Many of us in the business of moving real estate asked ourselves the following question: Which of our tools for marketing to customers might be outdated?
Don’t include email marketing on that list. Despite dire predictions by social media pundits several years ago that this oldest form of mass digital communications would die out, more Americans are spending time checking email than ever before. That's partly because it’s one of the main things they do on their cell phones.
Radicati Group research recently found that worldwide revenue for the email market will top $13.6 billion in 2015, and grow to over $38.9 billion by the end of 2019, representing an average annual growth rate of 30 percent. Meanwhile, according to a National Association of Realtors® study, 93 percent of Realtors® prefer to communicate with clients via email.
Clearly, this channel of reaching our customers is more vital than ever, and instead of looking at thinning out our efforts, we need to find ways to bolster it, make it more efficient and make our correspondence more appealing to our customers.
Below are some of the developments occurring with email marketing.
Increased Ways to Personalize Email Marketing
The days of sending the same email to a huge list of subscribers are nearing an end.
Marketers today know they have to find ways to appeal to specific segments, to appeal based on what the audience needs instead of blasting a large audience and hoping for a hit.
This is because consumers are increasingly fed up with blanket emails. The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) 2015 consumer email study found that 63 percent of consumers found that marketing emails contained information or offers that were of no use to them.
Fortunately, today’s email systems are much more sophisticated, with increasingly capable analytics and ways to help professionals with their efforts to personalize.
As the number of emails swells, the most effective pieces will be those that focus the best on their intended audiences. We must move forward into a practice of catering your email to the specific audience that it is intended and creating better calls to action.
Better On-The-Go Email
One of the reasons email marketing is growing instead of going stale is that more and more people rely on their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices to check email.
The DMA’s study reported that half of the consumers use email on the go, which is most frequently by smartphone. Meanwhile, Pew Research said in 2015 that nearly two-thirds of Americans own smartphones.
To be effective in that way requires an email system that goes beyond looking good on a large desktop or laptop screen. You need a system that responds well to the smaller screens of tablets and phones, and the messages in your email must be digestible.
Better Integration With Other Channels
Email is no longer the single appeal from person to person.
It’s part of the whole social marketing scene. It must carry your brand through to the other channels. We need ways to connect our email to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites.
Our capabilities to do so will be much more sophisticated with embedded social media feeds in emails. But even now, social share buttons and links that allow users to easily forward emails to friends and family play a critical role in how useful email campaigns can be. The Nonprofit Hub group reported such links and shares increase click-through rates by 158 percent.
Meanwhile, social media channels play a critical role in adding to the usefulness of email marketing by helping agents and financial partners develop and segment lists. Just as emails can ask recipients to share on social media, postings can give readers an incentive for signing up for email lists.
Better Landing Pages
The goal of all marketing is to get people to act, even if it’s only to give you data on themselves.
Landing pages are places where people sign up for things like newsletters, subscriptions, and the like. They play an increasingly important role in today’s system of integrated channels.
That’s why it’s important for companies to have web pages and email links that are mobile-friendly. According to the 2015 Mobile-Friendly Email and Landing Page Trends, we aren’t there yet. Sixteen percent of mobile-friendly emails bring subscribers to web pages that aren’t mobile-friendly.
Still, sending out an email can be one of the greatest ways to put out a call to action.
The landing page below is a great example of a clean design for home listings. The description of the page is right there, ready to go.
As the amount of email grows exponentially, it gets lost. We need new ways to appeal. Content elements, including videos, animations, and graphics that move are gaining in use as ways to grab attention.
A word of warning, though, make sure that however fancy the graphic might be, it has a direct correlation to your message or you’re likely to get a reader who uses the delete button to avoid another annoying advertisement.
Some experts agree that the dream of truly personalized email is here. However, some companies can't do it. They need a dedicated marketing team to take full advantage of email.
With Total Expert’s robust email marketing tools, you are able to segment your contact list, personalize your communication and deliver automated messages that can be customized with video and graphics. And, naturally, it's all mobile-friendly.