As with any kind of marketing, there are right and wrong ways to do real estate newsletters.
As a real estate agent, I’ve had enormous success with my real estate newsletters, and I’m not the only one. A lot of agents say their newsletters return thousands of dollars for every dollar spent. But newsletters don‘t work for everyone, so I wanted to know why some agents would rather give up their right arm than their newsletter, while other agents say newsletters are a waste of time and money. After digging into this question over the past several months, I think I’ve isolated a few answers.
First, let me say that poor newsletter performance doesn’t seem to have anything to do with appearance. Some awful looking newsletters do really well. And some very slick-looking newsletters do poorly. So digging deeper, here are some of the factors that do make a difference in causing weak newsletter results:
1. Sending newsletters to people with whom you have a shallow relationship. A big difference between someone who will respond favorably to your newsletters and someone who won’t seems to be the depth of relationship you’ve built with them. Agents who reconnect to their recipients regularly and can tell you a little bit about each of them tend to have better newsletter response than agents who barely know their recipients. Stands to reason.
However, there are two exceptions to this rule. Giving newsletters to people with whom you have a shallow relationship can work in a geographic farm, as long as you are also doing other things to keep your name in front of the neighborhood, like door knocking, getting listings, holding open houses, etc. Email newsletters are not as effective as print newsletters in a farm.
You can email your newsletter to people with whom you have a shallow relationship if you’re sending thousands of them. Sheer numbers alone will get some result. Mailing to 1,000 people might get an annual response rate of .25% (2 or 3 clients). Then it becomes a game of how many recipients can you get using a mass lead-generation system.
- Confused about whether you should send an email or a print newsletter? Read this post.
2. Sending newsletters without reminders that there’s a real person behind the curtain. If people think you’re not paying attention, they’ll ignore your newsletters. You can encourage people to open your newsletters by using little social connection tactics. For instance, you can occasionally write a personal one-line note on the outside of your print newsletter or add a personalized subject line for an email newsletter. You don’t want to do this all the time. Just two or three times a year is sufficient. Also calling once in a while to ask people if they like your newsletter is a huge help.
3. Sending impersonal newsletters. When your newsletter is devoid of any specific agent personality other than your image and company name, then people don’t feel connected to you. Marketing company newsletters — the kind where agents can add a logo and image to the top only — often have this “bland” feel to them. The lights are on, but no one’s home. This goes for print and email newsletters.
The best way to pump up the personality in your newsletters is to use a customizable real estate newsletter, or write your own from scratch. You don’t need any fancy branding. What you need is to appear in your newsletter through calls to action, editorial comments, and the use of the pronoun ‘I’. You’ll also want to include your clients’ names in your newsletter. I use a thank you box, as well as a quiz which names the winner each month. Some people use a Sudoku puzzle, photo contests, etc. to create even more interaction and engagement.
Want more clients flowing peacefully to you year after year? Then…
- Use a newsletter you can add personality into.
- Create a marketing plan around your newsletters, so you’re reaching out to a few different recipients every month.
- Make sure that if someone is going to be getting your newsletter, you’ve spent quality conversational time with them. Also tell them how proud you are of your newsletter and how fun it is. Sell the sizzle!