If you speak to any real estate agent, they will tell you how important social media is. They will most likely have a Facebook page, be active on twitter, instagram their photos of their listings and do a million and one other social activities. However, a lot of this comes at the expense of traditional marketing tactics, especially email marketing. There are 10 reasons email marketing is more important to a real estate agent than social media, and here they are:
1. More people use email.
Facebook is used by 1.3 billion people, and if you add in how many people use twitter it nears 1.5 billion people. However, email has three times as many users of Facebook and twitter combined. What this means is that the person you most likely want to connect with WILL be on email, they aren't guaranteed to be on social media however.
2. Email is personal, social is not.
Social implies exactly that, it is social. To be social you need to cater to a large audience, however, in doing so, you run the risk of alienating certain users. It's very hard to market a chic two bedroom apartment to all of the people that you are connected to on Facebook. With email however, you can segment the lists and send customised messages to them. Increasing personalisation is more important than anything and will increase your effectiveness.
3. Email is a true form of marketing.
Ever heard of EDGE Rank? EDGE Rank is what Facebook decides people should see. You, have no say over what users will see on their news feed, you just have to hope Facebook includes it. With no definite explanation of what the formula is, it is incredibly hard to ensure your content gets read. With email, you can A/B Split your content and purely measure open rates on the different content you provide. This provides better insight and a better way to amend your content.
4. A mail client is more trustworthy than a social platform.
Social platforms change their rules of engagement all the time, and one day can decide you did something they perceived to be 'negligible' and shut you down. This can put you at the mercy of social platforms. With emailing, whilst you can be shut down by a provider (such as gmail etc) you can still take what you OWN, in your email list, and start again with another provider. You don't run the risk of losing your valuable content over night.
5. Social is intangible, email is not.
The biggest issue with social media is the ROI. To this day, it is still incredibly hard to measure the ROI on social and look at it anything other than a branding exercise. With email, your call to actions are easily measured by clicks on the analytics of your email service. You can measure how many people clicked links, and how many people turned in to customers. This provides better insight in to what truly converts customers and what is a waste of time. Social can't provide as much insight as generally it is just about getting the brand out there.
6. Email provides staggered and focused follow ups.
Email trumps social on the direct nature of how it can repeatedly engage your prospect. If you have a group of first home buyers, you can drip-feed them a campaign over a certain period and convert them to take an interest in one of your listings. You can start this by sending targeted emails about why certain properties should appeal to them, and subsequently follow up with appropriate listings and why they are right for them. This will be highly targeted and convert more consumers to pick up the phone.
7. You can be more creative with email.
With social platforms, you are generally allowed a very limited framework when it comes to designing your message. Most social platforms mean you can put up EITHER one photo, one statement worth 140 characters or a post on Facebook that gets drowned by competing content. With an email, you are able to have the creativity to redesign what the consumer sees and put in different amounts of information. This can lead to a highly targeted and direct approach.
8. Emails stay noticed until acted upon.
People hate having full inboxes. People also want to feel like they are getting things done, and to do so most people will clear their inbox. By clearing their inbox, they will systematically read the subject line to decide if it is worth opening. Writing a good subject line is another topic all together, (you can read 14 subject lines we recommend you use here) but it at least puts you in with a chance to get thought about.
9. People like personal messages. And will read them.
You tell me the last time you ignored that red icon on your Facebook page, telling you that you had a private message? Chances are you opened it within minutes. The same theory holds for emails. If people are directly targeted and it goes in to their inbox, they are more inclined to open it, due to the personal nature of the content. Social media is not special, users don't feel they got anything that someone missed out on, and that is what email provides. The opportunity to appeal to users that they are getting something unique and thoughtful.
10. You get one up on the competitors.
Social is where everyone is competing. And if you want the same results as everyone else, do what everyone else does. Email provides a personal and detailed message to clients that can never be received by social. The nature of social is that it has to appeal to everyone, and sending private messages will always defeat that as a way to stand out in consumers minds.
So what are you waiting for! Start writing crafty emails now, and ensure that it is a large part of your marketing strategy. (Please note, we by no way encourage people to abandon social media, it provides huge value, and we think it is awesome. Just in moderation!)
Further email articles:
About the Author:
Todd Schulberg handles all things marketing for Homely.com.au - Living and breathing property, Todd has a keen interest in the movements in the market and how agents can utilise new tools and technology in order to be more connected. Using all things social, Todd suggests different ways that agents can engage and think outside the square with their marketing approach.