Almost without fail, during just about every single consultation that I have with Real Estate Agents, they want to know about email newsletters. Should I send one, how often should I send it, who should I send it to, how do I set it up, and what the heck do I say?
Yes, you should definitely send one out at least once a month. I think twice a month is really good, and weekly is even better. If you choose to send it out only once a month, you run the risk of your reader forgetting who you are. Weekly is great as long as you are providing valuable information and not a lot of fluff.
Who should you send it to? Anyone who has opted in to receive information from you by filling out a form on your website, signing up for email alerts in your IDX or MLS system, or signed in at your open house. You should not send it to anyone who has not asked for more information from you (the PTA members, your kids soccer team, or anyone else with an email address on a roster).
Unless my client is already using a program such as Constant Contact or Aweber, I will always set him or her up with a free Mail Chimp account. I help them import their current subscriber list from wherever they have it – this has been anywhere from Google Contacts, Wise Agent, Top Producer, and even a rolodex and business cards that were physically mailed to me and then put into an Excel Spreadsheet.
Once that is done, we create templates that can be duplicated over and over again each time a newsletter is sent out.
So now that it’s setup properly, what kind of information goes into it? That’s where our editorial calendar comes into play! For each week of the month, we already know ahead of time what type of content is supposed to go out that week, taking the guess work out of it. For instance, let’s say my client sells luxury real estate in the Los Angeles area and has an editorial calendar that looks like this:
- Week One :: Market Update
- Week Two :: Luxury Eye Candy
- Week Three :: Recently Listed or Sold
- Week Four :: Altos Research (graphs, charts, etc.)
- Week Five (bonus) :: Around Town
Our goal here is to provide different types of information to reach different types of people. For example, I’m a very visual person and an emotional buyer at times, so I would respond better to weeks 2, 3, and 5. They are more along the lines of lifestyle marketing, and give you the feel of living in that city or neighborhood.
Other people want the cold, hard, facts and so weeks 1, 3, & 4 will provide the best information to those types of people. While my eyes may glaze over looking at research and numbers, that’s may be exactly what someone else is looking for.
The main thing you want to strive for is consistency. When people already know to expect your email in their inbox each week, you’ll have higher open rates and lower unsubscribe rates.
You’ll also want to make sure to include links back to your own website and social media profiles as well. Use a strong call-to-action to click an interesting link that goes back to your website, read some blog posts, check out your pages, search homes, and eventually make an appointment with you when they are ready to buy or sell.
The first few sentences are a personal note from you. This does not have to be personal ABOUT you, just human. You can mention a place you visited, a conference you attended, or that your dog had puppies. The main idea here is to connect on a more personal level without going over the top with it.
Next is your main piece of content from your editorial calendar. Make sure that this information is also on your blog and is connected to it.
After that, you may want to add a few resources. I usually pick 2 resources or bits of information each month so that it has a chance to be read by all of your subscribers. No need to update these each week. One can be to your home search page, the other to an interesting infographic, or article. Make sure that whatever it is, it adds value to the newsletter. If you can provide added value here, it’s better to just leave it off.
Finally, add in your social profile links and invite your readers to connect with you online. Allow them the opportunity to get to know you, the person, more than you, the Realtor.
Once you’ve done this, determine the best time to send it out for your list, as this is different for everyone. Most of my clients have theirs go out on a Tuesday or a Thursday right around 10 am, but if that doesn’t get a great open rate, we play around with it and make changes.
So there you have it! If you don’t have time for this, or don’t feel it’s the best use of your time (news flash, it’s not!), my team and I would be happy to set this up for you and help you publish your newsletter each week. Just fill out the form below, and we can discuss it. Also, my own newsletter goes out every other Friday and is full of one item that you can put into immediate action to help your business. Sign up for it here.
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