Frequently Asked Questions about Fast Newsletters
Each month we design and produce an original newsletter. You can customize it, or send it as-is with no customization. The PRINT and the EMAIL newsletters are edited separately, so that you have a full range of editing and design options in each.
To use our PRINT newsletters:
- Log into your Fast Newsletters account.
- Choose the layout(s) you want: 4-page, 2-page, or EDDM. Your information will be pre-loaded. Customizing works best in Microsoft Word 2010 and newer, so you can change colors globally and use easier image insert functionality. But we also provide a version for Word 2007, as well as Publisher and Pages versions.
- Insert your photo. Customize the newsletter as you like using Word's editing tools.
- Then print and mail. We have tutorials to show you how to print on Tabloid paper, standard paper, and even reduced to print on legal sized paper. If you need bulk printing and mailing, we recommend the following services: docucopies if you're in the US, and micromailingcanada if you're in Canada.
To use our EMAIL newsletters:
The email newsletter requires set-up. We partner with Mailchimp to provide you with an HTML newsletter that you can edit in their drag and drop editor. The email newsletter is mobile-optimzed. You can add your own links, listings, personal note, etc. Before you can use your email newsletters, we'll configure your list to merge your personal information (slogan, title, photo, contact info, and social media links) with the newsletter. If you don't have a Mailchimp account, we'll set one up for you.
To use the email newsletters after set-up:
- Log into your Fast Newsletters account.
- Through the magic of API, our one-click upload will automatically add the newsletter to your personal Mailchimp account.
- Edit as much as you like, using MailChimp's drag and drop editor. Editing is not required. If you're short on time, you can send the newsletters as-is, with no editing changes. You can also schedule your newsletters in advance to send on a particular time and date.
- You can simultaneously post to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Why we use Mailchimp
We partner with Mailchimp to provide you with the lowest cost solution to having an email newsletter. To send an email newsletter in mobile-optimized HTML format, you must be able to edit the HTML code. Since that's out of the question for most of us, we needed to provide you with a drag and drop visual interface to edit your email newsletters. Mailchimp offers exactly that, and provides you with the ability to send to 2,000 subscribers free.
You'll upload our email newsletters directly into your own Mailchimp account to edit and send them. It's easy and we'll show you how.
All other email marketing platforms start charging around $15 - $45 at the first 1,000 subscribers. Mailchimp gives you the first 2,000 subscribers for free, which is below the list threshold for most real estate agents.
When you reach 2,001 subscribers, Mailchimp starts charging $30/mo. which puts it in the middle of other email marketing platforms. Any Mailchimp fees are outside (on top of) your Fast Newsletters fee, which is a fee to provide pre-written newsletters. It may be possible to edit your newsletters in Mailchimp, then send them via a different platform, such as a CRM.
Using the Email Newsletter with other email marketing platforms
It may be possible to edit your newsletters in Mailchimp and then export the HTML to another mailing platform. However, that is not guaranteed. Contact us if you need help discovering if Mailchimp's HTML will transfer to another emailing platform.
Using the Email Newsletter with CRMs
Many popular CRM's have an integration with Mailchimp. Once the two are integrated (through an automatic process), your mailing list will pull from your CRM into Mailchimp automatically. This keeps your Mailchimp list updated. You will be charged if your list is over 2,000 subscribers.
One way to possibly save money if you have a very large list is to export the HTML from Mailchimp into the email portion of your CRM. For instance, if you use LionDesk, see this video.
In a way... You can email the PRINT newsletter (converted to PDF) as an attachment.
If you choose to send a PDF attachment, you'll want to send a nice personal email note with the attachment. Also, be aware that the PDF will not be mobile-optimized, so when they open it, they'll have to move the document around to read it on mobile.
By contrast, the HTML version of the newsletter (the EMAIL newsletter) is designed to open directly in their inbox, and is mobile-optimized.
