Spam or Email Marketing?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach

email marketing real estateAlmost everyone hates spam.  Have you ever bought anything through an unsolicited email?  I haven’t.  But did you ever stop to think some of your prospects in your email database may regard your email bulletins as spam?  It’s likely some of them now do because when they signed up for your mailing list when they were in the market for a new home.  But now that they’ve bought a home your email bulletins are now irrelevant to them.


It’s NOT good when people consider your email bulletins as spam, and it’s got greater consequences than you’d think.  It’s not just as simple as someone deleting your email anymore.  If your email is considered spam by your recipients you face larger problems than indifference.  Sometimes much larger problems.


Here’s why.  All email software today contains a handy (but often misused) feature called the Spam button.  Different email programs may label the button “Mark As Spam” or “Junk Mail” or “This Is Spam” or “Report As Spam” or simply “Spam” but they all do the same thing.  When someone receives an email in their inbox this button is always very prominent and easily found within the email.  Many people think clicking the Spam button is the same as clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email or replying to the email with the words ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘remove’ in the subject line.


It isn’t the same.  When someone clicks the unsubscribe link in your email or replies to your email and asks for removal you simply remove them from your database before your next mailing and no harm is done. But when someone clicks the Spam button when they receive your email something entirely different happens. spam marketing real estate

When they click this button a message is sent to the Abuse department at the recipient’s email provider.  The message states that this person is reporting you for sending spam email to them.  After this you  may or may not be blocked by the email provider from sending messages to this recipient from then on.  If you aren’t blocked then this recipient may be clicking the Spam button every time they receive your email!


When someone flags your email as spam you’re put in the same hot water as companies sending huge amounts of unsolicited commercial email advertising the usual spam type things we regularly see in our inbox such as viagra, debt reduction, dating sites, Rolex watches, and so on.

Are you marketing to the right people?

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Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Gabrielle-Thanks for clarifying how to deal with unsolicited emails (spam). I swear I've received some and I've reported them as spam and then next week I get another one from them. 

Jul 06, 2012 02:40 AM #1
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Very informative...thanks for sharing this with us all.

Jul 06, 2012 03:18 AM #2
Mark Woodward
Floor Coverings International - Randolph, NJ
We bring the flooring store to your door

Yes, that can be a big issue.  This is one of the reasons, too, why it's often better to use an email program such as Constant Contact.  At least that way, your email isn't tagged as being spammy.

But, I think the broader point is to make your content relevant and keep your database fresh.

Jul 06, 2012 04:09 AM #3
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Gabrielle-This is a good point. I receive newletters, and other media and even though I requested to be on the mailing list, sometimes it gets to be too much. Mark #3, is right about making it relevant.

Jul 06, 2012 05:26 AM #4
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Gabrielle,  Ouch !  Didn't know that.  Wonder why some senders apparently have no such function !

Jul 06, 2012 05:32 AM #5
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Gabrielle: I would like to think that my email marketing is permission-based. Those that want to unsubscribe can. That being said, I think there will always be someone who will object. I'm thankful there haven't been more than a handful in the 6 years I've been doing this.

Jul 06, 2012 05:43 AM #6
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

It's something to consider to be sure. We have to be careful that we address those who might want to hear from us. 

Jul 06, 2012 07:55 AM #7
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.
Helpful information. It would be wise to consider who still wants the email we send out and to make the unsubscribe option noticeable for those eager to hit the spam button.
Jul 06, 2012 09:44 AM #8
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

It's very important to send email to folks who really do want to receive it. I delete at least 3 groupons per day. I should just unsubscribe.

Jul 06, 2012 10:05 AM #9
Lisa Hickling
Brampton, ON
Yet another post that reinforces the significance of person to person contact.
Jul 06, 2012 11:48 AM #10
Bryan Robertson
Intero Real Estate - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I frequentl use email to send e-flyers and other information to fellow agents in the area.  I'm very careful not to send too often or too much of the same thing so people don't get the wrong idea and put me on their spam list.  My rule for eflyers is no more than 1 message every 2 weeks.  Ideally once per month, unless there is a price change.

Jul 06, 2012 12:14 PM #11
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I use constant contact to send a monthly newsletter. I only add people to the email list who have requested info and have a very low unsubscribe rate

Jul 06, 2012 12:34 PM #12
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I send information on new listings and sold listing to a farm.  Sometimes people email or call me and ask me not to send anything further to them.  I always comply with their wishes.  No one has marked me as spam yet and I hope they never do.

Jul 06, 2012 01:29 PM #13
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes

I really like Constant Contact because of all the controls and reports that it provides.  It is inteesting to also see the click through rates and what folks are /are not paying attention to.

Jul 06, 2012 03:34 PM #14
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I cannot stand spam, and about 75% of my email is spam.  I would recommend that one not unsubscribe, as then they could harves your email as an "alive" email and sell it off.  Lots of black hat marketers out there.

Jul 06, 2012 05:53 PM #15
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Saturday morning and five unsolicited phone calls in two hours. Vote for Joe, Vote for John. 

I told them to email me.

Jul 07, 2012 02:36 AM #16
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

I did not know that but I do not send them anyway. I think technology is so overrated and we waste a lot of time trying to use it while proscrasinating. I tell agents just go to work, don't have the latest and greatest use the telephone.

Jul 08, 2012 03:04 PM #17
Gabrielle Jeans
WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach - Toronto, ON
Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach

Glad everyone is benefiting from this post

Jul 09, 2012 02:39 AM #18
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Gabrielle, yikes! I never thought of my emails as being spam to someone else. Guess that's why I haven't been a big fan of drip emails. I understand the concept, but the consequences can be pretty steep.


Jul 20, 2012 01:23 PM #19
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