Considering that only 19.7% of the emails Realtors send get opened, it’s clear that we need to do better with our email marketing. Part of the problem is that many agents still follow outdated advice and send emails that are too long, too frequent, to too many people.

Luckily, there are easy ways to improve your email game. If you want to send emails that actually convert, grab a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to read our nine easy and actionable real estate email marketing tips.

1. Write & Automate Follow-up Email Drips for Unresponsive Leads

Smart agents write and automate their follow-up emails instead of channeling their inner Hemingway every time they want to follow up with a lead. For example, real estate coach and Close contributor Beverly Ruffner created a series of six emails she sends to leads with bad phone numbers. When she gets a bad phone number, she uses her customer relationship manager (CRM) to automatically send these emails until she gets a response.

Here are the first two emails in Beverly’s follow-up series for leads with bad phone numbers:

Send Immediately

Day 1

To read the rest of her follow-up emails and learn more about converting leads with bad phone numbers, check out her article: How to Convert Leads With Bad Phone Numbers (+ Email Scripts).

2. Include a Brief Testimonial in Your Referral Emails

When you write emails asking for referrals, always include a brief testimonial from a referral client you’ve already worked with. This will give your former clients a subtle behavioral nudge to refer you to their friends and family. Yes, they probably already like and trust you, but including a testimonial from another referral will give them actual social proof that you will take their referral business seriously.

Here’s an example of how to include a brief testimonial in a referral email from real estate coach and Close contributor Sean Moudry:

Related Article
6 Emails to Send to Clients to Drive Repeat & Referral Business

3. Email Cadence Is Almost as Important as Quality

One thing many new agents don’t understand about real estate email marketing is that the timing of your emails is almost as important as the quality of your emails. In marketing, this is called “cadence.” If you want your emails to be successful, you should take the time to plan out your email cadence to different leads and former clients.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for emails cadences for different types of leads:

Lead Type Email Cadence
Buyer leads on listing drips One email per week
Leads with bad phone numbers Every three days
Former clients Monthly or quarterly
Newsletter subscribers One email per week
Seller clients One email per week
Buyer leads on educational drips Two emails per week

Like millions of other people in the world, I have fat fingers. In addition to being one of the many reasons I will never be a great guitar player, it means I HATE it when links in emails are just tiny hyperlinked text. So chances are, unless you’re offering me a free house, I am much less likely to click links in your emails if they’re just text.

This is where buttons come in. Buttons are much easier for people to click, which will mean more people will click them, and more people will visit your website. While you’re at it, try to label your buttons with calls to action (CTAs) rather than boring copy like “click here.”

Here’s a great example of a CTA button from Smith & Berg Partners. Note how much more inviting “view photos” is than a generic “click here.”

Real Estate Email Marketing Tips

5. Focus Newsletter Content on What You Know

Tip from: Olivia Tormenta, Marketing Director at Manhattan luxury brokerage Warburg Realty

What is your value add? Curate your content and theme based on your unique expertise, skill set, or interests.

Olivia Tormenta, Marketing Director, Warburg Realty

  • For example, if you have a special talent for staging, take a time-lapse video of redecorating a listing and getting it ready for sale. Write about how important staging is in the current market, and cite past case studies that prove it gets the home sold faster.
  • Suppose you’re more of a number-cruncher with an audience in the finance world. In that case, your newsletter could be formatted as a market report with research on your city’s performance each quarter and your opinion for the forecast of where the market might be heading.
  • If you’re new to real estate and still finding your footing, you could start with a theme that explores a list of “the best of” a popular neighborhood in your city and cover a different area each time. We all love listicles! You could also focus on interests like food, music, pets, or fitness and find ways to tie those things back to real estate.
  • Interviews/Q&As with industry professionals is another interesting angle. Think of any architects, interior designers, artists, gallery owners, or fashion designers you know who may be shaking up the real estate industry in a unique way.

6. Write at Least 3 Versions of Every Subject Line

Tip from: Becky Brooks, Digital Marketing Manager & Email Marketing Specialist at The Close

Becky Brooks, the Digital Marketing Manager who manages our 90,000-subscriber email list, recommends writing at least three different versions of every subject line. Why? Because subject lines are the first thing your subscribers will read. Getting good at writing them takes practice! Here’s more subject line advice from Becky:

The job of a subject line is to be clickable so that your email gets opened. Pattern interrupters like emojis can work well to draw the eye toward your email in a crowded inbox. But ultimately, the copy you write is what will drive opens.

Becky Brooks, Digital Marketing Manager, The Close

“Think like a storyteller and leave people wanting to know more. Strong adjectives can go a long way to make your subject lines more enticing and speak to the emotions. As for length, 35 characters has traditionally been recommended. But like most things in marketing, as more people follow best practices, they become less likely to make you stand out. Play around with shorter and longer subject lines to gain attention in people’s crowded inboxes.”

7. Keep Your Emails Short, Sweet & Relevant

Tip from: Olivia Tormenta, Marketing Director at Manhattan luxury brokerage Warburg Realty

Offer relevant, interesting information in digestible amounts. Your newsletter shouldn’t take longer than five minutes to read. When it comes to nurturing emails, you need to focus on brevity even more. Get right to the point!

Here’s an excellent example of a short, sweet, and relevant email from Beverly Ruffner:

Related Article
The 15 Best Real Estate Prospecting Letter Templates

8. Don’t Base All Your Content Decisions on Analytics

While the analytics (performance data you get from your email marketing software) is crucial for success, you should be very careful about making content decisions based on this data. While making decisions based on data may seem like a great strategy, it can backfire quickly. Here’s why:

The problem is the sample size. For example, let’s say you send out a newsletter linking to a blog post about a new restaurant and 20% of the people who opened the email clicked the link to your post. Since average click-through rates for the real estate industry are only 1.77%, you might decide you have a winner on your hands and start sending out more emails about restaurants.

But what if only 50 people total opened the email in the first place? That means only 10 people clicked over to your post. Making big content decisions on numbers this small rarely gets good results.

9. Be Visual

Tip from: Olivia Tormenta, Marketing Director at Manhattan luxury brokerage Warburg Realty

Incorporate visually appealing images that are relevant to your topic. Free stock photo sites like are a great free resource for high-quality photography. Services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer free newsletter templates with your paid membership; take advantage of those or hire a freelance designer to help create something more custom.

Related Article
30 Real Estate Marketing Tools Every Agent Needs (+ Reviews & Pricing)

Bonus Tip: Memes Are Not Just for Teenagers Anymore

Memes (funny pictures with short captions like these) are now used by brands like Gucci and even government agencies to connect with their audiences. The reason why is simple. Like any good joke or pun, memes distill complex ideas into simple ones. They also make people laugh. There is no quicker way to connect with your audience than to make them laugh.

Don’t believe me? Compass Los Angeles Realtor Eric Simon built an audience of over 300,000 on Instagram just using memes. So if you want to connect with your audience and make them laugh, try adding some memes to your emails.

Here are some great sources for real estate memes you can add to your emails: The Broke Agent on Instagram, 79 Real Estate Memes Realtors Can’t Stop Sharing, Rise Realty on Pinterest.

If you want to try your hand at making your own memes and get to 300,000 followers like Eric, check out his free step-by-step e-book on making memes below:

Get Eric’s Free E-book

Over to You

Have a real estate email marketing tip you want to share with your fellow agents? Let us know in the comments.

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