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6 Unforgivable Real Estate Email Marketing Misconceptions

July 17 2016

ixact email marketing misconceptionsSay it with me now, "Email marketing IS NOT dead! Email marketing IS NOT dead!"

And it's not going anywhere. So buckle your seatbelt because once we debunk these email marketing misconceptions and you learn some new good practices, you'll find new levels of real estate success!

As a Realtor, marketing is important for attracting and nurturing new leads as well as staying top of mind to gain more referrals.  Email marketing is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to accomplish your 'keep in touch' goals! Most real estate professionals understand the beauty of email marketing, yet still fall victim to some misconceptions.  Let's explore the common real estate email marketing misconceptions and show you the indisputable evidence backing email marketing.

Misconception #1: Unsubscribes Mean Email Marketing is Failing

I often hear from Realtors who think, "If people are always unsubscribing from my emails, it must mean email marketing doesn't work for me."

This is where I hold up a massive stop sign and frantically jump up and down to get your attention! Unsubscribes act as a natural list cleanser. When someone unsubscribes, they remove themselves from your list, meaning you'll have cleaner data on open rates. Also, unsubscribes actually help save you time from marketing to unqualified leads. By unsubscribing, your email recipient is communicating to you that they are an unqualified lead who is not interested in buying or selling. Don't be disheartened when people unsubscribe from your messages; be grateful that they are inadvertently cleaning your email marketing list!

Misconception #2: All My Emails Will Be Received Because My Subscribers Opted-in

There are a few reasons why it is unlikely that you will consistently hit 100% of your recipients' inboxes. Let's get technical with "hard" and "soft" bounces:

Hard bounces refer to emails that can't be delivered due to permanent reasons. This could be due to an email address being shut down, or the inability for the email recipient's server to properly accept the email.

Soft bounces refer to emails that can't be delivered due to temporary reasons. The causes include a full inbox or the email file being too large.

If you have a high percentage of hard bounces, you're out of luck. Hopefully the subscribers with the faulty domains will re-subscribe with a valid one once they realize they are not receiving your emails. With soft bounces, you could try to resend the email after a few days have passed.

As a Realtor, these bounces could be the difference between having business four months from now or not. Be sure to watch how your emails perform very closely.

Misconception #3: There's No Point in Emailing Someone Who Has Been Inactive for 6 Months

It's tempting to look at your inactive users and simply want to delete them and give your list a cleanup.

Before pursuing that course of action, think about the nature of the real estate business. Unlike a dentist, your clients don't require your services every few months. They likely only need a Realtor every couple of years. So maybe they haven't been opening your emails, but when they start thinking about moving, they'll click on your email message in their inbox!

These clients aren't necessarily a lost cause. Studies have shown that 20% of inactive users will open your emails after six months of inactivity! Be patient and wait for this audience to rediscover you.

You can always consider ways to pique their interest if they seem to be completely out of touch. This could include sending a personalized email tailored to them or sending a direct mail newsletter, just to remind them you're still there for them.

Misconception #4: Emails Aren't Lead Generators

I'd sure like to have a chat with whoever started this little rumour! The truth is that email subscribers are nearly four times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources (Quicksprout). With the right email marketing platform, your email content can be shareable via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and it is also can be forwarded to any contacts in each of your clients' email databases.

The best part is, the people who receive the shared content are not current subscribers.  If these fresh readers subscribe to you, you have just generated a new batch of leads without lifting a finger! Make sure you have those social media share buttons embedded in your emails to ensure you are capitalizing on this market.

Misconception #5: The Length and Phrasing of the Subject Line Don't Matter

Think your email subject line isn't important? Think again. According to PR NewswirePR Newswire, the most common length of a subject line is seven words.  However, subject lines with the highest open rates have three words, at 21.2 percent. This stands out when compared to the overall subject line average engagement of 17.2 percent and the seven-word subject line engagement rate of 15.8 percent.

What keywords your subject lines should feature is not something I can tell you.  What I can say with vigor is analyze the data. Do split tests (A/B tests) with different keywords and phrases, then evaluate the open rates in your email campaign reporting. Play around with your tone, length, and verbiage and see what reactions you get. Keep in mind that a lot of email providers won't display more than about 50 characters, so if you write long subject lines, they may not get seen.

Misconception #6: Monday and Tuesday Mornings are the Best Times to Send Emails

I know you've seen many infographics and blog posts on how to optimize your email marketing with information like what times of which days will maximize your clicks. I'm afraid it's not that simple. You must start by focusing on your audience and understanding your industry to determine how to get the most clicks or email opens. Choose a segment of your clients (leads, current clients, past clients, etc.) and use split tests to observe how or if your segments react differently to each email. For example, send the exact same email (and subject line) to half of your prospects on Monday at 9:00am, and send the same email to the other half at 3:00pm. The results could be surprising!

Try sending mass emails at different times on different days, then take a look at the open rates and see what you find.  You won't know what day or time is best for your email marketing until you figure it out yourself.  Your clientele is unique, so use your unique findings to develop your marketing strategy.

Your real estate CRM should provide features to allow you to analyze the performance of your emails. IXACT Contact CRM has email campaign reporting features that allow you to track email metrics including open rate, bounce-back rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rates (including CTA), and more! Market effectively. Measure to improve your business.

To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.