These days, it’s likely that your inbox is bursting at the seams and in need of a serious clean out. Businesses constantly bombard us with emails promoting their latest deals, leaving us more emails than we have time to flip through. What does that mean for the business on the other side of the inbox, sending emails and trying to dodge the delete swipe, or dreaded unsubscribe?
One perk of providing email marketing to the Australian real estate industry is that we have access to the data of approximately 80 million emails sent each year. So we did crunched some numbers to bring you the top email tips you need to know for 2019.
Remember, we recommend looking at your own reporting to make an informed decision based on your audience.
The Importance of Email Marketing
There’s more to email marketing than composing an email, setting a fancy-looking signature and clicking send. Every email should have a purpose. That will determine the type of email you’re going to send, the content in the email, and what to track to reveal your results.
Three key goals for sending emails
- Build and gain brand visibility
- Build relationships by nurturing and engaging subscribers
- Lead Generation, the “gateway to sales”
Each goal has its own metric that provides deeper insights about your database. I know raw data can be hard to digest, so having a software that identifies and sorts it for you is a game changer. You’ll make stronger, more educated marketing decisions when your data is easy to understand. That’s when it becomes your best friend. Remember, data is more than just a bunch of numbers. It reveals everything you need to know to increase your marketing ROI. There are three key metrics that you should be measuring – Open Rate, Click Rate, and Lead Rate.
Three key metrics you need to measure
- Open Rates
Open rates define the percentage of subscribers that viewed your email. This reveals your visibility with your audience, and indicates a level of interest with your contacts. Consider your experience scrolling through your emails. Which ones catch your attention? I bet the majority of emails you open come from a trusted source, like friends and family, or offer something relevant to you. The best way to communicate this is through the subject line. Strong subject lines influence open rates. I know I’ve glazed over thousands of subject lines that didn’t catch my attention, and I avoided the spammy looking ones like it was the plague. If your emails have a low open rate, the first fix is adjusting your subject line. Below are some tips for a great subject line and a few examples of 2018’s best.
An effective subject line will:
- Keep your audience updated – stay front of mind and maintain consistent visibility
eg. “SOLD! $6520000 – $1520000 Over Reserve” and “Tenant out today… URGENT sale required!”
- Offer exclusive content – gain authority where subscribers turn to you for new and exclusive information
eg. “Pre-Market Opportunity – Exclusive to Savoir Faire Owners” and “First Glimpse – 55 Cecily Street Lilyfield”
- Be specific – capture your subscribers’ attention with the details
eg. “Pre-Market Opportunity – Exclusive to Savoir Faire Owners” and “Coastal Living with Spectacular Ocean Views”
Your database’s size affects open rates as well. Generally, smaller databases have higher open rates. Emails sent to databases over 5,000 subscribers can achieve an average open rate around 31%. In comparison, a smaller database of less than 1,000 can reach an average open rate up to 54-67%.
Day of the week and time of sending can influence it also. Although most clients send on Thursday and Friday afternoons, our data shows Monday’s have average open rate of 29.09%, almost double the rate for popular send days. We also found mornings provide 7% higher open rates on average.
If you’re thinking Monday mornings will now be your chosen send day, consider this. Open rates are only one piece of the puzzle. There are other factors to consider when maximising the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Now your emails are being noticed and opened, we’ll look at how to keep your subscribers interested and engaged.
- Click Rates
Click rates indicate your subscribers level of interest with your content. Sending properties is one thing, but providing content that is engaging and relevant is what will set you apart from your competition. This could be industry announcements, relevant lifestyle articles, local news, market tips, and, yes, specific properties. This type of content puts you in a position of authority while building credibility at the same time. You’ll gain trust, loyalty and respect from your clients and subscribers.
If your subscribers click on your content, it’s safe to say it’s of interest to them. But, just like open rates, day and time can influence the likelihood of your audience interacting with your emails. Do you know which days get the best interactions? Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you.
We found Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have 24% more interaction from subscribers. Although most clients would send in the afternoons, we found emails sent in the evenings received a 7% increase in engagement.
Click rates indicate you’ve successfully captured and engaged with your subscribers, a crucial part of building and nurturing relationships. Building strong relationships sets the foundation for winning over buyers and vendors later on. Below are our tips for increasing your engagement (click rate) and the best 2018 real-world examples.
