Email is a highly underused and undervalued marketing strategy, not just by estate agents, but by a wide range of industries. And it’s easy to see why. One of the oldest forms of digital communication, once upon a time email newsletters were used purely to advertise services and give company adverts. Needless to say, consumers tired of this pretty quickly.
But email marketing has changed and, when used correctly, is an essential component of your digital marketing strategy. Here’s why.
Your subscribers are ‘warm leads’
People who have signed up for your email newsletter have already made clear that they want to hear from you – otherwise they wouldn’t have signed up. Compare this to direct mail or leaflet dropping, which is generally unsolicited, and the benefits are obvious.
Because people on your list have shown an active interest in your service, they are one step closer to potentially becoming your client. In other words, they are a ‘warm lead’. Email marketing is a great opportunity to communicate directly with your warm leads, delivering your targeted messaging straight into their inbox.
With this in mind, it’s important to remember that your subscribers have signed up to receive something of value in return. This means that what you do send them needs to be done right – but more on that next week.
It’s easy for people to respond
Newsletters target subscribers in a place where they are already in the frame of mind to communicate – their email inbox. Rather than having to find your website, navigating to the contact page and send a message, you are opening a line of communication directly to your audience.
This is why it’s a great idea to include a CTA (call to action) in your emails, like in the example below. All it takes is one click and they are engaging in the conversation.
You own the data on your list
It’s all well and good having thousands of followers on social media, but if Facebook and Instagram disappeared tomorrow, where would that leave you? If you are relying solely on social media for building your contacts, then you run the risk of losing them all.
With email marketing, however, the data on your email belongs to you, and can only be taken away by the contact themselves.
With this in mind, it’s important to treat that data properly. Always make sure that your sign up forms and email list comply with GDPR.
You’re targeting your list where they are spending time
Research suggests that professionals check their email up to 15 times a day. So it makes sense to be there when they are.
That’s not to say you need to overload them with emails – if you send too many, you are likely to be ignored. However, sending emails out on a regular schedule, whether that be weekly or fortnightly, helps to keep your company at the forefront of the recipient’s mind.
You might argue that you get the some outcome by posting on social media, but this is no longer the case. Various updates to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in recent years means that less than 6% of your followers will see what you post. In other words, for every 100 followers you have on Facebook, on average only 5 people or fewer will see your post. Unless of course you pay to boost it, which leads us nicely onto our next point.
There are several free email platforms out there, although these will generally come with restrictions as to how many people can be on your list or the number of emails you can send. However, even the paid plans won’t cost you the earth. Here is a handy article that breaks down the differences between the most popular providers.
When you take into consideration your other marketing costs, email marketing for estate agents is a very inexpensive option – especially when you take our next point into consideration.
It’s got a great ROI
Email may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but it still reigns supreme in terms of reaching and engaging your target audience. In fact, it blows social media out of the water. The return on investment for email marketing is a whopping 42:1 (or 4200%).
This is partly down to just how highly targeted and personalised your emails can be, and partly because of the first two points on this post. Plus, because email marketing is so easy to measure and test, you’ll be able to pin down exactly how effective your emails are and figure out what works for your audience and what doesn’t.
But I just don’t have the time…
With the ever-growing list of marketing techniques that estate agents are told to incorporate into their business, it can become overwhelming trying to squeeze everything in. And with content marketing and social media to consider on top of your usual property marketing (not to mention valuations and viewings!) it’s easy to see how.
But email marketing for estate agents needn’t be too time-consuming. All modern email marketing platforms allow you to schedule your emails in advance to go out on a schedule that suits you. So if you are planning to send out one email a fortnight, all it takes is half a day each month to write and schedule them.
You can also use a template to set up your emails. It takes some time at the beginning, but means that all you have to do is duplicate the template and add fresh content. You needn’t be a design pro to do this either, most platforms will have premade templates that you can simply tweak to suit your brand. These days, however, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing your emails in plain text, skipping out this step entirely – so no excuses!
Plus, once you’ve got into the swing of sending a regular email out to your list, the writing process will become a lot quicker. As with most things, it just takes a little practice.
Ok, I’m sold. So what should estate agents write about in their newsletters?
We’re glad you asked!
Head over to our next blog post, where we’ll tell you how to craft an email newsletter that gets your phone ringing (and how to get people to read it).