February 28, 2019
Home builder marketing emails are evolving faster than ever. These best home builder marketing emails will help you stay at the forefront of this evolution in 2019.
If you were to track the progression of innovation in email marketing and the gaps between each new idea, you’d see that with the ability to automate and segment, email campaigns are getting more creative and more targeted year over year.
Since the first documented email marketing campaign in 1978, (a “mass email” of 400 people sent by Gary Thuerk and also considered the first spam) we’ve seen email marketing increasingly become more mobile-friendly, include multimedia, and are almost always personalized if you want to see a good number of click-throughs and conversions.
An interesting subject line will get you an open, but the same email you sent to your active adult buyers also sent to your first-time home buyers will not get buyers to your landing page.
Keep your audience in mind as you review these best home builder marketing emails to send in 2019!
Best Home Builder Marketing Emails for Top of the Funnel Engagement
- Short & Sweet
The first email buyers see from you shouldn’t be overwhelming even though we’re all very tempted to load up our content with every new home feature, floor plan, and anything that makes our homes and communities unique over our competitors.
But, think of these top of the funnel emails as an introduction. “Hi, my name is Becca, and I write engaging email content that converts leads.”
In one sentence, you know who I am, what I do, and what I can do for you. The same goes for the Short & Sweet and Teaser emails. Here’s two examples from a master planned community:
This first email includes a headline and subhead, but the body of the email is just one sentence. From just a few lines, you know the who, the where, the home price, and why the buyer should pick this community over others: amazing amenities and 3 unique neighborhoods. Variation 2 also offers lower Phase 1 pricing, but again, in one sentence.
Aside from keeping your content short & sweet, including “eye-candy” is also best for forst-time engagement. Including multimedia with your copy and images such as Gifs will go a long way in helping your emails and homes stand out among the number of other sales emails flooding buyer’s inboxes.
Not every builder has access to great video assets to share but your graphic designers can create unique Gifs that give your emails movement. It can be as simple as moving text or color overlays. But be careful not to fall into the old ways of the flashy intrusive ads that used to follow users around the internet. If you have a really talented graphic designer, you can even make your Gifs seem like they’re embedded videos.
TIP: There is a challenge, however, with a lot of email delivery services in that they don’t have the capability to embed videos into their emails. If this is the case for you, simply add an image with a play button and add the CTA: Watch the Video or something similar. This is an easy workaround and it will entice click-throughs.
Best Home Builder Marketing Emails to Automate
- Long-Form (Reengagement)
- One-Click Preferences (Data Collection)
- Personalized, Persona Emails
- New Home Tips (but tie them back to your community/homes)
All of these home builder emails can be packaged in a drip series campaign (covered later). Emails 2-4 are really variations of the long-form reengagement which is your chance to tell buyers about all of the exciting details and features you had to hold back in your prospecting campaigns and should be sent monthly to your internal list of homebuyers who have already submitted a form on your website or landing pages.
The one-click preference emails are something unique to SmartTouch®, but the basic idea is data collection to better know your buyer and to market to them better. Ultimately converting leads to tours to sold homes. Examples of the standard questions we ask in our one-click preference emails would be Time Frame for Buying, Community/Product of Interest, Price Range, Bedroom Count, Square Footage, and always, Ready to Tour?
Personalized, persona emails can be triggered by what a buyer clicks and views on your website, or by what they clicked in a survey or data collection email. This goes back to our earlier statement that emails filled with active adult content should not be sent to a first-time homebuyer.
New home tips, trends, energy efficiency, etc. are great for educational and content emails. However, you do want to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of a content email is not just to inform, educate, or entertain—but ultimately to lead to a sale by building trust and authority. When creating this type of drip or reengagement email, make sure you are tying back these tips into specifics about your homes and communities.
(must-haves, nice-to-haves, and dream features all link back to this builder’s website)
(This tip tells buyers how to choose a builder, then it tells them choose this builder.)
Best Home Builder Marketing Emails for Already Interested Buyers
- Featured Homes (specifically homes a buyer has already shown interest in)
- New Homeowners & Testimonials
- Personal Check-Ins
Emails featuring only the homes or floor plans a specific buyer is interested in helps them get to the information they want fast, which means they are more likely to engage and convert. Think of the emails you get that say, “You left something in your shopping cart.” These emails aren’t promoting any and every product that retailer is selling – only items they know you want and are thinking about buying.
