Welcoming your leads warmly

Published: 12 February 2016

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Welcoming Your Leads

Welcoming your leads warmly – part 2

If you regularly market your properties online and are in the habit of acquiring new leads through your website you are probably already familiar with the tried and trusted 'welcome email' - an email sent after a lead has signed up with you online to thank them and to welcome them to your agency.

The welcome email is a staple tool in the digital marketing kit when it comes to acquiring new leads but often the true value of this email is overlooked. If you treat this email as simply a courtesy communication to acknowledge the fact they have signed up you are missing a trick because the welcome email gets one of the highest open rates of all emails. It's the one email your new leads are mostly likely to open and read and it's your first chance to make a really great impression.

In this second part in the series, we'll take a look at how to construct the perfect welcome email.

If you've already read our first part on welcoming your leads warmly, you'll already have learned how to capture your leads effectively on your website and gain the information you want to be able to use in the future to target them by.

You've jumped the first hurdle by getting your prospective new lead to part with their details and sign up to your agency, the next stage is to warm up the lead and keep them engaged with you until they are ready to make a purchase.

Why is the welcome email so important?

When you send emails to your prospect database there are two different types of emails you send. There are the newsletter style emails you are likely to be familiar with. These are emails that usually promote one or several specific properties or services and are sent en-masse either to your whole database or a group that you think will be most interested.

The email is sent out to all the prospects you have selected to receive it at the same time and, while you may know the contents of the email are really relevant to your target audience, you are reliant on them seeing the email when it arrives. With email inboxes becoming increasingly congested with emails, if you send the email at a time your recipient is not online or is not thinking about your agency or services the chances of them firstly seeing it and secondly opening it are much lower.

But there is another type of email: the trigger email. Unlike the newsletter email, this is not sent to all recipients in one foul swoop. Instead this is automatically generated and sent to the recipient at the time they perform a particular action, whether that be signing up with your agency online, viewing a particular property or even leaving your website on a certain page.

The real strength in this email is that, not only is it hugely relevant to the recipient because it's based on an action they have taken, it also lands with them at the precise time they were thinking about your agency - the perfect time to re-engage them and try to make them convert.

Add to this the fact that your prospects will be expecting a welcome email from you when signing up and are therefore more likely to look out for it and you have the foundations for a very effective email.

How to make the welcome email work for you

Use your welcome email to create a truly great first impression of your agency. Whether you're going all out on the creative or sticking simply to the words, make sure you get across your agency personality or 'tone of voice'.

When it comes to content, think about the kinds of things you would say to a new prospect if they walked through the door to convince them to choose your agency above others when looking for a property. Maybe it's the wide range of properties you have, the level of service you provide or your experience in the industry.

These are the things that should feature prominently in your welcome email. It's mostly likely the properties viewed on your website were the reason the prospect signed up with you in the first place. And, although you may have pages that explain your agency and focus on your selling points your prospects may not have seen this information.

Whether you summarise this in a few short and snappy lines or go design heavy, make sure you include links back to relevant content on your website for your prospects to read more. This gets your prospect back on to your website and browsing your web pages.

The welcome email is also the place to point out any features or useful information. For example, if you give your prospects an online profile and allow them to update their own details when they change, promote this option in your welcome email.

It's also useful to set the prospect's expectations in what they are likely to receive from you. If you are going to call them from time-to-time to find out how their property search is going, explain this in the email. Tell them how often you'll email them and the kinds of information you will send them.

Avoid any particularly time-sensitive information in your welcome emails. One of the beauties of the welcome email is that once it has been set up you can leave it alone to send the emails. But this in itself can present a problem. If you include information that needs to be changed and refreshed regularly it's easy to forget to change it when the email is being sent out automatically behind the scenes and you could end up sending out of date or incorrect information.

When it comes to length of email, if you're going for written style email keep it to no more than three short paragraphs, while for creative emails there is more flexibility.

And, above all, make sure your welcome email works as well when viewed on a mobile as a desktop. With more web searches taking place on the phone versus the desktop and the fact that more than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device, it's never been more important to ensure your email looks and reads well on the phone.

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