Email has been proven again and again to be the best driver of profits in terms of lead generation. According to recent statistics, three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” return on investment (ROI). (Econsultancy, 2016)
Recently, real estate agents are increasingly adopting email as part of their overall content marketing strategy and it is a great idea for you to join them. Email marketing offers benefits over other forms of content distribution as will be shown in the following section.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing presents more opportunities for your business and generates a better return on your marketing investment. With email marketing, you can easily create deeper relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.
Outlined below are benefits of email marketing:
- Email Marketing is Highly Targeted and Personalized
Unlike the drawbacks of traditional media such as radio and TV, email gives your marketing a much more personalized and targeted feel. Depending on how large your email list is, you can easily segment your contacts in order to further personalize and target your emails to them in a way that moves down sales funnel. For example, you can have a database of potential home buyers and home sellers, and you can send them a generic email about all your recent blog posts. On the hand, you can segment your database into two, one for home sellers and one for home buyers. That way, you increase your overall engagement and build a faster relationship with your audience.
Pro Tip: Read more about the importance of email segmentation below.
- Email Marketing Increases Brand Awareness
With over one billion Gmail users worldwide (Statistica 2016), it is safe to say that nearly everyone in the world owns an email address. Email marketing offers real estate agents such as yourself, the opportunity to build brand awareness and stay top-of-mind with their audience.
Make sure every email that you send out is consistent with your brand, offers extreme value and has social share buttons embedded within. By doing a combination of all these, you are consistently building a valuable reputation as an agent worth doing business with and when your email subscribers finally need real estate service, they’re more likely to turn to you than anybody else. Customers gained this way usually turn into loyal customers as long as you remain positive and offer consistent value.
- Email Marketing Shareable.
Emails can easily be shared by your subscribers with anyone on their contact list with a simple click of the forward button – give them the reason to.
There are different “types” of emails that can be sent when using it as a marketing tool; it can be in the form of Newsletters, a Content Funnel Series or a simple Blog update email. But what most of these email types have in common is that they offer only teaser content and include links to read the full content. This works and is ideal if it fits in with your overall <real estate content marketing plan> however, it won’t really help if you want to make your emails shareable.
The number one tip to make your email more shareable is by adding relevant takeaways that will add more value to your audience even before they click-through.
Some of the most shared email content are:
- Deals and offers
- Home buying/selling quick tips
- Industry news for real estate investors etc
Remember, when your subscribers share your email, they’re acting as your brand advocates. And this, in turn, gives your brand more exposure and credibility because it’s coming from a trusted source.
- Email Marketing is Measurable
Another benefit that email marketing offers above any traditional media is the ability to measure the success of your email campaigns. Even some online marketing strategies that can be tracked offer ambiguous or estimated results, or hold back valuable results until you “upgrade”.
On the other end of the spectrum, email marketing delivers precise and valuable metrics such as delivery rates, bounce rates, open rates, click-through rates and subscriber retention rates. Another added benefit is that these metrics provide you a deeper insight into your customer’s behaviors and interests. These data can help you run better campaigns because you can further segment your email lists based on their responsiveness to certain topics and email types.
- Email Marketing is Cost effective.
This is perhaps the most appealing benefit of real estate email marketing. Compared to what it would cost to place a newspaper, radio or television ad, or even to print flyers or send direct mail brochures, email marketing is significantly cheaper.
Not only that, email marketing offers agents a higher return on investment compared to other digital marketing channels. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing brings in $40 for every $1 spend, outperforming search, display, and social marketing.
Email Marketing Terminologies
When you’re just getting started with email marketing, there are some terminologies that you might not understand until you do a Google search for it. This section will give you a basic overview of the jargons that you need to know to get started.
Your bounce rate is the percentage of your emails that couldn’t be delivered to its recipients. There are two types of bounces; soft bounce and hard bounce.
A soft bounce simply means that the email address was valid and your email even reached the recipient’s mail server. However, it bounced back because the mail server is full (usually because the user is over their quota)
A hard bounce, on the other hand, simply means the email address does not exist or is spelled incorrectly. For a healthy email list, try as much as possible to keep your bounce rate under 5%.
A Blacklist can be defined as a spam blocking list, and when your email has been blacklisted, it simply means that your mail server has been blocked from sending an email. Although some of your emails might get delivered, but 95% of the time it won’t.
You can use tools such as MXToolbox to see if your email has been blacklisted. If it has, you have probably sent too many unsolicited emails and recipients have reported you as Spam too many times.
Bulk Mail is when you send out mass emails to a lot of recipients. When you are sending out emails with Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook, you find that there are a few drawbacks:
- You can send out more than 100 emails
- Most get lost in Spam or Junk Folders
- You can’t personalize the email messages
- Every other recipient sees each other’s emails.
