Did you know, according to the Data and Marketing Association, it takes 7-13 touches to deliver a qualified sales lead? That is, your prospects need to hear about you 7-13 times to gain enough confidence to use your service. A ‘touch’ could include seeing your name and logo, your ad in the local newspaper, a direct mailer, social media posts, or other marketing touch points.
One effective way to establish multiple touches with your prospects is through email marketing. More than 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations from family and friends over other forms of marketing, according to real estate licensee magazine. Nurturing your existing customers by email is as important as chasing new leads.
So, how can you build strong relationships and regular communications through your real estate business mailing list?
Whether you’re a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent, these steps will help you build a solid foundation to make the most out of your mailing list.
Building Your Email List
A best practice is to always get express permission for you to add a prospect to your email list. To capture new prospects, integrate your email subscription form into your web page. Then you can promote it on your social media page, in your blog posts, direct mailers, and in other advertising and prospecting activities.
You can also ask existing clients if they would like to be on your mailing list when wrapping up a contract, so you can keep in touch.
Is express permission required? Many email marketing services such as Constant Contact will require that you specify that your email list only includes opt-in names.
The CAN-SPAM Act says that if you email someone and they ask to be removed from your email list, you must remove their email address within 10 days. So is it worth it to email prospects once? There is a danger that those prospects could report your email as spam to your ISP. Too many of those spam reports could cause your emails to not be delivered.
And if an email service like Constant Contact, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, etc. finds that too many of your email messages are reported as spam, you may lose the ability to use the service.
There are plenty of online email platforms to choose from. Look for something where you can easily create your own email message templates and add your own branding.
Email is the New Newsletter
Do you remember the days of the printed monthly newsletter? While there’s still space for printed promotional materials in the modern world of real estate, email marketing has transformed how real estate businesses maintain relationships with their clients and prospects.
Think strategically with a customer focus when planning your email marketing content. What do your customers want or need to know about home sales or buying in your market? What home improvement or interest rate details are they interested in? What questions are you repeatedly answering around real estate issues? Put yourself in their shoes and send email content that answers questions and solves challenges your subscribers have around real estate.
You can segment your email subscribers into separate groups to ensure each type of contact receives information valuable to them. It’s true that nothing annoys a subscriber more than emails that don’t pertain to them. For example, if you have clients interested in apartments, they won’t want to receive emails about single-family homes or condos. Similarly, your clients with families are going to be more interested in information about family homes and neighborhoods in proximity to schools and parks. Tailoring your messages (from the types of listings you suggest, to other informational content) to suit each target market will yield better results.
Also consider adding a share button at the bottom of your emails to increase the reach of your content. Allowing people on your mailing list to forward to a friend or share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms can generate new leads for your real estate business. If the content is helpful to your reader, they’ll be more likely to share it with others.
Make it Mobile-Friendly
In the past few years, the number of emails read on mobile devices has exponentially grown. It’s essential to optimize your emails for mobile users. Did you know that over 80% of subscribers delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device?
Make sure your design is easy to read and interact with. You should take into consideration the font size and readability. Small text is hard to read on a desktop computer, not to mention the small screens of mobile phones.
Also look at screen loading times. If a client has to wait too long to load your message, you’ll lose them, and they’ll go on to the next email. This is particularly relevant for real estate businesses, because imagery is so important when marketing properties. Test your email or any web page you link to for loading times on both desktop and mobile.
Consider the Timing of Your Emails
If you want to make sure your emails are effective, take a moment to think from your customer’s point of view. How often do they want to hear from you? How frequently you send emails might vary according to your different segments. If you have current clients who are actively seeking a property, they may be happy to hear from you daily. People who are not currently in the market for a property are not likely to want the same content on a daily basis, so monthly real estate news blasts and resources might be enough.
There are some interesting studies about when you should send emails to your mailing list. Tuesdays and Thursdays may be the best days to send emails out for maximum impact. Mondays and weekends can have a much lower open and clickthrough rate, depending on your content and audience. According to MailChimp, you should send your email in the morning for optimal results. But every audience is different, and in your real estate business, you may find completely opposite results. So test different days and times for your promotional messages.
Monitor Your Email Marketing Efforts
Check the results of your emails, such as what content and timing gets the best open rate, clicks to your website, form completions, or replies. Use that data to improve what and when you email in the future.
The costs of email marketing are typically much lower compared with many other forms of marketing, such as direct mail advertising, magazine or newspaper advertising, TV, and billboards.. If done well, email communication can be a highly cost-effective way to build strong and long-lasting relationships.
As a busy real estate business owner, are you wondering if you truly have time to do more in the area of email marketing? Sometimes it’s difficult to juggle the many facets of running a successful real estate business. Outsourcing is an option. There are a multitude of copywriters and marketers out there who can help you with your promotional messages.
Alternatively, you can outsource other functions to free up your time to work more on your email marketing. This way, you can retain that personal touch when messaging your clients and prospects.
If you’d rather be spending more time on your email marketing than managing risk in your real estate business, contact us at 800.880.2747. CRES specializes in real estate E&O insurance for real estate professionals. Let us manage your risk, so you can manage your business.
Do you use email marketing in your real estate business? How effective do you find it? Share in the comments below.