October 23, 2013
If I had to guess, you've heard this before: email marketing is not dead, especially for professionals in the commercial real estate business. In fact, a 2011 study from the Direct Marketing Associate showed that email marketing yielded a return of $40.56 per dollar spent, compared with $22.24 for search, $12.71 for social networking and $10.51 for mobile.
So, what's the secret to effective email marketing? There's no surefire formula, but there are a few simple things you can do to ensure that your message is received as best as possible.
This tip list isn't comprehensive by any means, but should help you get the ball rolling and help you think critically about what you send out over the web.
Now that we've reviewed those quick steps, let's turn our attention to the "how" of email marketing and talk about the commercial real estate marketing tools that will help you get the results you desire. Here are the three best email marketing platforms for professionals in commercial real estate.
MailChimp is one of the most user friendly email marketing platforms around that helps millions of users design and execute great email marketing campaigns. It's a phenomenal tool to segment your database, as it allows you to create both lists and segments for super precise targeting based on location, engagement and interests. Its intuitive dashboard is very inviting and fun to use, and even allows you to share your email campaigns via social media with just one click. MailChimp also gives you access to an email designer and newsletter templates to help with your campaign's visual appeal, and even includes a feature that tries to match your website's color palette in your email.
Like any solid email marketing platform, MailChimp provides you with a slew of metrics that allow you to track your progress, including opens, click-throughs, bounces, list growth and more. In addition to tracking metrics in-house, MailChimp also integrates with Google Analytics to inform your content with purchase data and measure sales. While we're on the topic of integration partners, MailChimp also integrates with Contactually to ensure that all of your contact data is the same across both platforms and that your important contacts never miss out on your email communications.
MailChimp's pricing fits a freemium model. The free plan allows you to message up to 2,000 contacts with up to 12,000 emails per month gratis, giving you a lot of leeway and a great opportunity to see if this particular software will work for your commercial real estate business. Head over to www.mailchimp.com to give it a whirl.
Emma is another user-friendly email marketing platform that makes it easy to create, send and track beautiful email campaigns that boasts an "industry leading delivery rate of 99.2%". The tool offers several email templates, as well as a DIY drag-and-drop design studio, to help even those with zero design experience execute a visually appealing blast. All of their templates are mobile-friendly to boot, helping you best engage your subscribers.
Like MailChimp, Emma also offers social media, Google Analytics and other integrations to help you spread your campaigns and track the results using the tools that you already know and love. And if you ever run into any problems with their service, have no fear -- Emma has award-winning customer support over email and phone.
Emma offers new users a free 30-day trial to test the service after which plans start at $30/month. You can get started by going to www.myemma.com.
Constant Contact is perhaps the best-known email marketing platform to date, and has more features and functionality than either MailChimp or Emma. It has a bit more of a "business-y" feel in contrast to either service, which, despite recent improvements, cause the not-so-user friendly interface to be a bit clunky.
Like both of the aforementioned platforms, Constant Contact offers a handful of email templates and also allows you to design and upload your own. You can also set an autoresponder sequence, although they limit use with the subscriber's opt-in date as a primary characteristic, making it harder to reorder the sequence and add new messages after the sequence has started. Constant Contact also does not offer integrations with any other software providers, adding another drawback to the service.
You can try Constant Contact to engage under 100 contacts with unlimited email campaigns for 60 days, after which plans begin at $15 per month. Head over to www.constantcontact.com to start your trial.
What's your favorite commercial real estate email marketing platform for commercial real estate? Do you have any tips or tricks about which our readers should know? Drop us a line in the comments, or tweet us @Contactually.