When it comes down to connecting with your customers, it is all about engagement. The consumer inbox is becoming a wasteland of bulk emails from CRMs and anywhere you may have bought a t-shirt or eaten during Covid-19. When engaging with consumers is the name of the game, is your email marketing doing the job that you think it is?

Here are some of the myths about your bulk email strategy and how to ultimately win the engagement game with your database.

Email Coverage of Your Database

This is a REAL database analysis from an agency with just over 40,000 contacts. You can see that over 14,000 of those do not have an email address and so before you even invest in content marketing or software to distribute it, you are ignoring around 35% of your database. In this case, it leaves around 26,000 contacts which is quite the haircut.

In the chart above, you can see the immediate drop-off in the bulk email strategy due to the number of contacts in the database without an email address. This drop-off curve shows us that even though it is 2020, not everyone wants a digital experience.


According to leading Martech company Mailchimp, the average open rate for the real estate industry is 19%. So, using our example database, we can see another big drop off taking our 26,000 contacts with email addresses down to an engaged level of 4,940. 

Have a look at what this does to our drop off curve, keeping in mind that every one of your contacts above that pink line is disengaged with your marketing.


Mailchimp reports a benchmark of 1.77% for click throughs from the real estate industry which further erodes the curve, seen here. 1.77% of the 26,000 strong cohort of recipients is 460.

Focusing on the survivors now, the 460 people who clicked through – the logical question is ‘then what?’. If they were interested in the information that you sent them in your content, then they have clicked on it and self-served that information, so quite possibly they don’t need your help anymore. 

The old thinking was that you would call people who clicked on your email articles BUT I want you to be really honest now.

Are you going to make 460 phone calls to check to see if those people are thinking of selling or ready to buy? Probably not. You might want to but you probably won’t. You are not going to call 460 people because they clicked on an email. No one is. It doesn’t happen.

The issue with the one-way engagement through bulk email, is that you are dependent really on the client picking up the phone and calling you.

Sometimes they do call, and sometimes they also unsubscribe and you lose the opportunity forever.

Let’s say 5 do call, and I think we’re being very generous enough at 5 inbound leads from a weekly bulk email newsletter, here is where the drop off curve is now.

We are going to continue to be generous and assume that 2 of those 5 inbound leads (40%) are listing opportunities and that 1 (20%) may result in a listing.

Your engagement curve, when we look at actual human engagement interaction has essentially evaporated.


And this is where the fools gold comes in. Even if you get a listing from a bulk email, and I want to reiterate how INCREDIBLY generous that lead yield example is then it looks like you have a return on investment for the email, and you do.

But what have you LOST?

Look at that small pink shaded area in the graph below. The shaded area represents everyone in your database who WAS REACHED (opened your email) or ENGAGED (clicked on your email) by this strategy.

Everyone else in your database – all of the white space on that graph – were the contacts who were MISSED. In many databases, it can be your longest relationships – past clients and property owners – where there is no email address and these can be the most heartbreaking when they show up as a competitor listing.

Let me show you this another way…


And what could that big white lack of engagement be costing you? In a six month study of 180 offices, the cost of losing listings from the database to competitors came in at $750,000 PER DAY, EACH DAY during that 6 month period for a total of $135,000,000 in lost GCI. You can read more about that here and here.


If this scenario is beginning to hit a little close to home and it’s evident that you can’t gain sufficient reach across your database…  adopting an omnichannel strategy to your marketing is the clear answer.

An omnichannel strategy is about diversifying the ways that you talk to people, and it isn’t about volume – it is about IMPACT.

There is also a real advantage when you have multiple channel options to reach your contacts because you can layer your messaging across multiple channels. In a world, where people expect personalised service, being able to engage with you via their preferred channel is an easy way to start.

While there is no one channel that is going to give you universal coverage across your database so the best way to go is to blend your marketing across as many channels as possible in order to optimise your reach and get the most engagement for your efforts.


If you would rather not lose listings to competitors, find our how artificial intelligence and automation can help you reach more people, more personally. Our Digital Employee, RiTA, helps real estate agents just like you to achieve better engagement with their data. Leran more about RiTA, here.

This blog is a sneak peek of an upcoming e-book called “The Engagement Game: The new rules and the new tools of real estate.” If you’d like to receive a copy of that, simply sign up to our much-loved AiREmail, below.