How to Write Marketing Emails That Actually Serve Your Purpose 

You’ve undoubtedly heard that you need to be sending marketing emails. Jason Pantana calls real estate email marketing the “Greatest marketing channel of all time.” But here’s the kicker… Bad marketing emails can hurt you just as much as good ones can help establish your market credibility.

Real estate email marketing requires precision and not generic ChatGPT copy which would only demonstrate how out of touch you are with your audience.

In this blog, I’ll show you five of my best real estate email marketing practices, how to write marketing emails, and five mistakes to avoid.

Let’s dive in…

What is real estate email marketing?

Real estate email marketing involves using email campaigns to connect with potential buyers, sellers, and other stakeholders in the real estate market. By building a targeted email list, segmenting the audience, and delivering personalized, engaging content such as property listings, market updates, and home-buying tips, you can nurture leads and build strong relationships.

Automated email tools and performance analytics can help you optimize these campaigns, ensuring timely and relevant communication that drives engagement and sales.

Best Practices and Tips for Real Estate Email Marketing

Tip 1: Provide More Value

Here is the No. 1 rule of email marketing for realtors which even experienced marketers violate way too often: Give more than you are asking for.

You can have some purely promotional emails, but the entire idea of “brand content” is to establish trust and form a relationship with your audience.

Every email should have a message, and if you don’t have something of value to contribute, then don’t send an email. If you don’t know what to say, it’s simple. Identify problems and offer the corresponding solutions.

It’s actually a good idea to come up with a few real estate email marketing templates to take the pressure of writing format out of the equation so you can focus on the message.

Tip 2: Be Conversational

Besides delivering value, the second most important way to establish trust and familiarity is through your voice – what you say and how you say it.

Adapting a conversational, honest, and friendly tone will make your real estate email marketing seems more personal and less salesy (which is one of the biggest mistakes below). I’m not saying you should be overly casual and say “What’s up, how’s it goin’?” but also, don’t be so formal that no one can hear YOU in there.

Use Stylistic Techniques 

Keep sentences short and clear but also pay attention to the rhythm and cadence of what you’re saying. Just read a sentence out loud to know what I’m talking about.

Stylistic techniques can make sentences flow more naturally together. Anyone who says you can’t start a sentence with “And” or “But” or “Just,” doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Use ellipses and exclamation points sparingly but use them to add stylistic effect if that’s how you speak! It’s not about being grammatically correct; it’s about what’s easy to read and makes sense to express your voice.

Use whatever you can to make your writing more clear, interesting, and consistent with your brand.

Be Yourself

Are you…

  • Funny
  • Motivational
  • Down to earth
  • Information driven
  • Quirky?

Own it. Your real estate email marketing should sound like your brand, which should sound like you. To sound more like yourself, it’s important to write about things you really care about. Write down what you value, what you’re interested in, and how you can genuinely help people.

A word of warning, though: People can sniff out insincerity and manipulation from a mile away. Don’t ever do that. Your success will be in direct correlation to your authenticity.

Leverage Vulnerability

Every now and then, it’s a good idea to share something about yourself that shows a little vulnerability, as if you’re sharing a super condensed blog post.

Was there ever a time when you were in a bad position in life where the services that you now provide could’ve helped you? Use it.

Tip 3: Tell a Story

Another fantastic way to avoid the curse of sleazy sales language in your real estate email marketing is to tell an interesting story to demonstrate your point. If you can provide value, use a trustworthy brand voice, and tell a story within just a few lines, then you just wrote a masterpiece email.

Take an email you sent recently and try to come up with a super short story that represents your main point. This exercise will make you a master at writing emails.


Tip 4: Understand the Sales Funnel for Better CTAs

What are the stages of your customer journey? I know you’d love to just send someone an email and then they decide to list their home with you, but that’s a big decision that requires more familiarity. It’s critical to understand the marketing sales funnel in order to formulate effective calls to action.

You want to make the leap seem as small and secure as possible – the obvious correct decision. So, instead of directly trying to get someone to list their home in an email, offer a CMA or annual equity report – something free that purely adds value without a price tag – and focus your real estate email marketing content around that.

