Real Estate Email Marketing: 5 Ways to Re-engage Your Sphere of Influence Contacts
The real estate market is notoriously competitive, so the next move you make matters.
Whether you’ve been an agent for one day or 30 years, your sphere of influence (SOI) is one of your greatest assets. That’s true even if you only have 100 or so SOI contacts.
While cultivating and expanding your SOI should always be a top priority, be careful not to make it your sole priority. Because, if you abandon your existing audience, you could end up losing just as many (if not more) SOI contacts as you gain.
In other words, all of the work you put into growing your SOI email list goes down the proverbial drain when you don’t invest in retaining these contacts.
This guide outlines five ways that you can leverage email marketing to re-engage your SOI contacts and spread more awareness for your business.
Let’s address the elephant in the room
Wouldn’t it be better to focus on getting new leads instead of nurturing existing ones?
It’s normal for this question to cross your mind, especially when you consider that many of the contacts in your SOI email list probably don’t have any plans to buy or sell a property anytime soon.
Take your friends, family, acquaintances, and former clients, for example. The majority of these people have already gone through the home buying process and have settled into a long-term situation. They lack purchase intent but are still part of your sphere of influence.
The natural follow-up question is: Why? Why should you give so much time and attention to contacts who don’t want or need your services?
Well, it all comes down to networking.
Someone on your SOI email list might not have purchase intent, but they probably know someone who does. When you nurture your SOI relationships, you’re more likely to be at the forefront of a contact’s mind when recommending an agent to a friend.
SOI outreach is a simple yet effective way to check in with your current contacts and generate more referrals at the same time. Statistically speaking, here are a few reasons why nurturing your relationships in this way is so important:
- Word-of-mouth marketing has a major influence on how 74% of consumers make purchase decisions.
- It can cost five times more to gain a new client than to retain an existing one.
- Without trust, 81% of consumers will decide against buying from a brand or, in your case, working with an agent.
- Customer lifetime value is 16% higher for clients that are referred by a friend (or someone else in your SOI).
Here is an example of the type of email you might send to a former client:
By maintaining good relationships with your SOI contacts, you’re actively setting yourself apart from the other agents in your area. As your SOI expands, this foundation of trust you’ve built also gets stronger.
This can lead to a major increase in new referrals, engaged SOI contacts, and revenue if done right.
The current standing of your SOI
Re-engaging your sphere of influence requires your full attention and effort, not the bare minimum.
Before you get started, you need to understand everything there is to know about your audience’s current engagement. As you peel back the layers and look at open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, etc., take the opportunity to self-critique.
Am I sending out emails on a regular basis or once in a blue moon? Am I incentivizing my SOI recipients to open and engage with my emails? Am I segmenting my email list?
By asking yourself these questions, you can begin to draw parallels between your email output and audience engagement.
5 ways to re-engage your SOI contacts
Maybe you’ve noticed that as your SOI gets bigger, open rates and click-through rates have started to decline. Or maybe more SOI contacts are opting out of your emails and you don’t know why.
Whatever the case, there are steps that you can take to get engagement back on track.
Let’s take a look at five of the most important things you can start doing right now.
1. Re-segment your SOI email list
As you know, your SOI consists of anyone who 1) knows about your business and 2) subscribes to your email list.
However, if you group all of these people into one email list based on these criteria alone, you can expect to see consistently low levels of engagement. And that’s because your emails would need to be vague and impersonal to come across as even somewhat relevant to your entire SOI.
By segmenting your email list, you’re able to break up the mass of SOI contacts into smaller curated groups. Not only does this allow you to create more personalized emails, but segmented campaigns can also boost open rates and clicks by 14.37% and 64.78%, respectively.
When you re-segment your SOI on a regular basis, you’re able to make minor adjustments to your SOI email lists that improve the accuracy and relevance of your emails.
During this process, you can re-segment your email lists based on criteria like historic email engagement, demographics, and location.
The main reason why you want to do this is that you can isolate contacts that rarely interact with your emails and change up your messaging to re-engage this group directly.
2. Take another look at your email content strategy
Do you send out a monthly newsletter, or a one-off email every now and then? Could your emails to your SOI be more detailed and frequent?
As you re-segment your email list, ask yourself what changes you could make in order to improve the effectiveness of your emails. Then, start implementing these changes and split testing them.
Maybe you notice that your emails have the highest open rates on Wednesdays and Fridays, but the majority of your emails are sent out on Tuesdays. Try adjusting your emails’ delivery schedule to when your recipients are historically most likely to engage, and see what happens.
The idea here is to make calculated and controlled adjustments to your SOI email strategy and track which changes have the most impact on your re-engagement efforts.
As far as the copy goes, it’s also a good idea to do some market research and find out how other professionals (even outside of the real estate industry) write and format re-engagement and retention emails like the examples you’ll find on this website:
3. Bring more quality to their inbox
On average, people in the workforce receive 121 emails in their inbox each day. In other words, your SOI re-engagement email is competing with 100+ others for the chance to be opened, read, and interacted with.
Suffice it to say, you have to make sure that your emails stand out.
By re-segmenting your email list and adapting your email strategy, you’re already in a better position to do this successfully. The next step is to focus on the email copy itself, and the quality of your emails.
Opening your email, reading it, and clicking on a CTA are all actions that your email recipients intentionally do or don’t do. Their decision to engage or disengage is usually tied to one thing: incentive.
To revive your SOI audience’s engagement, write curated emails with a clear message and offer them some type of value (i.e., free downloadable resources, relevant blog posts, etc.).
For example, take a look at this email from Houzz, which links to articles that their email recipients in the Greenville area would be interested in:
4. Don’t just guess what subscribers want, ask them directly
Building and sustaining relationships with people is part of your job, so odds are that you’ve already built a good rapport with the people in your SOI. But when it comes to email marketing, it’s not enough to guess what your contacts are interested in based on one-on-one conversations alone.
Email personalization adds value to all of your campaigns. To make your emails more personalized, you have to know with certainty what types of content and resources your audience will respond best to.
Luckily, surveys make finding out this information easy.
By sending out surveys to your different audience segments, you’re able to collect the most accurate and up-to-date data about your audience. From the results, you know exactly what your email recipients want to see more and less of in the future.
5. Go beyond email
When an SOI subscriber hasn’t opened one of your emails in months, one of the best ways to get them re-invested is to extend your outreach beyond email.
To do this, you might share more social media posts that promote your business and email list or add a lead magnet (i.e., a free resource) to your website’s landing page to incentivize email sign-ups.
By taking a cross-channel approach like this, you can reach your SOI contacts on different platforms and rekindle their interest in your email list.
As a real estate agent, your specialty is dealing with properties and people. What often goes unsaid about this role, however, is that you have to act as a one-person HR, marketing, and sales team to be successful.
Whether your email engagement is at an all-time high or low, we’ve designed this guide to help you get engagement back on track and reach new all-time highs by doubling down on your SOI email strategy.
Mackenzie is a copywriter at Soundstripe, a stock music company that provides filmmakers, creators, and advertisers with royalty-free upbeat music and royalty-free folk music (among other genres) for video.