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Nikki Smith

Alliant National's director of digital marketing + social media

How to harness the power of your email database

Pretty much everybody communicates via email these days. Chances are your business has built up quite a repository of contacts over the years. But now that you’ve amassed a database of contacts, what do you plan to do with them?

If you’re not keeping in regular touch with past business contacts, you’re not taking advantage of a great digital marketing opportunity. Because despite all the advances in digital communication, email remains one best ways to communicate with today’s distracted consumer.

It makes sense when you think about it. We typically only let brands and individuals we know into our inbox, and we very quickly unsubscribe from content that doesn’t keep our interest.

The first step to harnessing the power of your email database is to make sure your database is organized. Are you contacts still accurate? Are your entries complete?

At minimum, you’d like to have a complete name to go along with each email address. Add an identifier such as zip codes to your database and produce campaigns that target specific cities or regions.

A platform such as MailChimp or iContact will help you sort contact database into marketing lists. They can help you add a customized greeting to each email you send, too, such as including the recipient’s first name. An email marketing platform can also help you track the behaviors of your recipients, such as how many people opened your message or how many clicked on a particular link.

Now that you have your organized database, you can prepare to send them your first email. Ideally, each email you send should offer added value to the recipient in some way. Otherwise, your content will quickly be deemed spam and you’ll be shut out of the inbox, possibly forever.

What are some ways to add value to your recipient’s inbox? Whether your audience is a consumer or another business, will determine the best approach. Ideas to consider:

  • Education
  • Important announcements
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special promotional offers

As you’re developing your email content, it’s also good to consider how you will measure the success of your email campaign. Are you trying to drive your recipient to take a specific action such as downloading a new white paper or registering for your upcoming event? Do you simply want to keep in touch and stay top of mind with your contact?

By knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time, you’ll be able to identify some key performance metrics to determine your success and tailor an email marketing campaign that resonates with your audience. The more emails you send, the more data points you’ll acquire, allowing you to fine tune your strategy over time.

Now that you’ve got your list of contacts, a draft of your first message and a couple metrics in mind that will help you measure your success, you’re ready to take your email marketing to the next level.

We’re here to help our agents grow. To schedule a digital marketing consultation, please email us.

Ideal dimensions for Facebook cover art on mobile, desktop

At the very top of your title agency’s Facebook Page is an image known as cover art. Designing a graphic that renders nicely on mobile apps as well as desktop browsers can be an art unto itself.

That’s because the dimensions for cover art on a mobile app versus a desktop browser vary slightly. Cover art, “displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones,” according to Facebook.

In years past it may have been easy enough to design your title agency’s Facebook cover art with only desktop browsers in mind.

However, digital marketing firm Zephoria reports the number of mobile daily active users has surged in the past two years to 1.15 billion of the platform’s total 2.01 billion monthly active users (as of June 2017).

That means about half of Facebook users engage with the social media network almost exclusively on their mobile devices.

Your title agency’s Facebook Page can only use one cover art image at a time. And being at the top of the Page, your Facebook cover art is your first (possibly only) chance to make a strong impression with would-be clientele.

So how do you design Facebook cover art that will allow you to put your best foot forward no matter if the user visits your page from a mobile app or desktop browser?

Like so many things in life, the answer is compromise. Through our own research plus a bit of trial-and-error, we have determined the ideal dimensions for a Facebook cover art image are 820 pixels wide by 462 pixels tall.

At these dimensions, placing your cover art for desktop should be relatively straight forward – what you see is what you get. The mobile cover art will require a bit more consideration as you design. When working with a Facebook cover art image sized at 820-by-462 pixels, it’s important to keep in mind that the very top and very bottom of the graphic, 75 pixels on either side, will not appear when a visitor views your Facebook Page on a mobile app.

Do not place pertinent information, such as a company logo or a phone number, in these regions. Furthermore, do not arrange your image in such a way that it will be cut off in an awkward way.

To help our title agents design attractive and professional Facebook cover art for their pages, we’ve created a series of free Facebook templates for download.


Build your title agency's business from Angie's List

Wouldn’t it be great if your title insurance business could land one extra real estate closing every month? Better yet, what if the cost to acquire that deal was slim to none?

By now you’ve heard the benefits of having an online presence on sites like Yelp and Facebook, but have you considered Angie’s List? Like all the others, the cost to create a basic business profile is free – minus the time it takes to claim your business page and add content, including links back to your website and information about your title agency.

Many title insurance businesses overlook Angie’s List, which means there’s less competition for visibility on the platform (for now). People who pay for an Angie’s List subscription are more likely to be in immediate need of the services. While the quantity of leads may be fewer, the quality is as good or better than other review sites.

Angie’s List provides more information about your title business operations than other platforms do, such as how much the customer paid for closing and title services and a report card that scores your agency’s responsiveness, punctuality and professionalism among other things.

