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4 steps to effective real estate email marketing

Real estate email marketing

Key takeaways

  • Using email marketing software can help you personalize and automate your campaigns for a higher return on investment (ROI)
  • Drip campaigns and timely newsletters can be effective parts of your email marketing strategy
  • Don’t forget to monitor your metrics to ensure your email campaigns are driving the results you want

The real estate industry can be tough. Homebuyers are making large purchases that have 15- to 30-year commitments, with 13 years being the average time spent in a home. So it can be quite a while before they consider returning to your business, which means lead generation needs to be a top priority for real estate agents

With real estate email marketing, gaining, nurturing, and converting leads doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Here are four steps you can take to build a solid email marketing strategy that drives potential buyers to you.

1. Choose your real estate email marketing tool

Great email marketing software can save you an enormous amount of time while better targeting homebuyers in your area. Along with streamlining the process of creating and sending emails, these marketing tools can help you easily do all of the following and more:

  • Collect real estate leads
  • Re-engage past clients
  • Drive potential buyers toward a sale
  • Personalize email messaging 
  • See how email campaigns are performing

Using an email marketing platform helps you become more effective and efficient with your campaigns.

Features to consider

There are many email marketing tools to help build email marketing campaigns, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and Active Campaign. To help you narrow down which one you want to use to promote your business, here are a few features to consider: 

Email list segmentation

If you’re sending emails to one massive email list, chances are your message won’t apply to all of them. As a result, many leads will unsubscribe before they become customers—this happens 9% more often than with targeted campaigns, so segmentation is a must. Your email marketing tool should allow you to divide your subscribers into smaller groups based on key characteristics, so you can target the right people with the most relevant content.

With segmentation, you can send emails based on data like:

  • Location: Where are they located or looking to move to?
  • Needs: Are they a seller or a buyer? Are they buying for the first time?
  • Their relationship to you: Are they considering your realty services for the first time or are they a past client?

Email templates

As a realtor, you probably don’t have time to design emails from scratch. Many email marketing tools provide user-friendly and mobile-friendly, drag-and-drop templates you can customize and save to use again. Pay attention to how customizable the templates are. What types of content can you add? Can you create new columns or just rows? Can you add your logo and brand colors for impactful branding?

Find the most user-friendly platform that allows you to design the newsletters you want as you envision them.


Automated emails can help you earn 320% higher revenue than non-automated ones. Through automation, you won’t have to actively hit “send” on recurring email campaigns—and you only have to create them once.

Take a look at the automation capabilities of any email marketing software you’re considering. At a minimum, you should be able to schedule out emails to send at any selected time.

Ideally, your real estate email marketing software should also allow you to create drip campaigns, which are pre-written series of emails subscribers automatically receive over a set amount of time, starting from the time they’re added to a relevant email list.


Personalization can help you speak more directly to your audience and develop stronger relationships with new leads and clients.

Make sure your email software allows you to use merge tags, which are custom fields you can designate for the email recipient’s first name, city, or other data you have stored about them. If you’ve ever received a marketing email with your name in the subject line, merge tags likely made it happen.

Some tools also offer advanced dynamic content capabilities, allowing you to send an email where certain sections in the body of the email only appear for specific members of your audience. For example, if you’re sending out a general newsletter, you may create a section featuring new listings that only appears to potential buyers and not to new homeowners or sellers.


Real estate email marketing: Tablet with analytics

Improving your real estate email marketing is dependent upon knowing whether or not your current tactics are working. To create more effective emails, make sure your software allows you to track basic metrics like:

  • Email open rates
  • Click-through rates (measures how often readers click on a specific link) 
  • Bounce rates (measures how often emails are returned to you without being viewed)
  • Email list growth rates


When you manage your own campaigns, your software will take up the bulk of your real estate email marketing budget. In the beginning, when your business is smaller, you can find a reliable email marketing tool for $10–$20 per month, which is usually good for at least 500 subscribers.

As your email lists grow—or if you find that you need more advanced features—you can steadily upgrade to higher tiers. If you upgrade to an enterprise-level email marketing tool or decide to outsource your email marketing campaigns, plan on investing at least $300 per month.

2. Plan out your email campaigns

To make the most out of your real estate email marketing strategy, plan out the specific types of campaigns you want to create ahead of time. Whether you’re sending drip emails or more timely messages, you should be regularly communicating with members on your email lists—especially those who are in the process of searching for a new home. Below are three campaign ideas you can consider adding to your strategy.

Homebuyer leads drip campaign

A drip campaign for potential buyers is essential for every real estate agent. This type of drip campaign drives homebuyers through the sales funnel—a buying process that starts with awareness and interest and ends with a conversion and sale—by providing the right information at the right time.

Email campaigns sent to homebuyers are usually pretty fast-paced since they could be considering multiple realtors. You may initially make contact daily, perhaps providing information and tips on the home buying process. As you continue nurturing your lead, you can start nudging them toward an action—for example, getting on a phone call with you or attending an open house.

Email newsletter

Email newsletters are great for keeping your real estate business top of mind for all your subscribers. These newsletters can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and they can be fairly general compared to your ultra-targeted campaigns.

You may include topics like real estate market trends, blog updates, and referral program information, as well as timely holiday messages. These real estate newsletters will help you maintain relationships with potential and existing clients, plus they can establish you as a thought leader and helpful resource.

Post-sale campaign

Referral marketing is a highly effective way to gain new leads and grow your business. And since you’ve recently helped them find their dream home, the newest homeowners on your contact list can be most willing to provide great referrals.

You can create a drip campaign to begin after any buyer’s closing date. You may start with some helpful follow-up emails. For example, you can send emails that offer move-in tips and other useful resources for new homeowners or general check-ins on how they’re liking their new home. Once you establish this rapport, you can then move toward asking for a referral.

Even if they’re not able to provide a referral, your follow-ups will feel thoughtful and may inspire them to leave a Yelp review (just be sure you don’t ask directly for a review—it’s against Yelp policy). Make sure to claim your Yelp Business Page so you can respond whenever someone leaves a review.


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3. Create and launch

Typing on keyboard

Once you have your first real estate marketing campaign ideas nailed down, start building out each individual email. For your drip campaigns, create an outline for your email sequence first. For example, for your homebuyer leads drip campaign, your email sequence may look like this:

  1. Welcome email
  2. Homebuyer do’s and don’ts
  3. Information about their local market
  4. Testimonial about your brand

Once you’ve outlined your email sequence, customize an email template for your brand and start plugging in content. Don’t forget to personalize the content when possible and add a call to action (CTA) to every email.

Your email marketing software should guide you through the scheduling or automation process, but before you officially launch your campaign, make sure your email looks good on desktop, tablets, and mobile devices. 85% of users view their email on smartphones, so mobile is critical to a campaign’s success. Most tools allow you to send a test email to yourself or see a preview directly on the platform.

4. Keep tabs on your performance

Just as you would for other online marketing mediums, you’ll want to keep an eye on your real estate email marketing analytics. Monitoring trends in your metrics helps you figure out how to improve your content over time. For example, if your open rate is low, you may need to use more eye-catching, personalized subject lines. Or if your click-through rate is low, you may want to change up your CTA.

Watching for trends in your subscribers’ behaviors can also help you identify what content your audience relates to, wants, and needs the most.

Convert homebuyers with email

Real estate email marketing can help you nudge leads toward a sale, as well as re-engage past clients who can refer new clients to you. To maximize your ROI when using this marketing method, take advantage of flexible and functional email software and plan out your email campaigns before you launch. For more ideas to reach homebuyers, read more on how to promote your business locally.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.