Mercedes Huff & Associates

mercedeshuff.comMercedes Huff is a successful Jackson Hole realtor who has been honing her skills in the valley since the mid-70s. Like many successful realtors, she is sensitive to her personal brand and works hard to market herself and her clients’ listings. So as real estate took a huge hit in the past couple of years and many of her competitors upped the marketing ante, Mercedes realized a re-design of her logo and marketing materials was in order.

After consulting with and even engaging other agencies for renewed marketing efforts and an updated website, Mercedes found in Twist of Lime a team who knows the local community and understands real estate in Jackson Hole. The project included several key aspects: logo, local and national print advertising campaigns, and website redesign. For the logo and print ads, Twist of Lime brought on Miga Rossetti of Rossetti Designs, who developed a logo where before was simply a name in a particular font, and captured the essence of living within the beauty of Jackson Hole in a print campaign that is equal parts contemporary and traditional in design. For the website, we tapped Linda Grimm, whom we had worked with on the jhpropertyguide.com project and who understands good user interface, and Alexis Sarthou who’s experience working with WordPress and real estate databases is unparalleled in this community. The result is a website that reflects Mercedes’ brand essence, pulls daily from the local Sotheby’s International Realty listings database, and allows her team to update content quickly and easily through the WordPress web-based interface.

After launching the new website in early November, our team continues to work with Mercedes Huff & Associates to hone aspects of the site and customize  print campaigns for specific publications in targeted regions.

Twist of Lime Implements Email Marketing Campaign For Rossetti Designs

Rossetti DesignsEmail marketing is on the rise. It’s been around for a while—since, well, since the dawn of email, I would guess. But while it’s taken a while to get many businesses on board, its use is rising. According to a recent survey by Direct, the response from businesses they polled indicated a 10% increase in email marketing over 2007, and fully 55% of those businesses said they planned to increase their email marketing budget in the coming year.

At the same time, it appears that traditional direct mail marketing is on the decline. According to a recent article in MediaPost, reports are that the economy is what is ultimately stemming the tide of the delivery of wasteful and unwanted paper around the country. Much like the general desire to save gas and drive a more economical car, results aren’t forthcoming until rising prices start taking a toll on the pocket-book.

Well, I’ve taken notice as well and am doing my part to help businesses reach out to their clients via email through my business, Twist of Lime. I’ve been doing some research, and the first thing I noticed about email marketing is that not all email service providers (ESPs) are the same. And why would they be? There are many, many needs out there in the business world. But the biggest challenge I’ve come up against is finding ESPs that are affordable to the small business. Most of my clients and potential clients are wary to even get into email marketing, let alone throw a lot of money at it. While it seems that many ESPs are targeting larger businesses with huge lists and big marketing budgets, there are a couple I’ve found that cater more toward the smaller business that just wants to dip its toe in the water. (Watch for a report on my findings of email service providers in an upcoming post.)

One business in particular that I’ve started email marketing for is Rossetti Designs. They are a small business that, among other things, produces and sells greeting cards from original art. In the essence of full disclosure, I must tell you that this is my wife’s business, so I may be a little biased about just how great her cards are. She’s been sending emails to her wholesale clients since she began her business over ten years ago. And she’s been retailing her cards through her Web site since she’s had one, but the business has really increased since she built a new site last year with an improved shopping cart. Now her growing list of online customers has started to become a little unruly, and dealing with the emails and bounce-backs was taking more time than it was worth. Not to mention she just simply didn’t have the time to reach out to her customers as often as she liked.

So just yesterday we launched Rossetti Designs’ first official email campaign to online retail customers using an ESP, and it’s quite rewarding to see how effective it can be. The original investment of $30 to send to this list was recouped in the first hour. (We won’t talk about the man-hours, since I’m a bit of an indentured servant, but suffice it to say that I get paid in other ways.)

Aside from making it easy and cost-effective to reach out to past customers, I’ve convinced her of some of the other advantages of email marketing via an ESP, including:

1. Reinforcing brand identity
2. Simple and effective list management
3. Analyze results
4. Protect your ISP from being labeled as a spammer

So, if you’ve been thinking about starting an email marketing campaign, don’t hesitate. It’s as easy and effective as everyone says. And if you’re in need of some help, drop me a line. I’d be happy to help.

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