All real estate investors should have an email list, but it’s not as simple as collecting email addresses and randomly sending out blasts. Effective email marketing requires a well-thought-out strategy.
If your goal is to run effective email marketing campaigns and you’re still building a strategy, the four best practices below are a great place to start.
1. Hire a marketing company
If you’re not a professional marketer, it’s a good idea to hire a marketing agency to manage your email marketing campaign. It’s not a particularly complicated process, but professionals will be more effective at generating and maintaining subscribers.
If you’re working with a property manager, find out whether they also handle marketing. Some property management companies will market your holdings to a certain extent.
For example, the Green Residential property management company in Texas handles several property marketing tasks for their Katy property investors. They don’t provide email marketing services, however.
Create a seamless marketing campaign
Have your email marketing manager work with your property management company to make sure all your marketing gears are moving in the same direction. For instance, you may want to use the same messages and property descriptions to keep things consistent. When you have a strong marketing message, use it in all your campaigns.
2. Focus on capturing and holding subscriber attention
Most people have a short attention span, which limits the amount of time they spend reading email content and dramatically reduces engagement. To run a successful email marketing campaign, you have to find ways to increase connection in an age when sustained attention is all but nonexistent.
Even large corporations struggle with this. According to data collected by Campaign Monitor, 44% of marketers said increasing engagement rates was their biggest challenge.
If you’re collecting subscribers to market homes for sale, you want them to open and read your emails with the intention of consuming your content. You want them to look at the homes you are promoting, and continue opening your emails to check out available properties until they find a property they’d like to buy. That’s your goal.
The best way to get subscribers committed to reading your emails is by capturing and holding their attention through the delivery of useful content. You have to give people a reason to expect value so they’ll open your emails immediately and stick with them.
For example, if your list is full of potential homebuyers, you can capture their attention by sending out helpful tips for buying a home.
Holding someone’s attention is the ultimate form of engagement
When you think of generating engagement from your email subscribers, what comes to mind? Do you think about getting email replies, clicked links, and blog comments? These are all forms of engagement, but there’s a more essential form of engagement you should be aiming for: attention.
Getting clicks, replies, and comments is great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have your subscribers’ attention. People often reply and comment after scanning content without ever having absorbed the meat of the content.
If you want to create a genuine connection with your subscribers, you’ll need to grab their attention, certainly – but not just random engagement. When you truly have someone’s attention, they’ll grasp more of the content.
They’ll open and read more of your emails with intention rather than clicking links and bouncing, or ignoring them altogether.
3. Build a swipe file
Your marketing efforts will be more effective if you work with a swipe file. A swipe file is a collection of marketing materials like ads, emails, and headlines, that can be used as templates for creating new marketing content.
Although it would be easy to do this, don’t plagiarize content from other real estate investors to build your swipe file. Plagiarism is illegal and you can get in trouble for copying someone else’s emails.
However, titles cannot be copyrighted, so you could use someone else’s headlines if you find good ones. However, keep in mind that headlines that contain a trademark are likely to be protected by trademark law.
Swiped.co has an excellent collection of swipe files, although only a few apply to the real estate industry. However, you can browse around for phrasing ideas and amend them for your line of work.
4. Don’t email a cold list
A cold list is a list of contacts you haven’t connected with in a long time, usually several months. If you email a cold list, you’ll lose subscribers and might get reported as a source of spam.
Keep your list warm by connecting on a regular basis. Even if it’s just once a month, keep it consistent.
Email marketing is non-negotiable
Email marketing campaigns can be essential for success in this business. Even if you’re getting results from direct mail, give digital marketing a try. You’ll find that digital marketing is a necessary supplement to nearly every real estate marketing campaign.