If your email marketing is not getting the results you want, there are many factors to consider.
Eflyers can be an effective way to quickly and affordably share information about your listings. Whether you are announcing a new listing, inviting agents to an open house or want to inform agents of a reduced price, you want to know your eflyers are reaching as many agents as possible. The purpose of eflyers is not to harass or bother fellow agents but instead to provide the simple info their buyers need about a listing.
Many agents assume that when they have a service send out an eblast for them that the eflyer is guaranteed to reach all the agents in the area. Unfortunately this is not the case. Understanding the challenges eflyer services face can help you avoid disappointment if you have unrealistic expectations of how well your open rates will be.
There are many factors that are beyond the control of any eflyer service and that can be the reason you might see lower open rates than you would like. One of the main reasons for poor open rates can be that Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) use anti-spam programs that can weed out even the most innocent of emails. They can change the way they handle these filters on a daily basis and can affect not only how your eflyers are received, but even how a copy of the eflyer you send is received in your own inbox. There is nothing that can be done about this other than using best practices in your email marketing techniques. (Click here for tips on how to avoid SPAM filters.)
Although eflyers put your listings in front of the agents who can help you find the best buyers, you want to avoid causing annoyance or frustration with the people you need to help you sell your listings. As an agent you know that you either appreciate eflyers, or hate them. This is the main reason your open rates can vary and also why eflyer email lists are very volatile and change on a daily basis. Using a service that is being diligent about their lists and ensuring they are removing agents who choose to opt out in real time is the best way to avoid annoying fellow agents who might have changed their mind on receiving eflyers.
It's also always a good idea to add your own list of contacts to your eblasts. Sending eflyers to people in your circle who have agreed to be on your list always see higher open rates. As well, make sure you are removing anyone who asks to opt out right away. Again, it's all about good relationships and ensuring you are respecting the way fellow agents prefer to hear from you.
5 Things to Look For
Here are five things to look for when you choose your eflyer service:
1. The Subject Line: Check the subject line to see what appears there for your eflyers. This is important as it is the first thing people will see when your eflyer arrives in their inbox. You don't want to scare people off with ADV added to the subject line. Instead you just want to see your subject line so agents know you are sending them legit listing info. As long as your subject line is clear about selling or promoting a home you are ensuring people understand it is an eflyer about a listing you are sharing with them.
2. From: If the email service's company name appears in the from column, this can be the second reason an agent might choose to delete your eflyer instead of reading it. It should be your name appearing in the from column so agents know it is not SPAM and is in fact from a fellow agent. Also, another issue is the service's company logo appearing in the From column -- yet another reason agents might choose not to read it. According to CAN-SPAM rules the from/reply must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message. Having your name and then the provider reply email works well to ensure you are doing this properly.
3. The Eblast System: Knowing how your eflyers are delivered is also important. If your eflyer service does not use their own system to send the eflyers out then they are marking up the third party service which costs you more money. Using a company with their own servers and eblast system will usually cost you less.
4: Email Lists: If your eflyer service is telling you that they have "ALL the agents in your local MLS" (or in any specific county or zip code) they are lying. It is actually against the law to have every name because CAN-SPAM regulations ensure anyone requesting to "Opt Out" from a mailing list must be removed.
5: Flat Rates: Because of the above, you should not be paying a flat rate for a specific county, zip code or area. Instead you should be charged based on the number of email addresses in any target area. If you are paying a flat rate you might want to ask your service how many names you are actually reaching.
As you can see there are many factors at play when it comes to eflyer services. Although they all face the same challenges, noting how your service handles their eblasts will help you find the service best for you. And remember, it is your responsibility to ensure your eflyers are CAN-SPAM compliant. You can read the full CAN-SPAM Act here.