Expanding your network and developing meaningful long-term relationships with clients might seem like lofty goals, but what if we told you it’s not only possible, but it’s something you already do every day?

Email is an underrated but POWERFUL tool in your marketing strategy!

The not-so-secret marketing trick that savvy Realtors® like you use to win BIG is a little something called “email.” Yep, even with the dizzying array of social media platforms and increased opportunities for advertising, email still reigns supreme as one of the best marketing tools an agent can have in their toolbox. Why? Because you’re targeting leads directly in their inboxes, cutting through the noise of social media.

Not quite convinced that email marketing is worth your time? Take a look at some mind-boggling statistics:

• By 2021, I billion people around the world will use email (Statista).

• Email results in the highest ROI for marketers — a whopping 122% — 4 times higher than other popular types of marketing such as direct mail and social media (eMarketer). In terms of dollars, Vogel Marketing estimates that email marketing yields a $38 return on investment for every $1 spent.

• Mapp, one of the largest digital marketing technology companies in the world, reports that 60% of consumers make purchasing decisions influenced by email. (For an eye-opening look at consumer patterns and preferences that might provide useful insights for your next campaign, read their comprehensive but easy-to-follow Mapp Consumer Views Survey.)

One of the reasons email continues to shred other forms of marketing is that, when you consistently share ideas and information to prospective and existing clients, you’re essentially making the case over and over again as to why you’re the best agent for the job.  You might think, “I send emails to people every day, and I don’t see these types of results.” Well, let’s look at how a few simple steps can fast-track your email marketing strategies to the next level of success.

Step 1: Select your email service

There are many email services you can use to manage your list and send your content (“content” basically refers to everything that’s in your email). MailChimp is arguably the most popular email service on the market, and with good reason: it’s free for up to 1,000 contacts, and it comes with plenty of design and automation tools. Other options include Constant Contact, Emma, and Campaign Monitor. Sharper Agent is a popular email marketing service among Realtors®, as it was created specifically with agents in mind. Whichever service you choose, it should be easy for you to use and manage.

Step 2: Build your list

An email list allows you to build relationships over time without having to manually email every individual you’ve ever worked with. In fact, as an agent, your list is your most valuable resource.

What’s the best way to start building an email list?

First, consider offering something to “opt into.” People enjoy receiving valuable ideas and information for free, so consider writing a digital (or physical) newsletter. Of course, people will need a way to sign up for the newsletter — or, exchange their contact information for valuable content. This is the function of the “opt-in form.” Where does the opt-in form go? Your website is probably the smartest and easiest place to start. And don’t fret about making one if you’ve never done it before! Most website builders like WordPress or Squarespace offer opt-in forms by default. (Just make sure the form is storing your newly-acquired emails in your email service!)

You’ll want your form to stand out, and you’ll want to make it easy for potential clients to sign up. For any opt-in form or call to action (widely referred to as a “CTA,” where you make your “ask”), the last thing you want is to confuse visitors by what your offer or service is, or frustrate them by having to spend half an hour filling out the form.

Let your potential list members know what they can expect. People are more likely to sign up when they know what they’re getting and how often they’re going to get it. As far as frequency, we recommend a maximum of one email or “send” per week.

Another way to build your list is to post a link to your email signup (this could be another website opt-in form) on your social media profiles. If you want to give people an even more tangible reason to join your email list, try running a fun contest or giveaway for quick and easy email capture. A free download, such as a market overview, is an excellent exchange for an email address.

Regardless of whether you use one strategy or all, your call to action or reason to sign up should always include a “value proposition”: something specific your readers will take away by signing up. Think of answering questions like, how will signing up for your… email/newsletter/[fill in the blank]… improve or bring value to their life or work? Or, what will they be missing out on if they don’t sign up?

Step 3: Sync with your CRM

Recently, we wrote about why a CRM (customer relationship management) service is a MUST for tracking and nurturing your leads. Your email list fits seamlessly into this because you can use your email list as a funnel to your CRM. In other words, when someone signs up for your email newsletter, you can “funnel” or push this information into your CRM, and you’ll be able to track their activity. If you notice that some of your leads are opening most or all of your emails, this indicates that they find value in what you do, and you can focus your efforts on these people.

Email marketing best practices for Realtors®

Optimize for mobile

According to email marketing consultant firm emailmonday, up to 77% of all email is read on mobile devices. With three out of four people reading email on their mobile phone, it’s imperative to create your emails with the mobile experience in mind so you don’t miss out on valuable leads! Most major email services are mobile-responsive already, but it’s good practice to send yourself a test email and view it on mobile before sending it to your list. (And, of course, don’t forget about optimizing your website, too!)

Automate your email funnel

Consistency is key in effective email marketing, and this is where automation comes in handy. Automation allows you to set up functions to take care of the menial busy work for you. For example, you can build an automation that sends someone an introductory welcome email when they opt in on your website. You can also set up different automations for different segments (past clients may receive different content than your new leads, for instance). Automation can seem technical and scary, but most popular email services include these tools as simple features that you can easily integrate. Again, do some testing on your own, and view the email on all types of devices so you can anticipate how it will look in different formats.

Diversify your content

Email marketing is most effective when you can provide real value to your subscribers. As a Realtor®, you have a lot to share with your potential clients: new listings, recently sold properties, market trends, buyer and seller tips and tricks, and more! All this is perfect for sending to your email list. Need more ideas? Hubspot has a list of ready-for-you email templates just for busy agents like you.

As you start planning your email efforts, always consider the value you’re offering to those who have given you their information. Good client-agent relationships are built on trust and mutual respect, and that foundation will keep your dream clients around for the long haul!

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