The Covid-19 lockdowns reinforced the value of email marketing to our real estate businesses
Post available in: English
The demise of email marketing has been foretold many times over recent years, but nothing could be further from the truth when you look at the results that email marketing continues to generate for real estate businesses that do it correctly.
On top of these practical, real-world successes, email marketing continually comes out on top when research looks at what form of marketing achieves the best return on investment (ROI). For example, last year email metrics company Litmus found that for every dollar marketers spend on email marketing, they receive $42 in return or an ROI of 42:1. That’s up from an average ROI of 38:1 in 2018 and reflects a trend that has crept upwards for over a decade.
Nothing demonstrated the strategic advantage of a direct email communication channel to your client base better than the Covid-19 lockdowns earlier in the year.
While new business leads across over 1000 small to medium business websites on the Web Genius platform were down 25 per cent during this period, marketing emails and e-newsletters were up 77 per cent.
But you can’t wait for a crisis to start building your email marketing capability. To reap the benefits of increased brand recognition, referrals and repeat business you need to establish a regular contact schedule. One company that has been in regular email contact with its customer base for nearly two decades is the regional real estate company Gateway to South America.
Gateway to South America was an early adopter of email marketing back in the early 2000s and has used the tactic successfully ever since. Email communication is a crucial element of the company’s customer loyalty programme, allowing an ongoing communication channel to be opened up with the vast majority of its traditional clients.
Gateway to South America director, Geoffrey McRae, says that as well as keeping the brand in front of customers both current and potential, email marketing is especially effective when the company’s regional brokers run promotions for individual properties or projects.
“Whenever we send a marketing email out to our database, the increase in web traffic and resulting enquiry is very, very apparent right across all of our marketing platforms,” says Geoffrey. “And because we have a direct channel to our existing customers we are able to communicate our key messages whenever we need to.”
Geoffrey says this was especially beneficial over lockdown, as potential clients contemplated their future residential, commercial and lifestyle needs.
While there is no question about the benefits of email marketing, the amount of work involved can present a barrier for time-strapped small to medium businesses. It takes time and focus to create the useful content required, as well as manage the database and make sure everything complies with anti-spam laws.
The way around this potential obstacle is automation. Using modern email marketing software you can create a series of email newsletters based around your current properties available and set these up to go out automatically at regular intervals.
These property mailouts should mainly provide well-priced options for your customers but can also include calls-to-action, links to other website content and incentives to respond. Around these regular, scheduled mailouts, you can also send special editions when you have something specific to communicate such as new services and staff members, or changes in the way you do business.
In our own case we realised early on we needed to communicate in the potential clients native language, property type and time zone so we created separate databases and filters to do this. Over the years these databases have become the most valuable part of the business.
Having a valuable database creates its own challenges as they become the target of hackers, so you need to protect your client’s data by using robust security.
Of course, having an email marketing system in itself is useless unless you have the constant addition of new potential clients email addresses.
One of the ways we do that, apart from Google and Facebook marketing, is we have developed over many years a property news site which specialises in South American investment opportunities, information on how to buy and all the other news items we believe a genuine potential investor would be interested in before and after buying. It has its own bilingual database and is run separately to our property site.
Subscribers to that site are made aware of the company’s other services and so it becomes an important funnel of potential buyers to our property site. Active buyers or potential sellers often subscribe to both sites.
Source: Geoffrey McRae, Marketing Director for GTSA
Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition.
About Gateway to South America
Established in 2006, Gateway to South America began as a single office in Buenos Aires. Since then, it has grown into a vibrant regional network, providing professional real estate marketing services to clients in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. If you enjoy reading our news site, please share it on your social media!
Post available in: English