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Direct Mail: An Old Marketing Tool With New Power

Looking for a better way to connect with customers and prospects in this technology-rich, multi-channel environment? Would you think I was crazy if I suggested using a channel that was developed in the early 20th century?

That channel is direct mail. And while many of today’s marketers may dismiss it as a quaint relic of days gone by, it’s actually more powerful than ever before. Surprised? If you understand the factors behind the effectiveness of direct mail, you won’t be.

There are two reasons direct mail is a wise choice in today’s market. First, fewer companies are using it, so the handful that know how to employ it effectively have a much bigger opportunity to be noticed. Three decades ago, your mailbox may have been full of letters on any given day, but how many do you receive now? Finding a letter (especially one with a real stamp) is something of a novelty these days, so instead of simply tossing it aside, people are more likely to read it.

“Well, I don’t read junk mail,” you insist. Neither do I. But effective direct mail and junk mail are two entirely different animals, and that’s where reason number two enters the picture. The key to effective direct mail is making sure you put the right message into the right hands, and today’s combination of powerful technology and big data makes that easier to do than ever before.

Junk mail is the stuff you don’t want. You’re not interested in doing business with the sender, or it’s a product you’d never buy, so you chuck it into the recycling bin. If you’re sending the wrong messages to people who have no need or interest, you’re wasting your money on junk mail.

But if you’re sending relevant messages and offers to a tightly targeted group of recipients that meets specific criteria, you’re engaging in effective direct mail. You have the opportunity to “talk” directly to someone who is likely to be interested in what you have to say or offer. Even better, you’re doing it in a place where they’re comfortable at a time when they’re comfortable. Many forms of marketing communications are interruptive. For example, phone calls always come when you’re doing something else. But most people have some sort of routine when it comes to reading their mail.

Now, about that tightly targeted group I mentioned. I’ve written a lot of effective direct mail packages over the years, but I’ll be the first to admit that my brilliant words aren’t the primary reason those efforts achieved success. Direct mail experts will tell you that the writing and design of a direct mail piece or package accounts for less than 10 percent of its effectiveness. How do they know that? They’ve tested millions of pieces of mail over the years, making slight modifications to pinpoint what works best.

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Use Real Estate Articles To Boost Your Market Presence

It has always been true that getting your real estate business established, is doing different things to become known as a leading realtor in your area. Keeping a database and staying in contact with your clients and buyers is a well-known method of creating more business. Advertising and sending out letters are other examples of ways to grow your business.

There is another method you can try to boost your real estate business. That would be by using real estate articles. Here is how it can work for you. Write articles about different subjects and get them printed in a local newspaper or market journal. Here are some ideas of subjects you can write about.

· Getting Your House Ready For Selling

· Hiring A Realtor

· Home Inspections

· Termite Inspections

· Bank Appraisal

· How A Lockbox Works

· Internet Advertising

· Security

· The Holiday Season

· A Buyer Broker

By searching the internet you can come up with tons of ideas to write about. Now once you have your articles, “yes I said articles” because you need more than one and you should have them ready to use. You can start having them printed on a monthly schedule in that local paper I had mentioned.

Doing this will get you recognition in your community and it will establish you as the local expert, and the go to person for getting a house sold for either a buyer or seller. It would also be a great idea to have your picture, your title and any certifications printed along with the article. There is a possibility that if you have a number of real estate articles ready to go, you can try to make a deal with your local newspaper or advertiser to get your articles published free. Try to become their Real Estate Corner. You can become known as the local real estate expert. Write articles that are informative, non solicitation in content and helpful to your readers. Believe me they will find you when they need you. Remember you when you do other forms of advertising, that will also fortify your articles.

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10 Tips on Marketing Your Real Estate on Craigslist

Is promoting your realty on Craigslist still worth your time and money? The answer is that it really depends on however well you’ll turn from the restrictions. I have found some Realtors who were able to get leads from Craigslist even with the limitations.

Craigslist has recently disallowed the use of some markup language code (such as pictures, links, and colors) making it a hassle to customize your posts.

Many marketers are finding it more and more difficult to convert leads from Craigslist.

Okay! I won’t waste your time anymore! Here are the tips on how you can market your real estate on Craigslist:

Tip #1:

Even though your links are no longer clickable, it doesn’t mean that you can’t post it. What you can do is to put instructions like “Copy and paste this link to get more information about this house”.

