Friday, October 13, 2006

Driving customer to choose you… with email

I have always been a fan of using drip email marketing to drive clients to REALTOR’s® websites. It is arguably to most cost effective direct marketing tool that many agents have available. There are however, a number of things to keep in mind to make sure that your email communications are welcoming customers toward you and not driving them away. If you are just sending out updates and data you may not be getting the results that you are looking for and may even be hindering the sales process. In contrast, a carefully crafted email message with the proper call to action can have great results. With that in mind, I want you to answer the following questions about your own drip email campaign:

1) Does the piece offer specific value to the client? Many email newsletters just contain general information about topics ranging from local housing markets to new recipes. The data may be interesting, but is there any component of it that a prospective client would really look forward to receiving. Newsletters that include specific reports, guidelines and lessons that help home buyer’s make better informed decisions tend to be much more welcome than those that contain generic data.

2) Does the piece communicate your specific value proposition? The drip email piece is a marketing tool for you. This is one of the few tools that you can use to truly communicate how you can add value to your prospective client’s life. First and foremost the piece should communicate why your client should choose you over all other real estate agents.

3) Does your direct mail reference the positive experiences of other, or even include testimonials? The web is an anonymous place and distrust is understandably inherent in the medium. Help you clients understand the benefits that you offer and use testimonials to help manage their expectations of how beneficial working with you will be.

4) Do you have a call to action and does your piece set up the expectation for future communication? Every direct marketing piece that you send should have an explicit invitation for the client to contact you immediately and directly. The “call us now; operators are standing by” approach is often the tipping point that is needed to get a response from your target client. In addition, if you are presenting valuable information, a great approach is to hold a little back with the promise of divulging it in the next communication. The “cliff hanger” approach serves to create additional brand awareness with your target homeowners or buyers and helps to ensure that your next communication is accepted and opened.

5) Does the data in your drip email message move your client further into your prospecting engine and further down your sales pipeline? Your communications should serve to educate your prospects about the value that only you can offer in the home buying/selling process. Each message should be crafted to help your prospect understand the value that you present and their need for your services.

As I mentioned above, drip email marketing can be a great tool to help you and your fellow agents attract more clients and maintain a continual presence with current and past clients. We use drip email as and integral part of our 4MySales prospecting engine and continually enjoy phenomenal results.

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