Your email list isn’t your most crucial prospecting tool, but it can be if you use it the right way.
Emailing real estate prospects has distinct advantages over cold-calling that you may not realize.
Sales experts in general say it’s better to reach out with an email first. Why is that?
- Emailing allows homeowners to respond whenever they feel compelled to do so — on their own time, not yours.
- You can use an email as a reason to call. When you reach out, ask them if they got the email you sent and use it as a talking point.
- The email will let you prove your expertise (if done correctly) to the reader, without the potential of being interrupted, or worse, hung up on.
Don’t worry. If you don’t have a solid email list of real leads, it's not that hard to build out. Once you have that, it’s up to you to keep them engaged. 91% of people check their emails daily. Your emails have a better chance of being opened and answered the same day you send them.
Email marketing has higher conversion rates than social media marketing or search engine marketing.
There are plenty of ways to build your email list and fill it with contacts who are interested in selling or buying soon. Let's go over some of those ways.
Host a Facebook giveaway in exchange for contact information.
If this is done correctly, it can pay for itself multiple times over. If you come up with a good enough idea, people will readily engage with your content.
Gift cards, gift baskets, and tickets to anything are just some ideas to give away. You just need to provide something of value. You can run an ad to targeted homeowners online to get entries from people outside your social media friend list.
Trade content for email addresses.
This content needs to be longer or different than anything free you offer. It also needs to be relevant to real estate, so the people who reach out are more than just cold leads.
Here are some content ideas:
- Move-in checklists
- Move-out checklists
- Relocation guides
- Neighborhood guides
- Local event guides
- Staging tips
- Books or Ebooks on buying or selling (this is a great opportunity to promote your MyBooks!)
Targeted ads can get the word out, but a squeeze page is the best way to collect leads in this case.
The goal of a squeeze page is simply to get people to enter their email addresses. This page needs to have a few standard components. You can usually put them together from your email contact service (such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.), and the emails they collect will be funneled into a new email list.
Your page has to have a clear headline that shows visitors who you are and what you're offering. A subscription or opt-in form and a video or image that enforces your message are also necessary.
When someone opts in, a welcome email should be triggered. You set this up through your email platform.
Segment your email list to get the most out of it.
This is one of the most critical steps to having a successful email list. You wouldn’t send market updates for certain areas to someone who just bought a home. This is the fastest way to lose your email subscribers.
Start by segmenting your past clients. You want to reach out to them with separate messages to stay in touch for referrals.
Then, segment leads by their interest in selling their homes. Make a separate list for hot leads, warm leads, and cold leads. You can send the same newsletters to them, but just tweaking a few words makes a world of difference.
If you want to go even further, you can make lists for expireds, FSBOs and vacant homeowners.
Once you have an effective list, use the best subject lines to continually reach them.
This is the other crucial part of your email success. People receive dozens and dozens of emails a day. Your subject lines need to grab their attention but can't be too complicated.
Keeping it simple and only mentioning one thing is the first step. Some examples include: New home listed downtown, This month's events in town, These houses have gone up in value! — get the job done and keep it simple.
Imply urgency: This home won’t sit long! Now is the best time to sell!
Really, it comes down to the content of your email and how you make it appeal to your specific list.
Blind subject lines are effective, as well: Don’t think about selling until you know this. They are urgent and work well.
Give the viewer a reason to feel special. Something like: Private home tour, A gift for my best clients, or Don’t miss this exclusive offer!
Make sure your emails stay out of the spam folder.
Eighteen percent of agents face this problem. There are steps to take to avoid it. The first is to include your office’s physical address on the bottom of each email. This shows readers you are legitimate.
Fortunately, your mass email service can handle a lot of this for you. They’ll include an unsubscribe button. However, if you have extremely low open rates, you may get marked as spam.
You should use your work email, since emails that come from @gmail or @yahoo are much more likely to be marked as spam.
Remove inactive emails from your lists.
This is the main reason agents get marked as spam: If a large chunk of your contacts' addresses are unreachable, you'll be put in the spam folder of active email addresses.
When you get a bounceback email, or your email platform says an email is inactive, delete it from your list.
When you get responses, reach out to meet those leads in person.
Closing these leads is much easier than closing someone that has no interest in you. Ask leads that seem interested if they want to meet to learn more about the market or even just what you can offer them.
If they open the majority of the emails you send them, chances are, they’ll say yes. Here are a few examples of the types of emails that will build a relationship between you and your leads.
- Weekly newsletters about the market and local events
- New content on your website
- Those same contest or Q and A’s that you use to get leads
- Market watch alerts for certain areas
- Monthly round-up of top sold properties
- Holiday and seasonal greetings
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!