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Survey: 90% agree email marketing is increasing in effectiveness

by Chip Bell

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In its 2015 member profile, the National Association of Realtors found that 96 percent of its membership uses email either daily or nearly every day, making it the most used form of communication by Realtors – and as a survey of communication professionals by marketing company Act-On made clear, email remains a great option for connecting and staying connected with consumers.

Here’s what the survey taught us:

Email is built for real estate – The report described email marketing as a “prolific channel used in all types of sales scenarios,” but clarified that where it works best is in markets that are prone to “long and complex” cycles and involve multiple influencers (i.e., an industry like real estate).

Personalized emails work best – It was the majority opinion of more than 180 communication professionals, from directors to chief marketing officers, that the most effective route to consumer engagement through emails is individualized email messages; fifty-one percent of respondents agreed. That means enriching a boilerplate email with personal details – in essence, showing the recipient that they are valued enough to be known.

The second-most effective strategy, which the group admitted required less effort, was list segmentation, which can be done along a number of demographic lines, from generational, to geographical, to parents vs. nonparents, to first-time homebuyers vs. repeat buyers, etc.

It’s becoming more effective – As far as marketing strategies post direct mail go, email is one of the oldest. However, as Act-On’s survey showed, its age is not dampening its efficacy. In fact, according to 90 percent of respondents, the effectiveness of email in a marketing setting is, at least, marginally improving, with 43 percent agreeing the increase is “significant.”

You do not have to do all the work – Forty-one percent of respondents said it’s difficult to do individualized email messaging, while 34 percent said the same thing of list segmentation. But not everything is the responsibility of the marketer, or in our case, the agent. Only 29 percent of respondents claim to do all of their email marketing in house; more than 70 percent outsource at least some portions of the process, and more than a third outsource their email marketing entirely.

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