Certainly you know how important effective online marketing is to your real estate business. In almost all cases you want your marketing to be local. You also want to share value added information that establishes you as the local expert for you real estate niche. But first and foremost, you need an audience that reads what you are sharing.
Today, there is more technology available to real estate marketers than one person/office can possibly keep up with. To say nothing about simultaneously staying engaged with it all. Unfortunately, in the chase for the next shiny object, many marketers become distracted from the fundamentals. One of the most fundamental online marketing tools is your email list.
At the heart of your email list is the ability to market specific properties, generate leads, run promotions, and share value added information with loyal followers. The #1 method to add to your list is the opt-in form linked to an autoresponder. This is not a tool that you want to setup once and forget about.
Your opt-in form needs to be reviewed and updated regularly to constantly bring in a fresh stream of potential clients, leads, investors, readers, etc. The text of your opt-in form needs to highlight your current strategy, the current market conditions, or something else that is relevant. Most of all, it must be value added to people scanning your real estate niche for the first time.
Opt-in forms have been around for a long time and have specific design elements proven to be highly effective. Don’t depend on this short article as your go-to resource for designing your opt-in form but here are the basics.
Headline. Obviously you need to grab the short attention span of readers. That is the primary function of your headline. The two most important elements of the headline are that it be in big bold text that contrasts with the surrounding page to catch attention and that it offer something your readers want. Typically what readers want involves either your specialty (niche) or something current and relevant to the market.
Call to action. Don’t be shy about what you want readers to do. In slightly smaller font, directly under the headline, use a call to action that says something like, “For Instant Access, Simply enter Your Name and Email Below”. Use arrows to point to the box to type in. Use bold and contrasting colors to make the “Submit” button highly visible. Be vibrant with your opt-in form. The only reason it exists to get people to sign up.
Above the fold. This is an old school term from the days of printed newspapers. It means positioning the opt-in form where people can’t miss seeing it. Above the fold means it appears near the top of the page. You do not want people to have to scroll down to see it. You can include another opt-in form at the bottom of the page but make sure there is one near the top. Some marketers have had great success placing the form between the page title and the page text or immediately after the first text paragraph. Right and left columns are also effective. But always above the fold.
These are the basics. There are other important considerations such as split testing headlines and different color combinations. Most forms include a short bulleted list of benefits or descriptions of what the readers will receive.
In the same way you are bold about making your opt-in page stand out, be bold about where you place the form. The form can be different sizes and shapes but you should strive to have an opt-in form on every page of your website. The most critical are your homepage, your blog page, About Us, and your contact page. In general, try including it just below the title of all your pages.
If you don’t know how landing and squeeze pages work, you should learn. These are great ways to build your email list before people even find your home page. You can have landing pages targeting different audiences and using different search words. These include separate pages for buyers, sellers, and investors. These are also great places to make different offers and test multiple headlines.
This is about building your email list. Once you have followers on your list, you need to keep them engaged. Entire books are written on this subject. What’s important is that you regularly review the basics of your marketing efforts.
What email list building tips can you offer? Please leave a comment.
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