Email Newsletters - Awareness, Loyalty, Leads

November 26, 2008 by John Hart 

Many estate agencies and individual brokers only dabble in publishing newsletters while others view it as a vital tool in the marketing and advertising mix.

Online newsletters can be an extremely cost effective and successful marketing tool which allow you to:

  • Keep your brand in front of the market continuously
  • Create and build relationships with prospective customers
  • Maintain relationships with current and past customers
  • Establish you as an authority in property matters
  • Entrench you and / or your company as part of the local community

Keeping in contact and engaging all your contacts – (including tenants who become purchasers, who become sellers, who become investors who provide referrals and repeat business) - is obviously an important activity.

From a prospective customer point of view, newsletters are a great channel for positioning you and your company as a leader in the market but that does not mean the newsletter should be all about you. The ‘leadership’ position comes from focusing on the needs of customers / prospects and providing information which is for and all about your particular area of expertise.

Effective newsletters provide relevant information to the target market whether they are sellers, buyers or investors. It’s a good idea to have specific links to hosted articles on your site that allow readers to tune into more information that is most relevant to them.

So what should you include in your newsletters:

Market Update
Movement on sale prices
Number of listings on the market
Governmental issues affecting property
Rental properties available

Featured Properties of the Month

Helpful Hints
Things to do when moving house
Preparing your home for sale

Renovation Tips

Quick online surveys about your area (with results to be published in next newsletter)
Survey of confidence in the market
Favourite restaurant in town

Community Notice board
Highlight any sponsorships / community organisations you are associated with
Community Activities

And yes you should beat your own drum a little
Staff Profiles
Recent sales / successes

Building subscribers

You should look at every opportunity to sign people up for the newsletter. Everyone in your area is part of the community and most want to know what is going on – especially when it comes to property.

Take print-outs of your online newsletter to open homes and inspections and offer the opportunity to everyone you meet to sign up to receive it.

Advertise it in your windows, on mail drops and community advertising / promotions.

Make your “free online newsletter” subscription stand-out on the home page or your website.

Put a link or URL to the subscription page on your online listings and in your general advertising.

Sign up request forms for attendees at any of your investor seminars, tenant or landlord information evenings, and any other functions you may be sponsoring.

If you have banner advertising on any portals, you should allocate one of them to highlighting your newsletter.

Lead generation

Ensure you include the ability to “send to a friend” on your newsletter. Referrals are key.

Look at discussing issues around selling your home and provide the opportunity for people to request further information. It may be a printed booklet such as a “Home Sellers Guide” or a Free Valuation.

Keep including the opportunity to link back to different areas on your website.

How to design and send an online newsletter
Many of the back office or CRM systems now have inbuilt tools to help you design and send html emails. If not, there are a myriad of email marketing programs that can assist at all different levels of sophistication. Your web designer should also be able to assist

Helpful Hints

Ensure there are articles or links to articles in each edition that relate to each of your subscriber segments so they will find at least one article of interest.

Avoid jargon or buzz words - make the content as approachable as possible.

Ensure there are some images or graphs to break up the text - the layout needs to be pleasing to the eye and easily scannable.

Keep each article relatively short and concise and perhaps have a summary in the newsletter with a link to the full article.

Quick Idea to generate seller leads

Given that many people look to get rid of unwanted goods in the lead up to selling their property, it might be fruitful to advertise a free “Garage Sale Kit” in your newsletter. It could include signs (with your logo) that sellers can put their address on, Garage Sale Hints brochure, and balloons. Perhaps you could even have a section on your website advertising garage sales coming up each week.

And Finally

Whatever the specific content, your newsletter should accurately reflect your business’ views and position in the community and be professionally presented and marketed. You should also have some way of measuring the results or effectiveness of your newsletter, otherwise, what’s the point?! You should know how many times it is opened, passed on and which articles are read most of all. Over time, these statistics will give you a feel for what sort of content works best for your audience and you will be better able to target your future newsletters.

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