To achieve higher click rates, ensure your content includes:
- Relevant properties
eg. listings that are within subscriber’s area or meet their criteria that link to your website
- Industry insights
eg. how lending changes can affect your purchase, home loan articles and industry reports
- Upcoming events
eg. OFIs, links to events in their area, what’s on locally, new cafes etc
As I mentioned, it’s harder to connect and engage with a larger database due to the natural spread of interests. Smart software like iRealty segments your database into groups depending on what your subscribers are engaging with the most. Therefore you can further segment your data and tweak your content strategy based on these insights. They can also identify the buyers or sellers based on the content they consume. This is valuable information as it reveals your leads and our final metric.
- Lead Rates
More leads = more listings, and more listings = more sales. The ideal situation is to have a steady stream of leads coming in to build a substantial list at the ready. If you’ve found yourself scurrying through old contacts and cold calling them trying to win a listing, you’ll know how ineffective and time-consuming it is.
Luckily you have leads hidden within your database. You just need the right tools to dig through the data, uncover the leads, and qualify them. Email campaigns are a fantastic way to generate a steady stream of leads. This can be done by sending relevant emails to sections of your database, then observing their interactions to identify your leads. Qualifying your leads eliminates taking a stab in the dark and bothering your entire list, most of who may not even be ready to buy or sell.
Our data revealed that the end of the week consistently produced more leads at 29% on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Like click rates, it appears that evenings are the most effective, even though it was the least common time to send campaigns. Emails sent during the evening generated 17% more leads.
To compose an email that generates leads, it should contain the following:
- A specific offer
eg. promotional offers, package/subscription deals or reduced prices encourages your clients to act now. If they click, it shows they are interested in your service giving you an indication to follow up.
- Clear calls-to-action – Always tell your subscriber what you want them to do next by providing a clear action for your subscriber to perform. It can be in the form of a trackable button or a link in your email that takes your subscriber to a landing page to capture their details or your agency’s website
eg. “Book Inspection”, “Buy Now”, “Attend OFI”
- Revealing content – This is content that your subscribers see as relevant and valuable to them, but you use as a tool to reveal where your subscribers are in the market.
eg. If you send a blog article on ‘How to set up your house for sale’ and your reader clicks to read it, we know that they are in the market to sell.
Choosing the best day and time for you
So now you have a deeper understanding of the three key email metrics of Open Rates, Click Rates, and Lead Rates, how do you know which day to choose? When deciding what day is best for you, it’s important to remember that your decision will also depend on what you’re trying to achieve, don’t be afraid to test out different days and compare the results.
Based on our findings, we can recommend:
- If you’re focused on lead generation (lead rates), Wednesday and Saturday evenings appear to be the most effective.
- Wednesdays and Saturdays will avoid the rush of Thursdays and Fridays. Mid-week gives subscribers a chance to plan their weekend and to register for any OFIs. Saturdays also lend more time to go through emails without the distraction of the working week plus the ability to discuss with partners or families if needed.
- If you want to engage your subscribers (click rates), we suggest Tuesday evenings.
- Again, Tuesdays eliminate the need to compete with email traffic that comes through on Thursdays and Fridays. We can also assume that evenings, after work, are a better time for subscribers to engage with their personal emails and to focus on the content.
- If you’re aiming for visibility only (open rates) and are focused on just getting your emails noticed and opened, Monday morning provided the highest open rates.
If you’re trying to find the happy medium and target all three metrics at once, we could say that Thursday and Friday evenings tend to provide the highest results across the board. However, popular days will have larger amounts of email traffic that you’ll be competing with. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and run tests with your own database to see what combination performs best for you.
There’s our round-up of our top email marketing tips for 2019 based on real industry statistics. Remember, with email marketing, it’s critical to track and analyse these key metrics. You’ll make better-informed decisions to ensure your email efforts aren’t going to waste.
- Use a strong subject line to ensure emails are being noticed and to track open rates.
- Increase click rates by including relevant and valuable content to nurtures and engages subscribers.
- Finally, provide revealing content to give you deeper insights into subscriber’s motivations with clear calls-to-actions directing subscribers to achieve a task you require.
By combining all three elements, you’ll transform your email marketing ready in the new year.