Many business owners (real estate agents included) completely skip over focusing on email list growth because they're looking for a quick fix. They want hot leads that will convert immediately into buyers and sellers.
If you continue to operate from this transactional (and short-sighted) mindset, only focusing on the deals right in front of you and neglecting the opportunities that exist to build and nurture your relationships, you are leaving some serious money on the table.
Here's are a few reasons why list growth should be a priority, even if you're a new business owner...
+ You own the relationships - unlike on Facebook, Zillow, Yelp, etc.
+ You control how, when and what you communicate.
+ It will help you build trust. And trust = more business.
+ Email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 3800% ROI and $38 for every $1 spent.
These are a few tips to help you start building out your email list, so our full List Building Checklist, Click Here to download.
#1: Get all your contacts organized.
You might be sitting on a bunch of contacts you are not using, so step one is getting your database organized. Pick a email platform (I like Mailchimp) to house all of your contacts and send emails from. When determining which software to go with, make sure you choose one that integrates well with your website. This will save you a lot of time and heartache down the road.
If you aren't sure what software plays nice with your existing website reach out to your web designer or contact the support team (if you use a DIY solution like Squarespace or Wix). Ask them what the top email service providers are that will work with your website.
Website goals: You want to make sure your website is able to offer gated content (a free piece of content you get after filling out a form), capture email addresses and all the info will flow seamlessly into a list in your email database.
Example: I use Squarespace for my website and Mailchimp for my email service. These two platforms work well together and allow me to connect my website forms to my email lists easily.
Once you have determined the right solution, export all of your contacts from your different accounts and upload them to your new database solution...
+ LinkedIn contacts
+ Business cards (lying around in your junk drawer)
+ Networking group lists/contacts
+ Your old CRM(s) contacts
+ All your different email address contacts
+ Friends & family
You might be surprised how many people you actually have once you pull them all together in one, organized list. If you are just getting started with email marketing, don't focus too much on, "what if these people don't remember me." The first email you send to your list should be an introduction, full of personality, welcoming everyone to your community. You should also give them something valuable (an ebook, blog, free resource, checklist, etc.) YOU WILL NOT SELL in this first email... it's your chance to provide value and get reintroduced. They always have the option to unsubscribe if they are not a good fit for you and your business.
#2: Get active in local Facebook Groups.
Facebook groups are a powerful way to widen your network and grow your list without spending a penny. Here's how it works...
+ Join (10) local Facebook Groups that are active and make sure your target clients are also in these groups. They could be local exchanges, community event groups, book clubs, parenting groups, etc.
+ Become an active contributor -- meaning you pop in at least once a week to answer questions, provide on-topic articles or info and share with the community... be helpful, don't sell!
+ Once you've built some credibility (give it a few weeks), offer to share with anyone in the group who's interested a free resource. Make sure you read the group rules to make sure this is not a violation of their policies. Here's a sample of how your post could read... "Hey guys! I've put together a new resource on (enter your resource title). I am still refining it, but would love to share it with you all first to learn how I can improve before launching. If you are interested in getting a copy for free, message me your email and I'll send it your way. I would love your input!"
I have personally used this approach and generated 70 new leads for my business in two days. This is also great because people are reaching out directly to you, meaning they are highly engaged and interested. Not cold leads who will be irritated to hear from you.
#3: Create a compelling opt-in offer.
What do all great marketers have in common? They know exactly what information their clients crave and they provide it. The secret to building a huge list is in your content marketing. As I mentioned earlier, your goal should be to offer a piece of enticing content on your website in exchange for an email address. Some ideas are... a free property valuation, a list of local events or farmer's markets happening this summer, a free eBook on how to save for a down payment, the hottest home DIY trends or a city guide. Get creative! Think of what information your ideal client would gladly share an email address for and create it!
Once you have your freebie (opt-in content piece), make sure you launch it on a landing page. You need to be able to drive traffic somewhere online where people can gain access to it.
Once your landing page is live, promote the heck out of it! Here are some ideas...
+ Post it on your social media channels.
+ Post it in Facebook & Google Plus groups.
+ Do a live Facebook video and offer the content piece to everyone watching.
+ Share bite size pieces of it on Twitter, use relevant hashtags in your post and link to your landing page.
+ Run some Facebook ads linking to your landing page.
+ Share with your business partners and ask if they'd be willing to share on their own social media and with their email lists.
Ready to put this into action? Here are some tasks to get you rolling...
Step 1: Download our full List Building Checklist.
Step 2: Get all of your contacts into one, central database management and email software.
Step 3: Decide what content piece you will use as your opt-in offer. This can be something you already have or need to create with the goal of gaining new emails.