Agent Marketing Lists - It's Quality, not Quanity that Counts
BY DEVORE DESIGN, NOVEMBER 15, 2017
How long should a marketing list be?
That’s like asking how long is a piece of string.
The vital aspect of lists, whatever their length, is managing the list to achieve your desired return on investment. This can be as frustrating as pushing a piece of string uphill unless you really know about those on the list, what is relevant to them, and what your point is in doing all this work.
For real estate professionals, longer may not always be better when it comes to email marketing lists.
The internet is packed with suggestions and services for list building and online marketing. Numbers matter to online product sales. Lists of thousands or tens of thousands of subscribers are valuable to online and email marketers when these are lists of the “right” consumers and the list is strategically managed to generate product sales and ongoing revenue.
When lists are strategic to relationship-building strategies, as is common in real estate, the quality of subscriber data and the strength of the communication connection with these opt-in subscribers can outweigh the importance of quantity of subscribers.
- Brokerages may cultivate extensive databases for a number of reasons, but they usually have special shorter lists of repeat clients, influencers, investors, and other individuals or organizations key to brokerage sustainability and success.
- Real Estate Teams may combine the client and contact lists of individual team members into one larger list to take advantage of economy of scale, but the main goal is not just to have a longer list.
- Real Estate Professionals usually maintain lists of past clients and prospects, but it is the potential for future business that is the driving factor, not merely carrying names forward or adding new names.
Two main challenges can undermine the effectiveness of creating and maintaining the above mentioned lists and in building new targeted lists:
#1: True Value: Too often the measure of list value may be based on the total number of leads or the value of the transactions that resulted from the original client relationships. Doesn’t a client list of 300, 500 or more names sound impressive? Doesn’t this list represent the fruits of a very successful real estate career? How relevant are these two criteria to future business?
#2: Disconnection: Communication is a two way, brain-to-brain connection by my definition. Emailing or even mailing a newsletter or other marketing content[—]however clever[—]to someone you did business with, perhaps years ago, does not mean effective communication has occurred. Are you reaching the right person, with a “right on” relevant message at the best time? Are you the only real
estate professional your subscriber has contact with? Do you shine in comparison?
When did you last invest time reviewing the details of your list?
- If you have established success with a specific target market, how many of the existing list subscribers are now part of that target group?
- When was the last time you spoke with each subscriber to find out what is important in their lives with respect to the real estate they own or want to own? They had to give their permission or opt-in for you to add them to your list, but are they still genuinely interested in doing business with you?
- Is yours a high-qualify list, that is, are subscribers accurately profiled with sufficient detail that you can group those with common interests to deliver relevant special content or offers?
- What research did you undertake to decide on the most relevant content for engaging your specific subscriber list? Or did you merely choose the most cost-effective newsletter package or one that has gotten good results for colleagues?
- I think of the content we send out to our subscribers as a conversation or conversations. Is this an accurate metaphor for your situation or might recipients consider your emails as one-way “noise?”
- Since most communication with subscribers is periodic or intermittent, not daily, consider each email as a reconnection. Respect the fact that many things may have changed for recipients since your last email and act accordingly.
- What is your competition doing to continuously reconnect with your subscribers? That is, what are subscribers comparing your communication efforts to?
If you do not have your list of past clients, prospects, and other leads in easily accessible, email-able form, there are many resources available. MailChimp.com continues to be a popular provider. Their free service supports lists of up to 2000 subscribers. This is considerably more of the right subscribers than many professionals may need to drive their business goals. Again, those on your list must give you permission to email them, that is, must opt-in to your list, so this interaction is part of the MailChimp process.
- If you are not technically inclined, MailChimp offers customizable templates and fill-in-the-blank services. Forms and signup lists are hosted on their secure site. A button on your website or blog takes potential subscribers to MailChimp.com to start the sign up process.
- For those with technical ability, embedded forms can be customized to conform with branding patterns on your website, blog, and email signature.
Concentrate on subscribers who reflect your chosen target market and who share your interest in making their real estate needs and dreams come true and you’ll have the best list going.
You don’t need a long list, but you and your subscribers deserve a great list!