Top Tips For Writing A Newsletter That Generates Leads
So, you want to become the go-to agent in your community. Given that you’re reading content about geo farming strategies, you’re probably already on the right track. Congratulations! Geo farming is all about setting deep roots in your community, adding value, and building relationships. And we have it on good authority that it works! After all, it’s at the heart of every successful real estate business in history. But, do you really need to write a newsletter to your geo farm? Isn’t email marketing more 2000s than it is 2023? We’re here to spill the tea on email marketing and show you how you can leverage a newsletter to nurture and convert leads in your community.
A Brief Aside: What’s Geo Farming Again?
As a quick refresher, geo farming is a real estate marketing strategy where you target a particular neighborhood. The goal is to grow your real estate business by investing in your community and becoming the face that people trust. Common geo farming tactics include getting involved in community events, developing a content strategy, and yes, delivering a thoughtful newsletter. For a closer take on growing your geo farm, as well as top strategies for 2023, check out this article. For how to write an effective newsletter, keep reading this one.
The Goal of Writing a Newsletter To Your Geo Farm
Before you can evaluate any effort you make in your business, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your goals. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, your big picture goal should always be to build relationships. And that is accomplished by adding value, building trust, and staying in regular contact. A newsletter to your geo farm can help you do all of that. And by tracking your open and subscription rates, you can see if your methods are effective.
How to Add Value and Build Trust with a Newsletter
The three essential ingredients are communication, content, and consistency
Communicate with the people in your geo farm. Let them know who you are, what you care about, and what you offer. The more they feel like they understand you, the easier it will be for them to reach out when the time comes.
Create content that adds value. This means sharing information they actually want to hear about. And that means sharing about an array of different topics. Real estate insights are your area of expertise so you absolutely should talk about it. But, it would also help if you could keep your community up to date with local news, events, etc. (More on this later).
The last piece of the puzzle is consistency. You want to make sure that your content, tone, and frequency with which you reach out is consistent. That way, your community can grow to rely on your check-ins and keep you top of mind.
What To Include in Your Newsletter to Your Geo Farm
Your newsletter could be short and sweet or lengthy and detailed. We recommend erring on the side of being concise. This is because it’s more important that you actually get it out there. And if your bar for what is acceptable is that it be a masterpiece, you’re likely going to miss the consistency mark. However, if thorough craftsmanship is up your alley, release a quarterly newsletter that is more comprehensive than your weekly or biweekly one. That way, you get to flex that muscle, add value, and still keep in regular contact with your audience. And all without sacrificing your personal life to do it.
Market reports are a natural thing to include in your newsletter to your geo farm. However, only a smaller portion of your community will be interested in actively tracking real estate movement, week to week. While they are still a good idea to include on a monthly or even quarterly basis, there are better ways to engage your audience.
Here are the top content ideas to include in your newsletter to your geo farm that would add value and keep you top of mind.
- Local news: Yes, there may be other sources of news out there, but local news typically gets drowned out by bigger headlines. Keeping up to date with hyper local news could help to establish you as a local leader for your community.
- Local events: Cool things happen in your community, and many people probably don’t know about them. By getting in touch with other community organizers and staying in the know, you could share valuable insights with your geo farm.
- Local deals: A limited time coupon for that local hotspot isn’t quite news. But, the local patrons would probably appreciate hearing about it. If you are able to build relationships with local business owners, this could be a way to add value to them and to your subscribers!
- Homeowner resources: Build a relationship with a number of local vendors who service homeowners in your area. Then, help residents access those services while also promoting the local businesses! Roofers, painters, landscapers, driveway sealers, etc. are just a few that come to mind.
- Seasonal tips and tricks: From awesome life hacks that simplify the home maintenance process to simple reminders, such as when to shut off the water in the winter months, tips from a professional could be a nice way to assert yourself as an expert AND showcase your personality.
Top Tips For Success Writing a Newsletter to Your Geo Farm
Once you get comfortable producing a local newsletter and get regular traction, you may want to get a little creative. There are many email marketing techniques that can help you not only engage but convert your subscribers into leads. Here are some ideas that are proven to work:
- Use a Strong Personal Voice: Your brand is the persona that people interact with in your absence. Make sure it’s consistent and differentiates you from your competitors. Consider everything from your colors to your writing style, use of humor, images, and more. Remember, this is a big part of how people come to know and trust you.
- Segment Your Audience: Some members of your geo farm are getting your newsletter to stay connected to their community. Others may be interested in buying or selling real estate. While both are valuable connections, it would serve you to differentiate between them. Create a clear Call to Action in your newsletter to aggregate people who are actively interested in real estate market reports. Then, you will be able to tailor your communication to both groups. Services like Email Octopus, Mailer Lite, and most CRMs make this really simple and easy to do!
