Real Estate Newsletter Subject Line Tips to Boost Your Open Rates

This is the second in a two-part series that explains how to use real estate email newsletters effectively. In part one, we examined the importance of using local content in your newsletter, to keep people on the list. Now we will analyze the email subject line, in particular.

At a glance: This lesson will help you write enticing real estate newsletter subject lines, in order to improve your open rates and readership. It also provides specific examples and ideas for crafting email subject lines. It is intended for agents and brokers who use newsletters as part of a broader marketing strategy.

Writing Real Estate Newsletter Subject Lines

email inboxOver the years, I’ve coached a lot of real estate agents on newsletter marketing. Many of them struggle when it comes to subject lines.

Granted, this is an important piece of the newsletter. It affects your open rates. It draws people into the content. But it’s not as hard as you might think.

Here are five real estate newsletter subject line tips and strategies you can use to increase your open rates.

1. Make your subject lines specific, unique and intriguing.

Your email subject lines should be a natural extension of the content contained within the newsletter itself. This means it will probably change from one distribution to the next.

Studies have shown that unique subject lines outperform their “standardized” counterparts, in terms of open rates. Here’s the difference:

  • Example of a standardized subject line: “Phoenix Real Estate Newsletter, Issue 12.” It’s the same thing every time, with only the issue number changing. Not very intriguing. This kind of repetition could cause people to ignore your emails.
  • Example of a unique subject line: “Houston home prices rose 13% last year, and here’s why.” This is more interesting for several reasons. First, it uses a statistic / percentage. Specific numbers perform well within headlines, and your email subject line is basically a headline for the content that follows. Secondly, it introduces a specific topic that appeals to the target audience. It would likely produce a higher open rate than the standardized version.

2. Use numbers and questions to create intrigue.

I mentioned numbers in tip #1 above. Numbers, percentages, and other data points grab people’s attention. It suggests that the content that follows is well-researched, factual, informative and interesting. Find ways to use them in your real estate newsletter subject lines.

You can also pose questions within your email subjects, in order to create intrigue and boost open rates. For example: “How will these new mortgage rules affect our market?”

3. Keep it factual and straightforward.

The subject line of a real estate email newsletter should directly reflect the content contained within it. It should be factual and relevant, while suggesting that there is something interesting and valuable inside.

You should never “bait and switch” your audience with a sensational or gimmicky subject line that does not accurately reflect the content. They’ll only resent you for it. And they’ll express their resentment by unsubscribing.

4. Include your city name, when applicable.

Research by MailChimp (a leading email newsletter service provider) suggests that you can improve your open rates by including the recipient’s city name within the subject line. And that makes sense. It tells the recipient that the newsletter’s content is relevant to them, because it offers local information.

5. Keep it short.

People tend to scan their email subject lines, to decide what they should open and what they can delete. You might even do the same thing. So you shouldn’t expect your subscribers to dig through a long subject line, looking for something interesting.

Keep it short and sweet, while using the other strategies mentioned above. Newsletter delivery services generally recommend 50 characters or less for subject lines. That’s because most email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) will display up to 50 characters.

A Few Examples

In closing, I’ll leave you with a few examples of real estate newsletter subject lines, to get your creative juices flowing…

  • A look at Houston’s hottest new neighborhood
  • Why are San Francisco home prices rising so fast?
  • Mortgage rates drop below 4% for the first time in months
  • Is Denver experiencing another real estate bubble?
  • 25 good reasons to live in Atlanta
  • Have you tried these two new restaurants?

If you enjoyed this guide to real estate newsletter subject lines, be sure to sign up for our own list. You’ll automatically receive new articles by email, once per week. It’s a convenient way to keep up with real estate marketing trends, tips and techniques. You can subscribe by using the box provided at the top of this page.

About the author: Brandon Cornett is a full-time real estate blogger and creator of the Home Buying Institute. He has been covering the housing market for 15+ years and also provides writing services for agents across the U.S.