Businesses across all sectors have realized the power of marketing automation, and the real estate industry is no exception.
When done well, marketing automation can increase sales by organizing and automating numerous marketing processes. According to The State of Marketing Automation, a 2019 report by Social Media Today, 75% of marketers say they currently use at least one type of marketing automation tool, and 66% of respondents indicated that marketing automation has been effective for them.
However, there are other considerations real estate agents should keep in mind when it comes to marketing automation. It can be easy to “set it and forget it,” which is why agents must conduct an occasional audit or review of automated tasks to ensure that these efforts continue to drive results. It’s also crucial to check that there are no technical issues, the data is clean, and everything is set up correctly for maximum performance.
Here are some tips for how agents can check in on their real estate marketing automation efforts.
Review your database
The key to email marketing automation is effective audience segmentation. Many marketing automation tools allow agents to create lists and segment their prospect database into categories based on personas, behavior, demographics and other criteria. With segmented lists, agents can create and execute targeted marketing strategies.
However, if agents aren’t collecting the right data, or they aren’t segmenting audiences correctly, marketing automation efforts can backfire. For example, it would be pointless for agents to send a list of properties for sale to prospects who have recently purchased a new home and are not likely to be in the market to buy or sell their property anytime soon.
The more focused segments are, the better the results will be. Agents should archive segments and lists they are no longer using, such as those that may be seasonal or time-sensitive from previous campaigns. It’s essential to consolidate overlapping lists and identify new segments to create better targeted lists.
Agents should also make sure they are collecting custom field data that enable them to create further targeted segments that align with future goals. For example, if you’re planning on expanding your work with buyers, it will be helpful to know demographic information about your customers to choose well-suited properties. Younger buyers may want something close to downtown, while buyers with kids may want specific school district locations.
Check software integrations
Real estate agents use numerous types of software to manage their business. While a marketing automation platform can replace some of these tools, it does not replace all of them.
Integrating marketing automation software with other programs maximizes capabilities by providing valuable data that the automation software can use to make informed decisions.
Agents need to make sure their marketing automation software syncs well with their existing tools and marketing channels, such as external CRMs, analytics reporting services and social media networks. It’s essential that agents check their sync settings and keep up with software updates to ensure integrations run smoothly.
For example, if you connect your marketing automation software to LinkedIn, you might have to renew the token from time to time to ensure the two programs can continue to exchange information. Using an external account to manage social content and ad campaigns on social media will allow you to gain further insights into content performance and audience engagement, but only if everything remains connected.
Likewise, if agents have an existing CRM, they should make sure their marketing automation system is set up to synchronize with that data. A sync error can lead to the marketing automation system not being able to process data as expected. Agents may need to identify new CRM fields that need to be linked to their marketing automation platform.
Evaluate email templates
Marketing emails agents send to prospects should look professional and visually appealing. Therefore, it’s essential to check for any email design or template issues. As templates get duplicated, and their styling undergoes editing, they may lose branding elements and core functionality.
For example, one text alignment error can break an entire template or make it illegible on a mobile device. It’s crucial that agents review their email designs from multiple email programs or browsers, delete unnecessary duplicates and update existing templates to ensure a modern yet consistent brand image.
Also, agents should ensure they have an email template prepared for each type of message they send to prospects. Whether it’s a newsletter, announcement or list of new properties on the market, templates should be able to quickly fill an agent’s every communicative need.
Verify content automation
It’s a good idea to periodically confirm that all content is coming to you and getting to your clients without hiccups. In terms of incoming content, test your web forms to make sure they have appropriate actions enabled, such as real-time notifications and active automated responses with relevant content and suitable calls to action. For example, agents should verify that they receive alerts in real-time when prospects submit a form to request information, download content, or sign up for updates and that the appropriate message displays once visitors have done so.
In terms of outgoing content, check that drip email sequences are in place and actively sending up-to-date content to new leads. You might consider adding your own email address to the drip campaign to ensure everything looks right. If you’re using a social media automation tool, it’s vital to make sure that any recycled content isn’t outdated, as this can leave a poor impression on their target audience.
It’s also vital to ensure that prospects receive the information they’ve requested when they fill out your web forms, and that triggers are in place to send relevant follow-up information when visitors view specific pieces of content.
Automation can definitely help agents more effectively reach their target audience and grow their business. However, agents should aim to check in on their marketing automation efforts every quarter. By uncovering and resolving issues during a review, agents can ensure they’ve set up their marketing automation for maximum success.
Adrian Fisher is the founder and CEO of PropertySimple, a real estate technology software that helps agents build their personal brand and marketing their business online.