10 Ways to Grow Your Contact List
Despite the boom in social media over the last decade, email users still outnumber social media users by a landslide. Email marketing continues to be the most effective way to reach out to your prospects/leads and clients, which means your contact list needs to be in tip-top shape and continually growing.
It’s likely you already have a list of contacts that have given you implied permission to email (because they attended an open house or were referred by a friend) and a mix of others you need to have opt-in to receive your emails. This list might be in your current CRM or scattered throughout the contacts in your phone, your personal email, and social media accounts.
Over time, you’ve probably accumulated a ton of email addresses, now how do you best optimize and grow that list to its fullest potential?
The first step is to compile all of your contacts and scrub that list. Your contacts’ email addresses frequently need updating as they switch jobs, get married and change their last name/email address, or ditch their old Yahoo accounts.And yes, this means you’ll probably have to remove some emails from your list, which sounds counterproductive, but don’t be afraid to delete irrelevant contacts that might harm your email marketing success.
Some examples of emails to scratch off your list are invalid and duplicated email addresses, unsubscribes, and hard bounce emails (i.e. blocked email addresses). Cleaning up your list will not only improve your deliverability, but it will also help you properly segment your lists. Once you have a rejuvenated list, there are plenty of ways to build on it and keep your numbers moving onward and upward.
1. Promise Consistent Value
If you want people to continue to subscribe to your emails, you have to consistently provide them with valuable content to keep them engaged and craving more. Let your subscribers know what type of emails they can expect from you. They’ll be more likely to share their email address if they know what’s in it for them. A great way to do this is to keep them informed on what’s happening in the overall housing market, and how it impacts them.
2. Contact Form on Your Website
One of the easiest ways to capture leads and grow your email list is to add a contact form tab to your homepage. Once they see the valuable content you offer above, they’ll look to you as their industry expert.
Pro-tip: Limit the number of questions on the form to just three or four—name, email, if they’re buying or selling, and what town or city they live in so you can set up targeted emails. Asking too many questions upfront could potentially scare them off.
3. Segment Your Lists
Don’t send every lead every email. Create varying types of email campaigns based on interest, so a first-time homebuyer isn’t receiving content about why they should list their house before the spring. Create lists based on where the majority of your subscribers fall such as prospective buyers/sellers, past clients, those who only want to receive emails on new listings, etc.
4. Exclusive Offer/Content
If you create your own local update or monthly market report, offer this exclusively to your email subscribers. Add a description of the report(s) on your website so they know what they’ll receive with a link to subscribe.
5. Saved Searches on Website
Many agents provide Multiple Listing Service (MLS) access on their website. If you’re one of them, include the option for a saved search so visitors can enter in their email to receive new listings.
Pro-tip: Include a button to “email to a friend” on your listing pages so your website visitors can share listings with others.
6. Use Your Blog to Collect Subscribers
If you have your own blog on your website, include a link at the bottom of the post for your visitors to subscribe.
7. Facebook Business Page
If you don’t have the “sign up” call to action (CTA) button visible on your business page, add it now! Make it super easy for new visitors and those who currently “like” your page to join your email list by directing them to your contact form.
8. Open Houses
Open houses are a tried-and-true way to capture high-quality leads. Regardless of how you have them sign in, make sure to get their info before they leave! After the open house, follow up with everyone. This goes above and beyond just handing out a fact sheet about the home and a business card.
9. Add a QR Code to Printed Materials
If you door knock with printed materials or send paper mailings, provide a QR code to allow people to scan and subscribe to your email list right through their phone. You can use the code to redirect prospects to your contact form or a link to subscribe to your blog.
10. Offline Events
Sometimes the good old-fashioned approach can be the best approach. Collect email addresses at in-person events such as conferences, lunch-n-learns, networking happy hours, your child’s Little League games, etc.
When you meet someone for the first time, they almost always ask what you do for a living. Once you say you’re in real estate, ask them if they’re in the market to buy or sell or know someone who is. Word of mouth will always be one of the most powerful and effective marketing tools.
As an agent, a good portion of your day is devoted to lead follow-up. You don’t want your contact list filled with outdated emails that can force you into buying leads or cold calling to generate new prospects. Ultimately, your email deliverability and open rate will improve with a clean and sparkly contact list.