When you see that someone’s entered their email to view details on your property, or saved your property in a search, your first instinct is probably to head right to your email to send them a message.
But what if I told you that’s not what you should be doing?
Real estate agents get a lot of leads, and they hustle to follow up. But emailing each and every lead you get by hand is not the most efficient use of your time.
Yes — you need to put some effort into crafting good emails and following up with leads. But instead of doing the work to manually email your leads to keep them interested, you can automate a lot of that hassle with a drip campaign. Your opening emails to your leads will be more memorable and impressive, and you will have more time to nurture leads that are warm.
What is a drip campaign?
A drip campaign is a series of emails you make and save to send to leads. They help you warm up leads and stay connected to people who are interested, but not ready to make the next move yet. For real estate, a great example of this would be a series of emails to send to someone who unlocked information on a listing with their email — they’re interested, but haven’t taken the plunge to set up a viewing. That would be the “trigger event” in the drip lifecycle:
The “reply” would be someone responding to book a viewing, and at the end of the cycle they’ve either booked a viewing, or you’ve sent a few emails, and you know the lead is dead.
Many real estate agents do this all manually.
But with a drip campaign, instead of nurturing each lead individually, you can simply take their email and send them a drip (short series) of existing emails — modified as needed — to help prompt them to take that next step. This means:
- You’re able to keep building a connection with every lead without having to sit down and type dozens of emails to new leads week after week.
- You’ll be able to warm up leads more effectively without adding to your workload.
- You’re more memorable to leads because your opening communication is well-crafted rather than a generic message every agent sends.
Keep in mind, drip emails aren’t supposed to replace every email you send. They’re about warming up leads with information and compelling content (like beautiful neighborhood photos) to start your relationship. You’ll still be sitting down to follow up and engage with leads and clients over email manually, too — but they’ll already have the groundwork of your relationship built.
Crafting drip content
When you see that someone’s engaged with your listings using their email, you might be sending something like:
While you’re reaching out to the lead, you’re probably not providing them any new information. They know they can contact you for a viewing or to find out more.
For a drip campaign, it’s better to focus on building knowledge, rapport and interest rather than just getting your email in their inbox. You want to offer your leads something that will whet their appetite and position you as an expert who can find their next apartment or home. Emails can mix up content with photos and links, tips and tricks.
Let’s say you’re getting a lot of interest in a particular neighborhood. Rather than emailing everyone who requests more info about the listing, that’s the perfect opportunity to up a drip campaign like this:
At the end of each email, you put a line that says “contact me to see listings in the area today!” That’s a call to action, and the email has primed your leads to do it.
These three emails — which you can write one time and update once a season — keep your leads thinking about that perfect neighborhood. They show off your expertise of the area and let the lead know that you understand what’s valuable to them — proximity to amenities, a lively community, a fair price. It builds trust and leaves an incredible first, second, and third impression on a lead.
Lovely does this with their quick email about identifying rental scams. Imagine you send this to leads who were looking at entry-level apartments:
These tips aren’t revolutionary, but to a first-time renter or a young adult who isn’t well-versed in property searches, they can be lifesavers. If you’re the one giving these tips, you’re building trust and saying I’ve got your back in this search!
Or, take this example from a real estate agent targeting people looking at Brooklyn properties:
The body of the email is just an interesting historical connection and a few seasonal new items, but it gets people thinking about moving to Brooklyn, or staying in Brooklyn and using this agency to find their next apartment. It connects people to the neighborhood and gets them to envision their life there.
Best of all, you can set and forget these emails. Rather than manually following up with each lead, you can simply look at what listing the lead came in from and put their email in the system. As you run the same drip campaign for more time, the gap between how much time you spent on those three drip emails and the amount of time you would’ve spent individually emailing and following up on leads will grow and grow.
Tools for drip campaigns
By now, you’re probably thinking this sounds great — but I have no idea how to do that… I don’t think it’s exactly a feature in Gmail.
No, it’s not. But luckily, there’s a ton of options out there to create great drip campaigns. Because this software is specifically designed for sending drip emails, you’ll have all the features and support to be successful with your campaigns.
- MailChimp: Not only does MailChimp support full email automation, it also has a ton of resources and templates to get you started. There is a free option to start, and a $10 a month plan that will give you unlimited sending.
- Constant Contact: With a customizable, drag-and-drop editor, Constant Contact is a user-friendly option for setting up your drip email campaign. There’s a 60-day free trial, but after that, you’ll need the Email Plus pricing starting at $45/mo to get email automation like drip campaigns.
- Drip: Two unique features of Drip is their learning community and their tons of options to get the right emails to the right leads. (You can even automatically connect it to your Facebook ads, if you’re feeling fancy.) Pricing starts at $41/mo, but there is a free option if you want to test it out.
- Sendloop: Easy to understand help docs and features designed for those with 0 tech experience separate Sendloop from the pack. Plans start at $9/mo and there’s a 20% discount on an annual subscription to the service.
- Vision6: Both SMS and email services are offered from Vision6, which prides itself on helping anyone make beautiful, automated emails. They offer webinars and email marketing guides to get you started as well. Pricing is $9+/mo for a basic and $29+/mo for a professional plan, but you can start for free and they’ll help set you up.
Any of these options will have a pretty easy setup, but let’s see how easy this is using Drip’s free option as an example. After you set your account up, you can click the “send emails” button to start creating a new campaign:
Drip will take you through your first setup, so you can feel confident clicking on, but if you want even more help, they’ve got a more in-depth setup as well:
Then, you can choose to start your campaign from a preexisting list of drip emails, or from a new one. We chose a preexisting drip so we had all the setup done for us:
Then, you can start crafting your content. Drip, like many email tools, has an easy-to-use interface. If you’ve ever sent an email with links and images in gmail or made changes to a WordPress page, you’ll be able to navigate email creation:
You can save or send yourself a test email whenever you’re ready to move on. Once your email is finished, you get a bunch of options to help you send the email at the right time to the right people:
Then you can save the email, delete it, or duplicate it. Then, you rinse and repeat until you’ve got a little campaign set up, with the help of Drip’s knowledge base, you can set up your first campaign within an afternoon.
Stop starting fresh
As a real estate agent, it’s part of your job to hustle and reach out to leads who are interested in your properties. But emailing every single person one by one is not the best use of your time. By setting up a drip campaign, you can take care of a chunk of emails and free up your time for even more of what you do best — not emailing, but helping people find a place they’ll love to live in.