Be Awesome With Email That's Awesome
By Melissa Case of Happy Grasshopper
Here’s the thing.
Email is one of the single most powerful marketing tools we have at our disposal. It might seem “old school” or out of fashion, but email is the stuff. From a true reach perspective, there are few things that are even close to being as effective.
Sending out your marketing materials via email rather than direct mail results in a response rate that’s FIVE TIMES greater (that’s not bad — not even a little) than direct mail. Oftentimes, that response is instantaneous (and isn’t THAT awesome for the Veruca Salts of this world: “I WANT IT NOW!”), allowing us to get on with more and better business.
Direct-mail campaigns can cost boatloads of money (a printed newsletter, for example, could run you thousands of dollars); email marketing comes in at a fraction of that (and can even be done for “free” if you’re doing things yourself).
It has the advantage of automation — it allows you to schedule messages weeks or months in advance (whether we’d recommend THAT is fodder for another post, but it’s certainly possible).
On top of all this, it’s a one-to-one communication tool that is also one to MANY. It’s simple. It’s powerful. It’s effective. Let’s face it: EMAIL IS AWESOME.
Given that, I have to ask, “WHY?”
WHY, if email is this amazing, easy, super-powerful tool that actually works, are so many people using it in the most incomprehensibly ineffective ways possible?
Picture this: You’ve just come home from a long day’s work (or you’re taking a break at lunch … whatever … stick with me) and you take a few minutes to check your personal messages. You open your email inbox and BAM! You’re smacked with umpteen newsletters and sales messages from Heaven only knows who. You emit a full-scale groan, and what’s the first thing you do?
THAT’S RIGHT. You delete just about every last one of them.
Why do you think we all behave this way (and we ALL do it, every last one of us)? It’s because an email newsletter can be spotted at 100 paces. We all know they’re crafted for mass markets and that there’s nothing personal about them. We know, at face value, they’re sales pitches. Period. Unless they’re pitching a service we need right then, the odds are strong that we’ll send those messages right into the circular file (or whatever shape the email “deleted” folder is).
So, what’s the answer?
There isn’t just one. If we’re talking about real estate (and we are) of course there are times when brilliantly crafted email newsletters that give relevant market data, regional information, and promote the mad skills of an agent or brokerage hit the mark. But those times are few. Unless someone is thinking of buying or selling a home at the moment they see your message, it’s going to fall on deaf ears or blind eyes.
Another way to go about it is just to keep in touch with people. Nothing more, nothing less. Sending messages that don’t try to sell, that don’t come with attached pressure, that simply offer a friendly greeting is something every real estate professional — every salesperson, for that matter — should consider. Services that create messages like these are showing open rates well above those reported for drip services. Moreover, these services effect actual responses from message recipients. Imagine that! Actual responses!
So, the answer (or AN answer): The trick is to use these services in partnership. You want to make sure people remember what business you’re in and that you’re awesome, sure. But you also want to make sure they don’t think you’re a pushy so-and-so (if that’s what you’re after, we need to have a separate discussion). That’s where keep-in-touch services come into play. These help you start conversations and build relationships. These are the things that will help you when your customers really ARE ready to buy or sell (or both!)
Email is your friend. Email is powerful. Email is awesome. Use it effectively, and you’ll be awesome right along with it.
Guest poster Melissa Case is a writer and recovering REALTOR who mans the creative communications helm at Happy Grasshopper. Her musings on writing, email, social media and general tomfoolery can be followed on Twitter at @startabuzz & @happyghopper.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.