How Real Estate Agents can Double their Open Rate for Trigger-Based Emails

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October 20, 2017

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Trigger-Based Emails are all the rage when it comes to real estate email marketing. A lot has been said about the effectiveness of Email Marketing in Real Estate, but there’s much more to say about the open rate of Trigger-Based Emails. In this post, you will learn how this kind of emails work, how they can help Real Estate Agents and how to use them properly to double your Open Rates. If you are a Real Estate Agent then you don't want to miss this!

About Trigger-Based Emails

Triggered emails are automated marketing messages that are sent according to the user’s behavior. In other words, what triggers these emails is the user’s activity or interaction. Too technical? Let’s see an example! For growing families looking for a place to live, the possibility of having good High Schools nearby is key. A smart move by a Real Estate Agency is to identify these customers and send them trigger-based emails. To find out this key information you could create a downloadable gated asset such as a free e-book about "The Best High Schools in California and their Neighbourhoods". When a user downloads this e-book, the gate will ask for their email address. Based on this download you will be able to start a trigger email campaign for growing families.

“When you hit their sensible buttons their behavior is completely different. These become emails that they actually want to get” - Jeff Miller, AE Home Group

Read the full Case Study of AE Home Group here.

To send one of those “emails that people actually want to get” is highly likely in Real Estate. HubSpot analyzed data from over 25,000,000 emails across 29 industries and found that Real Estate has the fifth highest average on email open rate with 42%. Having this to your advantage, you just have to learn how to get the most out of your email campaigns.

The factors involved

There are three main factors that directly affect the Open Rate: The sender name, the subject and the timing.

Always on Time

Trigger-based emails have a big advantage: they are usually on time. They will be sent automatically based on events related to your subscriber's actions. Therefore, the user is expecting them to understand why you are sending them. For instance, if someone registers on your website, you can create a trigger-based Welcome Email to thank them for their trust and introduce your company.

"The traditional welcome email always gets a good Open Rate if it's sent promptly and includes the item they initially requested. For example, a list of homes, a buyers guide, a sellers guide, market update, etc." - Ronnie George from The George Group, LLC

Here's how Zillow introduces itself: [trigger-based emails real estate email marketing


The sender name

In 2013, CMB Consumer Pulse and Constant Contact established that for 64% of the consumers in the United States, the main reason to open an email is the sender name. In other words, trust is key. We must not mix trust with popularity. You don't need to have a known brand behind you to gain people's trust. However, you must introduce yourself properly and then be consistent with your brand's image and name. This way people can identify you. The Australian Real Estate Agency OpenAgent, has a service on their homepage where users can ask for a call with an Agent. When a user registers, this trigger-based email is sent: trigger-based emails open agent real estate

According to OpenAgent:

"The email focuses on the process we take you through at OpenAgent to find the right real estate agent, especially why we think it’s important to have a conversation to tailor our recommendations to customers’ needs. Customer who saw the email were more willing to speak to our sales consultants as they understood the importance of the conversation in the overall process."

The email contains the sender name on top and pictures of the team. The result is a personal and hard-to-forget email. They also use the same sender name and email address in all of their future email campaigns. trigger-based emails

The subject

A report by Retention Science found that subject lines with 6 to 10 words deliver the highest open rate, making 8 words an ideal number for a subject line.Retention Science also revealed that subject lines with movie titles and song lyrics had a 26% open rate, while emails with “more traditional subject lines” resulted in a 16% open rate. Be creative! Run some A/B Tests with your audience and discover which subject lines are more likely to be opened. How about a test with "Knocking on Heaven's Doors" as a subject?

“Be smart with your subject lines. Make sure it's creative so the user wants to open it. And make it accurate, so when the user opens it, they won't be disappointed.” - Sepehr Niakan, Broker at HB Roswell Realty

Here you will find The Best Practices for Email Subject Lines by MailChimp.

Find the Right Tools

You took all that trouble to come up with a great subject, you made sure that the sender name was clear and you activated your trigger-based email. Now you need to be able to count on a great Email Marketing Tool. Not sure of how to pick the right tool? Download for free our Email Marketing Software Comparison Table for Real Estate Agents.

About Claudia Martinez

Claudia helps the marketing team by producing awesome blogs, case studies, ebooks, and newsletters. This tech-savvy writer is constantly searching for that great story behind the use case. She also loves working with our partners to create unique co-marketing campaigns.