5 Essential Emails Home Builders Should Send Every Month
Research shows that companies that use email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads and at a 33% lower cost. Email is the workhorse of a homebuilder’s digital marketing strategy. It’s cost effective and has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any digital marketing tool.
Social media, SEO, and online advertising bring leads into the top of the sales funnel. Email marketing moves buyers through. It’s a digital relationship that you create with prospective home buyers during the weeks and months that they are researching a new home purchase. Emails deliver high-value, relevant content to home buyers that inform and influence a buying decision.
Bottom line? Email marketing turns your list of web leads into sales-ready appointments.
Here are five essential ways to use email marketing in your monthly marketing plan.
The RSS-to-Email Campaign
The RSS-to-Email campaign is an essential part of a home builder digital strategy. The RSS-to-Email campaign delivers your latest blog post to the inbox of your subscribers every time you publish new content. We know that 9 out of 10 consumers will make a buying decision based on reading about a product on a blog, and 70% of consumers prefer to get to know a company through articles instead of ads. If you blog twice per week, that means that home buyers agree to continually receive fresh content from you about the homes, lifestyle, testimonials, and other blog topics about your community.
RSS-to-Email has another benefit too. You can view your monthly report to find active, engaged subscribers that open every email. These subscribers can be given to your sales team for prioritized follow up.
Tip: Once per month or once per quarter, download your RSS campaign report into an Excel file. Analyze which topics had the highest open rate and click through rate. Use this information to see which topics are most popular with your buyers. Build your content calendar with more of those topics.
What about home buyers that do not want to hear from you that often? When people subscribe to your blog, give them the choice to receive an eNewsletter instead. The eNewsletter is sent twice per month instead of twice per week (for example, every other Wednesday).
Here is what to include in your eNewsletter:
- 1 main promotion message with call-to-action
- The photo, title, and summary of your most recent blog posts with a call-to-action link to read the full article
The promotional message can be a move-in ready home, an upcoming event, a new release, a limited time incentive, a sales success message, or other message that is consistent with your business goals. Remember that the goal of email marketing is to build relationship so all promotional messages should communicate value to the buyer. If your message is too spammy you are more likely to get unsubscribes.
Like your RSS, you can review the email report with your sales team to see which prospective buyers opened the eNewsletter and the call-to-action they clicked.
Tip: Use a big call-to-action button for every section instead of links. Buttons are easier to see and click on when people read your email on a mobile device. This can increase your click-through rates. Higher click-through rates mean more appointments.
An auto-responder is an email that is triggered to send automatically once a visitor completes an action on your website, like subscribing to the blog or downloading a brochure. The goal of your auto-responder is to build relationship and invite prospective home buyers to take the next step.
Auto-responders are useful for builders that do not have a dedicated team of Online Sales Counselors. While auto-responders should never replace follow up from a sales person, they do ensure that a prospective home buyer gets an immediate response. This is useful if your on-site sales person does not have an opportunity to follow up right away.
For builders that do have an Online Sales Counselor, an auto-responder creates an immediate touch point for prospective buyers who register during non-business hours.
The content of your auto-responder will vary depending on the action the visitor took on your website, but all auto-responders should include contact information for a specific person in your company (sales) and a next action.
Tip: Monitor the open rate and click-through rate of your auto-responders on an ongoing basis. Test different subject headers, photos, copy, and calls-to-action to improve open rate and click-through rate.
The Realtor Email
Building trust and a perception of value with a home buyer will create one sale; building trust and a perception of value with a good Realtor will result in multiple sales. Realtors are also part of a community and word-of-mouth (good or bad) can travel fast within their office and other local real estate offices. Create advocates within the Realtor community with high value email content that helps them build their business and get more referrals.
Tip: Make it easy for Realtors to do business with you. Include information about current inventory and provide a list of talking points that they can easily relay to a prospective buyer. And always make the guidelines of your partnership program clear in every email.
The Homeowner Email
Referral marketing is an effective, low-cost way to increase sales. Consumers between the age of 35 and 54 rank a referral from a family member or friend as the most influential factor in a purchase decision (the second most influential factor is blogs). Prospective buyers that have been referred from one of your happy homeowners are more likely to buy a home. The sales cycle of referral buyers is often shorter as well because they have more information and a higher level of trust.
Nurture relationships with existing homeowners with a monthly email as an opportunity to create low-cost, high-value referrals (and higher customer satisfaction scores).
Here are three sections to include in a homeowner email:
- Provide value: Home maintenance tips, low-cost design ideas, local events for families, homeowner-only events and other relevant content.
- Community Update: Include current move-in ready homes, a preview of an upcoming release, or information about a Grand Opening of a nearby neighborhood.
- Ask for Referral: Remind homeowners about your referral program.
Tip: Include a “Share this email with a friend” feature to make it easy for homeowners to send the email about inventory and events to a friend, co-worker, or family member.
Add these five emails to your monthly digital marketing strategy to increase sales without dramatically increasing your marketing budget. Soon you’ll see your list of web leads turn into new homeowners.
Need help with your digital marketing strategy? Contact us for more information about our digital marketing services for home builders.