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Don't Alienate Leads with the Wrong Drip at the Wrong Time

June 11 2018

As a real estate consulting firm, WAV Group constantly tests the effectiveness of business tools used by agents and brokers. Recently, I received a drip marketing piece from an agent that prompted me to UNSUBSCRIBE.

Drip marketing is designed to stay in touch with your clients, so they don't forget you when it comes time to transact again. It is automated and designed to touch base in a way that feels sincere and genuine.

Great drip marketing systems use tags or groups to put people into a pile to receive the appropriate communications. In this case, I registered to this agent's website at some time in the past. They transferred my contact information over to their drip marketing campaign. Then the agent sent me something that came out of left field:

vl wrong drip wrong time

On the surface, I do not have any problem with the communication. It is decent. The flaw is that I don't remember when I registered to this agent's website. This is the first drip email that I have ever gotten. Because the connection was not created when I registered long ago, I forgot about the agent. A better tactic would be:

  1. Add a name tag so the email's greeting says, Hi {insert first name}.
  2. Intro message: "I don't think that we have met in person, but you registered to my website and I just want to follow up with you to check in. Did you ever end up buying or selling?"
  3. Call to action: "I have access to some really great market reports that tell you what is happening in the housing market around your home, and will even give you an estimate of your home's value. I can send those to you monthly or quarterly if you like. Just reply with your current home address in case the address I have on file is inaccurate."

Do you see the difference?

Marketing should not feel like marketing, especially person-to-person marketing. Your database of customers is your most valuable asset in real estate. You can start drip marketing with a big database and blow it up with a small misstep like this one. I have no idea how many people in the agent's data base opted out as a result of this email blast. Many email systems will freeze your account if you have a significant percentage of people on your list that either mark your email as spam, bounce, or opt-outs.

My guess is that this agent had a significant amount of bounces, opt-outs and spam complaints because consumers do not like email marketing. They do like hearing from real estate agents, however, as long as the communication is on target.

If you are just starting with email marketing and marketing automation, be careful. Don't dump in your whole database and hit Go.

Review your database completely and put customers in the right bucket. If you do not recognize their name, chances are that they will not recognize you. You may even want to reach out to these people piecemeal to get to know them. It is a warmer prospect than a door knock. Just be careful.

Make sure that the people that you know do not get something that feels like you do not know them. For example, if I just purchased a home from this agent, this email would see way out of context.

Remember, marketing automation exists to take something that is a manual process and make it easier, faster, and cheaper. The easiest way to tune the message is to ask yourself, would this person want to receive this email from me if I hand wrote it?

Hope this helps.