There are four major components for creating a successful email campaign and Real Estate Market Data is definitely one strategy brokers and agents should have in their marketing toolbox.
Despite all the innovations we’ve seen, Email Marketing is one aspect of the Internet that has survived over the years starting from the early days of AOL discs and dial-up modems.
You can’t beat the fact that you can send a letter instantly, for free, to a large number of people.
However, there’s a problem. Everybody else in the universe loves this tool too.
Therefore, consumer inboxes are continually jammed with incoming emails. Some they signed up for. Others are sent by nefarious means (spam).
When it comes to email marketing, an agent can’t be lackadaisical. They need to use every advantage they can use to make their email stand out above the clutter.
The basics of successful emails
There are four very important components.
Those components are: Subject Line, Content, Segmentation and Time of Delivery.
Let’s start with Time of Delivery.
The great benefit of email campaigns is measurability. There is a ton of data than can be gleaned every time an email is sent out.
How many people opened the email?
How many people clicked on links on the email?
There is also another data point that experts monitor – best times to send an email.
For example, Monday is not a good time to launch an email campaign for business. People are busy on Mondays.
They are tired after a long weekend. They don’t want to do much or they don’t have time to do much. Therefore, the odds of your email getting read are very low.
Experts say the best standard times are Tuesday to Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
But wait. Some studies conflict with that schedule.
For example, an Experian study discovered that many people like to open their emails late night. Probably quite a few check their email in bed, before they go to sleep. In their study, they found unique open rates averaged 21.7% from 8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. (There were even a decent amount of open rates from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. Go figure. Night owls or insomniacs perhaps.)
What’s also interesting is that if the email is a strong one, the difference in open rates per day is not that different. Everybody says Monday is a bad day for emails. But one study revealed the difference between email open rates on a Monday is about 1% less than the average 19.9% of consumers who open their emails on a Tuesday. Saturday is 2% lower on average, but not super low.
Conversely, the study found Tuesday is not the best day for click through rates with links in an email. Surprisingly, that’s Friday with a 4.9% link click rate on average. (Perhaps because people are less busy and winding down at the end of the week).
Here’s the point. Do some experimenting. Most experts say Saturday and Sundays are not great days for email blasts (and it could be because many people want to send emails when their staff is at work during the week).
But, for people looking for homes and perhaps open houses, maybe those are the best days.
Another beautiful thing about email is that you can send the same email multiple times. Send it on a Wednesday in the morning and again later that night. (Most email platforms have a filter where you can just send the email to people who did not open the first email they received).
Try a Saturday morning. Or a Sunday morning when most Open Houses are held.
A study by Deloitte found 40% of consumers check their emails with 5 minutes of waking up. Before going to sleep, 30% check their emails.
Here’s a key point. According to a study by Experian, 54% of people check their email on their phones. Which begs the question: is your website truly mobile-ready? Do your pages resize and adjust correctly when transformed to a mobile device? Does the site load quickly? (A WordPress Real Estate Themed Website is one way to ensure this. We discussed this previously in earlier blogs).
This is where segmentation comes in. Certain groups, say people actively looking for a home, will naturally have higher email open rates than others. Another group, perhaps people who own waterfront homes for example, will be more likely to open emails if they pertain to waterfront homes. Therefore, it’s important to also tailor your message as specifically as you can to the type of audience you are reaching out to.
Do research for your particular niche, not only the real estate business but also for the markets you are farming – for example, golf course communities or investment properties.
Ask other agents in other towns in similar niches what works for them.
Real estate market data provides subject matter
The next key factor is the Subject line. This is a big one.
A subject line is a like a digital billboard. A person’s eyeball can scan down through a list of email subject lines probably faster than a car doing 80 mph on the highway.
An agent has to present some attention-grabbing phrase in the subject line to make it through the clutter.
This is where real estate market data can be super-valuable.
With real estate market data on your website you have powerful content that home owners love to read.
- Home pricing trends
- Number of homes sold
- Home value estimates (A Home Value Estimator tool is now available to local agents from data aggregators such as Home Junction and gives them the ability to compete for leads with the big mega-real estate portals).
Note: Standard tips say a subject line performs best when it’s a “how to,” a “list” or a “question.” Also, keep the subject line and email text informal. People would rather get a friendly email than a salesy one.
As an agent you want to establish a friendly, consultative-type relationship with a prospect, not one like a used-car salesman.
Promote the fact that you have this valuable real estate market data in your subject line. For example, an agent might say:
“Check out the Top 5 fastest selling neighborhoods in your area”
“How to determine if now is a good time to sell your property”
And the ever popular, “What your home is worth? Get a quick estimate here”
Everybody wants to know estimates of what their home is currently worth.
What a great way to stir up the interest of homeowners and perhaps uncover any who are planning to list their properties in the near future.
Provide a strong incentive to visit your website
Another important part of the email equation is content.
Your email might have a few different goals.
- Brand name recognition
- Lead generation
- Traffic to your website
A strong subject line promoting your content will entice prospects to open your email.
But you want them to take action when they read that email.
It would be great if they called.
Or emailed you back.
Or visited your website (where there is more opportunity for them to learn about you, check out listings, use resources on your website and hopefully call or fill out a lead contact form.)
One way to achieve this is to offer compelling real estate market data as content.
Again, let consumers know:
“If you want to see Property Sales Trends in your neighborhood, click here.”
Or, “For a chart on the latest direction of Home Prices, click here.”
Consumers today are very, very busy.
They are also inundated with email.
When they click open your mail, it’s critical they have a satisfying experience.
Otherwise, they won’t keep opening those emails. And then you might lose them.
Either to another agent or perhaps one of the big real estate mega-portals.
Here’s the way to combat this. Everybody loves data.
And they are going to love the agent who is a reliable source of data for them.
Email is incredible. It’s free. It’s fast. It’s a proven marketing tool.
But don’t take it for granted.
Experiment with sending times. Monitor the open and the click-through rates. Break your target audience into segments.
When you send out those emails, make sure they are packed with real estate facts, not fluff.
Feature the most appealing, helpful content you can create, from the most reliable sources you can find.
Real estate market data from Home Junction is one of those sources. (And Home Junction can also help you with the design of your website to optimize lead generation).