Your customers get them constantly: e-mails, more e-mails, and even more e-mails that pile up in their inboxes and clog their spam folders. Most people probably can’t delete these e-mails fast enough. But every day there are a select few that catch the eye, that somehow say “open me,” that entice the recipient to read them and respond to their message.
As a property developer or home builder looking to connect with potential buyers, creating these “select” e-mails should be an important part of your marketing strategy. Join us as we examine what sets these e-mails apart from others and discover best practices for crafting e-mails that rise above the fray.
1. You Can Judge an E-mail by its Subject Line
How important is the subject line in an e-mail? Well, think about the last “spam” e-mail you opened. What was it that made it worth your time? Chances are it was something in the subject line. Since the only thing a customer has to judge the value of one e-mail against another is the subject line, yours better be good if you want to up your open rate.
When writing your subject line remember that this is a great place to take advantage of your community’s unique niche. Here’s the first, best place to dig into your audience’s reason for being here: their desire for a new place to call their own, their imaginings of what a new and better lifestyle might be like, and their need to connect the picture in their mind with the property of their dreams. Be sure to use these core wants and needs to convince your potential customers to take that first leap of faith and open your e-mail.
Best practice says 50 to 70 characters are best, but to ensure the entire subject line appears on a mobile device, you’ll want to be even shorter than that. On my personal mobile device, for example, anything above 45 characters will get cut off.
Since everyone loves examples, here are a few real-life e-mail subject lines I received in my own inbox, and how they could have been optimized to better attract their audience:
- “Want to Ascend the Summit at Top Speed?” If I didn’t tell you this subject line came from a bicycle shop, would you even know what they are selling? Doubt it. Can you tell that the point of this e-mail is that they are having a sale? No. And isn’t it super easy to answer “no” to this question and keep on scrolling? Yes. A better choice might have been, “Mountain Bikes on sale! Full speed to the summit!”
- “This only happens once a year: The summer subscription sale starts now!” I get where they are going here: Let’s get people excited about our once-a-year sale. But (as they say in newspapers) they’ve buried the lead. A better choice might be, “Starts NOW! Our summer subscription sale happens once a year!”
2. Have You Tried Emojis?
The smiley face might be the most overused symbol in text messages, but when it comes to e-mails, especially e-mail subject lines, emojis can do no wrong.
According to a report by Experian, 56% percent of brands using emojis in their e-mail subject lines had a higher unique open rate than those not using emojis.”
So, don’t be afraid to stick a cute puppy, rainbow, or little house icon to draw your audience’s attention, but just make sure it feels relevant to the subject of the email. And in case you are wondering, yes, the emoji does count as a character when you are looking at the length of your subject line.
3. Content is Still King
So your awesome subject line (complete with emojis, naturally) was a success and the customer opened the e-mail. Now what? If you’d ever like them to open another e-mail from you, you need to provide some sort of value for their click. In other words, the content inside better be relevant to the subject line and it better give them a reason to stick with you next time. For example, if you promised “5 Best Practice Strategies for E-mails Targeting Home Buyers,” that e-mail better deliver on that promise.
Luckily, real estate marketing lends itself to a wealth of content subjects and ideas. Be creative in presenting what is unique and interesting about your product, but remember that an e-mail is generally just one subject and one call to action, with an optimal word count of 50 to 125 words according to Boomerang. If you want to provide your audience with more information or resources than this, you should move to a newsletter format.
4. Everyone Loves to be “Exclusive”
Whether you call it a “VIP Offer,” a “Members Only Event,” or “Club”, giving your best or most likely customers exclusive content or perks is a proven way to get them to open your e-mails and become more invested in your brand. Some property developers have hosted on-site parties that show off the community to its fullest. Others have offered “insider” deals, and others supply their VIPs with exclusive content. The key in your initial e-mail is to make the customer feel as though they matter to you personally, so tout the exclusiveness of the content to the fullest and then deliver on what you promise.
5. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Do you have gasp-worthy photos of the property, amenities, homes, and homesites available in your community? Of course you do. So, include them in your e-mails. Let your audience get a glimpse of the beauty waiting for them when visiting your site. Images of people enjoying active lifestyle activities like hiking, biking, and swimming will also keep your reader glued to your e-mail. Giving your customer this taste of the lifestyle awaiting them will ultimately lead to them clicking through to your full website and moving to the next level of the funnel.
When adding images to your e-mails, follow the 80/20 rule, which is 80% text and 20% images for each e-mail and make sure you optimize the photos to load quickly and easily. There’s no better way to lose someone’s interest than a blank space where an image should be.
Each of the suggestions above will incrementally boost your open and click-through rate, but when taken together you should find a significant change in engagement with your customers that will translate into more tours and more sales.
For even more best practices that will boost your open rate (yes, there are more, LOTS more), contact Karen Strong at Karen@ImmersionActive.com or 240-651-4204.
At Immersion Active, we are the digital agency for property development and we offer each client a custom solution designed to fit your community’s unique needs.