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Real Estate Email Marketing: How to Run Email and Text Drip Campaigns

November 06 2017

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The secrets of real estate email marketing may seem cryptic and confusing at first. Why are some agents so successful with their email newsletter campaigns when others struggle to get a single open? Is it the time of day? Is it the quality of their email lists? Is it as complex as the right subject lines or is as audacious as learning graphic design and typography?

Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool when in the hands of the right marketer. In the hand of the wrong person, it can yield undesirable results. In fact, real estate is the no. 1 offender for email spam and list abuse according to a 2017 study by MailChimp!

If you are seeing unexpected results from your real estate email marketing campaigns, or if you want a quick refresher to improve click-thru rates and see better engagement, this is the guide for you.

Email drip marketing is one of the best email marketing strategies readily available at your fingertips. According to a study by Epsilon, email drips see 119 percent greater click-thru rates than individual emails. Better still, drip campaigns aren't limited to emails. You can set up auto-SMS responders which run text drip campaigns to your leads much like email drip campaigns.

Email drip campaigns are great for agents who want to automate their lead nurturing efforts. Nurtured leads are engaged, informed, and properly introduced to your brand, which is great for you. Leads nurtured through email drip campaigns can see 119 percent higher click rates, 50 percent higher conversion rates, and make 47 percent larger purchases!

Building Email Templates

Email drip campaigns are built using individual email templates and scheduled to be sent out at predetermined intervals. The number of emails in a drip campaign will depend on a few factors: What source are these leads from? Are these buyer leads or seller leads? Are the leads familiar with me?

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"Email messaging is the 'tip of the spear' for starting business relationships. The copy you write needs to be sharp yet sincere, showing that you can provide value without inundating them." – David Sneider, Head of Growth at SendBloom.

When building your email templates, remember to start with at least four introductory emails: One for cold leads, one for leads captured from your IDX website, one for leads from all lead gen ad campaigns, and one for networking, referrals, and in-person leads.

Cold lead emails need to perform two tasks: Introduce your leads to your brand and your services. In addition, ensure your leads understand how you came across your lead's contact information. This is the best way to ensure professionalism and build rapport.

Leads captured from your IDX website could include market data and even personalized property information gathered in your CRM unique to each lead. For example, if a lead came to your IDX website, searched for three properties, and then left, you can assign a drip campaign to that lead containing information relevant to their search history.

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Leads captured from your lead generation campaigns can be assigned the same introductory email template, which could include information on your most recent transactions, what unique approach you bring to the table, and even market specific data to help seller leads understand when is the most optimal time to list.

The Economy of Attention: Writing Email Subject Lines

One of the most difficult aspects of real estate email marketing is standing out from the crowd with a catchy subject line. Our leads' inboxes are the ultimate battleground for attention. So how do you compete against other agents and drive opens and clicks?

In truth, there is no one formula that works for everyone. Email subject lines are the perfect mix of science and art. However, the businesses in the examples below have found success using the following tactics and a splash of creativity:

Zillow: "What Can You Afford?"

This subject line works well because it caters to financial uncertainty. It poses a question without immediately answering it, so leads are enticed to open the email and read more.

Groupon: "Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew Steve)"

Humor is universal and the lack of context in this example drives curiosity because the lead is out of the loop on this joke. Use humor sparingly unless it's a core aspect of your brand, however.

Digital Marketer: "[DOWNLOAD] 15-Point Landing Page Audit"

Digital Marketer's example is timeless. It holds true to the age-old marketing lesson: Give value to your leads. The call to action is insight and data and is only a click or two away.

The most played-out subject line tactic is the sleazy sales headline. To be specific, this includes anything that evokes a sense of urgency that is over the top – such as several exclamation points or all capital letters. This is actually a surefire way to bore your audience.

Email Drip Timing and Order

Pay attention to the order of the emails in your drip campaigns. Your first email should address the first question a lead will ask based on the bucket that lead belongs to. The following emails can be scheduled to fire at a specific time. You can also set auto-pause triggers, which will stop the drip sequence for that lead when the lead replies or calls.

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If people aren't engaging with your content, you shouldn't schedule your email drip campaigns to run longer than 2-3 times per month2-3 times per month. On the flip side, be careful not to overdo your drip timing sequences! Too many emails too quickly will lead to high unsubscribe rates and even spam abuse reports from your email client. Read more on tips and best practices for email marketing.

SMS and Text Drip Campaigns

A McKinsey & Company surveyMcKinsey & Company survey found that email marketing is 40 times more effective at converting customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. But what about text drip campaigns?

SMS marketing for real estate agents is a relatively new phenomenon for marketers. Although most of us are familiar with daytime ads pitching "fun facts" and ringtones sent straight to your mobile every day, few real estate marketers have leveraged text drip and single message campaigns.

Unlike email marketing, which is more relaxed and governed by the FTC's CAN-SPAM Act and moderated for you automatically by your email client, text drip campaigns and SMS marketing require two-party consent between you and your lead. Make sure you have permission to text your leads when collecting data!

In addition, make sure to follow the guidelines in place by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which limits the language used in the text copy and even the time of day the text can be sent.

Much like email drip campaigns, text drip campaigns are built using templates and can be scheduled or manually sent to leads.

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To view the original article, visit the Chime Technologies blog.