Realtors are always looking for a way to build their credibility and one useful tool is using email marketing campaigns. It’s cost effective, easy to manage and can be a great way to stay connected to past, present and future clients. The problem lies in the lack of knowledge on what works and what hinders you from building a reliable campaign that garners quality new business.
We would like to believe that sending an email campaign is as simple as recycling old sales ideas, throwing it into a pre-designed template, and hitting send on a weekly/biweekly/monthly basis.
Here are seven keys to building and maintaining a successful email marketing campaign that will build your credibility as a realtor and gain a new network in the process.
Build a budget
First things first, you should start off with an established budget. You understand how important it is to have your client know pricing before they start looking to buy or sell, email marketing is no different. Consider all of your options when it comes to the email service provider (ESP) you use. It is vital to find out what their open rate is before choosing one. So many companies forget the importance of cold hard data, it doesn’t matter how incredible your content is if no one opens it.
Customize your list
Creating a customized list for each campaign will help your increase your open rate as well as decrease the amount of people who unsubscribe. The best way to go about this is to look at your content. Who will the email resonate with most? Target an audience and build on it by creating custom content, giveaways and a call-to-action that will be sure to increase engagement with your website.
Come up with original content
Quality over quantity is the best practice when it comes to building your email campaign. Once you have your target demo in mind, coming up with content that resonates with them should be a breeze. It is important to note that reusing information is a big no-no, especially if your target is existing subscribers who have already been exposed to the content. You don’t want people to think you don’t value their time—because we all know making time to open and read an email is a commitment—or make them feel like they are part of a mass email list.
Focus on aesthetics
This is an area most people spend the most time in because they are either unfamiliar with the software or have no clue how to design a user-friendly email layout. Be sure to either have a marketing team at your disposal or someone with dedicated time who can ensure you send out a clean, modern and user-friendly email. Another popular trend is to have a featured image or a video in the area “above the fold” so there is no need for scrolling down. Ultimately, we all would like to think we know what looks best, but there are a lot of aspects that go into designing an email. If you are unsure if the design you have will work, it is best that you look for a good template to use for the time being.
The common mistake most agents make is frequency or lack their of of monitoring email campaigns. Think of how often you open your mailbox at home and are happy to see a newsletter—chances are, it is rare. But if you are like me, there are a few companies who I actually love to take time out to read and browse through. A good rule of thumb to follow is to set up a schedule that is based on how time sensitive your content is. Email might be a quick and direct way to reach your audience but if you overwhelm them you will end up in the their spam folder or unsubscribed to.
Reward your subscribers
Everyone loves to win prizes, but we can all see through the obligatory free T-shirt—with a giant company logo on it—giveaway as a desperate cry for engagement. Try to make the gift something relevant and meaningful to your target audience. Nothing worthwhile is free. People will look at most contests as suspect, so make sure the submission process for the contest is short and sweet.
Track your results
Your potential for growth is hinged on what data you have gathered from previous campaigns. Most ESPs will have detailed reports that tell you the open rate, bounce rate, click-thru rate and opt-outs for your email campaign. According to a Mail Chimp report in April 1, 2015, the following real estate industry average rates are shown in the chart below:
With all this in mind, it is crucial to know that success will not come overnight, and the better you get at targeting your consumer base through email marketing the easier the process will become for you in the future.