Are you doing email marketing, but it doesn't seem to be working out? While email marketing is an important part of a home builder's digital marketing strategy, without a solid understanding of how to do it right, your home building business could be missing out on some of the hottest leads in your market.
Read time: 9 minutes
Skip to the section you're most interested in:
- What is email marketing?
- Defining goals
- Using a good platform
- Having a great subject line
- Fixing the preview text
- You're doing it wrong:
- Declining results
- Setting goals
- The importance of an email marketing specialist
- Your team is too busy
- You aren't automated
- Your strategy
- Successful marketing
- Benefits of email marketing
- Email marketing best practices
An email marketing specialist will help improve your email marketing return on investment and help you acquire new customers - but first, you need to understand what email marketing really is, what the benefits are, and the telltale signs your efforts are failing.
What is Email Marketing?
Having a strategy for email in your digital marketing playbook is an important piece of the puzzle. Email marketing is on the rise and one of the most responsive digital marketing strategies out there.
Some companies do email marketing really well and others do it pretty poorly. Email marketing, in a simple sense, uses email to target specific audiences with a specific message. These emails could be sent to current clients or prospective customers.
Most often, email marketing is used to send emails to nurture customer or prospective client relationships to promote brand loyalty. They can be used to acquire customers, provide an advertisement, such as a quick possession home model promo, or builder incentives.
Define Some Goals
Having goals for your campaign is a great place to start. Do you want to increase views to your blog posts or website? Do you want to increase traffic to your showhomes? Are you looking for users to fill out a Google review of your business or send you a referral
Identifying what you're looking for first will help the rest of the process go smoother. Defining a set of goals you hope the email campaign will reach will make it easier to measure the ROI.
Use a Good Platform
There are a ton of platforms out there that are created for email marketing specialists to design and send marketing emails. Sending email from a basic provider such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, is not recommended because you have a high chance of getting marked as spam. Not only that, but it looks unprofessional.
Using a platform that is specifically designed to send marketing campaigns such as HubSpot will make it easier. Your specialist will have all of their email lists in one place and can set up templates. Hubspot also comes with some great analytics. You'll be able to measure and track your email open rates, bounces, click rates, and unsubscribes. You will also be able to make sure your email is optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing.
Have a Great Subject Line
Having goals set up and a professional platform to send from are some great first steps. Developing your actual email is where things start to get a little more complicated.
Most people's email inboxes are full of marketing emails from a variety of companies - maybe even other home builders. You have to figure out a way to get them to open your email. If you don't have a great subject line, your email will live a short life. In fact, your subject line is often more important than the information inside. Does it interest people? Is it relevant to the user you're sending it to? Is it true?
Your email marketing specialist needs to write copy that is going to interest the user but is not misleading. We've all seen those emails from companies that read something like, "Free Money Now!". When you open the email, it's for some service you have to pay for. Totally misleading. 99.9% of people will immediately file that email as spam.
If you create a subject line that is relevant to your product and your users, you're going to see much better ROI. They should be short and to the point. Starting sentences with phrases like "How to...", "5 Reasons....", "3 Tips...", have much higher open rates, statistically. These are the types of subject lines people are interested in - how is this email going to help them? Your subject line needs to tell them that.
Have you Fixed the Preview Text?
When you write an email, the subject line is different from the preview text. You can utilize the preview text to add more information to your subject line that is relevant to the user. Filling out your preview text provides one more opportunity to hook your reader before they move on. It's great to insert a call to action that helps elaborate your subject line. If you leave this blank, you're wasting valuable space! A few words makes a big difference, so make the effort.
How to Tell If You're Doing It Wrong
We're going to drill down some important pieces to analyze each part of your email marketing campaign strategy. Being able to see all of the pieces in detail will help you determine where you need to focus your marketing efforts to improve.
Having a dedicated, experienced email marketing specialist give time solely to creating, designing and copywriting emails for marketing campaigns will allow you to improve performance quickly.
Let's take a look at some of the biggest signs that your email marketing specialist isn't doing your email marketing correctly:
Email Results Have Plateaued or Declined
Were you seeing good ROI for your email campaigns and it's suddenly plateaued or even dropped? Are you still using email templates you were using in the beginning?
