What is Your 'Why'?

Today I'm going to talk about something that will help you grow your business more quickly and - perhaps more importantly - make it easier for you to get up each morning and go to work. 

I'd really like you to do the exercise at the bottom of this article - and put the results in your newsletter. 

Here's the thing: 

People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. 

This isn't my idea. It belongs to Simon Sinek. You can see him talk about it in his presentation at a TED conference. I urge you to watch the video below (click on the image to go to Youtube to watch it). 

Here's the thing. 

Lots of people sell insurance. 

Lots of people sell real estate. 

Lots of people sell whatever it is you sell. 

And...there are lots of people who need what you have to offer. 

BUT...to stand out from the crowd and to become the go-to person in your town, you need to do more than match a commodity to people who are looking for a commodity. 

As Sinek says: The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have - the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. 

That's because our brains are wired to respond to emotions, not logic. 

Your passionate "whys" will slice straight through to the limbic brain, bypassing the rational mind. 

And that's a good thing, because it destroys the competition. 

So, you might have some logical ideas about why people should buy real estate, insurance or whatever from you. 

But what their brains really respond to are the emotional "whys" behind what you do. 

With that in mind, here are my "whys" - the reasons why I make newsletters. 

When you've read them, I want you to think about what your "whys" are - and them write them down and put them in your next newsletter. 

Why I do what I do

By reading our materials and buying our products, I want the following to happen for my clients... 

  • I want to help my clients to become famous in their markets so that when people think of real estate, insurance or whatever it is they do, they think of my client.
  • I want to help my clients build life-long, satisfying relationships with people who know them, like them and trust them.
  • I want my clients to experience what it is like to have people coming to them for business, rather than them having to go out and hunt down business.
  • I want my clients to get pleasure marketing their businesses by sharing their knowledge and experience with others.
  • I want my clients to be secure, knowing that they have a list of people who will want to do business with them.
  • I want my clients to love their work because they will be in a business with long-term, satisfying relationships.

These are the things I want for my clients. 

This is why I do what I do. 

Now...what are your "whys"?

Write them down. Send them to me, if you like. 

And then put them in your next newsletter. 

I promise you will feel better about what you do and your customers will love you for it.

Newsletter Marketer of the Year - Runner Up 3

Personal article from Tom Larsen's newsletter
One thing we always urge clients to do is to use their newsletter to make a personal connection with clients. That's exactly what Tom has done here with what is a very personal story about his daughter, who was planning to join the Peace Corps. It's an emotional story, very well told. What better way to form a bond with your cilents?


Tom Larsen was a runner up in our 2011 Newsletter Marketer of the Year contest.

Tom is a very smart marketer - he really makes the most of the power of his newsletter to build deeper relationships with his clients and bring more business.

Here is his entry.


Describe your business before using newsletters


Tell us about any issues you had about getting clients, making sales or developing your business.


Just an ordinary, local insurance agency, just like the 10s of others in my area.


Describe your business after using newsletters

image from newsletter showing referral awards
Tom uses his newsletter to publicize his referral rewards, in which he gives away some great prizes. And what better way to publicize the prize than by taking a picture of the winner and putting it in the newsletter!

Tell us how your business changed. Did you get more clients? If so, how many? How much extra income did you make? Did they benefit your business in any other way?


Thought of as an expert, someone who they can come to for advice. Totally different.


Describe how you used newsletters to get these benefits


Tell us how you distribute your newsletters, how often, and who to. Tell us anything else we need to know about your newsletter program.


I write three separate newsletters for my top 20% of clients.  Then I use a different version for my COIs (Centers of Influence). Then a 3rd vresion for commercial area Realtors (NYSCAR), a professional organization I belong to.

So I get 3 versions of the 1 newsletter I am getting from you. Thanks!



tom larsen referral namecheck
Tom recognizes people who refer clients to him with a name-check in his newsletters.
offer in Tom Larsen insurance newsletter
It's always a smart idea to include an offer in your newsletter. Here's one in Tom's.
Tom Larsen NYSCAR Newsletter image
Tom makes different versions of his newsletter for different segments of his contact list. Here he includes pictures and information about a charity event the group took part in.
tom larsen small business guide promotion from newsletter
Tom is the co-author of a book of advice for the owners of small businesses. He promotes the book here, adding to his credibility in the eyes of his commercial clients.


image from newsletter showing youtube channel
Tom uses Youtube to market his insurance business, and promotes his Youtube channel in his newsletter.




Newsletter Marketer of the Year - Runner Up 2

image of Sheri Brown's newsletter

Sheri Brown was a runner up in our 2011 Newsletter Marketer of the Year contest.

