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Old School Marketing

Seattle brokerage sends out controversial mailer – is this sexist or are people overreacting?

One Seattle brokerage is being called out for a mailer that is allegedly sexist – is this an overreaction, or is the ad out of line?

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Seattle brokerage Costello & Costello sent out the above image as a mailer to consumers, espousing the virtues of a team that is focused. It appears the intention is to echo one sentiment of the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report (commissioned by the National Association of Realtors) which is that part-time agents and untrained agents are threats to the industry (and thus serve the consumer less effectively).

But it isn’t being taken that way

Take for example the original post on the mailer:

It is being translated as a sexist blow not only to women but to men, portraying female agents that balance time with children and work as inferior, and even undercuts fathers’ involvement in family life.

Further, most agents juggle more than one task at a time, and many even work from home. One Facebook commenter said, “The funny thing is that could be me with all my distractions. But I know my clients get my 100% focus when they need me and I’m that much more concerned with giving them quality service.”

Jillayne Schlicke, CEO of CE Forward, Inc. had some harsh words in response: “I would rather work with the multi-tasking female agent in the ad, who has experience handling conflict, minor emergencies, and stress than the two male agents that were not able to locate at least one brain cell that would have devoted a split second of consideration to how this ad portrays their competency.”

The brokers at Costello & Costello have been asked for a response to clarify their intent and react to accusations of sexism, and we will update this story when they weigh in.

So is this ad sexist?

We’ve all been screaming for years that agents that are jacks of all trades and master of none are a plague to the industry, so this could very well be an attempt to tap into that sentiment and position the two company founders as polished professionals, but it could have been compared to an agent who is also knitting a blanket for their Etsy store, selling candles at their Scentsy parties, giving massages on weekends, delivering the paper in the morning, and so forth.

Do you think this ad is sexist, or are people online simply overreacting?

#Sexism

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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Old School Marketing

This simple questioning technique will help you convert more sales

Will you read this article? According to the latest research, if you got as far as reading that question, the answer is more likely to be, “yes.”

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Will you read this article? According to the latest research, if you got as far as reading that question, the answer is more likely to be, “yes.”

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that asking someone a question about a behavior made much more of an impact than telling someone what to do.

Just asking someone a question about a behavior increases the likelihood that they’ll do it.

It’s called the question-behavior effect. According to lead researcher, Eric Spangenberg, the question-behavior effect is most notable when the question encourages behaviors that are already socially celebrated. For example, will you try to eat healthy in 2016? Will you exercise today?

Exactly why questions are more effective than statements remains unknown, but it probably has to do with the mindset of the answerer. If someone tells you, “you should volunteer for this charity” you are more likely to bristle at being told what to do, rejecting the authority and advice of an outside opinion.

But when asked, “will you make a donation?” even if you don’t answer right away, you become more open-minded to the possibility.

Your options become expansive, rather than set, which makes you feel empowered and self-confident that you can make a positive decision for yourself.

The study also found that the effect was strongest when questions were administered through a computer or on paper, rather than orally, and when the question called for a direct “yes” or “no” answer. Perhaps having to type out or write down an answer made people feel more accountable to following through with the behavior.

Could you use the question-behavior effect to improve your business? (You see what I did there?) Asking an employee, “will we see your report in time for the deadline?” may just increase the chances that you will. And perhaps asking if your customer wants to purchase your product will put them in an open-minded state to say yes.

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Old School Marketing

MailSnail helps you quickly design, send, and manage direct mailers

MailSnail is a new startup aimed at simplifying your direct mail campaigns and allowing a new level of customization; worth checking out.

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Although most companies have abandoned direct mail for more cost-effective email, you shouldn’t discount this valuable tool (most Realtors don’t). The majority of the people that get emails don’t actually open them or spam filters snag your email before it ever reaches the intended inbox.

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While direct mail is more expensive than email, it still works. Direct mail allows you to reach high level customers and prospects that don’t open emails. It also helps reinforce your email message and reminds your customers of the offer you may have emailed them. Plus, with fewer people using direct mail, you’re better able to stand out among your competition.

Direct mail simplified

However, direct mail is complicated. Many factors contribute to its success or failure, which makes it difficult to do effectively in-house. This is where new company MailSnail comes in. The startup takes the hassle out of direct mail. You don’t have to worry about finding a designer, a print-house, a mail-house, or even customers. MailSnail takes care of it all for you from their easy to edit design templates, to printing and delivery of your custom mailer.

MailSnail lets you craft your mailers to your specific needs. You can choose one of their templates and add content to create a custom mailer that fits you. You can also upload your own design.

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Schedule ahead of time, customize fully

MailSnail also lets you schedule your mailers ahead of time, so you can send your direct mail when you need. Other features the company provides is the ability to segment your customers for easy management and send geographically targeted mailers to new potential customers.

The startup also touts their ability to send a mailer to any size audience. Send your customized mailers to thousands of addresses or only a handful – it’s completely up to you.

MailSnail gives you the power of direct mail without the hassle. While the startup hasn’t officially launched, if you’re interested in trying the service, you can sign up on their site to get beta access.

#MailSnail

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Old School Marketing

There’s still one reason people look at newspaper ads; is your brokerage meeting their needs or ignoring them?

Most think the printed newspaper is on its way into extinction, but many wallet-holders are still flocking to newspapers, but why?

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We’re living in the digital age, so more likely than not, your business is relying heavily on internet marketing, leaving behind those old newspaper advertisements.

But wait, not so fast. According to the latest marketing research, there may still be some value to providing discounts and coupons via local newspapers. An August 2015 study by CreditCards.com found that newspapers are still the most popular source for discounts and coupons amongst price-conscious consumers.

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They found that 37.7 percent of female respondents, and 30.1 percent of male respondents cited newspapers as their go-to for finding discounts and coupons, compared to the internet, snail mail, email, or direct offers from banks and credit cards.

Breaking the stats down by age

However, the picture becomes a little more complicated when you break down the statistics by age. The CreditCards.com study revealed that consumers ages 18 to 49 are mostly getting their discounts from the internet. Youngsters under age 34 are also more responsive to coupons in their mailboxes than to newspaper coupons.

For all respondents over age 49, on the other hand, newspapers were their first source for coupons, leveling out the average such that newspapers still rank number one when all age categories are combined.

A similar August 2014 study by Valassis, a direct mail marketing service, found less variation across age groups, with millennials, gen Xers, and baby boomers all stating that they used paper coupons far more than digital ones.

Gender and income influences

Shoppers with higher incomes don’t seem to worry much about finding coupons and discounts, whereas lower income shoppers rely on them heavily.

Nonetheless, the CreditCards.com study found that 30.6 percent of female internet users use coupons when shopping for their day to day amenities. That’s nearly twice as much as men, of whom only 16.8 percent use coupons regularly.

An overlooked opportunity?

In short, it appears that supplying discount offers and coupons in your local paper may not be such a bad idea, especially if your customer base is largely female, and over the age of 50.

While advertising a multi-million dollar listing may not yield results, inserting a coupon for a free analysis or an offering to waive $500 off of closing costs, could be a tool your competitors are ignoring. Time to open up a newspaper to see if there’s opportunity for your brand.

#Newspapers

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