Despite texting and chat becoming more popular ways to communicate with prospects, email is still an important part of your overall marketing program.
- The average person checks their email 15 times per day (or every 37 minutes)
- The number of email users will increase by 4 billion in 2020
- There are 7 billion active email accounts
- People have, on average, two email accounts (some have more!)
As you can see from these stats, email is not going anywhere. Given its pervasiveness, it’s important to understand how to craft emails that resonate with your prospects.
Below are highlights from a recent HomebuilderTECH presentation in which Angela McKay provides new home sales and marketing professionals with the foundation to writing relevant and effective emails.
Be relatable and be real
Communication needs to be consistent with the brand, but it’s essential not to sacrifice authenticity. Creating connections with your buyers is simply good business. Putting your customers at the center of your company leads to more satisfied customers and happier employees.
What do homebuyers crave?
- Being easy to work with
Whether it’s a marketing or personal email, check those boxes!
Putting yourself in the buyers’ shoes will help you when crafting your email. What do they want to hear and need to hear? Make sure your email copy communicates what is most important to them. You need to understand their problems and relate to them in your emails.
Match the buyer journey with the email content
Define your audience and start to segment them. Not all prospects are created equal. Depending on how they found out about your community will determine how much they know about your company. Leads who come from paid digital ads or third-party directories may not know much about you, so these are usually considered marketing qualified leads (MQL). These leads may sit in your database for some time before they are interested. Leads captured from your website or chat are called sales qualified leads (SQL) and will likely move along the sales funnel faster. As a result, what you say to each group needs to be different. One size doesn’t fit all. If you’re not speaking to them, you’re going to turn them away. So you need to segment your leads to understand the buyer journey better and craft messages to fit that point in time. Their needs are different, so your messages to them should be, too!
What do you say?
Be human. Avoid jargon and ask questions! Make sure your email can be read ”on the go” and that you are focused on them. It’s important to tell a story that connects with prospects on an emotional level. These stories can include happy home buyers, a sincere message from your company’s owner/president, or the story behind your community. Your salespeople may be a great source of stories that they are naturally sharing these with buyers. Remember, you’re building long-lasting relationships—not a hard sell. Even though you’re building a relationship, you need to do it fast. Readers give about 15 seconds to an email, so less is more! Keeping the copy tight (50 words) with strong use of visuals (show, don’t tell) can make your communication more impactful. There are four critical ingredients to every email:
If you’re not sure where to start, look at examples from your favorite brands and learn from them. Subscribe to other companies’ emails to see what they are doing and how you can incorporate some of these key items in your programs.
Playbooks/workflows based on engagement
Know what you want your email to achieve. For a prospect that came through your website, your goal may be to set an appointment. If you’re sending an invitation to an event, you may have attendance goals. Your playbooks, or sales processes, should include five-to-seven activities and focus on the goal you want to achieve. Mix in automated emails with sales activities for communications that don’t need a sales rep’s intervention. There are several triggers you can use to initiate your sales processes:
- Website registrations
- Facebook leads
- Website visits
- Rating changes
- Appointments/Model visits
Create these processes ahead of time, so you have a consistent and systematic approach. Marketing and sales activities should complement each other!
There is no silver bullet
There is no silver bullet or magic formula. However, with planning, there is a higher chance of success. Even when you’re experiencing chaos, as we have been over the past few months, by taking a more systematic approach you will be able to pivot more easily. You can make those changes because you have a system in place. You can see your data, so you know what’s happening. So, create a communication strategy with realistic goals that you will stick with. There is no “easy” button—it takes work, but you’ll be far better off in the long run.