Should You Pay for E-Marketing Solutions?

There are plenty of options that are both free and fee-based. You have to decide which aspects of online marketing you’d rather not spend your own time doing.

March 28, 2014

Being effective at Web communications requires a cohesive strategy across multiple channels: website, blog, e-mail, drip marketing, electronic newsletters, and social media platforms.

Solutions for all of these types of communications, both free and fee-based, are available for download on the Internet.Explore the features of several of them, but before deciding whether to buy one, consider the time and effort each communications channel requires. Where does it make sense to do it yourself, and where should you subscribe to a service or hire a professional marketing consultant?

Whatever you choose, the value of speaking with a consistent voice across all channels is of the utmost importance. Whether you promote yourself as the first-time buyers’ best friend or the luxury home specialist, all your communications should project your personality, focus, and expertise. You can’t get that from canned content.

There are several fully integrated marketing communications suites, specifically for real estate. You can subscribe to a single package for website development, content, search engine optimization, drip marketing, and so on. These are the most expensive solutions, often incurring both set-up costs and ongoing subscription fees.

If you’re not confident in any single suite, you can cherry-pick solutions from several vendors. As the product section shows, there are specialties in social media communication, drip marketing, electronic newsletters, and more. Customization options vary; make sure your competitors aren’t using the same tools. Sending clients the same electronic newsletter as an associate at a competing brokerage won’t speak well for either of you.

Before you subscribe to any fee-based service, look for free or low-cost alternatives. Search for real estate e-mail templates, for example. As a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you have access to free tools for blogging, social media management, and electronic newsletters.