Do you get butterflies in your stomach when someone on your database emails you saying:
"Take me off your mailing list."
"How did you get my email address?"
As real estate salespeople, we live to serve others. We are people-pleasers. Every single person in our market is a potential client or referrer, so we feel terrible upsetting anyone.
We fear rejection. That's only natural. That's human.
The problem is, most of us take this rejection and let it alter our behaviour. You might decide that unsubscribes are proof you're sending emails too often. So you pull back and start sending them quarterly, or worse, not at all.
As a result, when you finally send another email, no one has heard from you in 3+ months, they are unlikely to remember who you are and sure enough, you'll get even more unsubscribes!
We forget that real estate is confusing for consumers. People want guidance.
Buyers and sellers in your market are seeking knowledge right now that can help them make smart decisions. You can be the one who gives them that information.
If you send out a bulk email to 1,000 recipients and 3% of your audience unsubscribes, that's 30 people. You can either choose to focus on the 30 people opted out of future communications from you, or, that a whopping nine-hundred-and-seventy people were ok with receiving something from you.
Let's say the next open home you run, 12 groups come through. 11 of them walk out without saying anything, but the 12th group says "We don't like this home. Don't bother calling us back."
That's a whopping 8% (1/12th) of your audience 'unsubscribing' from future communications.
Question: Are you still going to run another open home next week?
Or course you are. Because you know that open homes work. You know they are a great way to meet buyers. As a bonus, you might end up selling the house too.
What can we learn from this?
Letting unsubscribes stop you from emailing your database is like letting one negative reaction at an open home stop you from running open homes forever.
The difference with email is, you aren't yet convinced that sending out regular updates actually works.
I'm here to tell you it does. Email works.
I built a business selling 50+ houses a year on emails. I coach agents right now who sell more than 50 houses each year with regular emails as their foundational prospecting activity.
You might remember a few weeks ago, our feature article was 'What is a free appraisal?'
Here is the message I got from one Agent Monday member after sending it out to her database:
I followed up with Anna, who sent the message above, while writing this article and both those appraisals are going to become listings. Better still, both sets of owners hadn't previously put their hands up as potential sellers. Without sending out the article, she had no way of knowing they were planning on making a move.
This stuff works.
Unsubscribes are going to happen.
People move, interests change. Here's what you need to keep in mind: If you didn't send an email, that person who unsubscribed was unlikely to use your services anyway. So why does it matter if they unsubscribe?
Don't take it personally. Maybe they just want to clear up their inbox this month. I have personally listed properties owned by people who have previously unsubscribed from my list. It doesn't mean they don't like you.
Question: Have you ever felt like you needed to 'clean up' your database? Unsubscribes are simply your email list cleaning itself up.
If you choose to take an unsubscribe 'rejection' to heart and stop sending emails regularly, then how many clients who are open to hearing from you won't be receiving anything at all?
In other words, how are the other 99% who didn't unsubscribe, going to know who they should list with?
How much business could you be missing out on because you aren't keeping in touch as often as you should be?
Where to from here?
Follow these suggestions for 12 months:
- Send an email to everyone in your database at least every fortnight. Weekly is even better.
- Send the same email newsletter to everybody (keep it simple).
- Add in a few cool listings plus some recent local sales and a quote of the week.
- Use a different subject line every time. The Agent Monday article headline is a great place to start.
- Be consistent about timing - eg. Send it on a Wednesday morning between 9 & 11am.
- Expect unsubscribes every time you send an email to more than 20 people. They are a part of life.
- You will get lots of unsubscribes the first time you send an email. The numbers will reduce over time, but never to zero.
- Turn off unsubscribe notification emails in whatever system you use.
- After you get your first ten unsubscribes, come back and read this article again :)
As my personal business coach so rightly pointed out:
What have you got to lose?