You won't believe it, but next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the invention of email. Crazy, right? That being said, there's no question that email is here to stay for the foreseeable future and is still a significant role-player in today's arena of digital marketing. But as marketers, you're in a constant battle for your audience's attention against the countless other emails that land inside their inboxes daily. What can you do to ensure your emails stand out? How do you reach your audience more effectively? What drives users to not only open your emails but engage with them?
Let's take a look at what makes a marketing email great at captivating its audience and drives them to convert:
1. be original
I know, I know - easier said than done. But your ability to be unique (especially in email) is the most powerful tool a multifamily marketer has. Fortunately, there are many avenues to explore to develop originality quickly within reach.
community branding: Your community has a specific set of colors, patterns, and fonts that, when combined, are undoubtedly original. Lean into that with your email design. Your emails should easily be seen as an extension of your branding and will help your community stand out from other emails in a recipient's inbox.
messaging: Keep it light & friendly. Sometimes we as marketers have a habit of being too formal with our choice of words. Using a conversational tone is generally more approachable and cultivates opportunities for your community's personality to shine.
use attention-demanding subject lines: When a prospect is hunting for a new residence, they are likely inquiring from multiple properties at a time. Finding unique ways to capture the attention within a few characters can certainly be a challenge, but here are some approaches that could help along the way:
- create urgency: Conveying urgency or scarcity compels audiences to act and, in this case, click an email - it's in human nature. Incorporating phrases like Time's Running Out or Before It's Too Late might help. But beware: overuse of this could come off as annoying over time. Use them sparingly and when it's most appropriate.
- spark curiosity: Who doesn't love a good mystery? I know I do. This sentiment is especially true if it pertains to the interests of your email recipient. Spark that curiosity with a clever subject line that causes them to open it for more information. Be sure to keep these subjects in-line with your brand - if it comes off as too obscure, it might be seen as spam.
- exclusive offerings: I don't know about you, but I can never pass up a good deal. The same applies to apartment hunting. Notifying your recipients of special offers in your subject line creates the incentive to open your emails. Perhaps it's a chance to win a free gift card, or a discounted first month's rent for lease extensions, dangling the bait in the subject line is sure to help. Just make sure the juice (the offer) is worth the squeeze (the email open); otherwise, it could negatively impact your credibility.
2. know your audience. no - really, really know them.
It's certainly instinctive for a marketer to want to blast an email they spent hours creating to as many people as possible, but sometimes, that could hurt you more than help you.
enter: contact segmentation
Contact segmentation is a technique that email marketers use to send highly-targeted emails by dividing their list into smaller groups, or "segments."
Narrowing your audience allows you to tailor your message more directly, thus making it more relevant to the recipient. Increases in email relevancy can improve open and clickthrough rates.
Mailchimp's latest user data showed that segmented campaigns get 14.31% more opens and 100.95% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.
You can segment your audience lists in a variety of different ways:
- email engagement: You can segment by engagement by designating active vs. inactive users, such as someone who hasn't opened your emails in three months. You can then create a specialized campaign designed at re-engaging your inactive subscribers.
- position within your marketing funnel: The messaging and content sent to someone at the top of the funnel should be different targeted emails than those at the bottom.
For example, for a group of brand-new subscribers, their emails should be more generalized, perhaps a summary of the community's location or amenities offered. But let's say you have a prospect whose submitted interest on your website for a 2-bedroom apartment and indicated that they have a pup interested too! Sending an email that showcases all of the pet-friendly accommodations your community has is sure to resonate with them more deeply.
Utilizing segmentation could give you the edge over your competitors by connecting with prospects and residents in more profound ways that other property management companies aren't.
3. build your campaigns with a comprehensive email builder
4. learn from your mistakes... and successes!
All in all, your email marketing efforts should be a constant, never-ending social experiment. Don't be afraid to test a variety of subject lines, a new template design, or changes in cadence. The best-case scenario is you deploy a winning strategy that you can stand beside and be proud of. The worst-case scenario is that you learn what doesn't work, which is still really valuable. Consistently keeping an open mind about how to approach your email marketing will allow for constant growth and increase your marketing's ability to adapt.