What if you sent a buyer an email that said,
“We noticed you were interested in the Eleanor floor plan, did you know it has three different exteriors to choose from and the office can be converted into a 4th bedroom with walkin closet?”
But you don’t even have to be that specific. It could be more general. For instance,
“We noticed you were interested in homes in Casa Lago, check out these other 3 & 4 bedrooms floorplans in Casa Del Mar.”
Promotion and incentive emails you may want to send to every buyer on your list and 3rd party lists who have yet to engage, but who is more likely to take action? Someone on the tipping point of picking you as their builder or someone who doesn’t know who you are? Focus on the people who are already interested in your homes and communities and cater your promos to them if you can.
New homeowners and testimonials emails don’t necessarily have to be a hard sell email. It’s just another way to show off your homes and reinforce to buyers that people just like them are happy with you as their builder. And then leave off with a call to action that says Find Your New Home just like the Smiths. Here’s another option that you can also send to new/current homeowners:
Personal check-ins work better on a one-on-one basis, but you can still send these as bulk emails coming from a Sales member. This Sales member has to have spoken to the buyer before, however, or it’s less of a personal check-in and more of a “we haven’t heard from you in a while” with no personal information.
Automated Follow-Up Home Builder Marketing Emails from Lead to Prospect
The different types of emails already mentioned can be automated as well, but the following should absolutely be a standard follow-up for every lead and prospect outside of your monthly emails and special promotions.
- Auto-Reply Messages
- Timed Email and Text Message Follow Up
- Lead-Nurturing Drips Until the End
Auto-replies are for the most part expected by buyers today and are the most opened emails. You want to at least have a standard auto-reply, but you can also take advantage of the auto-reply’s great open-rate by including other details you want your buyer to know or other actions you want them to take next. (This is a buyer who’s submitted a form and made the first move, so this is also a good place to put your promos).
TIP: An easy way to personalize your auto-replies is for instance: A buyer downloads one of your floor plans. Send them an auto-reply with links to download similar floor plans and remind them they can also set up a tour–but specify what floor plan they will be touring.
Following up with buyers in 5-10 minutes to set up appointments can be tough for busy Sales Reps, but we all know this window is crucial. Help your Sales team and your buyers out by setting up automated follow-up emails and even better, text messages, to confirm tour dates and ask relevant questions.
Drip series are where you’re mostly going to stack your content emails to help buyers make the decision to purchase a home with you, but you also have the opportunity to set up Sales drips as well that come from a more one-on-one perspective and again, helps your Sales team stay on top of follow up.
Best Home Builder Marketing Emails for Realtors
- Inventory (the full monty and featured homes)
- Realtor Mixers
- Follow Us on Social Media
Most homebuyers don’t want to see your entire list of available homes, especially if they’re in the wrong neighborhoods or are in the wrong price range, but these lists (especially if you make it printable/downloadable) are valuable to realtors because it makes their job easier.
TIP: Making these emails printable and downloadable makes realtors jobs EVEN MORE easy, and they’re more willing to prioritize looking at your homes versus homes sent to them by builders that are just emails and hard to read in the inbox.
You’ll also want to put your price drops and extra incentives on the TOP of these emails and send them as separate emails.
Realtor mixers can be fairly cheap to organize and they give you another chance to make your homes stand out above your competitors. It’s also a good idea to send them from a Sales Representative or even the model where the mixer is held! For example:
Sender Name: Lara Jackson
Subject Line: Join Me at The Eleanor for our Exclusive Realtor Mixer!
Sender Name: The Eleanor
Subject Line: You’re Invited to Mix & Tour at Me, the Eleanor Model
A lot of realtors own marketing is now being done on social media. Therefore, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a great place to connect with realtors where they work. Follow them on social media, but also send them invites to follow you back, like your page, share their tours of your models, etc.
Best Home Builder Marketing Emails to Keep Your Email Lists Clean and Engaged
Aside from sending great emails, you need to be vigilant in making sure your email lists stay clean and you’re sending to engaged, active users to keep your IP in good standing. We’re all hesitant to remove contacts however cold they are, but a way to do this without blindly removing them is to send the following 3 emails to keep your email lists clean.
- We Haven’t Heard From You in a While
- Still Interested in Buying a Home?
- How can we personalize your experience?