We use Microsoft Word because it's the most common desktop software, and most people have it installed on their computers. Apologies to Mac users who have chosen not to install Word. We do offer our 4-page Print newsletter in Pages.
Word also happens to sync nicely to a lot of different merging software, which we use to integrate your contact details into the newsletter.
We also offer all versions of the print newsletter in Publisher, which is easier to use if you plan to make a lot of changes to the newsletter.
You only need to use a few keystrokes in Word to have a fully personalized newsletter. If you wish to do more in-depth customization and branding, you will need slightly higher skills in using Word. Most editing can be done using copy, cut, paste, and insert. We provide easy-to-follow tutorials.
We DO offer a "customization and send" service for those who ask. It's not a regular offer on our website, because we have limited resources and need to control our numbers. However, since you're here, we'd love to work with you. Here are the details:
Print Newsletter - Custom Service
We will customize, print, and send a paper newsletter for you. Customization includes creating a unique header, then adding up to two pieces of custom/personal content you want included (a personal note, testimonial, listing, short article, etc). If you prefer, we can use Zillow to capture a chart of local statistics for you instead of you sending us content, so that it's completely hands-off. For teams, we will adjust the pronouns to plural. We will arrange the printing and mailing for you if the quantity is over 200 pieces, otherwise, we'll send you the completed PDF, ready to print on your own printer. Printing and mailing costs are separate, based on quantity. We can also drop-ship the printed copies to you, rather than bulk mailing them (ideal for farms). Contact us about your specific needs and to order service. Cost is $65/mo.
Email Newsletter - Custom Service
We will send two email newsletters per month for you (on the 1st and 15th). We will help you update your list inside Mailchimp (this process varies, depending on the CRM you use). We will add a custom header to your newsletter. You can send us up to two pieces of personal content to include in each newsletter (such as a personal note, testimonial, blog post link, YouTube link, stats chart, listing, etc). If you send us that content by the 20th, we'll incorporate it. If you prefer, we can use Zillow to capture a chart of local statistics for you instead of you sending us content, so that it's completely hands-off. For teams, we will adjust the pronouns to plural. Contact us about your specific needs and to order service. Cost $65/mo.
Both Print and Email Newsletters - Custom Service
If you want us to prepare and send both a print and email version of your newsletter, the cost is $100/mo. Click here to contact us about using both the email and print newsletters in our custom service.
Our content is written by expert real estate newsletter writers and active real estate agents. Our content is designed to be interesting, so that it result in opens and reflects well on you. Some is related to real estate, some isn't.
We do not write about your specific neighborhood or city. We recommend that you add local content by inserting one of your own blog posts, or a report on your neighborhood real estate market, a listing, a testimonial, etc.
None of our articles are very long. 300 words is the longest we use, with the typical being between 50-180. This newsletter is not intended for long newsy articles. It is intended to be interesting…with the sole goal of keeping you top of mind for the life of your business. For longer content, we use a PDF "report" and link to that. You can edit that report, replace it with one from our library of reports, or even add your own.
It's incredibly easy to add content to the email newsletter. The print newsletter will take a little more thought, simply because your space is limited. For the print newsletter, you'll want to edit your content to fit into the boxes. We'll show you how.
No, we find that most real estate agents have lists under 2,000 contacts (often under 100), making the chances of overlapping with any other agent in your own market quite small. Since our Fast Newsletters users are spread across the US, Canada, Australia, and India, we have yet to come close to saturating any one town. In fact, a key source of new agent subscribers for our company are other satisfied agents who refer their friends in the business, telling us they're not worried about overlapping contacts. Ultimately, you must satisfy yourself about this question. If you are concerned, consider contacting us about doing a custom newsletter for you (see the FAQ about customization above.)
Your newsletters are always available on your Fast Newsletters account page, and you can log in anytime to get the newsletter. We release a fresh version of the newsletter on the 15th, two weeks prior to the month of issue. (eg. On March 15 we release the April issue.) We recommend that you add a recurring reminder to your calendar on the date that you like to work on your newsletters, along with your login details.
