Social media can be a soul crushing experience for a real estate agent. From getting your Facebook posts seen by a whopping 12 people to finding out on Twitter that a past client just bought a house with another agent to getting zero interaction on any of your Pinterest boards. It can be maddening and defeating, but you feel like you must do it to stay current and in front of your clients on a daily basis.
If this sounds familiar and you are sick and tired of it, I dare you to do something different. Something that has been proven for years to work, even in the face of social media’s popularity. I challenge you to put social media on the back burner and focus solely on email marketing. Stop posting, tweeting and pinning. Put all your energy into email marketing and building your email list. Social media may be the popular platform of the day, but email is where the business is taking place, where leads are being converted to clients and deals are happening everyday.
1. Email has More Users
Sure Facebook has surpassed 1.3 billion users and Twitter now has 284 million active users, but did you know that there are nearly 3 times as many email user accounts as both Facebook and Twitter combined? Combined. This shows that even though social media seems to be the hot commodity, people are still actively engaged with their email inboxes. To be successful in real estate marketing you need to go where the people are and in this case the people are in their email inboxes. Show up there consistently and with a powerful message and you are sure to get leads from your email marketing campaigns.
2. More Personal
Email marketing allows you the opportunity to send more personal messages to your database than you can on social media. When posting on social media you are either sending out to the masses or you are personalizing it so much so it won’t apply to some of your followers. Email campaigns allow you to create separate groups and send targeted messages only to those groups. This is much more powerful than sending out a general message to the public and much more effective too.
3. No Tricks
Every social media site seems to have their own algorithm when it comes to deciding what is going to be shown in the personal news feeds on their site. It often seems like we have to trick the system in order to get our posts shown in the news feed. This is frustrating at best! The great thing about email marketing is there are no algorithms! As long as you send spam free email, your email marketing messages will hit your clients’ email inboxes every single time. Doesn’t that sound wonderful after fighting to be seen on Facebook and Twitter?!
4. You Own It
I believe it is important to own your own marketing. This is especially true when it comes to social media. When you do marketing exclusively on social media sites and depend on them for your business, you are building your business on someone else’s platform. To me, that is just scary. Social media sites change the rules all of the time and this can drastically affect your business.
Compare this to email marketing where you own your email list. As long as you have a permission based list, you can email your clients to your heart’s content. The only rules you have to follow are in the CAN-SPAM law. No one can take your list away from you and no one can change the rules. Don’t let another platform be in control of your business. Own your own email list.
5. Track Email Opens & Clicks
There are analytical reports for most social media sites and typically you can see how many people have seen your posts or posts that are the most popular. Email marketing takes this even further. You can split test your subject line and track the results to see which subject line gets opened most frequently. You can see the names of the people that open your emails and what links they click on in your message. You can see who shares your email on social media and who forwards it to their friends. You can really find out who is engaging with your message which will help you craft even better emails going forward. The tracking capabilities with email marketing are amazing and can really help you fine tune your marketing message.
6. Target Marketing
Similar to creating personalized email groups, you can also do more targeted marketing with email. Let’s say you want to target short sale listings. You could create a landing page on your website for that target market with an offer like a free guide or eBook that is customized for short sales. Next you would create an autoresponder series that is automatically emailed to the lead once they give you their email address. An autoresponder is a series of emails based on the topic and is meant to engage your audience. This is highly targeted marketing and if you have a great offer with excellent follow up emails, this can produce a lot of quality leads for you.
7. No Limits
On Twitter you get a maximum of 140 characters for your Tweet which can feel limiting. The characters also include an image if you are attaching one to your Tweet. In email marketing you can include as many characters and images as you would like in your message. Now I am not saying run out there and type a 2,000 word email because no one would read it, but I am saying email is less confining and controlling when it comes to the type of message you can send. You can add more than one message, more than one image and customize it as much as you like. You own your message and can do anything you like to get your point across.
8. Can’t ignore email
Raise your hand if you have more than 50 unread messages in your email inbox? Yes, me too. Every time I see that unread number in my inbox, I know that I must do something with the emails. They can’t just sit there unread. They either have to be opened or deleted; those are the only two options. This is another bonus for email marketing. Your clients will have to do something with your message, they simply can’t ignore it. They have to open it or delete it. On social media it is very easy to just scroll down past all the messages, especially the marketing posts, and ignore the message. Isn’t this even more true when we are reading posts or Tweets on our tablets or phones? Email is an actionable item. You have to do something with it to clear it from the unread items in your email inbox so this means no matter what, your clients will have to take action when it comes to your email message which means your message will get seen and not ignored.
Social media is like going to one big party. Everyone is there, your close friends, college buddies, family you haven’t seen in forever and business associates from around the country. I would venture to guess that you have your “party face” on when you are on social media. You keep your posts light, sometimes funny, sometimes serious or you don’t post much at all because you are shy at the party.
Email marketing is more like meeting an old friend for coffee. You talk, they listen. They ask you a question, you give them a reply back. Email marketing is more personal, more intimate which is helpful when it comes to building relationships. You can let your hair down and be you a little more with email marketing. You don’t have to be so formal or put on a show which can sometimes happen on social media.
10. Less Competition
Your email message is more likely to get seen than a post or Tweet because your clients aren’t being bombarded with hundreds of messages like they are on social media. Social media users aren’t just looking at their newsfeeds either. Add in any groups they are a part of, games, private messaging, retweets, shares and ads and you can start to understand why your message gets buried. There is simply more competition on social media making is difficult for you to be heard.
Now with email marketing, you have a captive audience. You are only competing against other emails in their inbox. If you create a fantastic message with an even better headline the chance that your email gets seen and opened increases dramatically. I don’t know about you, but I would rather compete with the noise in the email inbox than with the noise on social media.
Email is still the most powerful tool when it comes to marketing yourself online. It paves the way for a powerful, personal and direct connection from you to your client that cannot be matched by social media. If you are sick and tired of what social media is not doing for your business then stop. Invest instead in creating a spectacular email marketing campaign and take back control of your online marketing.
What has your experience been like with email marketing? Do you send emails regularly to your past clients or is this something you need to work on? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!