Real Estate Drip Email Best Practices

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Drip email is standard practice for almost all real estate websites and CRM, Customer Relationship Management, systems that collect email addresses. The question is: Do you use drip email effectively or do your campaigns actually drive away prospects instead of nurturing them to a closing?

Is drip email worthwhile? Here are some email marketing statistics from Hubspot:

  • Research shows that 35-50 percent of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
  • If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them. 
  • Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
  • Lead nurturing emails generate an 8 percent CTR compared to general email sends, which generate just a 3 percent CTR.
  • Companies that nurture leads make 50 percent more sales at a cost 33 percent less than non-nurtured leads.

Notice that word "nurture" or "nurturing." That's the goal of drip email, especially with leads generated from websites. The problem for many who use drip email for real estate is that they aren't nurturing as much as they are annoying their prospects. A lot of time, effort and money goes into getting that lead generation form filled out online.  

You set up a website, write or buy great content, create landing pages, and maybe even do some PPC, Pay Per Click, marketing. Then you place a great call to action and a form to get those suspect visitors to commit and give you their contact information and become prospects.

It's a shame when so many wither away and never get to the closing table because they aren't properly nurtured with drip email.

Plan Better for Effective Drip Email

When you're creating website content, landing pages, online marketing and lead generation, make sure you are also creating the right drip email followup that's relevant to how you attracted the prospect.

 If you create a page for sellers and a call to action to get a free preliminary property valuation, think about the drip email you would follow up with. And, it definitely should NOT be stuff like the right smells in the home for showings!

Before you even set the landing page, call to action, and lead form, have your email campaign specifically tailored to seller listing prospects. You know that they have that interest if they responded to the valuation offer or any other seller specific lead generation form. Have a few emails, not dozens, that address the questions you're asked most often by seller prospects. Each email can answer a question. This nurtures the prospect.

Avoid the Cliche Emails Everybody Sends

Remember that it's likely the prospect you generate from your website is also checking out other websites and even filling out forms or responding to calls to action. The first thing you want to do is to be very different in your emails. The "baking bread" smell showing emails are an example of the kind of canned content campaigns many agents are using. Don't use them. Write your own.

Know Your Market Cycle and Stick to It

In other words, what is the average time from lead generation to the first substantive meeting with the customer/client?

Design your email campaign to start and end within that timeline. You can always put the on-the-fence prospects on a long term nurturing list if they don't become clients during the average timeline. The important thing is to hit them with relevant and useful content during the time that it's likely to have the desired result.

Be Careful With the First Auto-Response Email

That statistic about responding within five minutes is fine, but the generic "thanks for the contact and I'll get back to you shortly" auto-response email isn't what you want to do. Sure, they'll know that you didn't actually get, read and reply to their form submission that quickly, but you can at least begin the differentiation process with the very first email. Something relevant to the call to action is always good. For the seller listing leads you could have that first immediate email start out with something like "Thanks for the form, but I'm in a closing so my phone is off.

As soon as I'm out, you'll be hearing from me."

All of these tips should improve your prospect nurturing, retention and trips to the closing table. And, that optional phone number form field should be there as well. If they know it's optional and give it to you anyway, they're expecting a call. Emails or not, call them.