Marketing Multifamily Projects: 5 Questions to Ask Before you Launch an E-Mail Marketing Campaign

By Dave Clements, LassoAccording to some estimates, upwards of 100 million spam e-mail messages are sent per day. As that number continues to grow, so also does the effectiveness of spam filters in blocking unwanted mail. Users are also becoming increasingly skilled at deleting spam messages from their inboxes before they can even be read.When it comes to marketing multifamily projects on the Internet, e-mail is a valuable tool—and yet, the sheer quantity of unwanted spam makes it difficult for truly valuable e-mail marketing messages to reach their targets and make an impact. This means sales and marketing teams need to be savvier than ever in developing e-mail marketing strategies that communicate clear messages with compelling information and a dynamic call to action.These five questions will be familiar to most—the “who, what, when, why and how” of an e-mail marketing campaign. Performing this critical due diligence on each e-mail marketing message that goes out can provide much-needed focus and direction to each campaign. More importantly, that focus and direction can improve response rates and ultimately sales. 1. Who will be receiving the message? In the Internet age, it is likely that every multifamily project has an e-mail database used for sending marketing messages to prospects. However, a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution will allow a marketing team to target each message to groups within the larger database. For example, a message could be targeted directly at prospects who have visited the sales center in the past 30 days, those looking within a specific price range or those seeking a specific style of home. This enables the messaging of the campaign to target prospects with more customized messages that have a better chance of resonating with potential buyers.2. What is the objective behind sending the message? The question of who will receive each piece of e-mail marketing collateral is inextricably tied into the goal behind sending that e-mail marketing message. This is an area where multifamily marketing teams frequently exercise poor judgment. It is not enough to simply mass mail a message to your entire mailing list with no forethought and then expect results. E-mail marketing is the same as any other marketing tactic—it requires strategy and planning. Each individual mail that is sent should be the culmination of a campaign developed with clear objectives in mind and a series of message points that are reinforced through design and copy.3. When is the message being sent? It is a small but critical detail—the moment when one clicks “send” can have a significant impact on the e-mail message’s response rate. Studies have shown that the best time to send marketing messages is Tuesday morning, as that is when the average e-mail reader is most responsive. Wednesday and Thursday also work well. Monday and Friday are less likely to generate a satisfactory response, as readers are either preparing for or recovering from their weekends. Given that Saturday and Sunday are key days for sales center visits, Thursday might be the ideal day to send out e-mail marketing—close enough to the weekend to remain fresh, yet not lost in the shuffle on a Friday afternoon.4. Why should a reader respond to the message? The “why” of an effective e-mail marketing message comes down to content. What is it about the message that is specifically engineered to invite viewers to respond? Is there new photography to share from the project, or new floor plans to view? Has the copy been written with the target audience in mind, and is it optimized to deliver its message clearly and in a compelling fashion? This is another common mistake—“because it’s Thursday” isn’t a compelling motivation to send out e-mail marketing. Each message should have some kind of new, fresh content to offer the reader. 5. How can a reader respond to the message? The “call to action” is a familiar element for most marketing professionals—it is the specific task that a piece of marketing collateral invites the consumer to perform. It may mean visiting a website, placing a phone call, or spending time at a sales center. The technology of e-mail marketing allows for a precisely targeted call to action—readers should be invited to click on a link that will either automatically open a webpage or an e-mail message. Reading for a link is a natural impulse when viewing material online, and e-mail responses provide a reliable method for tracking responses to the e-mail message. As each campaign is evaluated, those response rates can create an accurate view of the return on investment (ROI) for any given campaign. Drawing attention amongst the many unwanted spam messages may seem daunting, but with a willingness to ask these five tough questions about each e-mail marketing campaign initiated, multifamily sales and marketing teams can rise above the white noise of the Internet and gain the attention of buyers. Dave Clements is President and CEO of Lasso