Automated Email Marketing for Real Estate Agents
In our modern age of computers, tablets, and smartphones, pretty much everyone’s online, and therefore pretty much everyone has email. Accordingly, automated real estate email marketing can be a highly effective sales tool for real estate agents.
But not every email marketing strategy or email campaign is created equal. As the best email marketing services know, to be effective, it’s necessary to understand how automated email marketing works and what elements and practices make it effective, and what elements and practices to avoid. Here, then, is your guide to automated email marketing.
The Basics of Automated Email Marketing
The first step in an email campaign is to identify prospective customers to target. You can generate leads via networking, referrals, and social media advertising, Newsletters, behavior-triggered emails, and autoresponder sequences can then develop the relationship that turns an interested party in an actual client.
An effective email marketing strategy nearly always requires a customer relationship manager (or CRM) capable of handling email marketing. The CRM makes sure no opportunities are ignored and tracks the success of a particular email campaign. By taking care of these aspects of the email marketing strategy, the CRM can save the real estate agents considerable time.
Generally speaking, automated email marketing proper begins with drip emails. These are the initial emails in autoresponder sequences (or drip marketing) and introduce the real estate agent and his or her services. Afterward, the prospect receives an email every few days with information about new listings, neighborhoods, market analysis, and other information of interest.
Many agents augment drip marketing with monthly newsletters. These can contain information on certain featured listings, the originator’s real estate agency, the real estate industry in general, and local events.
Behavior-triggered emails go out when an individual takes a particular action on the real estate agent’s website. Often, the action is looking at a certain listing. The behavior-triggered email will then provide additional information and suggest that the potential buyer schedule a showing or attend an open house.
Types of Email Marketing Campaigns
The specifics of an email marketing strategy vary based on the level of interest displayed by a lead and where that individual is in the buying process. There are five basic types:
Drip campaigns have already been discussed above. Drip marketing keeps leads interested over the weeks or months that may be necessary to produce a sale
Cold campaigns send emails to leads with whom the real estate agent has had no prior contact. They often require more time and more emails to develop a lead into a client.
Targeted campaigns direct email to a certain group within the overall list of leads. You may separate the group out based on age, income, gender, location, or other significant information. The leads that make up the group you’ve identified may well come from lead-generation advertising.
Open house and event follow-up campaigns send emails either prior to an open house or afterward to those who attended. In the former case, the goal is to bring clients to the open house. In the latter, you’re assessing interest and scheduling viewings.
Referral or testimonial request campaigns reach out to clients after a sale has concluded. You’re requesting referrals and good reviews to generate new business.
What Does Real Estate Email Marketing Cost?
The cost of real estate email marketing naturally varies according to the specific services the real estate agent needs. Generally speaking, though, it’s relatively inexpensive. The basic costs a real estate agent can anticipate are the costs of the CRM, a lead-generation platform, and an email marketing service.
Email Marketing Best Practices
To maximize the chances of an effective email campaign, follow these email marketing best practices:
Be sure to make a positive first impression. You want potential clients to see you as knowledgeable, professional, friendly, approachable, and unique suited to meet their needs.
Educate the reader. Provide information likely to prove interesting. Examples include listings, information about the local market, and home improvement tips.
Make sure it’s entertaining. Technical information that’s fascinating to a professional real estate agent can bore or bewilder someone who isn’t. Make sure the email is pitched to a prospective client, not a colleague. Stories about local events and charity fundraisers, for example, may be a better choice than something abstruse and esoteric about the real estate industry even if the latter strikes you as more relevant to the task at hands.
Avoid the hard sell. You may feel inclined to push hard for readers to become clients. Resist the temptation. You know from your own experience what a turnoff a hard sell is.
Make sure your messages include a call to action (the CTA.) The CTA gives the recipient something to do after reading the email. Examples include adding the real estate agent to one’s address book or the invitation for the recipient to connect with the real estate agent on social media
After the sale, be personal. Once a sale is over, the client almost certainly doesn’t want a barrage of further information about the real estate market in the area. But he or she may well appreciate the occasional holiday greeting or inquiry as to how the new home is working out. Such messages can keep the memory of the real estate agent in the client’s mind and lead to new referrals.
By focusing on these practices, the real estate agent is very likely to achieve a successful automated email marketing campaign.