However, if you want a real email marketing program, consider using platforms such as MailChimp or GetResponse.
Thanks to the CAN-SPAM law signed into congress in 2003, businesses can no longer spam people through email anymore unless they want to commit a crime lawfully. Read more about the policy here.
This is the percentage of people that clicked through on a link embedded in your emails.
This is the percentage of people that took action as a result of clicking on your Call- to action button.
In real estate email marketing, you can either have people opt-in to your email list or download your guide once with their email submission, or you could decide to add another layer of verification by telling them to click through on a link sent to their email address. This serves the dual benefit of making sure the email address you have is correct and that the prospect is really interested in giving you permission to email them.
This is the number or percentage of people that opened your email campaign compared with the total number of people that you sent your email campaign to.
This is when a prospect enters their contact information such as their name and email address in order to join your real estate email marketing list.
Plain Text or HTML emails:
Plain text emails are simple just text based emails without graphics or images or fancy designs. On the contrary, HTML emails have graphic images, videos, and other fancy designs.
The opposite of the blacklist, a whitelisted email reduces the chances of ending up in the SPAM folder.
A CRM or customer relationship management tool is a tool used to manage your customers and database as they move down your pipeline. From awareness to purchase, a CRM will give you an overview of your all your customers.
How to Capture Emails
Email marketing ceases to exist without emails. Capturing emails should be one of the most important priorities or goals a website should have because that is the starting point of any marketing activity between you and a potential client.
Until a website visitor submits their email address, they’re nothing but a website visitor. Converting website visitors to leads is as crucial as getting people to visit your website in the first place. Capturing emails, therefore, is a very important element of email marketing that every real estate agent must be familiar with.
Outlined below are two simple, yet effective ways you can start capturing emails today:
According to Hubspot, a landing page is a website page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form. But in order for landing pages to be effective in generating leads or emails, you need to offer a valuable piece of content. This can be a guide, ebook, whitepaper or special report on any real estate related question that your potential audience will be interested in.
Have you ever found yourself reading an exciting blog post (like this one you’re reading) and you suddenly see a “pop-up” requesting you to subscribe to a newsletter to receive more awesome blog posts directly into your email?
That is a perfect example of how pop-ups work in generating email addresses. Take note, however, that because of popup ads, most internet users have enabled popup ad blocker and this could also work in blocking your popup from showing.
However, don’t get discouraged. Popups have been discovered to increase website conversions by over 3%.
The Importance of Email Segmentation
Do you want to achieve a higher open rate and CTR? If your answer is yes, then you need to segment your emails. Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015).
Many real estate agents who are new to email marketing (and even those who aren’t) neglect to segment their emails and instead, blast all their email lists with the same exact messages. As a result, they experience a significant drop in their engagement level and you even risk losing leads because they will unsubscribe if they’re not getting any relevant value from you.
So why does segmenting your emails matter so much?
- Your Leads Aren’t The Same
Most real estate agents cater to home buyers, home sellers or investors. Some even have properties that cater to Millennials while some focus on retirees. Taking all these into consideration, does it still seem like a great idea to send all these people the SAME type of emails? Once you’ve figured out which types of individuals make up your customer base as a whole, segmenting becomes much easier – and understandable.
- Your Leads Are at Different Points in the Sales Cycle
The sales cycle usually consists of:
Your website visitors can be in ANY of these three categories and when they opt-in to receive your emails (or download your guide), it is your duty to find out which of these stages they are in your sales cycle and target them specifically with the right email that will motivate them to do business with you.
- You’ll Get Better Results
Segmenting your emails give you better results compared to other agents who do not. By sending highly relevant emails to your contacts, you build better relationships with them and they’re more likely to trust you based on the relevance of your information, especially if it always comes at a time they need it.
Tips on Segmentation
Not sure where to start with your email segmentation? Here are a few tips:
- Segment based on how they engage with your emails. For example, contacts that have opened at least three of your last five messages are more engaged than those who haven’t opened your recent emails at all.
- Segment based on how long they’ve been on your list. New subscribers shouldn’t be getting emails that are mostly relevant to old subscribers.
- Segment based on location. This is necessary if you’re like most agents who service different areas. Make sure your landing pages are optimized for your different locations in order to track where your leads are coming from. A good CRM tool will be useful for getting information such as these.
Email marketing is a great way to build profitable relationships with your prospects online. And because emails are much more personal than social media, it is essential that you focus on delivering highly valuable and highly segmented content, each and every time.
How are using email marketing to generate leads? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you.