Email marketing is immensely powerful.

Despite being one of the oldest tactics in the digital marketer’s toolbox, it remains one of the most effective, driving $38 in ROI for every $1 spent (according to VentureBeat).

Studies by McKinsey have also shown 40x greater customer acquisition rates than social media and it’s no surprise that real estate email marketing is still an absolute necessity for any CRE business. But those high returns don’t happen automatically. How do you build a real estate email marketing campaign that ensures the kind of response rates and ROI you’re looking for from your digital marketing efforts?

We discussed the value of email and tips and techniques to achieve the best email open and click-through rates in a recent guide on commercial real estate email marketing, and in this post we’re going to dig deeper into what makes an effective email marketing campaign to ultimately generate interest and call backs about your properties.

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Property Email Blast Campaign Structure

Let’s look at the most important pieces of a good commercial real estate email that speaks to your prospective and existing buyers and tenants:

effective real estate email structure

1. Subject Line

Nothing listed above matters if you can’t get people to open your email, which is where a strong subject line comes in. This is the first impression you make with prospects and the initial call to action delivered to subscribers when trying to improve open rates.

Some of the most effective things you can do to improve those rates include:

Avoid Generic Headlines – Be as specific as possible in your subject line. Avoid statements like “New Opportunity” that doesn’t provide specific information relevant to the recipient. These vaguely spammy headlines that don’t fully describe what’s in the email are so common that people see them and expect junk.

Keep it Short – Shorter subject lines work better. The data bears out that 1-3 words is the ideal sweet spot for both open and reply rates. Part of this is related to nearly half of all email reads being on a mobile device.

2. Strong Images

Visuals are hugely important to driving engagement with any content online, especially newsletters and emails. A strong lead image at the top of your newsletter will capture attention and drive readership down the screen.

Include attractive photos of your property listings, blog post headers or other content marketing activities.

Make sure the images are the right format to display on all devices, the most common being JPG, PNG and GIF.

3. Headline

Your headline is the first thing recipients will see when they open your email. It needs to be immediately clear what your email is about and how it will benefit them.

Specifically, for commercial real estate customers and prospects, are you offering information about recent property listings, tips about the local market, general information about a building or location, or something even more specific based on your segmentation?

Have a clear answer for this question so you can customize your email’s introduction, matching it to the information contained in the message while enticing tenants and investors to keep reading.

4. Sub-header

Sub-headers in an email break up content and keep it from being overwhelming. If you plan on including several property listings, multiple articles, and calls to action, it should be broken up for easy scanning, especially on a mobile device on which there will be a lot of scrolling.

5. Enticing Content

Potential tenants and investors won’t spend a lot of time reading email. They skim and decide whether your property listings are of interest and then move on. Your copy needs to be more than just a summary of the property, but a highlight of specific benefits that property has to offer.

For newsletters, use benefits statements for all headlines and body copy to highlight why the prospect should click to learn more about the property, or read your article about the local market.

Drive traffic to your property listings with enticing copy that offers a reason for someone to click. Keep it short and concise with a clear purpose and you’ll drive much greater engagement out of inboxes.

6. Call to Action

Alongside that compelling copy, include call to action buttons or links that stand out from the copy and direct potential tenants and investors to act. Buttons perform better than text links in visual emails while factors like size, design, and color can all attract more attention and get the click throughs to your property websites you’re looking for.

Even a button that says “Learn more” below a photo of a new property listing is going to increase click throughs over a text link with the title of an article or property listing. Investors and tenants in the business world respond better to property-specific copy that drives them to a single action – clicking or calling to learn more.

7. Contact Information

Make it easy for your contacts to get in touch with you. Provide name, title, phone number and email where you can be reached and you can even link your phone or Skype so recipients can call you by a click of a button.

Include headshots wherever possible to connect on a more personal level.

8. Responsive Format

On average email open rates on mobile devices are as high as 60% in many industries, including commercial real estate. Email is a mobile activity for most users, so your email needs to look clean and be compatible on iPhones and iPads, Android devices, and a wide range of different browsers and email clients on desktops and laptops.

Having a well-constructed real estate email template makes this much easier as you swap in your copy and images without having to worry about the code and compatibility of the actual email.

9. Make it Personal

Personalization has been shown to vastly improve transaction rates (by as much as six times) in email and all it takes is a first name and email address.

Doing your homework and segmenting your contacts by location, specific property interest or transaction type helps you send only relevant information to your contacts and improve your engagement and conversion.