Have you ever been faced with the task of having to write an Email for your subscriber or client list and then realized that you didn’t know what to say or how to say it? Or, you write, edit, write some more, edit again only to find out that your recipients did not even open the message? Well, I have been there, done that and then some. Here are a couple of fool-proof tips and techniques on how to write an effective Email marketing campaign for Realtors and how to get the results that you want based on my trials and errors. I have made the mistakes for you so that you don’t have to relive my pain. Here goes:
1. Start with the end in mind: Know exactly what you want your Email campaign to do. Effective Email campaigns are designed to have the reader/client/customer/prospect/lead/user do something specific, ie, sign up, click through, purchase, register, download, or simply read.
2. Categorize your existing and future clients into groups: Active Buyers, Inactive Buyers, Long-Term Active Buyers, Active Sellers, Inactive Sellers (Expried Listing Sellers), Long-term Active Sellers, Investor Rental Income, Investor Fixer Uppers, etc. Then, customize Emails specifically for that user group.
Example: Long-term Active buyers might benefit from emails about:
a. Tips on how to save money
b. Ways to improve credit
c. Styles of homes and benefits of reach or neighborhood facts
d. Different types of mortgages
e. How to use a mortgage calculator
f. Email alerts of just listed, just sold, just under contract per that buyer’s town of interest
3. Next, decide on Email delivery frequency. Try to determine ahead of time how many Emails you have to send out to get your reader(s) to do what you want them to do. Same calendar date, same time, same weekday, or same week in the month. People are accustomed to routines and having a routine that you can follow is just as important as your readers knowing when to expect an Email from you. My day is Monday at 9:15 a.m. I find that people inherently attribute Monday as not just the start of the work week but also the start of who they want to plan for the week ahead. This helps in getting buyers to commit to upcoming appointments.
4. Each Email campaign should have a click through to a specific landing page or specifically to something on your website. I read a lot of Emails and I often click through to the company’s main homepage and I have to search everywhere for what they originally wanted me to do. By the time I find what I was looking for, I have moved on to something else. You should have specific landing pages for what you are promoting or informing with a call to action. If you want the reader to sign up, have a “sign-up” button and nothing else. If you want the reader to buy, add your “buy it now” button and nothing else. If you want your reader to download something, give them the link. Don’t give them more to wade through. Wading leads to off-site surfing. Your reader becomes interested in something else and quickly forgets you and your company minutes after opening up your Email. I’ve had success with two to three sentences and a link that sends the reader to the full article or specific listing on my website. Too many times, people overpopulate Emails with rich content; however, if your reader leaves that content in their inbox, you are not putting your hardwork to good use. This strategy of haveing a portion of my article or email content appear in the email itself but then having the full content or article live on my blog, helps me to create a permanent digital foot-print. If you reader deletes the email, they can simply revisit your site for real estate blog and find what they were looking for.
5. Use powerful, concise subject lines when you have an existing relationship with your Email list. Since Email is the most cost-effective, direct and efficient way to communicate with a large group of people, your list is most likely getting messages from other small business owners and in some cases, your readers might be receiving too many messages. Thus, your Email has to stand out. Try these subject lines when you want to get their attention immediately:
a. New Listing! Open House, Just Reduced. Hot Listing. (These are generally Emails about specific listings, so it pays to know your office’s inventory, even if you are not the listing agent.) These are common subject lines that agents use with other agents.
b. Save the date! Important message.
c. FREE tips on ____________.
d. Upcoming _____________.
e. You don’t want to miss out.
f. Spread the word for me.
g. I need a response by________.
h. __tickets left for _________event.
i. Get yours now.
j. REMINDER: Are your coming to __________?
k. I need your opinion on __________.
l. Must Read Now.
m. Save __%, __days only or limited time! We gave this away for free, do you want yours?
n. We’re hiring! Are you interested?
o. Become my referral agent or I’m looking for referral partners.
p. I just got a new designation.
q. Did you know this about this _______ town?
r: Did you read the news about __________?
s. Appointment Confirmed
When you have an awesome deal, it has to be awesome. Can you write in shorthand as you might when you text someone? Yes, readers are skimmers and you want your message to be opened up immediately. Spread the word for me. Suggest that the reader forward the Email to their contacts. You may, if your business models permits, offer an incentive for referral leads/sales/closings.
When announcing an event, announce at least five to 10 calendar days of before the event. People need time to plan ahead. Then, send the reminder with more information so that your event stays at the top of their list of things to do.
Some agents like placing clients on automatic drip emails campaigns and I find that is okay for some clients; however, I personally like filling my blog with content first and then using my Email campaigns to get people onto my webpage; not just any people who would be considered spam, but people who already know me and who are genuinely interested in my business. Personally, I like to see who’s opening my Email and what they clicked on or what page they visited. Here are a couple of screenshots of Emails that I sent out and what produced a face-to-face appointment or call:
http://njretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ScreenHunter_01-Dec.-06-02.26.gif (note the spelling mistake on my screenshot and well, I’m not perfect, but I got one listing appointment and one buyer call from this email). This Email was sent to 70 people/ I had 25.7% (18) opens, click throughs: 33.3% or (6)
http://njretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/HowMuchHouseCanIBuy.gif (one buyer called through someone with whom I fell out of contact). This Email was sent to 73 buyers: 28.6% (18) opens, click through: 61.1% (11).
You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t have the time to be creative or to write. No Problem. I cheat all the time. By cheating, I mean that I don’t write everything I post. I ask others for permission to use their content or, as Ed Escobar would say, “What’s the definition of creativity: the ability to hide the source.” Yes, I think it’s okay to improve upon someone else’s work as long as you pay it forward and realize that others will do the same with your good content. My moto is quote, link back to or give credit as often as you can. Your main purpose is to get clients to call you and to meet face to face. Email is an easy and efficient way for people to connect with you, but only if you are smart with what you send out, how often and only if you understand which messages are important to your client base. That is why I stress having people in the correct categories.
Written By Audeliz Angie Perez: a full time real estate agent for Weichert, Realtors and Founder of njretoday.com. She can be reached via her website forsalebyangieperez, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or voicemail 973-388-7268.
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