With direct mail, you can add names and addresses to your marketing list at will. So long as the contact information is legitimate and accurate, you’re good to go. But with real estate email marketing, there are checks and balances.
When gathering email addresses, you have to get permission from each person before adding them to your marketing list. Seriously. No legitimate email marketing service is going to implement an email effort on your behalf without confirmation of this step – because if they do, they face the very real possibility of being blacklisted as a spammer by Internet service providers.
The good news: Getting people’s permission to send them marketing emails (often referred to as “opting-in”) isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds … not if you pay attention to these tips:
Your email signature
One of the easiest ways to encourage friends, family, clients and prospects to add their names to your email list is to include an automated call-to-action (“Join my email list!”) in the “signature” area of all your emails. Do it even if you have nothing to send currently (after you have a list, then you can start creating some content).
A button on your website
If you have a website, ask your webmaster to add an attention-grabbing “Join the Mailing List” button that links to a simple sign-up page.
Facebook and Twitter are perfect for promoting your email list:
Marketing postcards are another great way to grow your email list. Create a special card promoting all the reasons someone should sign up (see the example at the end of this article), or just add a sentence to the bottom of your regular mailings (e.g. “For regular updates and news, join my email list”).
Hardcopy sign-up sheets
Any time you have potential customers milling about (at an open house or near the cash register, for example) have an “Email Sign Up” sheet out where everyone can see it – and easily sign it.
Giddy trade show attendees will hand over a business card (with their email contact information) for anything fun, free or promising. But you must make it clear (in writing) that they’re going to be added to your email marketing list.
Include a “Forward to a Friend” link in all your marketing emails. The hope is: Once others see your emails, they’ll want to sign up, too.
Asking someone to voluntarily opt-in to your email marketing list is a good first step. But offering something of value for doing so is a sure way to supercharge the effectiveness of any of the above ideas. Consider offering a promotional item, a discount, a chance to win something, a white paper, or anything else with some perceived value.
On the sign-up form/page, be sure to promote the benefits of opting-in, reassure the signee that their contact information won’t be used for any other purpose, and ask for only the most necessary of details. For an example of a sign-up form that does everything right, see this page from the 20 x 200 art gallery website.
Of course, once you create an email mailing list, you need something to mail.