She makes terrific changes to her newsletter, focusing on bringing in the local community. It shows what you can do with our content if you get really creative.

Here is her entry.


Describe your business before using newsletters


Tell us about any issues you had about getting clients, making sales or developing your business.


I have always used a newsletter, but used a different style, it was from another company more strictly real estate based.

When I started to send out the READY TOGO NEWSLETTERS, I had at least three phone calls within days of the delivery date from clients telling me they loved my newsletter. I finally had to ask one client...."this is the first time your are mentioning my newsletters? Why? I have been sending newsletters to you for about a year now?" My client replied, "To tell you the honest truth, I never read the other Newsletter, it just wasn't interesting."

She felt the new newsletter that was in colour and with interesting articles was worth a read, creative and she looked forward to reading it now 🙂


Describe your business after using newsletters


Tell us how your business changed. Did you get more clients? If so, how many? How much extra income did you make? Did they benefit your business in any other way?


Using the amazing stories and adding photos to my newsletter has boosted my business dramatically. In fact, when I mailed this newsletter out it resulted in two re-lists. One has since sold, the other has a pending offer!!

My clients have told me they look forward to receiving my newsletters every month and the interesting articles.

Image of page 2 of Sheri Brown's customer newsletter

I could not stop using the newsletters to go in my marketing! So beneficial!



Describe how you used newsletters to get these benefits


Tell us how you distribute your newsletters, how often, and who to. Tell us anything else we need to know about your newsletter program.


I distribute once a month via mail and mail walks to the areas I farm market.

I have even given space to local charities to advertize their events. The neighbourhood has benefited from learning about what's happening in their community.

Also I use the email system.




Newsletter Marketer of the Year - Runner Up 1

Congratulations to Phyllis Adam, who was a runner up in our 2011 Newsletter Marketer of the Year contest.

Phyllis got great results with her newsletter and customized it to make it really appropriate for her clients.

Here is her entry.


Describe your business before using newsletters


Tell us about any issues you had about getting clients, making sales or developing your business.

Banner design for Phyllis Adam's real estate newsletter


I have been a Realtor since 1988 and I have never experienced a market like we have had over the past few years. Trying to find new business was becoming extremely difficult and my income was decreasing rapidly because of the economic downturn and especially with all the foreclosures and short sales pulling the market down. I was searching for new, innovative ideas to increase my productivity and taking training courses to learn how to be successful in a tough and very challenging market. Newsletters was one of the ideas I kept hearing over and over again so I began to search the internet for companies that offered preprinted Newsletters that would give me the ability to make changes and to allow me to personalize but were informative and eye-catching.

I've learned through various seminars that marketing to you're your past clients was the key to continued success. Targeting our marketing to our past clients who were satisfied with our services we provided, would be the ones most likely to refer us to their family and friends for all their real estate needs. In searching for that perfect newsletter, I came across Simon Payn's Ready to Go Newsletters. I tried the free newsletter, personalized it and printed out 200, updated my client database and organized it and sent them out.

That first month getting everything organized took a lot of work and time, but business was extremely slow so it gave me the time I needed to focus on this new campaign, taking our business in a totally different direction. My husband, who works with me as my licensed assistant, helped me put this plan into action.

We've been using the Newsletters now since September2010.


Describe your business after using newsletters


Tell us how your business changed. Did you get more clients? If so, how many? How much extra income did you make? Did they benefit your business in any other way?

Putting a competition into your client newsletter increases response rate.

Immediately after sending out the first Newsletter, I had run into a few of my past clients over the course of that first month and the positive feedback I received was very encouraging. I also received phone calls from a few of my past clients asking for real estate assistance. If nothing else, it reminded them that Phyllis & John Adam are still in real estate and we are here to provide service to them and their family and friends.

We finished up 2010 selling almost $5 Million in sales. At one time we were known to sell between $7 - $9 Million in sales but because of the downturn in the economy in 2008 and 2009, our sales substantially dropped as did our income. Our sales in 2009 were $2.5 Million, which made it very difficult to support a household. Already for 20111 we have exceeded our production from last year and feel that we are on track to end up far better than last year's production in sales.

Sending the Newsletters on a monthly basis has energized our careers and has given us a new focus each month. As soon as I meet a new potential client, whether they are a seller or a buyer, I provide them with a copy of our current Newsletter and ask if I may put them on our Newsletter mailing list. They easily provide us with their mailing address and email. I have changed our method of distributing the Newsletters monthly, which have simplified getting the Newsletters out. It has saved time and money.

I have gotten more positive feedback because I am now sending the bulk of them through email, which most people prefer.


