Internet Marketing by real estate agents is often restricted to web based advertising , particularly individual agency websites and placement of property for sale on what seems like an endless supply of property portals.
Many agencies have added email marketing and e-newsletter solutions to improve their overall internet marketing results. Like other internet based marketing options, email marketing and e-newsletters are very cost effective. If done right the results can far exceed that of expensive traditional options.
Hard copy newsletters can cost thousands of dollars to print and deliver yet their effectiveness is often impossible to measure. In contrast email newsletters are extremely cheap and technology allows you to know exactly who opened their copy and exactly what they clicked on.
A recent report by a large email marketing firm MailerMailer (www.mailermailer.com) reveals some handy tips and trends when it comes to emarketing. With thousands of clients across many industry groups MailerMailer are able to analyse the results from over 300 million marketing emails sent over a 6 month period.
The report tracks email messages sent through MailerMailer between July 1 and December 31, 2007. It also includes data from earlier reports to show the following trends:
- Open Rates – Overall open rates took a nosedive compared to the first half of 2007, dropping over 2% – and more than 3% from the same period a year ago. 74% of all opens occur within the first 24 hours.
- Click Rates – Average click-through rates declined ever so slightly, around a quarter of one percent, but remain fairly stable.
- Best Days to Send – Mondays, Tuesdays, and the weekends continue to earn higher open and click rates.
- Subject Lines – Emails with shorter subject lines significantly outperformed emails with longer subject lines.
- Personalization – Emails that used personalization received higher click and open rates.
- Deliverability – Overall bounce rates declined slightly in the first half of 2007.
- Number of Recipients – In general, as in previous years, emails sent to fewer people were opened and clicked on more. A smaller list size does not directly affect
- open and click results. However, mailings to smaller lists may be targeted better, contain more relevant content, or have more recent subscribers.
The average open rates across 21 different industry categories ranged from 5.5% for Medical and 28.84 for banking. Real Estate e-newsletters do quite well with an average open rate of 17.86% however they lead all industry groups with the highest click through rates.
Unlike traditional media, emails are delivered virtually immediately providing that instantaneous flood of new enquiries at the press of the send button. MailerMailer’s report shows that just over 72% of all emails are opened within 24 hours which rises to about 83% at 48 hours.
Another Interesting trend the report identified was that email recipients responded significantly better with shorter subject lines (35 or fewer characters). In fact MailerMailer found that open rates increased by more than 31% and click through rates increased by a massive 60%.
Other factors that significantly increased the open and click through rates were personalisation and increasing the number of links in your email. Emails with personalisation in the subject line and in the message can increase open rates by 23%. Increasing the links for readers to click on from under 5 to more than 20 dramatically increases your click through rate by 110%.
The subject line is the key to successful email marketing. Of course you should remember to avoid using “FREE”, “Special”, “!!!” and “$” in your subject line which will help keep you out of the spam filters.
With the right provider the email marketing of new listings, recent price changes and open homes to all your prospective buyers can take just 5 or 10 minutes work every week. We use iRealty (www.irealty.com.au) which is an email marketing company that specialises in the real estate industry working with offices from all the major real estate groups and independents.
iRealty allows you to send normal e-newsletters just like other providers but where it stands out above most email marketing companies is that it accepts a feed of your properties much like the property portals. This allows you to create weekly property bulletins of your latest listings, open home lists or even all of your listings within minutes.
Using iRealty we are able to maintain open rates over 30% and sometimes approaching 40%. Our web traffic spikes after sending our property bulletin every week and results in more than double our normal daily visitors. Open homes can be run without any traditional advertising at all and still receive a flood of visitors.
If you are not leveraging your existing internet marketing with email you need to consider it, soon.