January 18, 2017
Increase Your Email IQ
Editor's Note: This article was originally published by RISMedia, you can view it here.
Building relationships through email
At Contactually, we believe that the most successful businesses in the world are built upon personal, authentic relationships with clients and partners. Since 2013, we have helped tens of thousands of users do just that--strengthen and grow their professional relationships. We have helped users send more than 60 million emails to their contacts using our automated reminder system and market-proven templates, resulting in an average increase of 42 percent in the growth of their businesses.
Our users organize their contacts into "buckets," groupings of people who will be contacted at a similar frequency or have common traits. Real estate professionals will often categorize their leads into hot, warm, and cold lead buckets, each requiring a different contact cadence.
While the short-term goals of each of these leads may differ, they share one important commonality. As a real estate professional, you want each and every lead to positively think of you and enthusiastically mention you when a friend or family member even hints at a real estate need. This begs the question: What can real estate professionals do to increase the likelihood of this happening within their network?
To help answer this question, we analyzed the performance of emails sent by real estate professionals. We took a sample of over 150,000 emails sent to contacts categorized by the Contactually user as either a "Hot Lead," "Warm Lead," or "Cold Lead," and evaluated performance based on whether the email was opened, responded to, or simply ignored. We further evaluated important, actionable elements, such as day of week, as well as time of day sent.
Read on for more details on the best time to send an email...
Maximizing Response RateHot Leads (20 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
If a response to your email from your client is your goal, the best day to email a Hot Lead is Wednesday (10.1 percent response rate) while the worst day is Saturday (4.2 percent response rate). Additionally, consider the hour of your email: 9 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. has the highest response rate (9.9 percent).Warm Leads (30 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Sundays are the best days to email Warm Leads when a response is desired (11.6 percent) whereas the very next day, Mondays (5.3 percent), represent the lowest opportunity.
Emailing between midnight and 6:59 a.m. represents the best opportunity for a response (11.6 percent), more than 2.5 times those sent at the end of the business day, 6 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. (4.1 percent).Cold Leads (50 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Not surprisingly, Cold Leads have the lowest overall response rate among the three categories of leads; however, because they represent the largest component of a real estate professional's contacts, this represents a significant opportunity. Soliciting a response from a Cold Lead is best done by sending an email on a Wednesday (5.1 percent response rate) while Saturdays generally represent the worst opportunity (2.6 percent response rate); 11 a.m. to 1:59 p.m. represents the best time to send (5.3 percent response rate) in general to this category of leads.Table 1A - Email Response Rate by Day of Week and Lead TypeTable 1B - Email Response Rate by Hour Sent and Lead Type
Maximizing Open RateHot Leads (20 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
At times, having a message simply consumed is the goal (versus seeking a response). For Hot Leads, this is best accomplished by emailing on a Thursday (63.8 percent open rate) while Sundays represent the low-watermark for this metric (50.8 percent open rate). Sending between midnight and 6:59 a.m. generally results in the highest open rates (69.5 percent open rate).Warm Leads (30 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Warm Leads are most likely to open an email you send on a Friday (62.1 percent open rate). Conversely, Mondays (44.5 percent) are the least likely day for this population to open your emails.
Interestingly, Warm Leads are generally not sensitive to when they are mailed with one important exception: between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. (38.7 percent open rate versus average of approximately 59 percent for all other time segments).Cold Leads (50 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Cold Leads are most likely to open an email sent by a real estate professional on Thursdays (46.3 percent open rate). At the other extreme, emails sent on a Sunday are the least likely to be opened by a Cold Lead (36.3 percent open rate). Open rate by Cold Leads varies quite a bit: the highest rate (54.2 percent open rate) is for those emails sent between 9 p.m. and 11:59 p.m., while the lowest (35.0 percent open rate) is for those sent first thing in the morning (7 a.m. to 10:59 a.m.).Table 2A - Email Open Rate by Day of Week and Lead Type
Table 2B - Email Open Rate by Hour Sent and Lead Type
Minimizing Lack of Engagement RateHot Leads (20 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Clearly, we don't send emails hoping that they result in no engagement from our contacts; however, it can happen often with the sender having little to no knowledge of it. Our analysis can help real estate professionals minimize this risk by avoiding sending emails at times that generally have a higher avoidance rate,
For Hot Leads, the single worst time to email is Saturday. More than one-third of all emails generate no action (neither opened nor responded to) whatsoever. And as for time of day, the single best time to send an email to a Hot Lead is between midnight and 6:59 a.m. (12.7 percent no engagement).Warm Leads (30 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Mondays represent the worst time to email a Warm Lead with nearly half (45.5 percent) generating no action by the recipient. And try to not to email between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m., because the likelihood of no engagement by the recipient in more than two times any other time (52.6 percent no engagement).Cold Leads (50 percent of total real estate contacts analyzed)
Due to the nature of these contacts being considered "cold," it's no surprise that their no engagement rates are generally higher than the other two populations of leads. Best day to email Cold Leads? Wednesday (44.3 percent no engagement). Best time to email? Midnight to 6:59 a.m. (40.1 percent no engagement). Despite these relatively high percentages, real estate professionals can be strategic in their outreach to cold leads and further increase the odds of engagement.Table 3A - No Email Engagement Rate by Day of Week and Lead Type
Table 3B - No Email Engagement Rate by Hour Sent and Lead Type
When is the best time to send an email?
Real estate professionals rely on their networks as a major source of business and using email is a fast, personal, and effective method of staying in touch. Our analysis demonstrates that real estate professionals can be far more strategic--and effective--when communicating to leads, be they hot, warm or cold.
Day of week and time of day has a significant impact on the recipient's actions. To maximize the effectiveness of email outreach efforts, we recommend the following simple steps:
- Organize your contacts into segments based on priorities--commonly used is Hot Lead, Warm Lead, and Cold Lead.
- Identify the range of topics that you'd want to communicate to each priority type (for example, "update on your search," "been a while, hope you're well," or "thought I'd pass along this article").
- Be thoughtful in deciding when to email contacts. As our analysis shows, time and day of emailing can impact your desired results--open or response rate--by a factor of two or three.
Most importantly, commit to staying in regular contact with your network. The more top-of-mind you are, the more referrals and leads that will come your way proactively.
Increase your email IQ with our infographic, put it up and start sending some emails.Let us know if our timing is on point!