Real estate email newsletters are a great way to grow your business over time. But some agents have a hard time getting people to sign up for their newsletters. Here are five things you can do to get more real estate newsletter subscribers — and to keep them subscribed.
1. Give Subscribers a Valuable Incentive or Freebie
This is one of the best things you can do to get real estate newsletter subscribers. Create a strong incentive or reward for your subscribers. For example, you could create an in-depth report on the current state of your housing market, and give it to people who sign up for your newsletter.
The key here is to offer something that has a high perceived value, even though it might not cost you anything but time to create. It’s also important to offer something that is not available elsewhere. Offering exclusive and valuable information is a great way to get more real estate newsletter subscribers.
As a real estate agent, you have a lot of “insider” knowledge about the local market. Home buyers and sellers in the area will see the value in this kind of information. In fact, you could give your sign-up incentive an “insider” angle. An example: “An insider’s guide to the Phoenix real estate market in 2016.”
2. Treat Your Email Newsletter Like a Service, Not a Marketing Channel
From a content perspective, the two biggest problems I see with real estate newsletters are:
- Stock content. Offering stock content that is not tailored to your audience will not win over any new subscribers. An example of “stock” content would be something like “5 Quick Tips for Energy Efficiency in the Home.” This kind of information is already available online. Why would people sign up for your real estate newsletter to get it, when they can find it with a quick Google search?
- Heavy-handed marketing: Another common mistake with real estate newsletter content is the marketing pitch. If your email newsletter is primarily a marketing pitch for your services, people will unsubscribe in droves.
If you think of your real estate email newsletter as a useful service, you can avoid both of these content-related problems. Use your newsletter to keep people informed about the local housing market and related topics that are important to them. Offer exclusive information that’s not available elsewhere, by tapping into your own insight and experience.
And go easy on the marketing pitch. It’s okay to put a short blurb about your services at the opening or closing of each newsletter you send out. But the bulk of the content should serve the reader, first and foremost. This is what smart email marketers have known for many years.
Aim for a 3-to-1 ratio of useful content and marketing information. Give your readers three pieces of useful information, followed by one reminder of your real estate services. This kind of ratio will help you minimize the number of people who unsubscribe from your list, which is just as important as getting them to subscribe in the first place.
3. Put Subscription Boxes in Prominent Locations
If you want more people to subscribe to your real estate email newsletter, you have to make it very easy for them. Putting sign-up boxes in prominent locations across your website will improve your subscription rates.
For instance, if you publish a real estate blog, you could put a sign-up form in the right-hand sidebar so it appears on every blog post. Or you could insert the sign-up box at the top of each article, just below the headline.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I have encountered many agents who essentially hide their real estate newsletter on a separate web page somewhere. If you want people to subscribe to your real estate newsletter, you have to make it highly visible and simple.
While we’re talking about sign-up boxes, try to minimize the amount of information you ask for from your subscribers. All you really need is an email address and maybe a first name. (Having the first name will allow you to personalize your email subject lines and content, which has been shown to improve open rates.) If you ask for too much information, people will be less likely to subscribe to your newsletter.
4. Ask People If You Can Add Them to Your List
You can manually add people to your real estate newsletter list, as long as you get their permission first. Granted, most of your subscribers will probably come from the website sign-up forms we talked about above. But you can also add friends, acquaintances ,and family members to the list manually — with their knowledge and permission.
But again, you have to create a newsletter that’s worth their time. Refer back to item #2 on this list. Treat your real estate email newsletter like a service, through which you provide valuable information to your subscribers. People will be more inclined to give you permission to add them to your list, if they can see the value in it.
5. Let People View a Sample Issue of Your Newsletter
People will be more inclined to subscribe to your real estate email newsletter if they can see what they’re going to get. The easiest way to do this is to show them a sample issue. You could even put a hyperlink to the sample issue right near the sign-up box.
Pick one of your best issues to serve as a sample. Choose one that has particularly useful information in it. If people see the value of your email newsletter, they’ll be more likely to join.
Need help with your newsletter? We’ve been using email newsletters for many years, for our own business and also for our clients. We have helped many real estate agents improve their real estate newsletters, and chances are we can help you as well. If you need help getting a real estate newsletter up and running, or improving your current email campaigns, please let us know.