Our payment portal is Chargebee, an online secure payment portal. Fast Newsletters does not handle, see, manage, or store your credit card information. Chargebee manages all credit card information. For more information about Chargebee see: http://chargebee.com
When you log into Fast Newsletters, you can access your account to change your personal details. Or you can notify us of changes you need to make, and we'll make them for you. We do not handle your credit card details in-house. We use a secure third-party payment platform called Chargebee. You'll be able to access your Chargebee data, including payment history. Changes to your credit card are one-way. In other words, you can input a new card number, but the full number is not readable by us.
When you complete the ordering process, you will be invited to set up a password and log into your account. If you order the print newsletter only, you can start right away. If you order the email newsletter, you'll have to fill out a data collection form so that we can configure your email newsletter. That usually takes 24-48 hours.
Each new issue of the newsletter is released on the 15th of the month prior to the issue date.
We make every attempt to create a flawless product. However, different computers and different versions of Microsoft Word might interpret our templates differently. If you have issues with alignment, or any other issue with how to use our newsletters, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond within 24 hours. (Though usually much faster.)
We want to help any way we can. We’re a small outfit, so we don't offer call-in phone support. However, we respond quickly by email [email us here now] or [use our contact form] and if you would like us to call you back, please let us know along with your message. Include your phone number and a good time to get back to you (let us know what time zone you're in).
While we would hate to see you go, we understand that things happen and you no longer need us. You can either cancel your newsletter yourself by logging into your Fast Newsletters account, then clicking on Account on the menu.
Or you can email us at email@example.com and say Cancel My Subscription. Add your name and phone number so we can cross reference your email to your account. We will cancel the subscription within 24 hours. If your cancellation is received in our email inbox within 30 days of your initial order, we will also refund your initial fee.
The newsletter is fully customizable. You can replace the content in any of the boxes. You can change the title, add listing images, use your own articles, change the calls to action, etc. Nothing is locked.
We do not use content that has been previously copyrighted. The content is all 100% original as written by us, or it is public domain free content which we have revised to fit, or it is curated content (a brief summary followed by a link to the original source). The content is copyrighted within the context of the Fast Newsletter as an original work, licensed to each user who has subscribed to our service. You may use the content only in your newsletter or other private mailings, and the content cannot be resold in any form. The content is not licensed for distribution on the internet or in your blog. You can post your entire newsletter on your own website in an archives page.
We do not vet the content (go through a process of ensuring it’s fully accurate and proven). If medical, financial, or technical suggestions are offered, they are benign (such as, “A simple savings idea is to skip the morning cup of coffee and put that money in an envelop instead.”). However, we include a notice on each newsletter that users should seek professional advice before taking risky action, and that the content of each Fast Newsletter is not professional advice, but offers ideas that readers may want to investigate further.
Yes, as long as quotes, statistics and other research or historical facts are not changed. If you would like to only use a portion of an article in your newsletter, you are free to do so. If you would like to rework a title or headline, you are welcome to do so. If you would like to use your own images, you are free to do so. The only thing we request you not do is use the content in your personal blog. If you have questions, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you within 24 hours.
All content used in Fast Newsletters is either original content, written by our staff, public domain content, or curated content that's linked to the original source. No references to authorship or origins is necessary, unless indicated. Occasionally you may have a client tell you they’ve seen similar content elsewhere. There are many blogs, magazines, newsletters, and other forms of content using similar sources for their information. If you have a question about any particular piece of content, please send your question to us at: email@example.com.
No, it is illegal to use copy taken from Fast Newsletters on your personal blog. Our usage license does not provide for internet distribution. However, you can offer our “special reports” or "free reports" as an incentive to get someone to sign up to your own mailing list, and you can offer your reports and complete newsletters to your online social media community. You are also welcome to add the entire newsletter as a PDF link within your website, and then email the link to your community.