Generate email opens with these real estate subject lines

When planning an email campaign to generate buyer and seller leads, the right real estate subject line may be just as important as the actual content. Unless someone opens the message, the content goes right into the trash.

“To capture a prospect’s attention, subject lines should be simple and to the point,” says Mike Feller, chief revenue officer at ActivePipe, a Denver-based marketing automation platform serving the real estate industry. “Don’t confuse people or say anything that sounds like spam, such as a ‘free offer.’”

In a recent survey of residential buyers and sellers, ActivePipe found that six subject lines generate most opens on emails from agents and brokers: 

• “Just Sold In Your Area”

• “Real Estate Market Snapshot For Your Area”

• “Have You Been Wondering What Your Home is Worth?”

• “List Now Or Later- Why the <Season> Market Pays Dividends” 

• “Six Steps to Get Your Home Ready For a Listing”

• “Thinking About a Vacation Home?” 

These types of subject lines are effective because they offer something of value to prospective buyers and sellers, according to Feller.  But they should not be viewed as generic, standalone messages. Instead, both subject lines and content need to be personalized and fit into a marketing program that reflects the branding of the agent, team or brokerage.

“Agents and brokers need to provide a seamless, end-to-end experience from initial digital contact to showing a home to closing the sale,” Feller says. That means thinking carefully about both subject lines and message content at the start of a prospect’s journey.

For sellers, Feller suggests a mix of messages, such as blending “just sold” emails with market snapshots or suggestions for staging a home. On the buy side, prospects are interested in active listings and wondering about current conditions in the local market.

“You want to make sure your subject lines are timely, relevant and fit the recipients’ needs,” Feller says. That means it’s a good idea to localize subject lines to include references to communities, neighborhoods or attractions, like, “Looking for a vacation home on the Texas beaches?” 

Don’t be afraid to inject a sense of personality into your subject lines and content, Feller adds. That might mean offering an unusual fact about your market, asking a thought-provoking question or trying a creative approach.

Another suggestion is to test two different subject lines to see which generates a better open rate. That information can help you determine what might be most effective in the future. But Feller cautions that subject lines that work today might not generate the same response in the future.  “The world keeps moving on, so you want to keep testing and monitoring your email performance, including opens and click-through rates,” he adds.

Feller adds that the subject lines for follow-up emails are also important for generating good leads. “We know it takes seven or more touchpoints to generate an opportunity, so you have to nail all those messages,” he says. “Along with the right content, you need to get the right subject lines.”

When developing an email program, Feller recommends that agents and brokers segment responses into active and delayed leads. “Someone who is actively in the market right now will want different content – and subject lines – than someone who may not be ready to buy for six to 12 months,” he says. “By segmenting your leads, you can provide content that matches a prospect at any point in the buyer or seller journey. That type of program will pay the greatest dividends over the long run.”