This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
Email marketing for real estate professionals includes using auto-responders, email newsletters, and behavior-triggered emails to build trust with leads and stay connected with previous clients. Investing your time, energy, and finances into real estate email marketing ideas will become a necessity for any agent or broker who wants to maintain their relationships and build their business.
As you dig into the best way to tackle email marketing, you need the right platform to manage it. Unfortunately, your emails can get caught in spam or junk folders if you don’t consistently provide value that compels your contacts to engage. With Constant Contact, there are a multitude of email templates and topic ideas to make sure you send interesting emails that don’t get stuck in the spam folder. Try it out with a free 15-day trial.
Follow these seven email marketing strategies to start generating leads and growing your business through email:
1. Send Emails Regularly
With regular emails, you typically write an individual email and send it to the recipient immediately. Real estate email marketing campaigns differ in that it’s much more efficient and effective to plan your emails in advance and establish consistency, but also send emails in bulk quantities to save time.
For example, the majority of successful real estate agents set up a “welcome sequence” that automatically goes out when new leads subscribe to their newsletter or opt in for an incentive like a free home valuation or market report.
A welcome sequence can be any number of emails that are sent in regular intervals that build trust and introduce you to the new contact. It typically consists of more emails than usual sent in a short period of time, like one email per day for four or five days. Having this automated sequence prevents you from needing to scramble to reach out to new contacts at all hours of the day. Plus, welcome emails have an 86% open rate—which is four times as many opens and 10 times as many clicks as other emails.
Beyond your welcome email or sequence, you’ll need to determine what email frequency your audience prefers. Unlike social media, most of your contacts will not want to receive a new email every single day. In fact, research shows that those who send emails once per week receive the highest open and click-through rates.
In order to maintain consistency, plan out an email strategy and schedule emails a few weeks in advance. Another way to efficiently optimize and plan your follow-up strategy is by using action plans from Follow Up Boss, where there are visual outlines of each lead and each email campaign. Follow Up Boss also provides the ability to use SMS marketing and track phone calls and meetings, so no one falls through the cracks.
2. Present a Call to Action
Like all good real estate marketing ideas, your emails should end with a prominent call to action (CTA) that invites readers to take some kind of action. Even when your email’s primary purpose is not to make a sale, it’s an opportunity to engage with each of your contacts. Your CTA can be an offer to schedule a phone call, a meeting, connect on LinkedIn, or a simple question to answer. Whatever your CTA, make sure it’s relevant to your email content and easy for your lead.
For example, this sample email from Zillow provides multiple calls to action for both homeowners and homebuyers. This email targets both people who are getting ready to purchase with “See What You Can Afford” and potential sellers with “What’s That Home Worth?” The formatting of these calls to action makes it extremely easy and appealing for house hunters, homeowners, and potential homebuyers to learn more about specific questions they most likely already have.
3. Ensure Your Email Marketing Campaigns Remain Relevant
Real estate market reports can be very interesting and engaging to your leads who are considering buying or selling their home. However, the same people are likely to delete the same email after they’ve closed on their new forever home. One of the most important elements of a successful email marketing strategy is customizing your emails for each type of reader you have—this is called segmentation.
When you segment your email list, you designate which contacts will receive different types of email campaigns. This allows you to continually create relevant emails for every person on your contact list, including potential buyers, potential sellers, previous buyer clients, previous sellers, and new homeowners.
In addition, you should use various email campaign types to generate real estate leads and nurture existing clientele. The six main types of real estate email marketing campaigns are:
- Drip campaigns: Real estate drip campaigns are automated email sequences that are often triggered by a user’s behavior, like visiting your website, searching your listings, or clicking a blog post link. This is the most common campaign type because it can be implemented over a long period of time. To learn how to create your own drip campaigns, see our article How to Create Successful Real Estate Drip Campaigns (+ Examples).
- Targeted campaigns: Targeted email campaigns are highly specific to a subset of your leads. This helps you send extremely relevant and personalized campaigns that maximize conversions. Send targeted campaigns to leads segmented by location, interest, or even lead generation source.
- Cold campaigns: Unlike the other campaign types, cold emails are sent to people who did not voluntarily join your email list and may not have even heard of you before. This includes sending introductory emails to new buyer leads, FSBO (for sale by owner) leads, or expired listing leads. Be sure to read your state’s spam laws before sending cold emails in order to avoid thousands of dollars in unnecessary fees.
