March 15, 2022
Best Email Marketing Practices for Home Builders
When home builders need to move leads down the sales funnel, there’s no better tool than email marketing. Studies show that over 100 billion emails are sent and received per day. Email still remains the predominant form of business communication and it’s an effective way to communicate with homebuyers.
Email is a highly valuable channel that delivers exceptional returns. Every home builder email sent out provides an opportunity to nurture prospective buyers further down the sales funnel and produce a successful sale.
We hear from clients that email marketing is dead, no one opens email messages and it’s perceived as an outdated marketing tactic. But that’s only true if home builder marketers fail to employ the best practices for success.
The best real estate marketers understand and incorporate strong email strategies as an integral part of their campaigns. From expanding brand reach to educating homebuyers, strengthening customer relationships and promoting your brand offerings, email marketing offers an invaluable tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Email is direct, capable of personalization and cheaper than most other commonly used real estate marketing tactics. It’s critical for homebuilding marketers to understand the importance of utilizing best practices to harness the power of a successful real estate email marketing strategy. Let’s explore why home builders should utilize email marketing, tips for sending appealing content and the top essential emails that engage buyers.
Why Do Home Builders Need Email Marketing?
Email marketing is an incredibly valuable strategy, especially for home builders trying to effectively engage prospects. This powerful digital marketing tactic provides unique flexibility to deliver content tailored to diverse buyer segments throughout the sales funnel. It offers an easy opportunity to directly reach your prospective buyers with news of available homes, new communities, model homes, promotions and more. Not only do emails serve as a way to keep leads updated with relevant information, but it also delivers a chance to strengthen buyer relationships with personalized content. Take a look below at the main functions of email marketing that make it a must-have home builder digital marketing strategy!
Nurturing leads is a critical step toward achieving strong sales, and email marketing is a powerful tool that helps home builders push buyers to conversion – sounds like a perfect fit! Along with conducting their own research, buyers want to be provided as much relevant information as possible to increase their confidence in purchasing their new home with a particular builder. Emails deliver a seamless way to initiate engagements with potential buyers until they decide to commit to purchasing.
Can be Automated
Automation is a huge benefit of email marketing that cuts down on the amount of effort required to send out content. With marketing automation tools, follow-up emails can be automatically sent depending on the actions each recipient takes after engaging with the email. Data shows that automated emails produce 320% more revenue than manual emails.
The beauty of email marketing is that it’s a highly flexible strategy that can be tailored for diverse purposes. Email marketing can be used to conveniently cater to several buyer stages and various target audience segments with relevant, appealing content. This adaptability allows you to meet buyers wherever they are and deliver well-targeted material that increases the likelihood of responses.
Not only does email provide you with opportunity to send various sales messages, but it also allows your business another channel to share news. Spread the word about new offerings, communities, events, model homes and more by sending email blasts instantly to your entire mailing list.
Email Marketing Basics
First line and subject line connection
Aim for brevity and action-oriented words in the subject line, but don’t let that dissuade you from being descriptive. Tease your email content without being too corny (e.g. “You won’t believe this!”) or too general (e.g. “February Newsletter”), then deliver on that tease and do it quickly.
Home builder and master-planned community marketers should carry a sense of urgency into their email campaigns. Always remember that you have a limited amount of time to communicate value before the reader sends the email to the trash.
When to send
Email real estate marketing is similar to door-knocking. If you arrive at the wrong time with the wrong message, you’ll probably be turned away – if the door is even opened to you.
Here are some basic guidelines for delivery time:
- Across the board, open rates are highest early in the morning. Studies suggest that between 9 and 11 a.m. is the most effective time of day to send out emails.
- Users respond well to emails that arrive after they get off work between 7 and 10 p.m.
- Avoid the middle of the workday and weekends.
- Avoid Mondays. Prospects are starting their work week and are often stressed, and they likely don’t want to spend their time reading an email that doesn’t have a relation to their task at hand.
Tips for Creating Emails that Engage
Every email you send should not go out to everyone on your mailing list. Different buyers may be at separate stages of the sales funnel, and your email marketing lists must recognize that distinction. For different buyer segments, send varying content that will be relevant to each. First-time homebuyers may respond better to content pertaining to homebuying process education, while buyers closer to purchasing may be more interested in exploring specific home prices, promotions and customization options.
Providing relevant content for each group not only increases the chance of action but also makes buyers feel more valued if your business demonstrates an understanding of the information they need.
Maintain a clean list
It’s important to keep your mailing lists fresh – this is the best way to make sure the recipients of your emails are truly engaged. Don’t forget to check in on your mailing list to avoid it going stale. Some buyers may no longer be interested, want to unsubscribe or may have changed their email address.
Check in on these recipients by sending a re-engagement message that confirms whether they’d like to continue receiving mail from you, or if they’d like to update preferences or contact information. Be sure to only retain those who respond to this email. Although it may seem disadvantageous to shorten your mailing list, you’re likely to see more success if you only send mail to buyers who are engaged and find your content relevant.
Short and Sweet
Don’t forget that your email should always be concise and get to the point. The subject line should be 6-10 words. Offer your audience messages that are easier to digest by ensuring they are always short and succinct.
As a home builder or master-planned community marketer, your aim should be to drive the reader to your home builder website. Keep that in mind when making email content decisions, and ensure that every message sent out is clear, personal and not too sales-heavy.
