For most estate agents, email is the most important method of communication, but if you can’t avoid emails going to spam, chances are they are never going to be read by your clients.
We deal with a lot of estate agents and noticed that out of the emails that we received from 131 estate in the last month, 24 ended up in spam. 18% of estate agents are suffering from this problem.
Estate agents send emails when they receive an initial contact from their website or a property portal, when they want to send details of a property or when they send their newsletters. Email is undoubtedly the most crucial real estate direct marketing channel.
If you can’t avoid emails going to spam, that’s costing a lot of money because much of the marketing budget that you are spending is wasted. People don’t generally check their spam folders on a regular basis. They won’t see your replies.
We all know that when a client is searching for property, they are probably going to be sending emails to several different agents. But if your reply is not getting to their inbox, they are going to be dealing with your competition whose emails did. You will be forgotten. The first responses they see are the ones they will likely do business with.
If your emails are in spam, it also sends a bad message about your brand. Who wants to deal with a spammer? Fixing the problem to avoid emails going to spam must be a priority for any estate agent with the problem.
7 reasons why estate agent emails arrive in spam
Spam filters are getting tougher by the day and there are many reasons why emails end up in spam. We looked at the emails that we received from real estate agents that ended up in our spam folders and found that these were the main problems:
1. Your IP address was used for spam
This is a very common problem for agents who have their websites hosted on shared servers. For example, many of the estate agent systems on the market offer website packages, and all these websites are bundled onto the same server sharing the same IP address. If just one agent is spamming from that IP address, it affects them all, you included.
2. You have low email open rates
If your emails are not being opened, then the spam filters will lower your score, making it hard to avoid emails going to spam.
3. You are mailing inactive accounts
If your mailing list includes email addresses that are seldom used or inactive, this will also lower your spam score.
4. Users mark your messages as spam
Users marking your emails as spam is a sure-fire way to get all your emails into the spam folder.
5. You didn’t include your physical address
Including your physical address at the bottom of the email is a sign that you are a legitimate business, if you don’t then the spam filters will mark you down.
6. No unsubscribe link
If you send a newsletter without an unsubscribe link, it is not only illegal but it means that your emails are very likely to end up in spam.
7. Spam words
The dictionary of spam words is always growing and is a rigorous test to pass.
There are many other factors that can affect whether your email ends up in spam, the above were the ones that we identified. Others can include the use of too many images, links titles like "click here" or writing subject lines in CAPITAL LETTERS, to name but a few. Writing spam-proof emails is becoming increasingly difficult!
8 ways estate agent emails can avoid emails going to spam
There are some basic precautions you can take to avoid emails going to spam, but if you have had a history of sending spam emails then even these may not be enough, and you may need to get some specific professional advice.
1. Change your email server
Changing your email server is probably the most effective thing you can do to avoid emails going to spam, particularly if you make the change to G suite. Your emails can look the same, branded in the way that they are now but sending from Google’s own servers reduces the risk of ending up in spam and the new IP it will give you means getting away from the bad neighbourhood that your emails may be on now.
2. Check your website server
You must also ensure that links from your email are not going to a blacklisted domain, and most importantly check that your own website domain is not blacklisted. There are online tools to check to see if your domain is on the blacklist, which is a good place to start although not foolproof.
3. Check your lists
The new GDPR and ePrivacy laws affect all estate agents and mean that you are going to have to get your users to re-subscribe to your mailing lists. This is a perfect opportunity to ensure that you eliminate the subscribers with inactive accounts as well as any bounces. Whenever you send an email to your lists, make sure you remove and bounced email addresses and perform regular housekeeping to keep the list clean.
4. Take care with automated responses
Automated response emails often don’t get opened and are a major culprit for not being opened so review these. Remove them if they are not essential and change the text if they are. Basically, look at them and ask yourself if you would open them or just put them in the bin. Be hard on yourself!
5. Avoid spammy language
Check the language you use in your emails. Avoid possible spam words like amazing, free, no cost, 100%, discount, call free, investment, bargain… its not easy but if you include spammy words, don’t be surprised if your email fails to hit the inbox! Check the text of your email using a service like isnotspam and see what your spam score is before sending an email, particularly when sending bulk emails like newsletters.
6. Address your emails
Use the contact’s name to address them, e.g. Dear Mr Smith, or Hi John. Don’t make it anonymous. If your email subscribe forms on your website are not asking for a name, change them now!
7. Double opt in
Use a double opt in for email subscribers. This means that when they subscribe on your website, they are sent an email asking them to confirm their subscription.
8. Get whitelisted
Encourage your email users to whitelist your emails by adding your address to their contacts. You might make it easier for them by adding a vcard (which is pretty easy from most email clients).
Avoiding the spam filters is worth the effort
It doesn’t matter how wonderful the property you want to send to the clients is, nor how "amazing" your newsletter might be. If can’t avoid emails going to spam, then you are laying out the red carpet for your competition and throwing your marketing budget down the drain. The above advice might seem a hassle, but it really is worth it.