When you get down to it, marketing commercial real estate is about building relationships. Sure, there’s plenty of 21st-century whiz-bang technology that can be used in that pursuit as well as tried and true traditional methods like direct mail, property signage and monthly real estate newsletters. Every year, millions of square feet of commercial property are leased or sold, and the constant factor in each of those transactions is the personal, human relationship between buyer and seller, lessor and, lessee.
For years, the virtues of both stamp and swoosh have been debated. While direct mail has recently had some resurgence in consumer marketing and definitely complements a complete multi-channel marketing program for commercial real estate, email ultimately holds critical advantages over the aged snail mail. According to Econsultancy, three-quarters of companies agree that email offers "excellent" to "good" return on investment. The reasons for this sentiment lie in the inherent properties of the platform.
Nothing spells easy like automation. The tools for creating a hands-off, programmatic email marketing campaign that responds to the actions of your prospects are abundant. Setting up your email marketing in this fashion also delivers consistency of communication, a critical component in building and maintaining relationships with your audience.
According to Marketing Charts, the cost per acquisition (CPA) for email is the lowest among direct marketing mediums at around $10 for a house list and $21 for a prospect list. Those CPAs are 60% and 32% less than direct mail. Additionally, re-marketing via email holds almost none of the additional costs that its printed counterpart might—like postage and printing.
Building a database is relatively easy
Many commercial real estate marketers balk at using email because they don’t have a list. But, building a database to market your firm is easier than you may think. Ask your employees or reps for their contacts and email addresses and compile them in a spreadsheet as a great starting point. Depending on your focus, you might consider combing through a site like LoopNet to uncover broker names. While you may need to do some legwork to get email addresses, the search is free. Also, including each of your LinkedIn contacts is a must for commercial real estate email marketing. Alternatively, renting a list is an easy and relatively inexpensive proposition that can provide the opportunity to quickly reach a large number of potential prospects.
Target-market is easy
In conjunction with list building, it is important to mention the ease of targeting with email. Unlike hard mail, targeting an email is simply a matter of segmenting your list and adjusting the copy in your email. Direct mail and dimensional mail, on the other hand, require printing and sorting different versions which can be costly and tedious.
First step in conversion and directing people to your website.
A high-value newsletters or other email content can direct traffic to a landing page or other destination that you use in conjunction with your marketing campaign. Creating a value-filled email that incorporates an attention-getting subject line can drive leads like crazy. The key here is not to think of these as one-offs. Develop a series of emails that get your prospect excited about the information you’re delivering. With each email, expose them to increasingly valuable content. In time, they’ll come to know you as a trusted advisory and will look to expand their relationship with you.
As you consider your next commercial real estate marketing campaign don’t forget to incorporate email, particularly if you are considering other methods as well. There’s a right time to use any method, but as a consideration, according to one study, people prefer to receive an email to get news and updates from a company. How you use email will depend the on the culture and needs of your organization.