Email marketing campaigns require constant revision. As culture changes, the digital marketing landscape changes. How we speak to each other and what we address shifts as well. It's important to be constantly updating and rewriting old email campaigns.
If someone who has been a client for a long time continues to receive the same emails over and over again, they are going to become uninterested and may even be annoyed.
It's Not a Priority
You have had email marketing on your list forever. You've wanted to hire an email marketing specialist to help you out, but it's hasn't been a priority because you have so many other marketing initiatives you're focused on. With the great results email marketing drives, it's key that it becomes an important part of your marketing strategy.
You Have No Set Goals
You think email marketing is a great idea and you want to begin - but you have no one to set up a strategy or figure out the goal or purpose of a campaign. The plan to begin effective email marketing keeps failing because there are no measurable goals set in order to get it started.
You Don't Have An Email Marketing Specialist
You know having the dedicated staff is what it's going to take to get email up and running for your business. A small marketing team is a busy one because it requires juggling a lot of different tasks to keep it successful. If email marketing is on your list, but it's not delegated appropriately or the person who has the task is too busy, it's not going to get done.
Having an email marketing specialist on staff that focuses solely on email marketing only will ensure it gets accomplished. When you don't have the proper staff or the proper bandwidth, it's easy to set it to the side.
The Team is Too Busy
Your marketing team might be too busy focusing on all of your other marketing initiatives - after all, marketing is what keeps your business alive! It's what brings you new customers and keeps your current ones happy. It is what drives the sales team to do their job well. But, if your marketing team only has the time to create and send emails and not to measure their results, then your efforts will be in vain.
You Don't Know About Email Automation
Another downfall is if you don't know anything about email automation. Email marketing automation is one of the biggest ways to save your company time and money by allowing you to create templates and set up email workflows. These drip campaigns will send automatically to users based on an action they took.
For example, a prospective home buyer might fill out a form on your website to get more information about a particular community. This triggers your email automation - pretty soon, they receive a welcome and thank you email, followed by a series of emails within a designated timeframe. All of this is done without any staff needing to monitor it or track the ROI.
Your Strategy is Old
You haven't tested or refined your email marketing strategy in years. You aren't revising your subject lines and you're continuing to send bad emails to users who have already seen them and are tired of you. That's a sure way to get put on a spam list. People will unsubscribe if you aren't tuned in to their wants and needs.
Your Marketing is Successful
The success of your email marketing isn't a problem, but it can become one. Once you've found a campaign that works well and provides great ROI, it's easy to just forget about it. Your email marketing specialist lets it run its course, but then you realize two years later, you've been sending the same campaign. It's easy to fall into that mindset and your strategy becomes old, outdated, and irrelevant.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
There are a lot of great benefits to email marketing, which is why you see smart businesses partaking in the practice. An email marketing specialist sets up a campaign because it's measurable. While some things in marketing are not measurable, and you can't tell if they're doing well, email is trackable and allows you to see your return on investment. It has one of the highest proven ROIs, next to Adwords or search engine marketing.
Email marketing allows businesses to stay at the forefront of their customers' minds. Most people check their email once a day at minimum, allowing your emails to be seen on a daily basis if that's the frequency you choose. Email marketing is also great because a specialist can set them up to be highly personalized, with an individual's name or other relevant information.
Most companies think if they send an email, they are going to see a good return on it. They don't bother with building a strategy around their email marketing campaign or coming up with a purpose to send the email. These types of emails generate poor results and return. Having some guidelines set in place for how you start your email marketing is important. An email marketing specialist can set up a proper email marketing campaign that performs well.
Things you should include when developing your email marketing best practices list:
test your content
track clicks and open rates
keep a clean list <- this one is VERY important
avoid excess code in your email design
use a real person and email address (this mean avoid that "noreply" address!)
personalize when you can, but don't go overboard
keep your email to one message per email (note: an exception here is a newsletter, where the goal is to have a variety of content options)
You Can Do Better
All of the signs above are ways to tell if your email marketing campaigns are going to succeed or fail. Without an email marketing specialist, even the best home builder marketing team can drop the ball on this very important digital marketing aspect. But once your team has the basics down on creating a great strategy and developing email campaign goals, you're on your way to seeing great ROI.
If you're interested in hiring someone to help with email marketing, contact us today. It all starts with a conversation!