The Electronic ETM

The ETM or Entire Target Market Mailer (I guess that would actually be ETMM) is one of the Help-U-Sell core marketing pieces.  The idea is:  you regularly blanket your target market with flyers via some direct mail vehicle, usually supermarket circulars, Pennysaver inserts or post cards.  In years past this was a monthly event in most Help-U-Sell offices and was one of the more expensive parts of the marketing program.

The down market and changing consumer habits have seen the old fashioned ETMailer go by the wayside.  Oh, many brokers still do them but it’s usually with a different delivery method:  hand delivered or in plastic bags hung on doorknobs.   We’ve dubbed that ‘Low-Cost/No-Cost’ marketing in this new world.

(Brief Pontification):  Please don’t think the ETMailer is extinct.  As the market comes back, so will it.  It’s a powerful and — in a normal market — cost effective way of driving your business.

But we said there were two things that changed, remember?  The down market and consumer habits. What’s changed there?

We’ve seen an absolute explosion of Social Networking.  Facebook has gone from being a blip on the horizon to having more visits that Google.  That’s a story all in itself!  Remember when MySpace was the big thing?  That was only a couple of years ago.  But somehow, about the time they were rocked with the cyber-bullying scandal and news of predator use, they began to tumble and suddenly Facebook was on the map.  With 400,000,000+ members world wide and growing, it’s a position they are not likely to lose.

So how does the rise of Facebook mean a new view of the ETM for you?  If you could find a means of contacting all the Facebook members in your target market (that’d probably be 50%-60% of the households)  you might use that as a great way to electronically (read: cheaply . . no, affordably) deliver the same message you used to deliver with your ETM.  What if you could get the email addresses of all the Facebook members in your target market?  And their permission to stay in touch via FB or Email?  You can, you know.

(Pay Attention!) Why not build a Facebook page for your community?  Say: .  Make the point of the site something to do with the community that everyone will be interested in:  fun things to do in Sarasota this week.  Start posting to it and inviting members.  (Use Advanced Search 2.0 Beta to locate Facebook users by their location).  (e’hemmm!).  Work it for a few months and as you gain enthusiastic users, make some of them administrators so that it doesn’t take so much of your time.  When you have lots of members — say 1/4 of your target market, slowly start to weave in Real Estate . . . maybe on a separate tab.  You now want all of those people who love your community page to realize that you are in real estate.  Once the page is established, it’s ok to drop a little newsy tidbit about the local market from time to time or an invitation to your next open house.

Check out Get the Audio.   Created by REALTORS, it has nearly 10,000 members.  That’s 10,000 people in the local market who may need to buy or sell or who may know someone else who does.  Not bad.

Are you driven enough to try this?

If you are, Ms. Patzer and I would love to hear from you.  We’ll help in any way we can, with the idea that we’d have a shining example in our midst to point to in a few months.

Oh, that bit about getting the email addresses of all the Facebook users in your Target Market?  Build your community page and start inviting people first.  Then we’ll show you how to do that.

This idea comes from a great real estate/Facebook consultant, Ross Hair.  If you ever have a chance to sit in on one of his online (or live) meetings, do it.  Pay attention, take notes, and within 6 hours of leaving, do what he tells you to do. Your bottom line will thank you.  More great ideas are on his website:  Get the Audio

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