Describe how you used newsletters to get these benefits


Tell us how you distribute your newsletters, how often, and who to. Tell us anything else we need to know about your newsletter program.


After downloading the Newsletter each month, I work on personalizing and adding to the current format. I change things around a bit and always try to include some interesting information about current market conditions, community involvement and instead of the sudoku game, I offer an interaction contest for all my clients to enter and get involved with.

image from Phyllis Adams customer newsletter showing local community events.

My Newsletter recipients must reply to me by email each month after receiving the current issue and asking to be entered in the monthly drawing. It's that simple. The amount of replies each month have increased substantially, which lets me know that people are reading the Newsletters and have commented that they enjoy them as well as enter the drawings each month. First I started with 10 replies, then 12, then 16. I am now up to 35 to 45 replies each month. It has become really fun and I look forward to getting the next Newsletter out just to see who will win my contest. I put all the names into a basket and my husband draws the winner. It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner and personally deliver their prize in person. We get to catch up on their lives and families and I never leave without reminding them to keep those real estate referrals coming.

As I mentioned, I started out printing anywhere from 100 - 200 Newsletters a month. I have compiled an "A" list and a "B" list, alternating my mailings. I was concerned that not everyone would be receiving the Newsletters each month and sent out a questionnaire about going paperless and starting an email distribution. More than 75% responded accepting the email idea in order to help the environment. I now have 163 names in my email mailing list and I send out about 50 to those who do not have email addresses, or have never responded. So at least I know they are getting something each month.

Once I put my finishing touches on the new monthly Newsletter, I print it out in color, scan in color to a .pdf file and then compose an email with my client list. In the subject, I put something like this: June Newsletter Brought to you by Phyllis & John Adam.

My client list consists of many of my past clients that I have worked with over the years, family members and close friends & neighbors who know we are Realtors. I continue to receive such positive feedback and see the results on a monthly basis.

Like I mentioned before, if nothing else, sending out the Newsletters regularly reminds our past clients that we are here and we do provide an excellent service to all who we work with and serve looking to buy or sell a home. Whether it for themselves or a family member, they can trust that we are truly well trained, educated professionals.

I feel that for the new business we have had this year as a direct result of our Newsletter marketing campaign, it has far out weighed the initial annual cost of the Newsletters. I will definitely sign up again. Thanks again for including such wonderful topics that are always real estate related.

Congratulations to our Newsletter Marketer of 2011!

Ann and David Kaseman are the winners of our Newsletter Marketer of the Year contest for 2011

Congratulations to David and Ann Kaseman, who have won our Newsletter Marketer of the Year contest for 2011. They win a $500 American Express Gift Card.

Congratulations also to our runners up: Phyllis Adam, Sheri Brown and Tom Larsen. They each win $100 Amazon.com gift certificates.

It was quite hard choosing the winner as we had so many excellent entries. Thank you to everyone who took part.

We will be featuring the runners up entries later, but below is David and Ann's entry.

David and Ann talk about local businesses and non-profits in their newsletter.

They won because:

  • Use of the newsletter to attain one of their goals - a strong connection to the community (because after all, most businesses are relationship businesses and it pays to have strong personal connections with your market.)
  • Excellent financial results
  • Multiple methods of newsletter distribution, including walking it to their neighborhood (sounds like hard work, but many of our clients have reported similar results by hand-delivering their newsletters.)
  • Modification of content to include coupons, real estate listings, local information and personal, relationship-building content

Here is their entry:

Describe your business before using newsletters

Tell us about any issues you had about getting clients, making sales or developing your business.

I never felt I was making a very strong connection to the community I was focusing on. I certainly was not connecting regularly and consistently. I was not reaching new people nor did I feel this was possible via internet or email. Direct mail was a possibility and I used this but did not feel any impact.

Describe your business after using newsletters

David and Ann Kaseman walk their newsletter to 700 households. Even the walk provides content for their newsletter!


Tell us how your business changed. Did you get more clients? If so, how many? How much extra income did you make? Did they benefit your business in any other way?

David talks about local businesses and non-profits in his newsletter.


With newsletters I know I am tending to my farm area which is 700 households. I hear all the time from my neighbors that they appreciate the letters and that they would use me as their Realtor.

I have picked up two listings in 7 months in the farm area and I have made 2 sales. I see much more business on the horizon.

I use the newsletters at open houses as an introduction to who I am.

I pick up buyers almost weekly from open houses. I know the newsletter helps.

I advertise my listings in the newsletter, so sellers can also experience how their house would be marketed.

The biggest benefit is meeting people as you walk the neighborhood distributing the newsletters. One month I left out my daughter’s joke and a man stopped me to offer his friendly “complaint”.


