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104: Josh Cobb: Why Email Beats Social Media In Real Estate

By |November 11, 2016| No Comments


If you listen to the hype, email has died a thousand deaths and social media is the most effective digital channel in business today. But the reality however, is a very different story.

According to a study released on 8 November 2016, email is the clear winner across all key business measures including organic reach, consumer preference and return-on-investment.

Email is still the number one channel that consumers use to communicate with brands online and agents who are ditching email for social media are annoying consumers and probably losing business they didn’t know they could get.

In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we discuss the results of this new research, why email beats social media in real estate for business purposes, why it’s important to start growing your email list and what content you should be providing to your subscribers.

Why Email Beats Social Media In Real Estate

In a recent study by Sprout Social titled “How Brands Are Annoying Customers on Social Media”, real estate was found to be the fourth most annoying industry – only to be beaten by government, banking or finance and advertising.

In their survey of over 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users, Sprout Social set out to determine what annoys people about brands on these platforms, what drives them to unfollow a brand and which industries are on the right side of the line.


The survey starts by outlining what annoys people most about brands these platforms and 57% of respondents said that too many promotional messages was the most annoying action taken by brands on social media – followed second by brands who use slang or jargon in their posts.


The number one reason why people unfollow a brand on social media was also because of too many promotional messages – followed closely by information that isn’t relevant to them.


Today, you’d be lucky to reach 1% of your followers on social media unless you boost your posts. Couple this with the data from Sprout Social’s research and you might be wondering if social media is really worth all your time and effort – from a business perspective.

Luckily, there is another channel that many real estate professionals have neglected over the years that still reigns supreme when it comes to engaging your followers.

It’s email.

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘email is dead’. The facts simply don’t back it up.

In a study published by OptinMonster on 8 November 2016, email is the clear winner over social media in all key business measures – including organic reach, consumer preference and return-on-investment.

Firstly, on the channel with the most users globally, email has 2.6 billion versus 1.7 billion on social media. On which channel people check first each day, email is the clear favourite with 58% versus social media which came in at 11%.  check their email first thing, before anything else online.

Despite what we might think, this research shows that people check their email first thing in the morning before anything else online – including social media.

On which channel performs best for direct purchases or enquiries on a product or service, email wins again. With 66% of users saying they made a purchase as the result of a marketing message from this channel, versus just 20% on social media.

In terms of organic reach, email trumps social media by a long shot, with 79% of email users receiving content that a brand sends to them. Organic reach on social media sits at 1% on average.

When asked which channel people prefer to receive messages from brands, 77% said email and only 4% said social media.

The bottom line?

Email is still the number one channel that consumers use to communicate with brands online.

There is absolutely no reason to ditch email for social media marketing and when someone tries to convince you that email is dead, you have my permission to share this podcast with them.

That being said, comparing email and social media is like comparing apples and oranges… social media and email marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. Smart real estate professionals use the two together.

Social media is a powerful marketing tool to drive traffic to your own website whereby you can convert them into email subscribers with all sorts of content such as blog subscriptions, downloads, resources or really any information that someone would be happy to hand over their email address for. Maybe off-market listings for example?

You’re probably thinking, ‘but no-one opens emails anymore.’

People read what’s relevant to them. You too, right?

After deleting the barrage of spam out of your inbox each morning, you read what interests you – what’s relevant to you. Well, your clients and prospects are no different.

People today, more than ever, want relevant marketing on the platforms that they prefer. Instead of what we typically do in real estate which is create marketing that is relevant to a small few and publish it on platforms that we prefer – essentially, we spam a lot of people to hopefully resonate with a few.

So… what say you?

Are you buying into the hype of social media at the neglect of the power of email?

My hope after reading/listening to this podcast is that you’re thinking about what information you can publish on your website that people would hand over the email address for, and how you might turn your social media followers into your email subscribers.

Good luck.

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