Have you ever thought of email marketing as casting a wide net to try and pull in as many folks as possible? For many agents, that is the go-to marketing tactic, however, it may not be the best one. In fact, it could be damaging.
If you are sending out content that is not directly applicable to your contacts, they may opt to ignore your email completely. At a glance, an ignored email may seem like nothing important, but those emails can add up.
Email clients (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) are getting more sophisticated every day. They not only sort incoming emails into various folders, but they can monitor the engagement of their users and make suggestions on what to do with the emails themselves. Gmail will even make suggestions to unsubscribe from email content that isn't frequently opened.
Seeing this can certainly seem scary, but generally, all that is needed is some TLC into what you are sending out and to whom.
No More Wide Net
There can be times where reaching out to all of your contacts is appropriate, but it should certainly not be your every day activity. Instead, focus on finding commonalities and grouping your contacts that way. If you know that folks are interested in a certain area, create a Distribution List, and add those contacts to it.
Engagement doesn't need to be driven by location either. Everybody has hobbies and interests. It is one of my favorite things to ask someone when I am first getting to know them. Try to keep track of what your contacts respond to and are interested in, then serve them content related to that interest.
If you're not sure what your contacts are interested in, your marketing emails can even be a great place to start. Dedicate some time and space in your marketing pieces to touch on some fairly common interests (skiing, yoga, cooking, gaming). You could link to videos, articles, or recipes, and then use the tools available to you to view the metrics of who clicked on what content. If a contact clicked on a recipe, sort them into a logical Distribution list and share another later!
Not only does this help you avoid situations like the "Gmail unsubscribe suggestion" described above, but it drives more engagement. It's no surprise that engaged contacts are likely to open your emails. If they open your emails, they are more likely to see what you are capable of whether that is selling their home, helping them find a new home, or just being a valued expert resource in the community.
Maybe They're Just Not That Into You...
So you've started gathering the contacts that have been engaging into groups so you can provide them with more engaging contacts, but what do you do with the other contacts? Although it can be tough, sometimes the best thing you can do is part ways. Phasing-out, sun-setting, a digital Dear John letter; no matter what you call it, it can actually be beneficial to your overall email deliverability.
Not only can mail servers and email clients "learn" the preferences of individual users and make suggestions to them, but they can also take that engagement data and use it to make wider scale decisions for their other users.
If you frequently send emails to five agents with @clermontrealestate.com email addresses and they don't really ever open your emails, the email service could recognize that. Moving forward, that email service could categorize your emails as unwanted and move them to a different folder (like the spam folder). Once that habit is developed, the email service could even start to do that when you reach out to a new @clermontrealestate.com contact.
Just like you can use the metrics for your marketing pieces to see who is engaging in your pieces, you can also check out who has never engaged in your marketing pieces. If you find a contact who has never opened your marketing pieces, it may be time to remove them from your active distribution lists.
You don't have to say goodbye permanently, but it may be best to give them a little break. Whether that is adding them to a list you only reach out to occasionally or just putting them on the back-burner for a little while, like many things in the real estate industry, you can usually trust your gut.