Each month many Coldwell Banker Agents send their contacts a newsletter with relevant information about the real estate market, home ownership and trends in the industry. Lawton provides Agents the opportunity to personalize their newsletters, allowing customers and prospective customers to understand and interact with the Agents’ individual brands in a way that feels human, one-on-one.
Lawton also works with Coldwell Banker’s main office to offer a quarterly postcard mailing, customized with each Agent’s individual photo, and contact information. This allows each Agent to use their marketing budget more effectively.
The generic content of the monthly newsletter is developed by Coldwell Banker’s designer and writer. The working files are sent to Lawton as a PDF. Some Agents opt for the generic version, sending their contact list this general newsletter. The “generic” version is customized with the Agents’ photos and contact information.
Many Agents, however, take advantage of the “Custom Sidebar”, which allows them to customize additional portions of the newsletter with their personal brand messaging. A personal real estate brand is a direct reflection of the Agent, their unique qualities and values, along with the opportunity to convey why a prospective customer would work with them.
Real estate is often an emotional purchase. People want to work with someone they trust and know. The more they understand about their Agent, the more comfortable they feel.
After the newsletter PDF is sent to Lawton, Coldwell Agents upload their mailing list to a custom web portal created by the Lawton technology team. At that time, the Agent notes “NL” for newsletter or “PC” for postcard. The database is then routed through the Lawton mailroom, where it is prepped for USPS standards. This process includes National Change of Address scrubbing and sorting for bulk mailing postage rates.
Lawton processes the art and data files and prepares them for variable data output. This allows all pieces to be printed at once, the combination of Agents who simply use the generic content and Agents who use the customized content.
A PDF file is proofed by Coldwell Banker, before internal hard proofs are generated and approved by the Lawton production staff. When all pieces have run, they are finished with trimming, folding, and tabbing for mailing. Assembled newsletters are then binned and sent for postal processing. Each Agent also can order extra copies for distribution in their individual offices or as a handout.
Direct mail remains a consistently strong marketing strategy. The 2018 DMA Response Rate Report cites household list response rates at 9%. This is up significantly from the 2017 numbers, at 5.1%. What’s causing the jump? Better personalization and branding in direct mail pulls higher numbers.
Developing truly personalized content does require a bit of effort, but studies show it pays off big! Between 80-90% of companies using personalized messaging have seen a measurable lift in business, as high as 10%.