- Open house and event follow-up campaigns: After hosting an open house or real estate event, use the opportunity to further connect with each attendee by sending a follow-up email. You can easily automate these emails, but make sure to write them carefully so recipients feel remembered. Start by using open house follow-up email templates.
- Referral or testimonial request campaigns: Your previous clients are the most likely sources of referrals and repeat business, so don’t forget to keep in touch. Continue communicating with them via email and ask them for a testimonial or new referrals.
- Birthday and anniversary email campaigns: Be sure to add each client’s birthday and real estate anniversaries into your real estate customer relationship manager (CRM) and/or email management platform. Create an event campaign to automatically send an email to each lead on their special day and check in with them. This can help them feel remembered and build your connection.
One of the best tools to implement all of these real estate email marketing campaigns is through Constant Contact. For example, Constant Contact offers an automation feature to help you pull first-sale or birthday dates from your online forms or your customer relationship manager (CRM) along with a predesigned template. Plus, the drag-and-drop email builder makes it easy to create and schedule emails of all types with personalized greetings and special offers for each contact automatically.
4. Educate & Entertain Your Audience
You’ll find that open and engagement rates will be highest when you focus on the needs and interests of your leads instead of your own. That means implementing different types of content at different times. For instance, providing valuable information to your email list shows them your expertise and can help them learn more about buying and selling real estate. To help educate your lead, you could send:
- Market data
- Links to interesting news articles about the local market
- Home improvement tips
- Recent sales information
- New listings
- Open house invites
- Mortgage news and advice
One easy way to educate your audience without sending a long-winded report is to create an infographic highlighting current market data or location perks. Even if you’re not graphically inclined, design platforms like Canva provide infographic templates that make it easy to plug in the information.
Keep in mind that regular newsletters about interest rates and the median price per square foot statistics will get dull pretty quickly. Spice up your newsletter with fun local events, funny real estate memes, or reviews of new local restaurants. While you should maintain professionalism, using humor can be a powerful way to build genuine connections and find common interests.
5. Include Testimonials
Since the primary goal of email marketing is to build your business, it’s important to include testimonials from past clients in your emails from time to time. Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online testimonials as much as recommendations from friends and family, so seeing the positive things that others have to say about you can be the difference between converting a lead and losing them.
One way to easily gather and present testimonials is through Zillow. Since Zillow is the most popular real estate platform, it makes the most sense to gather your testimonials on the platform with the best chance of gathering attention.
You can create an agent profile for free and send it to your clients to leave a testimonial. In addition, as a Zillow Premier agent, your profile and positive testimonials will be displayed on local listings, making it easy to generate leads who are ready to make a real estate transaction.
6. Be Personable
There is no quicker way to end up in someone’s trash than constantly pushing for a sale. No one likes to be thought of as nothing more than a dollar sign. While your emails should include invitations to open houses as well as your listings, they shouldn’t be the primary focus of your email strategy. Keep the focus of your emails on educating, entertaining, and connecting, and your promotional emails will naturally become more successful.
For example, Ryan Serhant seamlessly posts pictures of his family, selfies with his kids, professional presentations, and property tours on all of his marketing channels. As one of the most famous real estate professionals in the industry, his marketing strategy shows that not every email or social media post needs to be extremely long and strategic—sometimes you can just show that you’re a regular person who wants to connect with others.
7. Combine Emails With Additional Marketing Channels
Although real estate email marketing can yield powerful results, it’s never ideal to put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, leveraging email marketing along with other marketing channels will expand your reach and impact. Luckily, email is relatively easily to use alongside a few other marketing channels, such as:
- Real estate text message marketing: SMS marketing is an incredibly effective method of getting your name and message in front of your contacts’ eyes. However, you can only send a small number of characters through text, so it’s a natural complement to email marketing.
- Social media: Similar to email, social media requires consistency for best results. A strong real estate social media marketing strategy can provide plenty of content that is easily repurposed into your weekly email.
- Content marketing: One of the best ways to build your email list is by publishing compelling content on your website. From there, you can offer something appealing to potential leads in exchange for their email address, like a home valuation, real estate meeting, or market report.
Real Estate Email Marketing ‘Don’ts’
Email marketing is an extremely effective marketing channel for thousands of real estate agents and brokers, and it’s relatively simple to start. However, there are a few mistakes that can prevent you from getting the best results:
1. Violating Spam Laws
The Can-Spam Act is a strict collection of laws for advertising and marketing, and violating it can quickly result in tens of thousands of dollars in fees. These spam laws make it extremely clear that you cannot market to email addresses gained without the consent of the recipient.