Tip#2:

If you were used to showing photos using image links in Craigslist, then you would know that it has already been restricted. Since we can’t link images anymore from our sources, we can simply upload them directly.

Tip#3:

Always upload pictures to Craigslist but don’t show your leads everything. You have to make them contact you to get more photos.

Tip#4:

Make sure you are placing your phone number within the post. There a trend that the average Craigslist visitors prefer dialing phone numbers rather than having to copy and paste the Realtor’s website.

Tip#5:

Make as many posts as possible. Real estate marketing on Craigslist has a huge amount of competition.

Tip#6:

Don’t post too much detail about the house. Just like uploading too many photos, you will want the leads to call and ask you for more.

Tip#7:

Put stress on your keywords. The key is for your leads to remember the highlights about the home you are promoting.

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Selling Your Home Via Instagram

With the Internet realm overflowing with social sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Pinterest, some may have overlooked the ability of a social resource to be more than just a personal space for individuals.

Instagram, though popular among the 21st century population, is one social resource whose marketing potential many tend to neglect. There are currently 150 million users or more in the Instagramverse. It lets you share photos straight from your mobile phone – really easy and convenient to use.

As a homeowner in this millennium, using Instagram to advertise your home the moment you feel the need to sell it makes for a wise and cost-efficient real estate marketing strategy.

What sets Instagram apart from other social media platforms is its photograph-centered interface. Hasn’t the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” already too cliché now? Cliché though it may be, that’s exactly what Instagram is all about: to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Unfortunately for the real estate industry, it will take more practice and exposure before it finally warms up to and gets the full attention of Instagram junkies. There are only 98,681 photos that used the hashtag Realtor. Some may say this is a good number but still a far cry from the millions of photos hashtagged with sunrise, love or food.

Instagram has its own set of rules and regulations different from other social media platforms. Using this social resource to market your real estate property and such would require your thorough cooperation. Follow their rules, use them to your marketing advantage and try to avoid little bloopers that may cost you more than necessary.

1. Keep it clean and organized.

When taking pictures of your house, make sure it is free from clutter. Clean every nook and cranny. Organize items and leave an impression of spaciousness and comfort. There is something about simplicity that attracts potential buyers. So try to simplify your layout. Once everything is all set, get a good shot and let these homely qualities shine through.

2. Avoid taking pictures near a mirror or glass.

What’s more horrific than taking a picture of a disorganized home? A photo with yourself visible in the mirror or glass panel. Whenever you get yourself into this situation, think twice before pressing the capture button. Avoid capturing photos when you are near a mirror, glass panel or any item that shows your reflection. This shot is all about the house you are selling.

3. Enhance your pictures with relevant apps.

If your camera does a poor job of capturing the effects you want to achieve, then the trick is to use an application that will improve the quality of your photos. There are several photo-enhancing applications you can use that are not hard to maneuver. If Adobe Photoshop appears too complicated for you, you can use Photoscape, Microsoft Picture Editor and a host of other photo-enhancing applications available throughout the Internet. These apps let you edit your photo’s brightness, contrast, size or pixels. You can even crop them and put frames. Simply choose whatever you deem appropriate.

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How To Create Real Estate Agent Leads

As we have discussed before the business real estate agents are in is the lead generation business. Yes we are here to help buyers find their dream home and for sellers to achieve the maximum price for their home. But where do these buyers and sellers come from? Where can they be found?

In this post I will reveal 5 hot ways to generate real estate agent leads.

1. Paid Real Estate Leads

There are many companies offering leads to purchase which are zip code specific. Most of these are around $5-$10 but some merchants sell such leads for $25+ depending on how much qualification with the person has been done.

While this source of real estate agent lead is valid there is often a question about the motives people had to complete the initial lead generation form especially if any inducements were offered. Then there is always the question as to how fresh the lead is and if the contact details have been verified. This can be a costly way to generate leads.

2. Free Information Giveaway

Quality leads can be generated by offering free, valuable information to the prospect. Real estate selling or buying guides are commonly used as giveaways in exchange for a person’s details.

These reports can be given away in a physical format or via a download from your website once a prospect has completed an online form say on an agent’s website. Once you have a person’s details you are free to communicate with them until they unsubscribe.