Tip 5: Focus on Subject Lines and Hooks

There are a few ways to create a great subject line/opening hook:

  • Urgency
  • Curiosity
  • Controversy
  • Exclusivity
  • Benefits
  • Personal
  • Transparency

Below are some examples of real estate email marketing subject lines for each.

Email Marketing Subject Lines for Urgency

  • The window of time to sell for more is closing.
  • Quality homes are disappearing from the St. Louis market.
  • Do not list your home if the agent doesn’t know this…

Email Marketing Subject Lines for Curiosity

  • The real secret to getting more than the Zestimate.
  • The biggest mistake when selling your home.

Email Marketing Subject Lines for Controversy

I’m not saying that you should ever say something controversial that would isolate a segment of your audience. What I’m talking about here is grabbing attention by addressing a pre-existing controversy.

  • Selling through a portal is a mistake
  • Your home might not be worth what you thought
  • Mortgage rates won’t stop investors (this one also raises urgency)

Email Marketing Subject Lines for Exclusivity

  • Only 2 Equity Review Spots Available This Week! 
  • {{Name}}, I just had a look at your Zestimate…

Personal Email Marketing Subject Lines

  • How I’m handling the new law changes
  • How I helped a family fulfill their dream
  • When I couldn’t afford my rent

Email Marketing Subject Lines for Transparency

Just say what’s inside the email. No gimmicks. This is particularly important if the email is particularly important and must be opened. That is not the time to get clever and start putting benefits in your subject line. Stick with something clear and simple.

  • April 2024 Market Update
  • New Homebuyer Seminar

Common Mistakes Made in Real Estate Email Marketing

Mistake 1: Being Too Salesy

It’s obvious and we already covered it but it needs to be said again. This is a huge mistake. If you’re constantly harping on about the benefits of your services using bullet points, you’d be better off not sending the email at all.

Mistake 2: Going Too Long or Too Short

There is no “correct” length for your real estate email marketing. In general, shorter is always better for an email, but never let space get in the way of your message, your benefits, or your brand voice.

If you can stick to just three or four lines, that’s amazing, but if you have a longer story to tell, use the space you need to tell it as long as the hook is good enough to keep people reading.

Once you’ve written your email, go through line by line and cut any words you can possibly stand to cut. I’ll be you there is a way to rephrase sentences to heighten the clarity and save some space.

Mistake 3: Lame Adjectives 

  • Awesome
  • Stunning
  • Cool
  • Winning
  • Best

Be careful with these and use them sparingly. Sometimes a little sales language is warranted and emphasizes your point, but often it’ll make you sound insincere.

Mistake 4: Always Asking for Something

The opposite of providing value is sending out too many promotional emails that only state the benefits of your products and services. This does not create a relationship – it makes you annoying and people will become numb to it.

Now, you could say that your services provide value and by getting people to use your services, you are giving value-add emails. That’s a lazy excuse for running lazy real estate email marketing.

Yes, you can include a CTA in every email you send but try to offer something else in each send, even if it’s just insights into who you are and what you value.

Mistake 5: Losing Focus & Going Off-Track

Each email should have one focused topic connected to one CTA – unless it’s a newsletter. You should be able to easily express the intention of your email in one sentence and provide a clear next step for everyone who reads it.

A newsletter is a little different because it will contain multiple bits of information which are relevant for different audiences. Be sure to clearly separate and organize the sections here so that people can get hooked by the headlines that resonate most with them.

Your Marketing Controls Your Market

The strength of every email you send will determine the success of your real estate email marketing campaigns. And the strength of your campaigns across email and every other channel you’re working will determine the effectiveness of your marketing – and that’s the lifeblood of your business.

It’s a lot to keep track of, and it’s nearly impossible to do it all by yourself while seeing with clarity. That’s just one of the ways in which having a coach is invaluable.

When you sign up for coaching, you step into marketing on an entirely different level, starting dialogues with leads that had previously been cold and opening up new avenues you might not have known existed.

I want your efforts to produce results and that’s why I encourage you to schedule an info session today.