Email marketing is a great tool to help you create instant connection with potential buyers and sellers. To use email marketing successfully, you need to do three things:
- Segment your list
- Target your messages
- Follow our hot tips
We’ll take a look at how to do the first two and then we’ll provide you with a checklist of hot tips and techniques that will help you maximize your results. And of course, at the end of the article, I have a sign up box so you can join my list.
Segment your list
You’ll create your email marketing list by inviting people to sign up, either through your web site or from personal information they provide in other ways. Rule #1: Make your list 100% opt-in. Never, never, never put someone’s name on your list unless you have their permission. And if they later ask to unsubscribe, honor their request immediately.
Once you have your list of names you can break them down into segments in several different ways. For example:
- New subscribers
- Repeat clients
- Inactive clients
- First time home buyers
- Desired property size
- Desired price range
There are dozens of possibilities for subdividing your list, but these are some basics to get you started.
Of course you can create and send your own mailings, but it’s probably more time-effective to use a direct mail service that will do the detail work for you. There are dozens out there, but MailChimp (which I use), AWeber, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response are all well-known and reliable.
In addition, direct mail marketing services will provide you with built-in tracking. Tracking will tell you who opens your emails, which links they click on and how much time they spend viewing your information.
Target your messages
Don’t send everything to everybody. There’s no point in sending out a video link to your new million-dollar listing to clients who are looking in the $200 thousand range. Know what your clients are looking for and position them accordingly. Of course, one client could appear on multiple lists, depending on their stated interests.
Avoid that delete button! Always provide something of value, no matter what the audience. Otherwise, people will think it’s just another sales pitch. Value-added ideas might include:
- Quote from a subject matter expert on where interest rates are headed
- To-do list for prospective sellers
- A poll or mini-survey about current market conditions (and post the results on your web site and in a follow-up email, of course)
- An excerpt from your blog or web site (Hint: provide links back to your web site to further engage clients and continue interacting with them.)
Follow our hot tips
- Communicate regularly. Have a schedule and follow it. Every Friday, every other Monday, the last day of the month—just be consistent.
- Get attention with your subject line. “What will interest rates do this week?” has far more impact that “Interest Rate Projections.”
- Have a visually appealing header and use photos or other images if appropriate, but. . .
- . . .make sure your topic and message are visible and obvious without images, because most email programs will not download images unless the recipient requests it.
- People don’t read—they scan. Make sure they know what you’re saying within the first five seconds.
- There is no best (or worst) time to send an email. If your subject line gets attention, people will open your email.
- Always send a “welcome” email to a new subscriber. Tell them how often they can expect to hear from you and what kind of information you’ll provide. You can go a step further and do what I did. I have a confirmation page that everyone sees after they sign up for WinningAgent’s newsletter.
- When you’re writing an email, imagine you’re writing to one real person, not a faceless crowd called “homebuyers.” This will help you refine and target your message.
- Shorter is always better—short sentences, short paragraphs, lists and subheads all help the reader move quickly through your copy.
- Put your complete contact information in every email, including a web site link, your personal email, phone number, and business address.
- Make sure every email has a call to action. If people don’t know what you want them to do, they will do nothing.
Regular, targeted email communication, combined with your other social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube) will raise your profile and solidify your brand in the minds of your present and future clients. Use it to your advantage.
— Richard M. Hartian (@WinningAgent) June 11, 2012
So what is working for you? Share it in the comments below.