How to avoid: Never purchase email lists or add contacts to your database if they have not given their written consent. The best way to ensure that you have every contact’s permission to email them is by generating leads directly from your website. With a real estate website builder like Placester, you can take advantage of built-in call to action and free tools like market reports, home valuations, or guides. Try Placester free for 30 days.
2. Send the Same Emails to Your Entire Contact List
As powerful as email marketing can be, you should also remember that your contacts are likely receiving 10 or more business emails every day. If you send out generalized emails that don’t provide any value to your recipients, they will quickly end up in the digital trash bin.
How to avoid: In order to easily organize and segment contacts and create customized campaigns, you need an email marketing platform with more features than what’s included with a personal email account. With a platform like HubSpot, you can easily personalize your content and track the results of each email. They also include filters for your contact lists so you can separate buyers from sellers from investors and so on to make sure your content is reaching the intended audience.
3. Send Irregular Emails
When you receive a new email subscriber, you must be ready to send an email out immediately. Even if you wait a few hours to send an email, it’s possible that your new lead won’t recognize your name or that they already connected with your competition. In the same way, sending sporadic and irregular emails will not be enough for your contacts to remember you. In order for email marketing to be effective, you need to be reaching out consistently and effectively.
How to avoid: Even monthly or bi-weekly newsletters shouldn’t be written right before being sent, but should be planned in advance. By mapping out your email plans, you’ll be able to have a long-term strategy and produce higher-quality email content. Many real estate marketing platforms like Real Geeks help you plan a visual guide of your email campaign in advance. This allows you to not only customize each email for the audience but also zoom out and ensure that every email is sent at the optimal time.
4. Ignore Your Email Marketing Analytics
Writing and sending emails to your audience is only half the battle—you also need to pay attention to the analytics in order to improve and further customize your strategy. At the very least, keep track of your email open rates and click-through rates, and take notes of the content of emails that perform particularly well or particularly poorly.
How to avoid: The best email marketing platforms will help you learn more about the times that your emails are opened and which type of email campaigns perform best. Make sure you are able to use this data to optimize your future strategy by using an email tool like Constant Contact or HubSpot. Both platforms provide extensive insights into your contacts and email performance.
Email Marketing Tools
No matter which type of email marketing campaign you use, there are a number of tools on the market designed to help you manage communication with leads. Prices for these tools can vary depending on the services you’re using and the number of lead contacts you have, but are well worth the expense.
Here are the most commonly used tools used to build contact lists and manage real estate email marketing campaigns and their associated costs:
Agents and brokers with a multi-step sales cycle seeking an easy-to-use visual pipeline
Agents and teams needing a simple but feature-rich CRM and email builder
Individual agents or small teams wanting a free tool for basic email creation capabilities
Growing teams and brokerages wanting to automate email and lead generation efforts
$12.50 per month
$15 per month
$129 per month
Why You Should Use Real Estate Email Marketing & Statistics
Many agents view email marketing as a low priority on their overflowing to-do list. However, marketing statistics show that email is a necessary marketing element with enough power to earn its spot as one of your highest priorities and most important investments.
Here are a few email marketing statistics that prove the importance of email marketing:
- According to Litmus, the return on investment (ROI) of email marketing is 3,600%—meaning it brings in $36 for every dollar spent.
- Email converts 40% higher than social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- The average email open rate in the real estate industry is 25%.
- Marketers who segment their email list and sent customized campaigns see a 760% increase in revenue.
These statistic show that sending emails isn’t a magic key to growing your business, but the right email marketing strategy combined with additional marketing efforts can be. As you become more comfortable creating emails and segmented pipelines, you may also want to put more effort into building your email list. There are both organic and paid methods of generating leads and driving traffic to your email list.
For example, you might use a “contact us” form on your website, offer an e-book on how to increase your home’s value in return for an email address, or sign up for a lead generation platform like BoldLeads. BoldLeads is one of the only sources of exclusive real estate leads in your ZIP code along with proven landing pages and an easy-to-use CRM. Start generating leads with BoldLeads today.
Email is arguably one of the best, most efficient, and most effective real estate marketing strategies because of its ability to increase brand awareness and nurture potential clients. By intentionally creating topic-specific campaigns, you’ll have a greater chance of securing clients and increasing sales and commissions. Given the success of email campaigns, all real estate agents and brokerages should consider it as part of their marketing strategy.