Over a decade ago, as social media platforms like Facebook started to rise in popularity, many marketers forecast that email marketing was going to die out. However, these predictions were wrong. Email is not dead, it's growing.
Maybe because businesses have traditionally used email to communicate digitally and we can’t break the habit. Or maybe because, in the era of instant messaging, we prefer to have a form of communication where a certain delay in response is acceptable. The reasons don’t really matter. Email is here to stay and you need to take advantage.
One of the reasons that email has remained a success story is the fact that it can be integrated to execute automatically within a business’s framework. From a real estate agency’s perspective, setting up the following will save you time and ensure you remain in contact with your users on an ongoing basis:
Property Email Alerts
Whatever platform (eg: Prop Data) your business uses, you should be able to encourage buyers and tenants browsing your website to register their requirements. The system should then notify the user whenever a new property matching their requirements is added to your system. Users love this because they don’t have to keep coming back to look for new stock. You now have a lead even though you may not have had the property they wanted initially.
Whatever your content strategy, you’re going to want to inform users that new content is available. These days, marketing platforms allow you to set this up once and then sit back as future content is populated into your template and automatically sent to subscribers.
PRO MOVE - Segmented mailing lists make for happy subscribers. Gather as much information as necessary (without it becoming a barrier) when a users signs up to receive content. That way you’ll only send them what they want. A tenant in Cape Town, for example, doesn’t want to receive advice on the Johannesburg buyers market.
Once-off emails are still a great way to notify your users about new services, development launches, special offers, events etc. Use them in conjunction with social media to direct users back to your website. These promo emails can be designed in a way that makes them stand out from your regular automated email. One of the advantages of email is that you can track how many users read it and who clicked through for more information or to complete a call-to-action. So, it’s easy to track a campaign’s effectiveness.
Mobile accounted for 46 percent of all opened email (Litmus.com, 2018) - it’s therefore critical that every email you send can respond down and look good on mobile devices.
Email is very tricky to design for. There are dozens of email clients (Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail etc) and they don’t all render email in the same way. For example, you can include a video in Apple Mail, but not in Outlook. The limitations continue when moving from desktop to mobile versions of these applications. Ensure your designers are aware of these issues and are experienced with email.
Keep it simple
Like most design, it’s best to keep it simple. People get a lot of email, so get to the point. Long complicated emails stuffed with content won’t be effective. You want to offer the user an introduction to your content and encourage them to click through to your website (remember, your website is the destination).