Everything has to be done in steps, and one cannot go from a neglected database to a perfect system in one jump. That said, professional agents with business-like approaches to their real estate practice should review their incubation email system to make sure it up to professional standards. It is great to start with something, but many solutions, especially company issued solutions, can be limited and either create the wrong message or result in lost relationships. I have recommended Mailchimp as a solution for years at is free to build your database up to 2,000 emails monthly, easy to use, yet extremely powerful. But with any system, there are main points to keep in mind:
1. Content; while it is convenient to have a provider give you a pre-packaged email with content, is this content relevant to your clients? Is the voice consistent with yours? I see local agents send out articles with national stories that are inappropriate for their market. An example is a recent article about the real estate market being undervalued nationally (in the opinion of the author), yet it clearly stated the market was over-valued in California and I saw several agents send it anyhow. Do you read your own content? If you are bored with it, how are your clients likely to respond?
2. What is the Return email. Many packages use a particular return email for any responses. Century 21 introduces a @c21-email.com email for its agents. Do you really want to give customers a new email? Does this email come back to you? I see agents advertise listings with a service, but when you respond, the email goes to the service provvider, NOT the listing agent.
3. Is the template your message or flavor? Many seem impersonal. I saw one today that started with “Good morning,” and no name. Who does that in a business email? Is that me?
4. How is the signature line? Does it promote your website, listings, or social media? Is there a message you want to add? I avoid pictures as I think it gets more spam, and I also avoid any graphics for the same reason.
5. The top line should be text, NOT graphic. The way to test this is read your email when it is unopened in your inbox. That is how 80-90% of your recipients will see it and decide whether or not to open it. I have seen emails that left an instruction to the author in the template, like “put header here.” I have also see some with graphics, so the email shows blank for the content when closed. The 1st line of text is 2nd in importance in determining your open rate, right after your subject line.
6. What does the “From” name show as? I have seen agents use a term like Mass email in the from line. Again, make sure to check the email from the view of a recipient.
7. How does your email look on a phone? My statistics show over 60% of emails are now opened on phones. Even with today’s larger phone screens, the real estate is different, and long emails may not be read. Modern systems will even allow you to segment your emails for the different email clients so you can send different versions to different readers if your database is that large and engaged.
8. How do you review the numbers, reports, and monitor the open rate? It is so valuable today to see who is opening and reading your messages, to re-engage those that are not, researching the new email of those that bounce. Your system should provide these tools
Again, many of there are advanced concepts, but ones you should be working towards. What other issues do you see with email systems? Please share below.