Because all the members leaving reviews are paid subscribers, and only paid subscribers can read the reviews (business owners can read reviews on their own page), Angie’s List doesn’t necessarily rise to the top of a Google search. On the other hand, the audience on this site tends to be highly motivated to buy.

Online reviews are a window into your title business, and Angie’s List provides another opportunity to rack up the reviews. Studies show consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating, and improving your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars, for example, can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your business profile.

Many title agents are reluctant to explore customer review strategies because they are afraid of negative reviews. But ignoring platforms like Angie’s List doesn’t mean the negative reviews will go away. They are still impacting your title agency’s online reputation and possibly steering prospective customers to a local competitor with better reviews.

By developing a strategy for acquiring online reviews and targeting satisfied customers, you can mitigate the risk of a negative review torpedoing your star-rating.

And by expanding your scope to include Angie’s List, you provide your title business with an additional pipeline for new customers that can potentially net you one more real estate transaction every month at a lower cost of acquisition as compared with paid advertising.


Your title agency's online reputation + job seekers

Prospective customers are not the only ones Googling your title insurance business before they call or email. Have you stopped to wonder what kind of impression is your title insurance agency making on prospective employees?

The jobs market is as good as it’s ever been in the last decade, which means more jobs and fewer candidates. The title insurance business has a unique problem when it comes to recruiting new talent – no one goes to school to work in the title business; it’s something we fall into for the most part.

The talent pool is small to begin with, and to attract the best talent your title company has got to stand out to prospective employees. One way to do this is by being aware of your agency’s current online reputation and the myriad review sites out there geared toward job seekers.

Here are two platforms that should be on your radar when it comes to managing your title business’s online reputation as it relates to prospective employees.


If someone Googles your business name or “working at [your business name],” chances are good a Glassdoor business profile will pop up on the first page of search results. How does your Glassdoor profile appear in search results?

Through Glassdoor, employees of your title business are able to anonymously leave a review of what it’s like to work for your company – including insights into salary, benefits and what the interview process is like. Your HR or administrative team can provide balance on your Glassdoor profile by completing the company information, uploading a logo and sharing company updates.

Unfortunately, one disgruntled employee leaving a 1-star review can quickly torpedo a title agency’s online reputation from the standpoint of prospective employees, especially if the business owner has not taken the time to claim or complete his Glassdoor profile. Claiming your profile is a free and easy way to monitor your business’s reputation so you can attract top talent to your organization.


With over 500 million members, LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals. Prospective employers researching a company on LinkedIn are able to see if any of their connections are connected to a business, which allows for more personal insights into what it’s like to work for a company.

While LinkedIn does not currently support a user-review feature like Glassdoor, it does provide great information in terms of visitor demographics, including industry-type, location by region, company size and seniority. Knowing this information can help you tailor your online reputation to appeal to the exact type of candidates you’re hoping to reach.

Both Glassdoor and LinkedIn allow site users to “follow” your title business, a good indicator that these folks may be interested in working in the title insurance business. Both also provide data on how users engage with the updates your title agency shares on the platforms, allowing you to refine your communication with prospective employees over time.


4 ways to manage your title agency's digital reputation

While the millennial generation is now the largest homebuying cohort, they aren’t the only ones who Google everything. We all like to know as much as we can about who we’re doing business with, and we all tend to rely on the opinions of others (our friends, or even online reviews by strangers) to help us make the best decisions.

As a title agency owner, it’s important to put yourself into the shoes of a prospective customer so you can provide the information they are seeking when they perform a Google search – as well or better than your competitors.

For homebuyers and sellers, a real estate transaction is likely an uncommon experience and they may be feeling anxious about exchanging such large sums of money. If the customer is a lender, there are always concerns of tolerance violations. And if the customer is a Realtor, settlement delays or other customer service issues may be a top concern.

Online reviews are a window into your title business. Studies show consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating, and improving your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars, for example, can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your business profile.

Your title agency’s online reputation may be the deciding factor between whether a prospective customer reaches out to your business or contacts the competitor down the street. In today’s world, managing your business’s online reputation is essential – here are four platforms that should top your priority list.


With more than 123 million reviews to date, Yelp is no longer just a place for reviews of the new sushi restaurant that opened down the street. Realtors discovered the benefits of having a Yelp presence years ago, and now other professionals involved in the real estate transaction are jumping aboard the Yelp bandwagon.


The search engine behemoth holds roughly 75% of the Internet search market, and it’s no coincidence that Google reviews are one of the first things to pop up when a prospective customer Googles your title agency. Google reviews appear not only in Web search, but also Maps search.


With nearly 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the largest social network on the planet. Users spend an average of 15 minutes on the site, which means you have ample opportunities to connect with your target audience in a forum where they interact almost daily once you’ve claimed your title business’s Facebook page.

Angie’s List

Many title insurance businesses overlook Angie’s List, which means there’s less competition for visibility on the platform (for now). People who pay for an Angie’s List subscription are more likely to be in immediate need of the services. While the quantity of leads may be fewer, the quality is as good or better than other review sites.]]>

This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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