David and Ann Kaseman walk their newsletter to 700 households. Even the walk provides content for their newsletter!



Describe how you used newsletters to get these benefits

If you're a real estate agent, it's always a good idea to add local listings to your newsletter.

Tell us how you distribute your newsletters, how often, and who to. Tell us anything else we need to know about your newsletter program.

Every month, their daughter provides a joke for the newsletter. It's the most popular part of the newsletter - a client "complained" when one month the joke didn't appear.

I walk the newsletters to 700 households monthly. I distribute another 100 or so by mail and hand them out at open houses and to for-sale-by-owners. I know I have made impressions on the community when one FSBO listed with me due to seeing my newsletter and me walking them. It was a $465,000 listing.

My broker appreciates what I am doing and she pays for the copies and I use staff in the office to assemble the copy.

Every month, their daughter provides a joke for the newsletter. It's the most popular part of the newsletter - a client "complained" when one month the joke didn't appear.

It is a family affair. My wife walks 1/2 of the route and my daughter helps. Her joke is what many people wait for.

I have also connected to local business owners by including gift certificates and coupons in the newsletter.

Through the newsletter I am able to become a “brand” for I concentrate on what I am about other than real estate. I constantly talk about supporting local businesses and growing your own food and eating out of your garden. This theme is ever expanding. I even take fresh grown herbs to houses other rather than cookies!


8 Newsletter Tips from Members

Today I'd like to share with you some of the ideas that Ready to Go Newsletters members have come up with for their own newsletters.

As you know, we've been running our Newsletter of the Year contest - and we've had some good entries.

I'll be announcing the winner in the next couple of weeks, but here are some things that members have implemented.

Using the newsletter as a business card

As soon as they meet a potential new client, this entrant provides that person with a copy of their current newsletter and asks if they may put them on their newsletter mailing list. Action idea: Keep copies of your newsletter with you; and ABC: Always Be Collecting - that's how you build your list.

Personalizing it with local, relevant information

Almost all the people who entered the contest did this. Real estate agents put local market conditions, for example. Community news and information is something any business can add. Action idea: Add something relevant to your clients to encourage them to read the newsletter.

Contests with prizes

Although the newsletter already comes with a quiz, some entrants went further and added their own contests with prizes. Some got these prizes sponsored by other businesses. This increased the number of people contacting them about the newsletter - building important relationships. Action idea: Prizes are a great way to get people to engage with you - they're a useful motivator!

Giving space away to charities

One entrant gives space away to local charities to advertise events. It's a way to make the newsletter relevant while creating a feeling of goodwill in the community. Action idea: Community groups are glad of the free publicity - it's a win-win.

Links worth sharing

An entrant with an email newsletter put in useful links. This encouraged people to share the newsletter with their friends. Action point: the more useful, relevant information you include, the more action people will take.

Getting the most out of the content

Entrants put the newsletters on their websites and used the articles in other advertising. You're welcome to use the content however you like, so why not make the most of it? Action idea: Your marketing doesn’t just stop with newsletters - the more ways you can find to reach people with useful, interesting information, the better.

Multiple versions of the newsletter

I've said many, many times that relevance is key. One entrant makes three versions of the newsletters to various types of clients and other contacts. Action idea: How can you tweak the newsletter to make it relevant to different types of people?

Extra communication

One entrant used the email newsletter system to communicate with clients after storms hit their area. As this entrant is in the insurance business, they were able to tell clients that they were there, ready to help them. Action idea: don't just wait until it's newsletter time to contact your clients. If you think they need you know, contact them right away!

And in summary...

There seems to be one thing that all the entrants have in common - how much they do! The thing about newsletters is, the more you put into them, the more you get out of them. That's why I make these newsletters 100% editable...because I know that the more of yourself you add, the better results you get.

The Most Important Number in Your Business

Do you know the most important number in your business?

I bet that 9 out of 10 people reading this don't know the answer to that question.

That's OK, because neither did I until not so long ago.

But here's the thing: knowing the answer is super, super-important.

Because if you don't know the answer, you could make some big mistakes.

That number is: Lifetime Customer Value. Or, in English, how much a customer is worth to you. How much they spend in their entire lives with you.

Consider this:

Imagine you are a real estate agent. What is your average commission? (And even if you are not a real estate agent, the same logic still applies.)

Then, think about how many times a client could, in theory, come back to you in their lives.

If you agree that a person moves home every seven years or so, there's a good chance that they will use your service maybe three or four times.

So, that average commission should be multiplied by at least three to find the Lifetime Customer

See how valuable each client is?

Or maybe you are in the insurance business. How much is the average commission you earn from a client for a typical policy?

