ETM Angst

Working with Jeanne on University today, we got into the marketing plan.  I explained that for the past several years, the Help-U-Sell ETM (Entire Target Market Mailer) had fallen from general use.  It was that M part that was causing pushback:  Mailer.  Mailing thousands of marketing pieces regularly enough for them to have impact was proving cost prohibitive in the down market.  Some altered the delivery method, replacing the stamp with a poly bag that could be hung on a door knob, but by-and-large, most just quit doing them.

I understand this.  One of the guiding principals of Help-U-Sell is that we constantly evaluate the cost of our marketing pieces against the leads they produce, and if the ETM was not producing leads and the cost was high, the right thing to do would be to move on to something else.  After all, there are market realities at play here:  John Powell told us if he did a blanket mailer in Tucson, a large portion of them would arrive at vacant houses; other brokers asserted that the ETM was not effective in a short sale market.

It all made sense until Jeanne responded to my statement.  ‘If most brokers are not doing ETMs ,’ she asked, ‘How is that message getting out there.’


She had reminded me that the ETM is not just a marketing piece.  It’s a message.  It’s our identity.  It’s one of the principle ways we differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.  We can’t simply abandon that without an effective and more efficient replacement.  To do so would drop us into the soup and mire of mere discounters!

Remember the message?

  1. We are HERE
  2. People use our service
  3. It works and they save money

Remember how we get that across in an ETM?

  • Pictures and descriptions of homes for sale
  • At least 1/3 of the listings feature a ‘Sold and Saved’ banner
  • At least 1 customer testimonial with photo
  • The Easy Way (probably on the back)
  • Our Guarantee

All of these elements work together to stake claim to a small piece of mental real estate between the ears of the consumers in your marketplace:  that we are different, that we get the job done, and we represent savings. 

I really want to hear from you:

Are you doing a regular ETM?  If so, how, how often, and what results are you getting?

Are you doing something similar but delivering it in an alternate way?

Do you have ideas about how we might adapt the ETM to today’s reality?

If you are not doing an ETM, how are you getting the message out there?

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