STOP SUCKING AT EMAIL MARKETING

Jun 1, 2017

 

Not that long ago, a prospect would see an aesthetically deficient sign for a real estate project (I think this has improved only incrementally in 30 years, but that’s another blog), decide if they were interested, then bumble over to the sales centre to be greeted with clammy handshake – and the rest was history (hopefully a sale).

Not anymore! These days, the first interaction often takes place via email. Unfortunately, in this industry, the email campaigns we see are pretty terrible across the board.

Because I love real estate porn, I register for almost every project I pass by. If you’ve ever wondered who carlostherascal@gmail.com is in your database, I may be able to point you in the right direction! Mr. Carlos and I recently met for G&T and an oily pile of nicoise olives to commiserate over the absolutely lacklustre use of email in our sector.

A smart, clever introduction to your project is an absolute must. It is the virtual equivalent of a confident, un-clammy handshake that invites prospects to join your team in a feast of what your project has to offer.

Prospects who read at least one email from a delivering brand or organization read more than 40% of the messages that come from that brand. Wrap your head around that. It means we can actually take prospects from passive to active – at which point, it’s up to an omni-channel marketing approach to usher them down the path to purchase (alas, another blog).

Back to me and Mr. Carlos. Frankly, the registration emails in our sector suck. Zero imagination. Nothing to make you want to read the next one, or go to the website, or call the sales team, or visit the sales centre.

If we had our way, email blasts would be loaded with great imagery and clever copy, with the feel of the magazine website that your prospects are most likely to read. Check out GQ, Vanity Fair or Vogue. Register for their email lists, see how good they look, and consider how they must resonate with their audiences.

THREE STEPS TO EMAIL GREATNESS

Let’s imagine that we are tasked with helping you turn your modest email program into an opportunity to build trust, earn respect and score sales. Our approach involves three steps to highlight your product, showcase your brand story, and reinforce the benefits of your project to ultimately drive target audiences back to your website – and into the outstretched palms of your sales team.

Step 1: Approach your campaign as a linear program

Plan to send out 4-8 emails over a given period, with a specific goal or objective for each email. What are you trying to achieve? Your email campaign series could look something like this:

  • Email 1: A quick thank-you and brand introduction. Outline your brand story, company history, and social media profiles.
  • Email 2: Lifestyle alignment. Create target expectations about future email content, showcase product/lifestyle alignment, and highlight project USPs.
  • Email 3: Area/neighborhoodhighlights; establishing social connections.
  • Email 4: Reminder or establishment of any incentives or VIP program.
  • Email 5: Invitation to fill out a customer profile with demographic information to glean more data; set up sales call.
  • Email 6: Sales centre grand opening, register for your appointment.

Step 2: Create magazine-style email blasts that get the job done

Each email blast should look great, provide all the functional mandatories  your campaign needs, and perform a crucial sales task. Be sure to:

  • Include direct navigation so prospects can link back to your website and be instantly aware of how to engage with your sales team.
  • Set email expectations: what is this email specifically trying to achieve from readers (awareness, further qualification, activation, retention, referrals, incentives, etc.)?
  • Position the project clearly. How does your development fit into today’s market?
  • Highlight your USPs as often as possible: why is this THE project for your viewer?
  • Employ strong imagery with magazine-style editorial to capture attention and establish project credentials.
  • Use assets to demonstrate proving points for your USPs.
  • Tell a story with those assets.
  • Include a clear, powerful call to action (CTA) in every email blast.
  • Use updates, cross promotion, offline branding and new information as a clever way to glean more data to improve targeting and relationships.
  • Build and promote your social channels, helping you diversify your delivery across multiple modes.
  • Get as personal as possible, as fast as possible.

Step 3: Design the f**k out of it

Spend a little money and hire a proper designer. Everyone on earth knows good design from crappy design today. We are exposed to great brand collateral all the time, and exceptional creative is more important than ever. It is what sets you apart from the schlock in the customer sales journey.

With our magazine approach to email blasts, they’d look something like this:

Every journey begins with a single step, and building brand loyalty and purchase intent starts with your very first interaction. A smart email blast campaign takes passive prospects and turns them into interested, active potential customers who are ready and willing to engage with your sales team.

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