Increase your email open rate with these two critical fixes

    If you’re spending time and money on email marketing, there are “best practices” that you can follow to ensure that your emails are opened, read, enjoyed and that they produce business.

    Let’s walk through the two most critical parts of an email and look at ways to ensure both do their fair share of the heavy lifting.

    1. Your real estate email subject line

    Most marketers we’ve spoken with claim that the subject line of an email is critical – more important than even the substance of the email.

    They have a point. The subject line determines whether the recipient opens or tosses the email.

    Regardless of how interested your recipients are in what you’re selling, they’ll skip over your email unless you entice them not to.

    For instance, since I firmly believe that baby boomers are the wave of real estate’s near future, I’ve joined several boomer website’s email lists.

    One of them uses the same subject line on every email. Identical. Never varies:

    “First Look: Baby Boomers”

    As interested as I am in baby boomer real estate attitudes, I seldom open these emails. I always think I’ll find the time later on but I seldom do.

    Today, I opened one and the first link to a story on their website is “Are You Making This Big Retirement Mistake?”

    Send out the Too Much House postcard (available in the postcard section under Life Event Series)

    What a brilliant title! If I were close to retirement, I would find this topic so compelling I would click on the link.

    Had this been the subject of the email, it would’ve been opened immediately. Think of the website visits this company is missing out on by being so lazy with their email subject lines.

    According to Olivia Allen at, there are seven key concepts to keep in mind when writing email subject lines. The three most pertinent to the real estate agent include:

    • Urgency: It’s the old FOMO concept at work here – the “fear of missing out.” Agents use this often when discussing low interest rates and low home prices, stressing (hopefully) that they won’t last forever.
    • Curiosity: The baby boomer story about the big retirement mistake fits this concept.
    • Personalization: Smart agents who segment their databases are most likely quite familiar with personalizing content according to a lead’s position in the pipeline, whether a buyer or seller, looking for a condo or a house, etc. Email open rates improve when subject lines are personalized to recipients’ interests.

    You can find all seven concepts and more information about email subject lines at

    1. Your real estate email signature

    Recently, an agent in a Facebook real estate group posted his email signature, asking for feedback from the group. And, did he get feedback!

    Here’s a look at his email signature, with identifying information changed:

    Advice he was given that we find spot on includes:
    • Dump the designations. Studies show that real estate consumers neither understand what they mean or care. Unless it’s an academic designation, such as a JD or PhD, they’re just distractions and clutter.
    • That magazine recognition is quite impressive, until you get to the dates. Has he slacked off since 2016? We think he should leave off the dates.
    • Unless it’s law in your area, leave off your license numbers. Also, we would suggest he add “Real Estate” before “Associate Broker” and leave off mention of his appraiser’s license. To the basic consumer, “Associate Broker” doesn’t mean anything. . .broker of what? With the addition of his appraisal license, it appears he may be a broker of appraisals.
    • There are far too many telephone numbers in his signature. Also, what’s the difference between “direct” and “cell?” Isn’t a cell number a direct line? Dump the eFax number completely.
    • The mission statement should go as well. Use that space for an amazing client testimonial.
    • Where’s his website URL, his Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media links?
    • There are several technical errors as well. These include inconsistencies in phone number format; some numbers have the area code in parenthesis while others don’t. Punctuation bloopers (serial commas in the mission statement, etc.).

    His colleagues also reminded him that most emails are opened on mobile devices with small screens and doubt that this will show well on such. They also suggested his phone number should be first so that people don’t have to wade through all the self-serving hype to find it.

    One agent saw what the rest of us missed: too many links in an e-signature may trigger spam filters. All of the blue text in his signature are links.

    The bottom line, from that brilliant agent, is to keep your email signature “simple and license law compliant.”

    Send the Retiring Soon postcard (available in the postcard section under Life Events Series).
    Attract Baby Boomers by sending out the Retiring Soon postcard from the Life Event Series.

    Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

    PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

    1. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

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    Lisa Gray
    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.