Email Marketing for Real Estate Agents: Are Your Emails Getting the Job Done?
Most people who visit your website are going to visit once and forget about you. Read why here. What does this mean? You need a lead capture mechanism. Majority of B2B businesses understand this. Chelsea Baldwin, copy writing coach and founder of Copy Power tweaked the script on her lead acquisition process and had some amazing results.
Without an elaborate email campaign strategy or a “big” cold pitch, she had the following results from an email list of 31 people:
- Got access to some high quality article sources.
- Was asked to write a feature on a popular website as their authority on website content.
- Received four referrals for writing jobs, two of which became clients.
- Was sent a popular eBook from an influencer before it was published and asked to review it.
- Got a free SEO consultation worth at least $500.
Here’s how she went about it. She had a hunch after reading marketing consultant, Michael Port’s book, “Book Yourself Solid”. In the book, Port describes a networking process that includes setting up two lists. The first list to consist of 20 people – people you don’t know at all. The second list – 90 people you know well enough that they’d agree to have lunch with you. She was able to create a 16-15 list instead of the 90-20. Here’s the system:
“According to the program, each business day you take about 30 minutes to reach out to three people on your list of 90 and one person on your list of 20—either thanking them for their work, recognizing them for an accomplishment, making an introduction, or suggesting something you think would be valuable to them.”
“You use the CRM to keep track of those interactions and get notified when 30 days have gone by since your last interaction with a person… so you’ll reach out to them again.” Without any overbearing pitch or tactic, she opened up a lot of sales and networking opportunities using this email + CRM strategy.
Well, let’s go back to real estate.
Majority of real estate agents would agree that getting a consistent stream of new clients is the hardest part of being an agent. The issue is: without a solid leads process, the next paycheck isn’t guaranteed. So lead nurturing is certainly a crucial skill for real estate agents.
There are a number of ways to build an email list, most of which have been covered in this resource. But most marketers agree that the best way to acquire new leads is setting up a custom landing page because they produce higher quality leads. SEOMoz generates $1 million per year from a single landing page.
Marketo discovered in 2018 that strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire new leads. But those are B2B brands, right? Do landing pages work for real estate brands?
Yes. Landing pages are an effective real estate marketing tool. A fairly large number of agents and brokerages now use home valuation landing pages, buyer or seller guides landing pages, specialty property listing pages and more. In fact, the more landing pages you have, the higher your chances of acquiring new leads. Hubspot says that companies using 40 or more landing pages generate 120% more leads than those using fewer than 5.
Why Landing Pages Work better
Landing pages work because they help qualify leads, advancing an offer which would speak to your prospects’ objections. Colin Ryan, brand manager at Placester defines landing pages simply as “any standalone web page, disconnected from the main navigation, that is built to get visitors to take a very specific action (sign up, download, call, etc)”
Yet it isn’t just about acquiring leads through landing pages or any other lead acquisition strategy. You need to consolidate with an effective lead nurturing system. With InstaPage, you can start building conversion-optimized landing pages within minutes.
Nurturing Leads with Emails
A real estate drip campaign is a common way to nurture leads through a series of emails “dripped” to your leads in periodic intervals after they filled out a form on your page. Emails are a powerful way to stay in touch with prospects and former clients because:
- About 91% of users check their emails daily.
- It has higher open rates and consequently, higher conversion rates than social media or blog posts.
- It has a greater reach than social media and other marketing platforms. Active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by 2019, according to Statista. Gmail alone has 1 billion active users worldwide.
- Econsultancy stated in 2016 that three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to good “ROI”
- Mobile users check their email three times more than non-mobile users (Campaign Monitor, 2018)
So if you have ticked the first box by building an email list, next is finding a good CRM tool that allows you to import your email list easily.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management(CRM) software are tools that make it easy to reach a large number of your real estate clients or prospects from one single platform. CRM tools help you get more organization in your real estate marketing by integrating well with other platforms e.g your email or social media platform.
You can create and monitor email campaigns, track email open rates; nurture leads; upload documents and contracts; track important dates from one single CRM platform.
Be that as it may, email marketing for real estate agents isn’t just about building a list of contacts. You’ll have to capture people’s interest. How do you make your emails sound engaging and keep people’s attention? It’s not about pestering them with your new listings. It’s about understanding their needs and proving you can meet these.
5 kickass Email Marketing tips for Real Estate
- Segment your leads.
You probably already have an effective lead generation system. Yet, not all real estate leads are the same. Your leads are most likely at different stages of the conversion cycle.
HubSpot defines three stages in a typical buyer’s journey:
- Awareness stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem (need or want).
