I love it even more when my members take the product I offer one stage further and make it their own. Doing so makes their newsletters even more powerful.
1) He uses most of the original newsletter. After all, it's ready to use without customization, if necessary.
2) He makes changes to match his red and black branding, and adds his own custom masthead at the top of the newsletter. All this ties his marketing together, adding strength to his brand in his local area.
3) He replaces the first article on the front page with local market commentary and advice. Here Conrad does a great job, positioning himself as an expert on the local real estate market.
He told me:
I spend 1/2 a day thinking about what is important to my current and future customers. I then try to write in such a way that I continue a conversation in their mind that they are probably having. I can crank out an article in about 60 minutes usually late at night with no distractions. I then let it sit over night like a good pot of stew and touch it up the next day or so. My challenge is I get a little too technical, so as you have advised I always need to get down to that common element that owners or buyers are thinking about. Also know how your market is interlinked to the whole market in general.
5) He includes a testimonial from a satisfied client. Testimonials are powerful because they provide independent proof.
Does this extra effort work for him? He says:
The biggest results I get is when I prospect, they know who I am. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. So even if I don't get their business, there is immediate acknowledgment and respect right from the get go. This makes prospecting much easier. I don't think I could ever cold call again. Yes I do definitely get business from my newsletter and it is growing.
Here are Conrad's 5 tips for real estate agents who use newsletters:
Conrad makes one final, but very important point: people call him sometimes several months after they've seen the newsletter. So don't evaluate your newsletter on immediate ROI - it's a long-term project.