- Consider Drip Campaigns: If you use a CRM to handle your email campaigns, you can set up what’s called a drip campaign. That is a set of pre-written emails that go out at set intervals, based on an action a user takes. For example, if someone identified that they’re interested in selling their home in the next year, you could send them a series of helpful emails to get them prepared. Likewise, the process of buying a home also requires some checklists. Your campaigns could be the resource to keep them on track.
- A/B Test Everything: Most email marketing services allow you to A/B test ideas so you can know with confidence what works and what doesn’t. A/B testing is when you duplicate an email template but change only one element. Then, when the results come in, you get to learn which is the best method for going forward. Test everything from your layout, to your CTAs, to your subject lines. This way, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that are designed for success.
PRO TIP: if you decide to make a structural change to your newsletter such as changing up your content strategy, your analytics may lag. This means that if your new newsletter doesn’t jive with your audience, it may not be immediately apparent. People tend to unsubscribe when they are frustrated or annoyed with something, and that takes time. And likewise, if a change really enhances the value of your newsletter, it may not be immediately apparent either. So, keep paying attention to your analytics (i.e. open rate, subscriptions, etc.)… but anticipate lagging insights.
- Use good subject lines and email previews: A good subject line is not click-bait. It doesn’t trick a reader into opening the email. Rather, it helps the reader know whether that newsletter is relevant to them. So, don’t shy away from writing strong subject lines. And make sure your email includes a short preview so the reader can decide how to proceed. Here are some winning subject lines to get your creative juices flowing:
“X best activities for kids in [neighborhood] this season”
“I thought you might like this…”
“The best kept secret in [neighborhood]”
“Fun things to do with the whole family”
“Don’t forget these X things if you’re thinking of selling”
- Use a strong CTA: A clear Call to Action is a must. Your readers may be getting your newsletter for a variety of reasons. But if you want them to take a specific action, make it simple to understand and obvious to find. Giving them the option to email, call, or message you on social media is not as compelling as one option. So, yes you should include your broader contact details with your signature. But, your immediate CTA should be one thing and it should require no additional thinking.
- Make it responsive & easy to read: When you design your newsletter template, make sure it’s easy to view on mobile as well as on desktop. These days, all modern service providers allow you to customize your templates. So keep your logo clean, images centered, and text easy to read.
PRO TIP: If you want to include video in your newsletter, include a thumbnail or an image of the video instead. Then, link that image to YouTube, where that video is hosted. That way, you ensure that your email loads properly, as most videos are still too large for emails. The added perk of doing this is that you can increase your YouTube views and even get your content shared!
Avoid Common Pitfalls With Your Newsletter to You Geo Farm
By following the tips above, you ensure that your newsletter to your geo farm will help toward your goals. Knowing what to do and how to do it is more than half the battle. However, it also helps to know what not to do. Here are some common mistakes that real estate agents make in their email marketing campaigns:
- SELL, SELL, SELL: You’re a real estate agent, which means you are in sales. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you try to close too soon, you alienate people who aren’t ready, or aren’t ready yet. Be mindful of your ask and make sure to give, give, give before you expect to receive.
- Forgetting the CTA: On the other end of the spectrum, some agents are too shy to ask for anything, ever. They expect that people will come to them, when they’re ready. And in so doing, they miss the chance to have important conversations that could generate leads. Don’t be afraid to ask for a conversation, even if the homeowner is not ready to act just yet. That conversation may yield some value for them, too.
- Poor Subject lines: “Suzanne’s Newsletter” is not a compelling subject line and neither is “Here is your update.” This is especially true if you’re sending these month over month. In short, avoid the following faux pas:
– generic or boring subject lines
– ALL CAPS
– Too Much Punctuation!!!!
– sounding desperate (please, oh please, don’t do this!)
– creating a false sense of urgency (“Don’t miss out on CRAZY deals!”)
– being mysterious (“Hi there…”)
– and typos! (Use Grammarly if this isn’t your forte)
- Not allowing replies: Make sure to enable replies to your emails or you could miss out on leads or important feedback. After all, you want your relationships to be a two-way street.
- Making it difficult to unsubscribe: Some email marketers bury the unsubscribe button or require too many steps. While that may deter a few people from leaving, it won’t turn a disinterested reader into a lead. Worse yet, it could frustrate the recipient and sour your relationship. The reality is that you shouldn’t want subscribers for number’s sake. You want engaged community members who will be happy to run into you on the street and say hello. So, let whoever doesn’t fit that bill go, and focus on adding value to the ones who matter.
In conclusion, delivering a newsletter to your geo farm can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and forge connections. Especially if you do it strategically and with care. Refer to this article for content ideas, tips for success, and common mistakes to avoid. And tune into Local Leader for free regular resources to help you succeed in your real estate business in the future.
Insider Tip: Parkbench is a great company that offers a geo farming system that guarantees you deals. And, part of their system includes a weekly, locally relevant newsletter to your community. If you are interested in learning more, we highly recommend you check them out.
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