3. Cross Business Marketing

By establishing relationships with local businesses you can create opportunities to share customers in your respective marketing campaigns. Hook up with a local car dealership for example and market to each other’s list of customers. You will need to gain permission from a customer to send them information but if your offer is attractive most people are willing to receive high quality information.

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media is the world’s voice. Set up your company’s Facebook fan page and start building a tribe of loyal followers who rush to your Facebook page everyday to discover what’s happening with you and your business.

You can giveaway great prizes in exchange for likes. Tickets to the local football match, coffee vouchers for a local coffee shop, movie tickets or even hardware store vouchers all make great gifts to help you build your fan base.

5. Company HR Departments

Do you have large companies or organisations in your area that have a human resources department? Hospitals, government bodies or even the armed services employ a lot of personnel that need accommodating within the local community.

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Pandanus Resort

One of the most frequently asked questions that new internet marketers have is “Why am I not getting enough traffic to my website?”

And the answer is always the same- “Because you are not posting enough content out there”. That’s it.

Content= Traffic= Sales

So… What’s this rush about social networking?

Well to quickly tell you exactly how you can get tons of free targeted traffic for your website using social networking, I need to emphasize here that social networking is a daughter of Web 2.0 . OK son too… Whatever!

So to begin with, let’s talk about what is web 2.0 . Well Anything beyond text and images is web 2.0. You might recall the earlier days when internet was just new and ordinary people had just started using the internet, the websites were mere collection of static pages. By static I mean, the pages were created and edited by owners of the site and the visitors or the end users had no access or control over the content of the website. All they could do was read and see the images.

But people started realizing that more is the amount of content on websites, more is the amount of traffic they would get. And then the geniuses figured out that the best way to have fresh, quality content in large volumes on to a website was to “allow” the users to post content.

That’s where it all began.. The web 2.0 thing.

Talking about traffic. Well there are tons and tons of methods of getting traffic to your website. But all these methods can be classified in terms of buying traffic, borrowing traffic or creating traffic. You can either buy traffic, borrow traffic, or create traffic.

Let’s talk about buying first. PPC, Solo ads, email campaigns, banner advertising etc are all the methods of buying traffic. It simply means paying to get traffic to your websites. Now, if you are just starting out, I would NOT recommend that you start by buying traffic. Because buying traffic is not easy. Its a total art. Why? Simply because of the enormous amount of competition out there. But unfortunately, this is the way most people start. They try to buy traffic to get rich and end up losing the overall game.

Now let’s move on to borrowing traffic. Borrowing simple means leveraging the other peoples’ traffic. It refers to JV promotions where a person who has some existing traffic to their website redirect or channel their traffic to your website in return of a cost. You can pay them on a pay Per Sale basis which is the most common. But JVing is impossible unless you have your own products by which I mean the products that you have created. Now if you are just starting out on the internet then naturally you do not have your own products. And that is fine. Before you have your own product, you need to be an expert and that is impossible if you are a new internet marketer. So borrowing is also out.

And the last thing that remains is creating your own flow of traffic…ie your own basic stream of free targeted traffic that is coming over to your website all the time. Even while you sleep. Having a small yet constant stream of free targeted visitors visiting your website is the best thing that can happen to you. And this is the thing that you need to focus on. Because that way you will be constantly making sales here and there and that will keep you going with your spirits high and momentum of content creation large.

Now creating your own traffic is not that easy. It requires some groundwork. You need to work. You will need to create content. And you might have to wait for a few days before you start seeing any traffic even if you are constantly putting out content out there. While I recommend you do create a lot of quality (fresh, original and valuable) content to post out there, it’s definitely not the fastest route to getting traffic.

So then, what is the fast way? Has it got anything to do with creating content?

Well, creating “relevant” content and posting it at “smart” places with “wise” usage.

Let’s Talk about it now.

Relevant content = content that is related to the kind of products that you are selling. Content that is valuable and entertaining and educating for any person interested in your niche. Content that is personal… That involves you speaking to the reader or listener directly as I am talking to you right now. Content that shows and personifies you and demonstrates your beliefs.

So remember the four keywords whenever you are creating content… Humorous, Heartfelt, Helpful, Honest. If your content satisfies all these four adjectives, then its great content as far as getting traffic and marketing is concerned.

