Mistake 13: Using the Wrong Headline

You may have written some wonderful content, based on your extensive knowledge and experience - generous in its advice and opinion, but unless you can capture your readers’ attention and prompt them to read on, and ideally take action, then those efforts are wasted. The fact that you are reading this now means that, in this instance, I got the subject line right! Here are my top six tips that estate agents should use when creating your email marketing campaigns:

1. Fit the heading to the medium. There are two main types of heading; those that form the subject line of an email and those that head up a piece in a blog or newsletter. They are not the same. The first must cause the reader to act, and the second can be softer, possibly more directly related to the subject, as you already have their attention and they expect to read on. They no longer need to “be sold” the piece.

2. Make every word count! Crafting a killer email subject line, however, is a skill that should not be taken lightly as it can be the make or break of engagement in your estate agency marketing. You only have about a dozen words to work with, ideally less, so make them count.

On the one hand you want to write something that is really effective in getting the reader to open the email. “I have your child” would be really effective, but this would be a misleading lie and your audience, that you have spent years cultivating, would never trust you again.

3. Hit a nerve. Your header should be specific enough to hit a nerve, yet general enough to attract the widest number of readers. A short, enigmatic subject can also work well, especially when posed as a question. So an article about the benefits of using a high street estate agent over DIY online estate agency entitled “Private Sale?” is likely to get a high open rate. This subject could be a direct and personal request to sell their home off-market to a waiting buyer, so they are highly likely to open it, but not too disappointed to see that the content is actually a more general piece, although it should still hold their interest.

4. Connect sizzle with substance and subject with content. There has to be a reasonable connection between the header and the subject so that the reader is not disappointed when they click to read further. So aim for a bit of sizzle, followed by a lot of substance!

5. It’s all about THEM. Adding the word “your” and their name to the subject can also increase your hit rate. So “Your property’s value, David” is likely to get a better hit than a simple “Free Valuation”. This is easy to do with most email marketing systems, such as Campaign Monitor or the video marketing service BombBomb. Just keep your content consistently in line with your subject.

6. A/B test your subject lines. Some email marketing platforms like Campaign Monitor enable you to send the same email to say 10% of your database with one subject, but send a different subject another 10%. The subject header that receives the most opens then becomes the default header for that email and is automatically sent to the remaining 80% within the hour.

Finally, here’s a great infographic that shows best practice in successful email design.

“Key point: “The success of your email marketing campaigns begins with carefully considered, relevant, engaging, subject lines.”

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