- Consideration stage: The buyer has already defined the problem and now considers options to solve the problem.
- Decision stage: The buyer decides on a solution.
This applies to b2b brands in a major way. But it also finds use in real estate since most home clients are basically trying to solve a problem/fulfill a want (or need).
By segmenting your leads, you can tailor your messages to buyers at different stages of the sales cycle and take advantage of sales opportunities. You could segment leads by responsiveness. At each stage, you could have hot and cold leads based on open rates. A good CRM software makes it easy to segment leads, helping you identify people who are ready and motivated.
- Schedule your emails right.
Most people are busy and wouldn’t open your email if it interferes with work. The difference between high email open rates and low open rates might just be scheduling your emails right. So avoid sending emails when your mail would probably be ignored.
A good starting place is not sending emails at wee hours of the night or very early in the morning. You can send emails when your subscribers would be most responsive. The best way to determine this would be to review past emails through your CRM analytics to find out what time people open your emails. On a wider scale, Coschedule recommends scheduling emails to go off at 10 am or 8 pm.
- Focus on just one call to action.
The rule of one or power of one is a common guideline among copywriters. It means focusing the energy of your copy into one big idea. Instead of juggling together different CTAs or ideas in your email, you want to focus on just one. This doesn’t leave buyers confused. They know what you want them to do and why.
Realtors often confuse their email readers with too many calls to action. They want prospects to do it all at once: like their Facebook page; check out their new listings; read a new post on the blog. When you do this, you’re bombarding prospects with too much information, which is both demanding and overwhelming. Your CTAs compete with each other without a main theme. By focusing your copy and subject lines to lead up to one main idea, your emails become more convincing. James Loftus, a veteran advertising copywriter says,
“the more points you try to cover, the less effective each point, and therefore your ad, will be. An effective ad will actually have only one central focus, even if you discuss it from two or three perspectives. If your points are too diverse, they compete with each other, and end up pulling the reader’s attention in separate directions.”
- Make emails short and succinct.
Your prospects are busy. They’ve squeezed time off a busy schedule to skim through your email. You therefore need to make your emails skimmable. This also means your message is relevant and superfluous analogies or stories are left out. A study conducted by Sinan Aral of NYU, Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT and Marshall W. Van Alstyne of Boston University concluded that, “the shorter your email, the quicker the response time, and the higher your productivity.”
- Write catchy Email Subject lines.
The more compelling and personal your subject line sounds, the more people open your emails, and the better your conversions. The email subject line is the first thing a prospect sees. They haven’t had a connection with you. All they did was fill a form on your website. Your email subject line makes the crucial first impression. You either catch their attention or lose it completely.
The best way to get people’s attention is to write personal sounding headlines that drive home a major point. Prospects are asking, “how might this benefit me?”. If your email subject line answers this, they are compelled to stay a while longer.
Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers suggests thinking about it this way,
“Nobody actually wants to hear from me. They only want to hear from their friends. Your task, then, is to sound as much like their trusted friends, colleagues and/or clients as you can… without being tricky… or gimmicky… or lame.”
Keep your email headlines short. Around 50 characters long to avoid truncation. And don’t forget to make them sound personal.
Email Marketing Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents
There are few things that work best for a new real estate business like developing a process to stay in contact with new leads. And this would prove even more effective for building customer relationships. However, it can be hard to brainstorm email marketing content ideas as a real estate agent. But it shouldn’t be. You can be as creative as you want in a way that your audience finds engaging. Below are some ideas to kick off:
- Drive subscribers to New Posts on your website. If you are proactively creating new content for your website, your email list can be a potential traffic generation tool. You can constantly give your email list exclusive tips and ideas that are not available to blog readers. This helps build trust.
- New Listings. Show prospects you are an active player in the market by telling them about new listings. Let your subscribers know these are yet to hit the open market. This creates some form of exclusivity.
- Birthdays and Anniversaries. Send personalized emails to past clients on important days like birthdays, wedding anniversaries.
- Market Watch Alerts. Motivated prospects want some insider information about happenings in your market. So, if anything could affect price, probably a new company moving in; new housing developments; tax changes; your audience should know about them.
Getting conversions has gone beyond one-time random emails. Just like content marketing, the goal should be to generate a degree of trust. Hence a one-off email strategy leaves a lot of money on the table for competitors. You need to consistently reach out to prospects and clients with the latest offers and information that’ll be of interest to them. And track your stats. Your CRM should come with intuitive analytics to track open rates, click-throughs and responses. Knowing the stats, you can tweak your strategy accordingly to generate better results.