Now lets talk about smart places … Post your content at those places where there are people who are looking for the kind of information that you are telling. (Or selling or whatever! Internet Marketing- Selling=telling the right things to right people that’s it.)
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Social Networking websites are great places to find millions of people (OK.. I will take that down to thousands, Fine?) who are potentially looking for the kind of products that you are promoting and selling. These are also the places where you can start getting traffic as quickly as in fifty minutes. And these are sources of fast, free, targeted traffic that converts like crazy… All for your websites. So if social marketing is not a part of your overall traffic mix, then I recommend you make it.

Now let’s talk about “wise” usage of your content. Well, all I mean to say here is that you do not need to create new content every time you feel the need to post it. All you need to do is to repurpose all your content. Repurposing your content simple means this-

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Here’s A Quick Way How To Use Your Hair Straightener On Wet Hair

When considering buying a flat iron you may be looking into the idea of using a flat iron on wet hair. It is possible to buy these and they are designed to not only straighten your hair but also dry at the same time. The design of the product will use a channel and venting system which will evaporate any excess water whilst straightening the hair even if you have just walked out of the shower. The design of these flat irons will lock in the moisture and the glossiness while drying out the hair to a perfect finish.

If you want to have the perfect finish after using your flat iron then there are some steps that will get your hair super sleek and shinny. You will also need to have access to some products; some of the suggested items include the following. Anti frizz serum either in a lotion or spray form, a hair dryer, usually it is recommended to have one between 1300 – 1800 watts, the only reason for this is to reduce the length of drying time. Of course you need the trusty flat iron; these do come in different sizes so make sure you get one that is suitable for your hair type. The usual recommendation is to have a one inch flat iron for short or fine hair, or you could get a wider plate size for thicker and longer hair, maybe up to 2 inches. Important accessories that you will require also include sectioning clips so you can separate your hair and create even sections. Plus finally a rat comb so you can remove any knots and tangles from your hair.

If we now outline the process that you should follow when using a flat iron on wet hair it is as follows. While your hair is wet use the anti frizz lotion or spray, make sure that you distribute the product throughout the hair evenly. This stage is a very important process when using flat irons as it will help to increase the length of time that the style and straightness stays in place.

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Health Architecture Redesign

Maternal and Child Mortality in Nigeria

For the most part, Nigeria is doing poorly in the health industry. Given its developmental stage however, the country is not expected to perform at the same level of excellence with Industrialized countries. But its poor and jeopardized developmental pathway has retarded its overall socioeconomic progress. The statistics is high for a country that has the amount of human and natural resources Nigeria is blessed with. Loads of institutional patterns of error had plagued the most populous black nation of the world. Malaria, tuberculosis and other third world infectious diseases are still threatening the productivity of the country. With “recovery” system of governance and institutional ignorance, life expectancy in the country is estimated at 47-50 years of age. Nevertheless, life above 50 is characterized by affluence, education, nutritional intelligence or ability to drag on to the end.

As globally attractive as Nigeria may seem, especially in oil and gas drilling, the human development report of 2007/2008 did put the black nation in its place. The UNDP report ranked Nigeria close to bottom in the maternal mortality index. The country was only ahead of low income countries under stress (LICUS) like Rwanda, Angola, Chad, Niger, and Sierra Leone. The political argument behind this ranking is rested on the nation’s population and human density; which allows higher contact rates and rapid spread. As much as that part is true; the nation has no clear view on how to keep its citizens healthy.

There is no shared vision amongst the health care stakeholders. This includes care delivery organizations, clinicians, health care consumers and policy makers. Undoubtedly, with higher population comes increase in disease spread. Nevertheless, for Nigeria, there is no in depth profiling of the health of its citizens. The oil rich nation lacks proper information gathering and dissemination systems. These 21st century multi-dimensional development tools inform a country on required patterns of intervention. Every citizen-within accountability age brackets – should understand how much of health care remains a civil right against what is available.

The country needs to get the politics and economics of the situation right. Health promotion and care delivery in the nation needs audacious, practical and quick impact development projects.

Statistics on Maternal and Child mortality:

According to a national estimate, the Nigerian population is at 140 million; 1 in 5 Africans is a Nigerian. By the same report, 23% are women of child bearing age. In 2006, a national report estimated that 65 million Nigerians were females. 30 million of that number is within reproductive age -15-49 years. 6 million Nigerian women are expected to get pregnant every year. In 2007, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP estimated only 5 million of those pregnancies to result into childbirth.

