As we head into Christmas and the New Year, it’s a great time to review the past 12 months and consider what you’ve achieved so far and what new goals you’d like to target next to grow your listings and leads for 2023.
Taking some time to review your email marketing before years end can be highly beneficial as nearly every improvement you make can improve the quality and quantity of leads you receive. Action you take now will ensure you hit the ground running in January.
Below we’ve outlined five key tasks to make sure 2023 is your best year yet. Do them individually or amplify their effectiveness by tackling them all.
1 – Get disciplined around contact tagging
As humans, it’s natural and feels logical to want to create the perfect ‘boxes’ to put our contacts into with one label to capture everything about the person. But trust me, this quickly becomes confusing and deeply complicated.
Tags, however, make it easier. Use simple individual tags that reflect different parts of the identity of your contacts – such as buyer, seller, first home buyer, upgrader, or downsizer. It can also be helpful to identify how you know them – i.e.: are they a past client, inspection attendee, local resident, or VIP.
The great thing about tags is that you don’t need to stop at one. In fact, the more, the better. Create a more complete picture by adding multiple tags to create deeper layers of insight. This might include their readiness to act – hot, warm, cold – or when you expect them to act with in market, next 3 months, next 6 months, researching etc.
Building up layers of tags allows you to create campaigns that can be either broad, highly targeted, or somewhere in between. Good tagging also makes it easier to set up automations.
One tip with tagging though is to take note of your tags on a separate document, refer to it regularly and share with everyone who uses your database. Otherwise, it can get very tempting to start making up new tags or start spelling them differently.
2 – Set times for regular data clean up
Datasets are like houses – they get dirty no matter how hard you try and stay tidy! As such they can always benefit from a regular spring clean – albeit a little more regularly than once a year. Start planning now and set a time in your calendar to commit to this task on a quarterly basis. That way, you know it is locked in and will get done.
When cleaning up your database, you don’t have to set yourself the herculean task of ensuring every field is filled in in your CRM. No one has time for that! But you do want to make sure every contact is a useful one that can be used as part of your email marketing campaigns.
Make sure you’ve got first name and last name, an email address and phone number and some tags to help identify who they are, the help they are likely to need from you and how frequently you should contact them. These are known as our Big 5 Contact Points.
Cleaning up your data can be a straight-forward process when you tackle it regularly. First, create a list of contacts who are missing an email address, and possibly a last name and jump on the phones to reach out to those people and request the additional information. You can sweeten the deal by offering to send them a free market report or sales update.
Make a morning or afternoon of it and incentivize your team by hosting a morning tea or pizza for getting the job done.
3 – Create better data capture and permission processes
How are contacts going into your CRM? What’s the experience that your contacts have when you enter them into your database? Do they even know they’ve been added?
Is your process structured and orderly? Or does it involve weeping in frustration over your mobile phone as you try to export to a file on a weekend?
It’s good practice to be up front with contacts and clients about how and why you’d like to get their details and what you will do with them once you have them – which is obviously to be their agent and provide them with expert insights and professional property services! And the process you follow to add them to your database should be orderly and second nature, NOT a source of stress.
Be up front that any names and details you collect at open houses will be added to your database – sharing new and relevant listings is one of the ways you’re going to deliver great service. If you’re still using a clipboard and sheet of paper, consider an outsourcing service that will type in the details directly to your CRM overnight. Or consider check-in apps that will gather the contact information automatically.
Once the contacts are in your system, the first email communication they should receive from you should be a ‘thank you!’ email introducing yourself in some more detail and explaining the types of information you’ll be sharing with them and services that they offer. (See Automations for some more details). That way you can be confident that every contact in your database is genuinely valuable because it is made up of people who are keen to engage with you and hear what you have to say.
4 – Set up or review client nurture campaigns
Spring markets are different to Autumn and Winter campaigns have a different cadence to Summer, so it makes sense that the messaging and content in your email campaigns adjusts to reflect the time of year.
In the same way that a quarterly data clean up is a great idea, regularly reviewing your email campaigns for each season is also a good practice that will ensure you really dominate your marketing. If it’s in the diary, it’s one less thing to think about!
As part of your review, examine how your emails have been performing. Which ones have been opened and clicked on the most? You can derive some great insights into the type of content to do more of and the tone that gets the best responses.
Think about the types of emails you’re sending to your most important contact tags. These are probably Buyers, Sellers and General/VIPs at the very least, or maybe you’ve got separate tags for Upsizers, First Home Buyers and Downsizers or Investors.
Consider what an ideal series of emails would be for each of these groups to receive, the kinds of information that would be valuable to that audience, and the journey you’d like to take them on over your series of emails.
Delivering a series of articles (there’s a great selection with Real Estate Content inside ActivePipe) for each persona can help your audience make key decisions and feel more confident about their property journey. Then create listings or just sold information sections in your template to automatically populate when the email goes out.
5 – Automate great client experiences
One of the benefits of getting your tagging and campaigns organised is that it increases what you can automate and ‘set and forget’ while also delivering even better customer service to your contacts through more personalised experiences.
This is extremely powerful because it makes sure there is activity happening and delivering results even if you’re not thinking about it! Plus, it allows you to serve segments of your market – like buyers – that you probably don’t have time to look after manually.
Including Surveys in your email templates – and making sure you automatically send out survey emails at key times during a campaign – is one of the most powerful automations you can set up and a key source of leads.
When a contact fills in a Survey, it not only automatically tags the contact (so less work for you to do at your quarterly data clean up!) but it allows the emails you send to them to be customised specifically to their property preferences. No more sending out two-bedroom apartments to luxury upgraders!
As well as Surveys, some great automations to set up include:
- A Welcome Email (as we outlined in the Data Capture section)
- New Listing Alert emails
- Change of Open for Inspection times
- Just Sold or Record Price alerts
- Nurture email series (set them up to go out monthly)
The only regular work you need to do to keep automations ticking over is to add new contacts each week and give them a review once a quarter to make sure you’re happy with the text and tone.
Follow even just one or two of these actions and we guarantee you’ll have a very happy 2023.
If you’d like to find out more about any of these five tips, check out more ActivePipe blogs or knowledge base which has an extensive list of step by step instructions. You can also check out our live webinars which run Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week.