Often time we see a customer come on board and send one email to one group of recipients about a property that they have listed. Once the campaign completes they gauge the effectiveness based on whether they received a direct response or not. Invariably they get disappointed because they believe the program or email marketing, in general, is not right for them. The problem with this approach is they believe that just because they sent out one, beautiful real estate email flyer, they should automatically get responses but that is not how email marketing or marketing in general works. Sure, there are times when you send out an email flyer, and within a few minutes another agent, who received your message just happens to have a client that is interested. However, that is not the norm. To be a successful real estate email marketer, you have to think in terms of constructing a campaign.
What is a Campaign?
A good email marketing campaign will follow a specific theme and include a series of emails with your target audience. Inboxes are cluttered nowadays, and a message sent once rarely has much of an impact. There is really no magic number when it comes to message frequency for an email to make an impact. Theories range from anywhere between three to twenty touch points, with six being a marketing standard.
Campaigns generally contain a common goal, which can be sent to a group over a given period of time and can include multiple messages and themes to communicate the value of the offer.
From a real estate perspective the goal could be to get people to attend your open house, let fellow agents know about a price reduction, or staying on top of the mind of your past clients so that when they are ready to work with an agent again, they think of you first.
These types of campaigns all require a different approach. For instance, If you were going to market your upcoming open house you would want to send an initial email flyer roughly five days before the date of the open house.
This campaign would outline the details of the property, like price, address, date and time, MLS number and some beautiful property photos to peak some interest. It also allows agents to make time on their calendar so that they can attend. Secondly, it allows them enough time to notify any potential buyers they may have so that they can prepare to participate. Then about three days before the event you send a follow-up campaign to any recipients who engaged with your last campaign, reminding them of the date and asking if they would like any additional information. Finally, the day before the event you send out your first campaign again to the original group giving them one final reminder that your open house is tomorrow. This type of approach gives you the best opportunity to meet your marketing goals for the open house.
So How Much is Too Much?
Determining how many emails to send for a given campaign can be very difficult, especially when some experts suggest you should communicate more often. But, how often is too often? According to the Direct Marketing Association’s National Client Email report, most marketers (35 percent) send two to three emails a month. 9 percent of marketers send six to eight emails a month, and 19 percent send just one email a month.
Another survey conducted by MarketingSherpa stated that 61 percent of recipients prefer getting a promotional email at least once a month. Surprisingly, 15 percent of users say they do not mind getting a promotional email every day. Furthermore, the same study concluded that 91 percent of recipients do not have any issues with receiving promotional emails. However, most experts recommend that such emails should be well targeted for the audience.
These statistics outline the difference between your expectations and the potential results. However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the frequency of your email sending activity.
Based on these numbers, an email a week is a good place to start. However, you need to find your sweet spot for the types of communications you are sending out. But the idea that you just send out one email, once, to one group of prospects and expect a stagnant listing to find a buyer is an unrealistic expectation.
How to Structure Your Email Campaign
The most efficient way to take all these statistics and distill them down into an effective strategy is to keep the following tactics in mind:
- Plan on at least 3-6 touch points with your list before you get a response
- Determine your overall objective for the type of email you are sending. Open house, new listing, brokers open, general property flyer, price reduction, stay in touch, etc.
- Decide who the target audience is. Fellow real estate agents, prospects, past clients, etc.
- Utilize eCampaignPro’s follow-up campaign feature to key in on just the recipients that showed interest in your previous campaign, further increasing, your engagement rate.
- Create segment categories using the eCampaignPro Segment feature to combine engaged recipients across multiple emails into one follow- up segment.
Practical use of these tactics will allow you to be a more effective marketer and achieve better results from your email marketing efforts.