You probably know there are many reasons for low response rates, both from your website and from your mailings.
Reasons for low response rates include:
- Poor writing / bad grammar: If your web pages or letters seem garbled or confusing, people won’t read, let alone respond.
- Making your marketing all about you, rather than about your potential clients.
- Lack of interesting content on your website.
- Forgetting to add your location to your website.
- Sending just one prospecting letter. (To see why more are necessary, click here.)
- Mailing to the wrong list.
Examples of reasons for low response rates found in my in-box recently.
The first line of the first example contains an error I see fairly often, and it’s one to studiously avoid.
“As a leading homebuilder, I’d like to ask how you’re dealing with soaring inflation, supply shortages and rising capital costs. If you’ve got a few minutes, I’d also like to briefly show you what a lot of your peers (and competitors) are doing.”
“We’re XXXXXXXXXXXX. Small and mid-size homebuilders throughout North America not only use our financial solutions today, they’re reporting profitability increases as high as 30 percent.”
Then the email goes on to promote software for construction record-keeping.
Did you catch the errors?
The first sentence tells me that a leading home builder is writing to me. After all, he says “As a leading homebuilder, I’m…”
But that’s not what he meant. The writer is assuming that I am a leading home builder. You don’t find out until the second paragraph that the writer is not a home builder. Then the second sentence leaves you wondering where he’s going with this. Maybe he’s going to explain how to help your clients save money when building a new home?
Since he meant me, he should have said “Because you are a leading home builder, I…”
The second paragraph does reveal that they are not home builders when it says “homebuilders” are using their financial solutions. It becomes a bit garbled when the writer switches from “(they) use” to “they’re reporting.” The two ends of the sentence simply don’t match. It should either say “they’re using” and “they’re reporting” or “(they) use” and “they report.”
Good proofreading by someone with writing skills might have solved the grammar errors, but it still wouldn’t matter. The bottom line is that they sent the letter to a writer, not a home builder, so it was a waste of energy.
And there’s the next reason for low response rates.
Writing to the wrong people will get you exactly nowhere. I’m a real estate copywriter, not a home builder. If the writer is purchasing lists, he’s being cheated. If he’s compiling his own lists, then he’s not paying attention.
I do get a good deal of mail that should be going to real estate agents, brokers, etc. Perhaps this is because I’m on Active Rain, so they just assume that I must be an agent.
And speaking of writing to the wrong people…
This example is really “out there.” Here’s the first paragraph:
“I see that you use a scheduling tool to book time with clients, which is great considering the importance of that first call in realty. Reaching out about XXX which we built for realtors and brokers to stand out and make the best first impressions with beautiful, personalized booking pages.”
I don’t use and have never used a scheduling tool. I have never even done research that would have put me on a list of prospective users. I would view a scheduling tool as just one more thing I needed to check daily and keep up with. No thanks!
I’m also not sure of her logic here. Scheduling is not the same as returning a call promptly. But – maybe it makes sense to someone. And maybe, since copywriting is supposed to be conversational, it doesn’t matter that the rambling second sentence has no subject.
And now, a confession and a warning…
A few days ago an agent wrote to ask if I had letters for a specific purpose. Then she mentioned that the “Contact me” buttons on my website were not working.
My email address is in other places on the website, and she took the time to find it. But not everyone would bother.
Apparently, when I created that button, I made a typo when adding my email address, and I didn’t catch it. Then I used “cut and paste” to put the same button on several pages.
I have no idea whether my error caused low response rates to my website, but at the very least, it was embarrassing.
The warning: check your links any time you make changes to your website!
I had checked all the text links, but forgot to check those buttons. So don’t make my mistake. Checking every link on every web page is boring as all get out, but it really is necessary if you want to retain your credibility.
And, even if you haven’t made changes, do check your outside links from time to time. Sometimes the people you’ve linked to make changes or remove articles, leaving you with a wrong or broken link. It does help to install a broken link checker on your WordPress sites. It won’t help you on news sites that replace articles, but will help if an article is removed.
One last thing… read your “about” pages at least once a year.
When I updated mine recently, I realized that it was sadly outdated. It stated that I had more than 40 different prospecting letter sets. I don’t know my current count, but I do know that it is now over 60. I had also added service offerings since it was last updated.
You may have gained new certifications, won awards, added a niche, or even changed brokerages since you posted your bio/profile. If so, it needs to be updated!
A trick to save you time in updating:
Instead of saying that you’ve been an agent for X years, say you’ve been an agent since whatever year you started. That will give you one less thing to change – and one less thing to get sadly outdated if you forget.
Failed stamp Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net