Written by Ethan Beute.
It’s become fashionable to declare the death of email. People do it every year. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg famously did so more than 5 years ago—and yet Facebook, along with every other social network, still relies on email. They require an email address to sign up, and they send you emails to engage you and bring you back to the network itself. Yes, your inbox is full. Yes, people send lots of spam. Yes, email still matters. After more than a dozen years, the inbox remains one of your most powerful channels for connecting with, converting, and staying in touch with people in your real estate business. Keep reading to learn more. Plus, check out my free webinar: 6 Reasons Your Email Marketing Sucks & How to Fix It.
Per the Direct Marketing Association, email remains the top direct marketing channel for return on investment. And it continues to be the top daily digital activity across generations, even as email gets more and more mobile. Like any tool, though, email must be used well to produce results.
Move beyond Gmail and Outlook
A step in the right direction is stepping out of exclusive use of your transaction email system. Relying on Gmail, Outlook, or Apple Mail alone won’t give you what you need. Nor will relying on completely automated emails and drips shooting out of your CRM, lead system, or other service to which you subscribe.
The answer, of course, is somewhere in between—with an email tool like BombBomb, MailChimp, Constant Contact, or similar. Some of the benefits to working from a more complete email marketing platform are:
- List management for targeted and respectful sending
- Tracking and analytics for smarter follow up
- HTML email designs for consistency with your look and branding
- Lead capture forms for list building and value delivery
For years, entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and others have been moving toward these inexpensive email tools. You need not be a “techie” or have one on staff to get value from them. And they work with your transactional email. BombBomb doesn’t replace Gmail, Outlook, or any other day-to-day inbox you’re using. It enhances it. Emails sent from BombBomb come from your name and from your email address—replies go to your transactional email inbox.
But you have far better insight on email opens, link clicks, and video plays. You’ll know about them live, in real time, as they happen. And as you send emails to your real estate prospects, clients, past clients, and agent network over time, you’ll see who’s most engaged over time.
Two top ways email marketing falls short
Like any marketing channel, email is best when you’re sending the right person the right message at the right time. There’s an ART to it; email’s best when it’s Anticipated, Relevant, and Timely. That’s nice as a philosophy, but let’s get practical. We work with more than 10,000 real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada—and in dozens of other countries around the world. Here are two ways we see real estate emails falling short.
Note: it’s not just real estate. Our inboxes are full of messages that miss these marks.
1. It’s not sincere
The easiest thing to do is to send a selfish email—one based in our own business needs and interests. But every single email we send trains our recipients whether to open or to delete our next email. As a consequence, we must base our emails in our recipients’ needs and interests. Here’s a three-part framework to help. Each email should have:
- Empathy: Show them that you understand and relate to their feelings; meet people where they are; let them know it’s about them (not you).
- Value: Serve up your knowledge and expertise, make your USP tangible.
- Call To Action: Make clear their path forward from the email, offer the next step strongly and clearly.
Click here to receive a 1-page guide to this framework.
No, it’s not easy to deliver on these every single time. But if you can start thinking and acting from this framework, your emails will be more effective—as will your communication in general. Starting in empathy puts you in a great place to send messages with sincerity—emails that will train people to open again in the future.
2. It’s not differentiated
Your email looks like his email looks like her email. Plain black text on a plain white background. Even many of our email signatures look the same. Unless you’re an amazing writer, your actual message doesn’t much differentiate you either. And if you’re an awful writer, it may hurt you. So much of the digital communication on which we rely these days takes the messenger out of the message. It takes you out of your element. It removes your best sales asset…YOU!
Simple video in email can restore that. And you already own everything you need—a webcam, smartphone, or tablet. You’re better face to face. When you get face to face through the inbox, prospects will feel like they know you before they even meet you. Current and past clients will feel more connected to you.
Real estate professionals report more replies, higher conversion, better ability to stay in touch, and more referrals by communicating in this way. You are your own best differentiator.
Video doesn’t belong in every email, but you’ve got spots throughout your day to make a better connection and bigger impact with video. In many cases, you’ll even save yourself some time—how much easier is it to explain something by talking than by typing it all out?
Six reasons your email marketing sucks…and how to fix it
Don’t worry. My email sucks sometimes, too. All any of us can do is send a better email. Learn more about the two weaknesses above, as well as four more when you watch my free webinar, 6 Reasons Your Email Marketing Sucks & How to Fix It:
- It’s not sincere (what’s in it for them?)
- It’s not clear (“The One Thing”)
- It’s not targeted (don’t cry wolf!)
- It’s not hygienic (managing lists, avoiding spam)
- It’s not tracked (follow up more efficiently & effectively)
- It’s not differentiated (looks like everyone else’s)
Want to give video in email a try?
Click here to try BombBomb free for 2 weeks. No credit card info required. Unlimited email and video email sending to up to 50 people. No technical skills or special equipment needed. Get face to face with more people more often!
Ethan Beute has a background in and passion for brand, strategy, and content. To help people communicate more effectively with simple videos, he produces blog posts, videos, newsletters, webinars, social posts, stage presentations, and more. Prior to joining BombBomb, he directed the marketing efforts for local broadcast television stations and websites in Chicago IL, Grand Rapids MI, and Colorado Springs CO. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. A happy husband and father, Ethan’s a big fan of fresh air, clean water, and warm sunshine.
Interested in learning more? Browse real estate continuing education courses at McKissock.com. Plus, check out McKissock’s Pro-Series courses, designed to help you take your real estate career to the next level.