Real estate email marketing is free, but you really hope the old saying that “you get what you pay for” isn’t the case for your results. You send them out by the hundreds or even thousands, hope they get opened and read, and then you hope that some of them ultimately get to the closing table. What works for real estate email marketing? Here are the top 4 tips from email marketing experts who know what works.
Tip #1: Would you open and read it?
There are still many real estate professionals out there buying canned drip email scripts, spraying them out there to their prospects, and waiting for results that aren’t going to happen. Think of it like sending a real letter in the mail that smells like dead fish, very old dead fish. Even if someone working for the USPS doesn’t trash it, the person receiving it isn’t going to want to handle it, much less open and read it. That’s a drastic example, but many of us are sending dead fish emails right now.
Method #1: If it has no VALUE, don't send it!
Honestly, would you open and read some of the drip and other emails you’re sending out? It’s easy to say that it’s only because you know all about the topic, but that’s a cop-out. Your prospects, at least the newer ones for sure, are visiting a great many real estate sites. This means they’re probably getting on other email lists as well. So, that “baking bread smell at an open house” is really more of a dead fish smell.
Test each of your email ideas to see if there is real value in them for the recipient. What is real value? First, make your emails different from the competition’s. Tell the prospect something new or interesting in every email. This is more difficult, as it takes some thought and planning. But, when you’re sending them emails titled “Why do some homes sell faster than others like them,” you’re grabbing the attention of sellers. Or, “How to know if that home you like is priced right.” will get opened by buyers.
Tip #2: Make unsubscribing easy.
Wait, you don’t want them to unsubscribe, so why make it easy? Well, first there are some Federal regulations about email, and you’ll want to follow them. However, hiding that unsubscribe link in tiny text somewhere is going to do one thing; they’ll unsubscribe in a worse way. Gmail and other systems offer an option to mark an email as spam and unsubscribe, a far worse choice than you offering one that’s easy to find.
Method #2: Make it easy, but don't encourage it.
You want to make it easy for someone to ask to be removed from your email list, but you don’t want to encourage it. There is one tested method that a successful real estate email marketer put into play. It dropped his email unsubscribes by two-thirds. He simply told them in the first email how many they were going to get. Think about it. You receive an email from a real estate person you don’t know because you asked for information from their website. You have no idea how many more you’ll get or how often. That’s a lot of pressure to just say “don’t send me any more of these.” This broker simply said something in the first email like “Thanks for requesting the sold property report from my website. If you don’t mind, over the next few weeks, I’m going to send you four more emails, each with important local real estate market information.” Now, your recipient is thinking, “I can handle four over a few weeks, especially if they have more information I need.” This leads to the next very important Tip.
Tip #3: Keep the drip series short.
But wait! You have dozens of ideas for important things you can tell them. Don’t worry, as there is a plan in play here. Take your top three, four or five super email topics that are informative and of value, and those are the ones you send in your drip series. Make them really good, and have titles that make them want to open them. You may want to point them to other areas of your website that are popular and provide other information, such as neighborhood pages.
Method #3: Use a different type of conversion.
OK, you’re sending maybe four really informative and useful emails. The last thing you want to do is to just stop and hope they get back to you. You’re just going to execute what might be called a “mini-conversion.” In that fourth or final email, you’re going to tell them something like “Thanks so much for your interest in my website and services. As promised, this is the last in this automated set of emails. I am moving you to my special report recipient list for quarterly (or monthly) market reports. I’ll send you a report of sales for the previous quarter (month) so that you can see what’s happening in the market and use that information for informed decision-making.”
This is major. You’ve started out by delivering as promised, stopping the automated series when you said you would, but now you’re converting them to a longer term relationship. Those sold property reports are easily created in your MLS software, and you can convert it to a PDF and send attached to an email. The Internet has enabled home buyers and sellers to start their real estate transaction planning much earlier and do their research for a lot longer than ever in the past. Keep them in your sphere of influence for as long as it takes, but only with very useful information they’ll value.
Tip #4: Segment your list for better emails.
Once you’ve taken them through the initial series and converted them to the long-term reports, no problem. But, to get them that far, you need different emails for buyers and sellers. Segment your list as best you can, and you’ll really have three or maybe four list segments; buyers, sellers, investors, unknown. Even if you ask them in your forms and lead generation tools, many will not tell you what their interests are early in the relationship. That’s why the Unknown group.
Method #4: Create customized emails for each group.
Some of the emails will cross groups, and all of them are good for the Unkown group. However, don’t send suggestions for getting a home ready for listing to a buyer or investor prospect. It’s not that difficult one time to create three or four different email series with information highly relevant to the group that’s receiving them.
There you have it. You can take those four tips to the bank, well… the closing table first.