The “We haven’t heard from you in a while” email basically asks users to opt-in again. This should only be sent to contacts who haven’t engaged in the past 6 months-1 year. Depending on the last time you scrubbed your list.
“Still interested in buying a home?” is basically a variation of the previous email but instead of just the usual “please, opt-in again” you can ask questions to better determine why they haven’t engaged and gain insights into why they were a lost lead by adding in survey questions. For example:
Question: Still interested in buying a home with us?
Answer: I’ve already bought a new home. / Not Interested. / Too Expensive. / Wrong Area. / etc.
This last email, “How can we personalize your experience?” may seem a little odd to send to people who haven’t engaged in a while. But if your goal is to not just clean your list, and to get people to reengage, you have to offer them something. But do not offer them a sale on a new home. By not engaging, they’re telling you there is a reason why they don’t want to buy your homes, so offer them a chance to tell you what they do want.
Best Home Builder Marketing Email Subject Lines
Another important factor that has to at least be mentioned in a best home builder emails to send in 2019 post, is what subject lines you should use. Not only will your subject lines determine if your emails make it into an inbox, but they’ll also determine who and how many people open them.
TIP: Your pre-header text should be considered as an extension of your subject line. Never forget to add per-header copy.
There is a fine line between being too passive and too salesy in your subject lines. You want your buyers to take action by opening your email, but a lot of sales terms are also considered spam words. For instance, you would assume people want numbers and pricing, and they need to know your homes are going fast or your sale is ending. However, these are examples of one of those subject lines that will most likely not hit your buyer’s inbox.
1301 Red Rose Reduced to $300,000! Tour before it’s SOLD!
$20,000 off Upgrades! Only 3 Homes Left in Casa Lago.
Being too vague in your subject lines will make it into the inbox, but won’t have a great open rate. Especially, if you’re sending to people who don’t know who you are or have only recently engaged or only sometimes engage. For instance, you may be tempted to use a new campaign tagline as the subject line, but outside of context, it’s not going to make sense to a buyer.
The New Beat of Austin, Texas
Designed With You in Mind
These subject lines do not tell the recipient that you are a home builder and that you’re selling new homes.
Some simple dos and don’ts of home builder marketing email subject lines compiled from Yesware talks about 5 keywords to include in your subject lines that prompt opens. We agree with 4: Steps, Listing, Next, and Update.
We’d also go further as to say that the use of these words work better depending on if you’re sending to buyers or realtors and engaged buyers versus never-before-engaged buyers.
“Steps” – people in general love numbered lists that tell them Top 10…, Best 5…, 3 Things to Avoid When… Using “steps” as a builder works well in this aspect and is great for your content emails.
5 Steps to Be in a New Home by Christmas
“Listing” – Listing is one of those industry terms, and although buyers know what a listing is, the term is cold. They don’t want to be told, “We have a great listing for you,” they want to be told, “We have a great home for you.” However, using Listing works well with industry professionals, so reserve it for your realtor emails.
5 New Listings in Lago Del Mar Your Buyers Will Love
“Next” – Subject lines like “Next Steps” and “Final Steps” are good for follow up emails, but how you really want use this keyword is when telling buyers what’s new with you.
The Next Phase of Homes at Pier Valley or What’s Next at Pier Valley this Spring
“Update” – Subject lines with this keyword should only go to buyers who have already engaged with your emails. Do not send updates or use the word “update” in prospecting emails. This is also a great keyword to use with realtors:
Update on Pricing in Pier Valley, Updates on Pier Valley Upgrades, Updates to Our Most Popular Floor Plans in Pier Valley
To summarize, don’t use spam words in your subject lines, don’t be vague, and start including these 4 keywords that buyers love. Also, test test test your subject lines! Different types of buyers are prompted by different tones and action words depending on what is most important to them: price, lifestyle, floor plan, and “newness”. You know your buyer best, and if you’re unsure, test.
Sending the Best Home Builder Marketing Emails with SmartTouch® Interactive
We went over a lot of different types of home builder marketing emails to send in 2019 but keep in mind every builder and developer is different. Some of the best campaigns can only be created once because of your message and your homes. Get started sending engaging and lead generating emails in 2019 with some of these suggestions, and then contact SmartTouch®, a dedicated home builder and developer marketing agency, to convert even more leads faster with our integrated email and digital marketing strategies and home builder lead-nurturing CRM/Marketing Automation platform, SmartTouch® NexGen.