This has been my week for receiving lame promotions. Yesterday it was a prospecting letter that’s a true marketing fail.
I have to give this woman credit just for trying, because so few in our area bother with prospecting, but… Oh boy what a mess her letter is.
I was sorely tempted to write and ask her if she’d like some help. However, I restrained myself. That’s her broker’s job.
She tried to sound sophisticated…
She starts out with a 38-word sentence outlining “real estate adventures” that caused her to meet a “plethora” of families who want to buy property here – and some of them are desperate.
How did her adventures in the region lead her to all these people if they don’t live here? Perhaps her adventures were in apartment complexes?
Note her choice of the word “plethora.” I can’t recall ever hearing anyone use that word – and certainly not in Bonner County. And anyway, did she really mean an excess?
I think this was her first attempt at sounding sophisticated.
She made a ridiculous claim…
In the next paragraph she explains that she’s a “native to” the county and knows it like the back of her hand. Oops – there’s the first grammar error. Plants and animals can be native to an area. Since she’s a human, I think she meant “native of.”
Then – claiming to know this county like the back of your hand simply makes a person look foolish – and looking foolish is a marketing fail. With over 1,900 square miles of territory, ten diverse communities that are large enough to be called towns, plus about 25 smaller communities, two major lakes, and thousands of acres of mountains – it’s just not possible.
False claims are always a marketing fail. Was this one of them?
Next she says other agents ask her to find properties for them. Do you buy that?
Another attempt at sounding sophisticated fails…
Paragraph 3 says “Because I cater almost explicitly to…” “Cater to” strikes a wrong chord with me – but I guess it isn’t too far off – just far enough to be the wrong choice. Unfortunately, “explicitly” is another matter. “In a clear and detailed manner, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.” just doesn’t fit here. She should have saved that for a web page or letter talking about how she explains real estate forms to her clients. This, by the way, was a 41-word sentence. It needed severe editing.
One more unbelievable claim…
The next sentence tells how her area expertise helps her place buyers in the right properties and “as a result, creates happier sellers as well.” Looking beyond the garbled wording – I have to wonder: Are sellers really happier when their home fits a buyer’s lifestyle? Is that what they’ve been worried about – or did they just want a buyer at the right price?
It races downhill from there…
The final paragraph: “If you, a neighbor, or someone you know may be interested in listing their home…”
Do they not know the neighbor? And is anyone interested in listing? I think I might have chosen “selling.” And is “their” the right pronoun to use here? I think not, since she’s addressing it to “you.”
The next section of that sentence really made me cringe: ”…please reach out to myself or my team…”
If you’ve read many of my articles, you know that the misuse of “myself” is one of my pet peeves. I’ve written several posts about it – this one is the most recent.
Then she continues with a garbled “figure out your property’s market value is worth.” Not to be overly picky, but why does she say they’ll “figure out” the value? Seems an odd way to put it. The garbled part indicates that she did some revisions on this message before she sent it out – and pushed it even farther into being a marketing fail.
The letter was all about her – a huge marketing fail!
Aside from the comment about placing buyers in the right homes, the first 3 1/2 paragraphs are all about her. In the 4th paragraph she says she can give tips on making a home more marketable and will tell you the value of your home even if you’re not ready to sell.
She totally forgot the first rule in marketing, which is “It’s all about them – not you.”
To top all this off, she included her card – with a glamor photo.
This marketing message was a try, but ultimately a marketing fail.
To avoid her mistakes, remember:
- It’s not about you. It’s about your prospect and what you can do for them.
- When you’re writing to prospects, don’t choose words in an attempt to come across as sophisticated or as superior to them. It’s insulting to your audience. Worse, some of your readers won’t know what the words mean.
- Some readers will know what those words mean, so when you also don’t take time to know the meaning of the words you use, it makes you look foolish.
- Remember that good marketing is written so that an average 6th grader can understand it.
- Don’t make silly claims. They make you look insincere.
- Edit for clarity – and break up those paragraph-long sentences!
Pass/fail buttons courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net
Pinochio Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net