Include Clear CTAs
Getting your target audience to open the emails you send is only step one – what action would you like them to take next? The answer to this question should be clearly defined for all recipients by including a concise call-to-action (CTA) that entices them to continue along the sales funnel. This could be clicking a link that directs them to your website, scheduling a tour, signing up for a community VIP list, filling out a contact form to learn more about new home opportunities or simply asking them to respond with updates on their home buying process so you can assist them, etc.
Your email message is meant to generate a response, whether it’s a click, a visit to your site, a VIP list sign-up, a subscription or otherwise. Remember this as you create your content. One way to engage readers is a simple conversational tactic: Ask questions. Perhaps you’re looking for real feedback on a new model home or maybe you’re simply looking to tease a landing page on your website. Asking is a simple way to accomplish both.
Hit the Right Frequency
Ensuring how frequently you deliver email marketing suits customer preferences is an important balance to consider. Don’t email often enough and buyers may forget about you, but email too often and you might cause buyer frustration and unsubscribes from your mailing list.
A good practice is to send out regular emails at least once a month, such as a newsletter, and add in additional messages when there is relevant content to share each month (i.e. events, special promotions, etc.). Create a regular monthly schedule for your emails to ensure consistency and avoid overwhelming your audience with unexpected mail too often.
Don’t Forget Mobile Users
Always ensure your emails are optimized for mobile devices, because most recipients will open the message on their phone. Today, 75% of consumers use their mobile devices to access their email. To cater to mobile users, make sure all links are clickable and direct users to pages on your website that load quickly and are optimized for mobile access. Unique mobile clicks have been shown to increase by 15% when businesses distribute a mobile-responsive email design.
Test and Test Again
If at first, you don’t achieve the best results from your emails that you expected, try, try again! The best real estate marketers live and die by testing in all they do. Use A/B testing as you hone your email campaigns. Here are a few of our suggestions for testing different email formatting and gauging how recipients respond:
- Assess which subject lines get the best open rates.
- Use alternate first lines to see how users respond.
- Try capitalization variations to see how your readers respond.
- Utilize alternate design elements to see how users respond
Share the Love
Making it easy for readers to share any interesting content they discover within your emails. Email forwarding or sharing content on social media is an easy way to increase your customer base and expand your mailing list. Offer a promo code or a giveaway to new subscribers and to those who share your message.
Measure Engagement and Conversions
Compile as much data about your readership as you can and test to see where improvements can be made to improve engagement and conversion rates. Some examples of elements to test within your emails include:
- Measure against your subscription list.
- What subject lines get you the best opens?
- What are subscribers clicking on?
- What is your unsubscribe rate?
Essential Emails to Send
Emails must be sent out strategically with consideration of what will keep prospective buyers, leads and new homeowners engaged. It’s not enough for your target audience to sign up for your mailing list, you must think of how you will keep them there and deter them from unsubscribing or forgetting about your business. Here are some emails we recommend to keep your audience interested no matter their stage within the sales funnel.
Customized Email Blasts
If you need to get the word out quickly about something you don’t want your audience to miss, email blasts are a great way to capture their attention. Used to promote any time-sensitive events or promotions, email blasts provide a way to tap into your audience’s fear of missing out. Use an urgent tone and provide a compelling CTA that strongly encourages recipients to take advantage of any limited-time offers and events with a link to a contact form or relevant landing page.
Whether you share interior design trends or home maintenance tips, these emails should be dedicated to offering your homeowners some kind of valuable content. This indicates your business cares about its customers even beyond the sale and aims to create deeper connections – which, of course, can lead to glowing testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations from appreciative customers. These messages should also include information about your referral program to encourage and enable happy homeowners to share your brand with other interested homebuyers.
Tailor content to each of your prospective buyers in advance with autoresponders. These emails can be triggered to send at just the right time whenever customers perform specific actions, such as subscribing to your email list, filling out a contact form, visiting a landing page, etc. Don’t forget to share clear CTAs that encourage lead conversion whether it’s leading recipients to your website or a learn more button with a contact form option.
After you’ve hosted an event, the work shouldn’t be over just yet! Stay top-of-mind with attendees by following up with them after the event. Use the event as an opportunity to collect emails and send out event follow-ups that provide a digital brochure, floor plan or other homebuying information. These emails offer an easy way to also share contact information for your sales representatives as the next step for these prospective buyers.
It’s beneficial to avoid constantly sending sales-focused emails as this can cause distrust among homebuyers. Instead, send out emails featuring your most recent blogs to continue providing relevant content. This alternatively provides a way to continue sharing your brand with prospective buyers and highlight several topics that may interest them during their homebuying journey.
To keep your audience informed on your business, newsletters are an essential piece of your email marketing strategy. Share current or upcoming company news, updates and events with newsletters that are sent once or twice a month. Newsletters can include recent blog posts, new homes, promotions/incentives, new products or services, new team member announcements, happy homeowner reviews and more. This is a wonderful way to keep your audience up-to-date, drive them to your website and lead them further down the sales funnel.
Create Email Marketing Strategies Designed for Success By Working with Milesbrand
Email marketing is a powerful tactic for home builders and master-planned community marketers as it provides a straightforward way to deliver the relevant information homebuyers need as they prepare to purchase a new home. By utilizing these best practices, you should be on your way to real estate email marketing success!
Need help creating a successful email marketing campaign? At Milesbrand, we can help you craft compelling email content that reaches the right target audience and helps boost lead conversions. Talk to our team today to learn more about getting started.