, December 19, 2016

How One Sentence Can Ruin A Marketing Piece

There are still too many examples out there of why a business person needs to stay on top of and maintain control of his or her own marketing.


Since much of my business deals with real estate marketing (both agents and properties), I receive and review a ton of newsletters, marketing pieces, and advertisements in this regard. However, in this instance, any publicity is not always “good” publicity.


Here is another case in point I received just a couple of days ago from a Chicago area agent. I received an e-mail from him with the subject header “Just Sold! West Loop Gem!”.


Upon opening it, the headline of “Just Sold!” also appeared above a four page photo spread of a specific property, with the street address (with a unit number) still included. Two of the four photos were of the building’s exterior, while the other two show the interior – even though the unit number was included and the property was sold.


I could understand this photo spread if there were other units within this property for sale. However, there is no mention throughout the e-mail to that effect. As a result, anyone who sees this that is impressed with that unit has absolutely zero call to action in the event that at least one other similar unit were still available. (I still don’t know if any other units in that building are or are not currently listed, which is part of my point.)


However, that is not the biggest problem with this marketing piece. Just above the specific address and the photo spread is the headline, “Purchased well under list price in hot (name of area) market!”


Why is this a “problem”?


Based on the “Just Sold” headline, this e-mail blast is intended more for sellers, looking to alert them to his recent sale in a “hot” neighborhood. Since the headline says “Purchased well under list price…..”, it tells other potential sellers that this client failed to get anywhere near the asking price.


If someone was considering a selling a property, why would they contact an agent to just told me his most recent big sale was for “well under list price”? It’s not as though there are not plenty of agents selling homes in that area.


At the same time, if someone was considering buying a property in that area (and saw this e-mail), all they see is how a property was “Just Sold”, with nothing about him (the agent) helping buyers for that same neighborhood. This is not to say that he doesn’t or wouldn’t, but there is no call to action for potential buyers.


Based on how nice the appearance of his e-mail is, my hunch is that he either used a marketing service (not my office!) or a template to put this one together. He (agent) or someone needed to pay closer attention.


The “headline” in his e-mail, should have said something like “Looking to buy or sell in this building? Call me today!”, instead of admitting that the seller didn’t get the asking price would have made a huge difference.


Instead, one line of copy destroyed his marketing attack.