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Texas Health Insurance Providers to Check Out!

Do You Need Texas Heath Insurance?

If you are new to Texas, or new to shopping for health insurance, you should know that the regulations and even the insurers you can buy a policy from will differ by state. Sometimes they even differ by zip code or county. It is really important to note this if you came from another place, and you think you know how the game is played. You may find a whole different set of rules in the Texas health insurance market!

It is also important to remember that your premiums will vary by where you live. The rates in Austin will be different than the rates in Houston or Dallas. Your choices will vary too. You sister in San Antonio may have great coverage from one company in San Antonio, but that company may not do business where you live in rural East Texas!

US News and World Report published study of the top major medical companies in Texas. They used measures like how good of a job the insurer did at managing health conditions and preventative care. Just for reference, some of the top companies they suggested follow.

Top 10 Texas Health Insurance Companies

  1. Humana Health Care System of Texas (Austin, Tx)
  2. CIGNA Healthcare of Texas
  3. Scott and White Health Plan
  4. AETNA Health – Texas
  5. United HealthCare of Texas
  6. Humana Health Care System of Texas (South)
  7. Pacificare of Texas (Austin / Dallas)
  8. Humana Health Plan of Texas (Houston)
  9. Pacificare of Texas (San Antonio / Houston)
  10. Missouri Health Plan of Missouri (Texas)

Note that some of these plans are specific to a city or area. Also note that some may not be open to all people. This is just a guide for reference. To find the best Texas health insurance plan for a person like you, you must do some comparison shopping of the insurers in your own local area. Some of you may also be limited by the companies on your group plan at work.

Texas High Risk Pool

Texas has its own way of handling people with pre-existing conditions that cannot get accepted by a private insurer. This is called the Texas High Risk Pool. Not everybody will qualify, some people will have a waiting period, and premiums are pretty high. Also note that this is changing because of the new federal high risk pool that is being established because of health reform. To find out more about the Texas high risk pool, you can search for it on your favorite search engine. You will also find out more about the new federal high risk pool too.

Low Income Texas Health Insurance Options

If you cannot afford private major medical, you have some options. There is a federal and Texas state Medicaid program for people with very low income and few assets. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS) helps kids and pregnant women who have low to moderate family incomes. There are also some county health systems that help people access health care on a sliding fee schedule

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Taking Care of Our Health

Health is the most valuable asset for all of us, and it is a must that we must protect our health in order for us to have a better way of living.  

Health is like something that we take for granted, realizing its importance when we are in great sickness or someone we knew is suffering from illness. Nevertheless, if we will not take care of our health as our as now, then the backlash of our health will be very alarming. Once we have taken for granted the effects of our carelessness towards health, no matter how we tried to do something about it, it may be too late and worse, we cannot treat a certain disease because it is already permanent.

This is the time that we must take a step further to care for our health. Health is the most essential part our lives and it helped us to become who we want to become.

The question is who will take care of our health? Who will control all the dealings with regards to our health? Moreover, the answer is of course, every one of us. We must be responsible on our respective health status because our health is the ultimate and most valuable asset. We must looked for our health positively and deal with it to prolong the quality of our lives.

There are some ways for us to evaluate the level of our health, for us to know if we are living a healthy life or we have to modify our lifestyle.

One method is to have health check-ups on a regular basis. Having check-ups will determine what the status of our health is. Also, it can provide us information on what are we going to do to enhance our health if doctors detected something unusual on our health.

Moreover, have a healthy diet. Even though some of us need to lose weight, eating and having healthy diet will ensure the quality of our health.

Furthermore, have a regular exercise. 25 minutes every day can help boost our body. We can do this at least 5 times per week. Not only that, we tend to be more energetic and it will keep us going beyond our typical activities.

However, if a person smokes and he will do these things, it will be such a waste of time. Smoki9ng will only worsen our health and following these guidelines will be nonsense. If some of us are smoking, stop smoking gradually because we cannot do it drastically.

If we can follow these guidelines, the levels of our health can meet its maximum potential that can help us to become a better and happier person. Love health, as we love ourselves.