119% higher open rates
50% higher conversion rates
47% larger purchases
In my first ever post on Activerain, I originally asked what sort of engagement you see in your cold outreach emails. My curiosity is still at it’s peak.
Email marketing has a funny place in real estate. Email marketing reminds me of the quarterback’s playbook sleeve in football. To the untrained eye, it looks like a wristband of incoherent calls which should probably be outsourced to some analyst in a booth.
In reality, email marketing isn’t archaic. It’s a powerful tool able to put the user miles ahead of the competition ...but only if it’s studied and mastered.
Email marketing is so widely used, over 215,000,000,000 emails were sent each day in 2016, which was a 5% increase over 2015! The same study argues the volume of emails sent will rise at a steady pace of 6% year over year.
A quarter of a billion emails each day is equally frightening and equally didactic. Frightening? Because anyone can send emails out and bury inboxes at scale. After all, email marketing is just like a tool in your garage. The only difference between being really good at nailing nails and building a new deck is how well you can use your tools and how creative you are at your approach.
Didactic? Well, there’s a lot we can learn about what works and what doesn’t from the volume of leads interacting with their inboxes. Luckily, I’ve done the hard work and presented what I’ve seen work best to date.
Email Subject Lines to Guarantee Opens.
Man opens email from agent. You won’t believe what happened next! I will never endorse “clickbait.” I consider it hierarchy to mention it around the office. But I do acknowledge that effective subject line copy borrows a lot from content with clickbait-like titles.
Why? Because it’s attention grabbing! But writing attention grabbing copy is very challenging.
When I used to be a researcher and grant writer, I found it more challenging to sum up a mission statement or key finding in less than 100 words than I did writing out 10 page reports.
Email subject lines are just as challenging. You must narrow your message down to a few effective words. In truth, there is no one formula that works across industries. However, with a splash of creativity and inspiration from the examples below, you’ll be copywriting in no time.
Here are three excellent examples I’ve pulled from across the web:
Zillow: “What Can You Afford?”
The subject line worked for a few key reasons. First, it posed a question without immediately answering it. This likely enticed many readers to click through for the full answer.
Groupon: “Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew Steve)"
Humor is universal. Everyone enjoys a good joke – especially a goofy one that is completely out of context.
Digital Marketer: “[DOWNLOAD] 15-Point Landing Page Audit”
The subject line succeeded because it follows the golden rule of content marketing: give value. Also, the “DOWNLOAD” copy implies that the much-needed audit is a click away.
Lesson: Pay attention to what prompts you to open emails today. What is it about those subject lines which makes you click open.
Crushing Newsletters: Tips & Tricks.
Catchy copy can rope in almost any lead - provided you weren’t deleted or marked as read out of habit - but the core of email marketing is the content you deliver and the value it provides.
If home buyers and sellers are researching the market on top-rated sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, how can you keep them interested in you, your services, and even your brand? Newsletters are the best way to nurture leads over time and establish agency and authority through influence without spamming your list.
Offer value without stealing time. If you’re still sending out newsletters that have "Just Listed" and "Just Sold" updates, the 1990s are calling and they want their newsletters back! Instead, consider offering resources to your leads, including mortgage information for first time homebuyers, community news and information, market research, or even the top local contractors in the area.
Redirect leads back to your website. Content is king but it’s critical that your newsletters don’t lose sight of their other intention: Driving traffic back to your website! Newsletters don’t often have strong “call to actions,” so it’s important you offer readers a way to learn more back on your website.
Remember to personalize with automation. Like all your email templates you’ll be reshaping, keep in mind that automation features in popular mail integrations like Mailchimp offer automation tools and schedulers. Many popular CRMs also handle email marketing automation, too.
Lesson: Get on the email lists of top producers in your market. Kenny Truong of Climb SF, for example, sends out monthly hand-crafted newsletters to all his leads which see amazing engagement.
The Power of Email Drip Campaigns.
Email drip campaigns are a series of emails which fire out to a predetermined segment of leads in from your email list. You can customize when the emails fire, what happens next when a lead opens or clicks a link in any particular email, the duration of the email drip campaign, and even the subject lines and bodies of each email. The customization options are endless!
Email drips are great for agents who want to automate their lead nurturing efforts at scale.
What sort of content you include in your drip email campaigns will ultimately depend on the quality of your email segments (that is, the types of leads you’ve curated in your email lists), the types of properties you or your team focuses on, and the amount of time you want to allocate towards planning your drips. A few great examples we love include property recommendations, information on a community or particular zip code, and even industry news and market trends.
Lesson: Discover a CRM which can handle email drip campaigns for you, include template customization, segmenting, and scale-mailing.
Final Takeaways: Email Marketing Tips & Best Practices.
Differentiate your audiences & send relevant content. This is the most important tip to create effective email drip campaigns. Readers don’t open emails that aren’t relevant to them. It’s as easy as that. So before sending anything out, it’s paramount to differentiate your audience segments by prospective buyers vs. sellers, hot vs. cold leads, and prospects vs. past clients.
Keep it brief. The optimal marketing email length is between 50-125 words. Keep it short and sweet; add enticing images to break up text; link sparingly to keep people focused on your message. Remember to especially leverage images in your newsletters.
Get dirty with data and track opens! The most common reason people unsubscribe from marketing campaigns is because companies send too many emails. In fact, the real estate industry is one of the worst offenders for email saturation and abuse! Make sure you can monitor your email marketing efforts to discover what is and is not working.