Then consider: how many years could they keep renewing that policy?

How many other policies could you sell them?

How much does that add up to? Quite a lot, I would imagine.

This is why this number is so important.

The trouble is, most people have no idea how much a customer is worth, so they tend to assume a customer is worth just the value of the first sale.

They ignore everything else!

And that leads them to make some bad decisions.

For example, they cut your own wrists when it comes to marketing because they think they can't afford to spend money on marketing (because they think a client isn't worth that much).

Or they forget to follow up with clients and keep in touch with them because they don't know that their lifetime value is many multiples of the value of the first sale.

Or they just go after new customers (instead of retaining existing clients) because they mistakenly believe that the value is that first sale rather than where it really is, which is in the follow-up sales.

So here are my questions:

What is your average Customer Lifetime Value? And if you don't know the answer (that's OK), how much could it be if they bought from you as much as you think they should? (Remember, if you offer a valuable product or service, people should be buying from you more.)

Nice number, isn't it?

Makes you look at your business in a whole new way.

Something to think about

Newsletters can help you raise your Lifetime Customer Value. Why? Because they help you keep in touch with customers and sell them more stuff. Period.

Meet Mayna! Here to Help with Member Support

From Simon Payn

I'm delighted to welcome Mayna DiChiara to Ready to Go Newsletters to take charge of member support.
I think you're going to like Mayna!

She's spent a lot of her career in training, which means she has the expertise (and the patience!) to help you get the most out of your membership.

She actually enjoys learning new software, so she will love helping you out with any issues you have with your newsletters.

You can reach Mayna by phone (877-976-6368), email and - soon - by live chat.

Meanwhile, I'll still be available if you need extra help. Mayna can connect you with me.

Two More Ways to Boost Response to Your Newsletter

Today I want to share two easy ways to boost response to your newsletter. They are both being employed by one of my clients, an insurance agency in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Indeed, one of the ideas was his.

The secret behind both ideas is this: Relevance.

Make your newsletter relevant to your readers and you are half-way there. After all, people want to read stuff that is for them, not about you.

1. Make it relevant to 'now'

This idea is simple but my client reports it gives his response rate a boost. Together (this client takes advantage of Ready to Go Newsletters' enhanced service where we work together to customize the newsletter) we give the newsletter a theme each month. December = Christmas; February = Valentine's; March = St Patrick's Day. You get the picture.




What we do is find a picture and add it to the top of the newsletter, and then change some of the newsletters' colors to match.

It's a very easy way to make the newsletter relevant to what's going on today - relevant to what is in people's minds.

2. Make it relevant to readers' concerns

Ever been in a crowded room and suddenly - amid all the noise and conversation - you hear your name? What's happening here is your subconscious is taking in all the data and words that your ears are hearing, and when it notices something that is relevant, it tells your conscious mind to listen.

The same thing happens with your client's email inbox or postal mailbox. Both are crowded with noise, but when something relevant to you pops up, it gets noticed.

Here are a couple of articles that were used (and the headline became the subject line of the email newsletter.)

  • What's Going on With Home Insurance in Hobe Sound?  (About changes in insurance rates people are paying. Note that it has the town's name in the title. That's relevant.)
  • Why are Florida Auto Insurance Rates so High? (Anyone in that state with a vehicle is going to want to read this. The article contains some very interesting information about some people taking advantage of Florida's rules on insurance claims, pushing up rates. Not only is the article relevant, but it shows that the agency knows what it is doing.)

These are just some examples of how to make your newsletter more effective. This client works closely with Ready to Go Newsletters to customize his insurance newsletter each month. If you'd like our help, contact us.

3 Ways to Add Forms to Your Website

I've mentioned before that one of the best ways of growing your business is to collect more leads.

And one of the best ways to collect leads is to put a form on your website.

So I've made videos of three ways you can do it.

1. Use Vertical Response

If you use our email newsletters, you are already familiar with Vertical Response.

But did you know you can use it to create forms which you can paste onto your website. When people fill out those forms, their data goes directly into your Vertical Response database.

This video explains how to do it.

How to Create a Form in Vertical Response

2. Use Formstack

Formstack (www.formstack.com) is an online service that easily allows you to create forms and manage the data you receive in the form.

It's a paid-for service, but it is worth considering because it is an easy way to make attractive forms.

Watch this video which explains what it can do and how to use it.

How to Create a Form using Formstack

3. Use Google

Did you know that you can create forms using Google? And the best thing is, it's free.

Google will collect your data for you and put it into a spreadsheet for you.

Watch this video which shows how it works.

How to Create a Form Using Google Docs