Several years ago I read a NY Times article about Jon Rimmerman, who makes around $30 million a year selling wine.
Here’s the most fascinating part to me: he sells virtually all of this wine via his email list. According to the article, he has approximately 136,000 subscribers on his email list.
Here is another weird part: he emails his list daily!
I am like most people and hate getting emails – especially from companies trying to sell me something. However, Rimmerman’s emails were different. They were entertaining, educational and not sleazy at all. Sometime he even points to wine to stay away from.
Oddly enough, I actually looked forward to getting his emails … and that’s the key to successful email marketing.
Make it Personal, Make it Different
The key to building a popular and successful email list is to deliver content that people actually want. The best types of email are:
- Funny, or
- Based on topics, such as Travel or Events
Note, none of the ideas above are trying to sell to someone directly. You want the reader to up your emails on a regular basis.
You want the reader look forward to your emails.
Email Marketing for Real Estate
Well, right now when you want to go find a property to buy, you probably start by looking on Zillow, the MLS, or maybe you drive around looking for For Sale By Owner signs.
Now, imagine if you had a list of emails from potential sellers, wholesalers, or real estate agents!
When you are ready to buy a property in a given area with given specifications, you could simply email this list, broadcasting your intention to potentially thousands at a time. Doesn’t this sounds more efficient?
Real estate investors and property managers can build their email list in several ways:
- Contribute your Expertise
Write an educational article for your local REIA and have them link to your opt-in form if they want to hear more from you.
- Teach a Community
Give a presentation to a group of realtors or fellow landlords. If it’s at an actual event, have them sign-up for your email list at the event.
- Advertise Publicly
Post on craigslist.com, postlets.com and backpage.com that you have rental property coming available in a couple of months and you are starting to get a list of potential applicants. Send them to your opt-in form.
- Share with Tenants
You can also market your current tenants by letting them know of your vacancies. They might want to upgrade units or refer an applicant. My friend, Lucas, offers $100 to a current tenant if they refer someone who signs a lease.
I use MailChimp, which is extremely easy and use and free to have one account. Not only that, but you can segment your list into different groups. Alternatively, you could just have completely separate list.
I’ve heard good things about AWeber as well, and is used by millions of people.
The big misconception is that these email lists have to be large. The fact is that the quality of your email list matters much more than the quantity of emails.
The quality of your email list matters much more than the quantity of emails.
All major email marketing tools give you hosted opt-in forms – which is simply a webpage where anyone can sign up. This might sound somewhat confusing, but all it means is that you don’t have to have a website to build your email list.
- Choose a Provider:
The first thing to do is obviously choose an email service provider like MailChimp or AWeber.
- Create an Sign-up form:
Setup lists, then create an opt-in for them.
- Invite Friends and Family:
Then go through your contact list and send people you already know to their respective list so they can choose to opt-in.
- Invite Others:
Use the techniques described above to connect with other people in the industry.
If you’re not sure what type of list to build, consider these creative ideas to grow your email list segments:
- Buyers list
Have a list of potential people ready to buy some of your properties if you ever need to sell.
- Tenant list
Have a list of people who are interested in renting from you. This could be seriously helpful when trying to quickly rent your property.
- Sellers list
Have a list of people who could potentially be motivated sellers
- Real Estate Investors list
Have a list of fellow real estate investors so you could stay up-to-date on local law changes, fellow bad tenants, best practices, networking and referrals.
You could also post a survey using Wufoo or Google Forms to gather information on what features or types of properties that potential renters would value. Based on their responses, you might have a rental property already available.
Tips for Writing Your Emails
If you forget everything about this article – just remember – make your emails enjoyable!
Make your emails enjoyable!
If you only send sales-related emails, nobody is going to look forward to opening them.
- Make them funny
Let’s be honest, life sometimes gets “challenging” – between bills, jobs, strained relationships, et cetera. Everyone enjoys to laugh – tell a joke or a funny story in every email.
- Keep them short and sweet
It’s easy to get carried away in an email when somebody isn’t giving you direct feedback. Remember, that most of the time you are simply trying to get your emails subscribers interested – you aren’t trying to sell them directly.
- Insert personality
Forget corporate talk that is stale and not personal – make your emails have some personality.
- Be Useful
Is this email so useful (or funny) that your readers are going to want to share it? If so, you have written the perfect email.
The CAN-SPAM Act took effect January 1, 2004 and states you could be fined $11,000 for every offense. Multiply that by every person on your list, and you’ll see how sending spam email can get expensive.
Here’s a challenge. By now, you should be able to at least chose an email service provider and creating an opt-in form in less than 10 minutes. Go for it!
If you do, post your link in the comments below – I will opt-in personally!