The possibilities with email marketing have come a long way. Greater functionality and the plethora of automated email marketing platforms represent an apartment marketer’s fantasyland. However, just because more is possible, doesn’t mean multifamily operators are using email marketing more effectively.
Research we conducted a couple years ago (that we are in the process of currently updating) shows that very few operators are effectively using emails as a marketing tactic. In fact, surprisingly few use it at all, so “Tip #0” is that you should have an organized email re-marketing campaign.
Tip #1: Be Sure You Have A Strong, Actionable Subject Line
You should spend almost as much time creating a strong subject line as you do creating the content for your email. Your subject line is the most important aspect of your email. If it’s not strong, then the email is less likely to get opened; and of course, if the email isn’t opened then nothing else matters.
There are four components to a strong headline:
- It’s action oriented
- It’s concise
- It’s clear
- It aligns with the content
Tip #2: Tell a Story
Too many multifamily emails sound like a boring MLS listing, filled with lists of attributes and amenities. The problem is that your competitors have lists, too, so you’re not standing out at all. Besides, lists are boring.
Stories are so much more interesting. And they don’t have to be a lot of words. Pictures tell stories, sometimes much better than words. The point is to create the mental picture of your prospect moving in and becoming a happy resident.
Tip #3: Personalize & Contextualize
We all know that we should use the prospect’s name in our emails today, but personalization goes well beyond that. Emails that are one-size fits all are simply not as effective as those that address the prospect and their particular needs. That’s what “1:1 marketing is all about.”
To stand out in today’s noisy world, you must communicate within the context of your prospect’s mindset. The email should feel like it is just for them. To advance your email marketing, start by creating a series of “resident cohorts.” Each cohort represents a profile, or persona, of the residents each of your communities attracts. As leads come into your system you can use marketing intelligence (and as they visit you can combine with sales insights) to determine which cohort they belong in.
With your resident cohorts clear, you can create emails geared to the attributes of your prospects; quickly creating a highly customized feel and great impact. For example, if the prospect indicates they have a pet, then include an email about your pet friendly policies in your drip campaign; if they don’t, then don’t send them emails about that. It’s all about connecting with their personal needs.
Tip #4: Don’t Overwhelm People With Images
We get it. Your community is great. You want to show it off with pictures. And while images certainly belong in your emails, remember this:
- Images slow load times
- They trigger spam filters
- They’re hard to consume
- As you add more images, you actually reduce open and conversion rates
Be sure you are using solid copy to support your images. Keep in mind that many (or most) of your emails are going to be viewed on phones so you want to be sure the email is easy to consume on a small device.
Just remember, sometimes less is more!
Tip #5: Make It A Cadence
Sending one follow up email is not a strategy. An effective email marketing program is built on a cadence. As you develop your email strategy consider these three questions:
- How many emails do we want to send?
- Over what period of time do we want to send them?
- At what intervals should the emails be sent?
Each email should focus on a part of the story you are trying to tell and should build on one another.
Emails are (or, at least, should be) a core part of every multifamily marketing program. Follow these five tips, and you’ll see your success rates improve.