If you’ve been toying with the idea of sending an e-newsletter to your clients, go for it! E-newsletters are a great way to build and maintain customer relationships, keep your audience engaged, build trust, showcase what your business offers, and drive traffic to your website or social media platforms. An e-newsletter can be used to promote open houses, showcase new listings, provide helpful tips, share industry news, or promote special offers or giveaways. Repeat studies have shown that an average of 66% of online consumers make a purchase as a result of an email marketing campaign. That’s a pretty great return on investment!
So how do you get started?
First order of business when putting together an e-newsletter is to build a quality list of customer emails. But, before you start madly inputting all of your customer emails into a spreadsheet, make sure you first have their permission to e-mail them, as per Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) that came into effect July 1, 2014. Under this legislation you are not allowed to send an electronic message with the consent of your customer, you must provide an opportunity for customers to opt out of your electronic message; you must clearly identify yourself and your organization, and finally, you must be truthful in your advertising (i.e. Taxes included). For more information about CASL, please click here.
Running low on emails? Try putting out a sign-up sheet at your next open house, and don’t forget to add a way for customers and prospects to opt-in to your newsletter on your high traffic website pages (i.e. Home Page, Contact Us, My Listings) and social media.
Choosing an Email Service Provider
After you’ve created your e-mail list, you’ll need to choose an email service provider to send your newsletter out through. WPBeginner.com recently shared a list of the 7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business (2018) that offers a great starting point.
Using a full-service e-mail provider allows you to track your Open Rates, Bounce Rates, Click through Rates, Unsubscribes, and more, valuable marketing statistics that you can use to make informed decisions about your marketing. E-mail providers also commonly offer live chat, email, community support, and a vast library of resources to draw from, which can be very helpful when figuring out how to set up your templates, upload contacts, and more. Speaking of templates, we are glad to help you set up a template that is not only easy to use but also true to your brand.
A well-built newsletter should identify your company, use headings to separate the different parts, use eye catching and relevant imagery, be branded, and allow for social sharing. It should also include numerous Calls to Actions that are easy to click (for example, links to your website, social media, listing, etc). You also need to add a way for your subscribers to unsubscribe, as per the above CASL laws we discussed.
Crafting Newsletter Content
Once you have your shiny new template set up and ready to go, it’s time to add some equally as amazing content to the mix. Here are a few tips for crafting effective content:
- Greet your readers by their first name whenever possible to create a personal connection
- Share valuable content that happened recently (i.e. don’t advertise a house sale that happened six months ago), is relevant (is it something your audience is interested in and finds useful), and unique (you don’t want to provide the same home staging tips over and over again).
- Don’t sell aggressively. A well balance newsletter should be 90% content, 10% promotion.
- Use simple language and short sentences. Make your content easy to digest and straight to the point. Make sure you include your most important content at the start of your newsletter so it’s not missed.
- Don’t use industry jargon. You don’t want to risk talking over your reader’s head and alienating them.
- Send, seal, and deliver it with an amazing subject line. We love the 4U subject line method: Urgent, Unique, Ultra-Specific, and Useful. You want your reader to think they ABSOLUTELY must open your email or they will be missing out. Not only should subject lines be catchy but they should also be concise – 50 characters or less. Avoid using Caps Lock or spammy words such as “Free!” or “Discount” or you’ll likely end up in spam.
And, always, always, ALWAYS spell check and review your newsletter for any grammar errors, before you hit send. Better yet, send yourself a test email first and double check not only for grammar but also broken links or images. It’s better for you to catch an error than your reader.
Finally, consider what time you are sending your e-newsletter. Accordingly to research, the best day to send an email is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday at 10 am, 8 pm, 2 pm, and 6 am. You may need to play around with the time and day over your first few e-newsletters to find the winning formula where your readers are most active and most likely to convert to a lead.
Setting up your first e-newsletter may take some time but in the end it will be worth it. Need a hand brainstorming for your first e-newsletter? Call us today to get started!