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a la mode news & marketing tips — posted May 18, 2005

High performing websites, high performing wheels
Mortgage XSites debuted almost a year ago and have been making day-to-day business easier for thousands of brokers just like you.  If you purchased your XSite last summer, it’s up for renewal soon and we made it easy to renew your XSite online here. Of course, you can always call 1-800-ALAMODE to renew as well!

To celebrate Mortgage XSites’ first year, we decided to give away something that’s as high performing on the road as XSites are in your business every day:  A 2005 Corvette convertible.

All XSite owners will automatically be entered in the giveaway drawing, which will be August 6.  So if you’d like to be seen cruising around town in this sleek new ride (pictured above), just make sure your XSite has been renewed by August!

If you plan to be at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) Annual Convention in June or the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers (FAMB) Annual Convention in July, stop by our booth and you can check out the Corvette for yourself.  Heck, we’ll even let you sit in it if you want.  We can't, however, let you to test drive it around the convention halls!

When should you send your e-mail campaigns?

Deciding when to send your e-mail marketing messages is crucial because, of course, you want to make sure your e-mail is read by as many prospects as possible.  Many marketing firms and analysts have made a science out of predicting response rates from their e-mail marketing efforts.

The truth is there is no magical day or time to send e-mail that will ensure high clicks and open rates (The time it takes for a person to open his e-mail from you).  There are, however, a few guidelines that many companies follow to ensure they get the most mileage out of every e-mail sent.

One common belief among many e-mail marketers is that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send e-mail.  This belief is mostly based on conventional wisdom rather than science.  People simply tend to be busier on Mondays and Fridays to pay full attention to non-urgent e-mails and they're more apt to take a day off around the weekends.

Many marketers even say they never have their e-mails delivered on an empty stomach — meaning they aim to get their e-mails into their customers' inboxes after lunch.  The reason? Their customers have likely dealt with their morning e-mails and are refreshed and ready to get back into work.

There are other factors that influence e-mail open rates that you may want to consider when sending e-mail to prospects and clients, such as:

The type of e-mail address. If you are sending e-mail to a client's business address, they're more likely to open their
e-mail during their workday.  And although many people check their personal e-mail accounts during the day, many do not, and so sending in the evening or on the weekends is not out of the question.

Your client's occupation. Many of your customers may work in areas where their e-mail is either unavailable (i.e., construction, factory and restaurant workers) or difficult to access during normal business hours (i.e. doctors, nurses, teachers).

Gender. Many analysts have found that a higher percentage of males versus females are online during the prime evening television viewing hours (8-10 p.m.).

While these are good guidelines to follow, most marketing firms will advise you to test various times of the day and week to truly find out what works best for your market niche.  Eventually, you'll learn the best time to send your campaigns and you'll garner better response rates!

And now that you know when to send your e-mail campaigns, let XSellerate help you with the rest! Send automated e-mail marketing campaigns, create professional print ads and manage your clients easier and much more with our XSellerate marketing suite.

Buy XSellerate today for just $349 (retail $699) by clicking here or call 1-800-ALAMODE.

Capturing quality leads with local search engine services

Lately, you may have heard a lot about web features like Yahoo! Local and Google Local that enable search engine users to find relevant local information with neighborhood business listings, maps, directions and web pages.  Why should you list your business on one (or both) of these sites?  You'll make it easy for qualified prospects to find your business, you have full control over your listing and, best of all, it’s free!

Both Google Local and the Yahoo! Local Listings program collect business information from their own indexes of websites, Yellow Pages directories, and other sources to populate search results. However, the best way to get an accurate listing is to submit your own listing to the directories.  You can sign your website up at Yahoo! Local here and for Google Local here.

It takes 3-5 business days for your listing to appear in Yahoo! Local.  After submitting your information to Google Local, you’ll receive a letter to your business address within two weeks containing a unique PIN number and activation instructions for your listing.  Your listing will then display on Google Local four to six weeks after it's submitted.

While both the Google and Yahoo! local tools allow you to edit your listing whenever you like, changes can sometimes take six weeks or more before they’re reflected in the search results. 

Need help setting up your business listing?  No problem.  We’ve created a tutorial for setting up your listing on Google Local and Yahoo! Local in our Web Marketing Strategies section of our website, which you can access here. If you have XSellerate, the tutorial is also located in the Marketing Aids section under Tools.

Briefly Speaking


Coming this summer: A new level of XSites
This summer, we’re introducing XSites levels Standard and Professional allowing new customers to choose a Mortgage XSite with all the bells and whistles (Professional level)
or a more scaled down version (Standard level).

As a result, your XSite will be automatically upgraded to the Professional level, so you won’t lose any of the cutting-edge tools and features you’ve come to depend on to help you do business.  In fact, many of the tools that make your XSites so dynamic will only be available on XSites Professional level.  And most of the new features coming out throughout the year will only be available on Professional.

XSites Standard provides mortgage brokers a sophisticated web presence they need at a more affordable cost, making it a perfect solution for new and part-time brokers or LOs.  As you know, having a good website in today’s market is crucial.  However, start-up costs and other expenses often make it difficult for those new to the business to afford a good website right out of the door.  XSites Standard is the foot in the door they need.  And as they begin landing new business, they can easily upgrade to XSites Professional.

And if you have friends in the business who are impressed with your XSite, you may want to refer them to us once XSites levels are released.  They’ll get an affordable website and you’ll get $50 just for referring them!

Quick Tips: Keeping your Mortgage XSite fresh
People are more likely to return to your site if you offer them something new from time to time.  And with summer on the horizon, now’s a great time to update your XSite with new themes, content pages and tools.

Updating your XSite will not only increase traffic, it can also help your search engine placement.  The more often you update your pages, the more often the search engines "crawl" your site.  If a search engine comes back after a month and nothing has changed, it may wait two months before returning.  Here are tips to freshen up your XSite for summer and keep visitors coming back:

Community events.  Add a custom page to your XSite detailing local summer events and festivals and other summer activities in your community.

News they can use.  Add the daily Inman real estate news feed to your XSite by checking the “News” content page and clicking on “dynamic content” under Other Content Options.

Be patriotic.  Switch your normal XSite theme for the “Patriotic” theme for Memorial, Flag and Independence Day.

Reel in DIY-ers.  Many homeowners save their big home improvement projects for the summer months, making now a good time to include content pages on home equity loans and home improvement insurance.  Try rearranging your XSite so these pages are closer to the top of your homepage.

Contact Us


For questions about this newsletter, contact the editor: Amanda@alamode.com

For sales inquiries, contact sales@alamode.com or call
1-800-ALAMODE. 

If you have an idea, tip or feedback on any of our products, we'd love to hear from you!  Please e-mail us at info@alamode.com.

 

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