Email marketing continues to be an effective way to reach new clients and nurture past customers. Drip campaigns — that is, a series of timely and informative emails delivered over a set period of time — keep clients in the loop and your name top-of-mind.

Creating and distributing a drip campaign effectively has never been easier. Using any of the many automation software solutions available will ensure timely delivery to your clients’ inboxes.

What makes for a successful real estate drip campaign?

1. Database

The first step in building a drip campaign is to make sure the contact information you’re using is properly segmented and up-to-date. The last thing you want to do is send a current client prospect emails.

2. Content and cadence

Appropriate content is timely and informative. Emails should be brief and to the point. Keep in mind that you have only seconds to capture the reader’s attention. Subject lines should be compelling and the call-to-action should be clear. As a real estate agent, you have a wealth of information you can share with prospects about the community and your sales successes. Prospects might enjoy tips on house hunting and the home buying process, while past clients would find homeowner advice beneficial.

One way to keep emails short and to-the-point is to introduce your topic and provide a link to the full article on your website or campaign-related landing page. Keep in mind that cadence — that is, the particular approach and sequencing of your emails — is critical. Ideally each email should be more compelling than the one before it. You can achieve this effect by telling a larger story or having an overarching theme. Keep this in mind as you develop your subject lines and calls-to-action. Find a hook that you can build on.

3. Presentation

Your email should be in HTML format and include all your contact information and photo. The recipient should be able to unsubscribe. Use uncluttered graphic design to make your emails stand out.

4. Landing page

You want to make it as easy as possible for the reader to “learn more” about you and your business. You can do this by including a link to a specially designed landing page unique to the particular drip campaign. Here you can include more information on the topic at hand, links to new listings for prospects, links to your newsletter for existing clients, and an incentive to capture more information from the client.

5. Incentive

An incentive could come in the form of anything from a white paper to a discount on commission for new client’s. An incentive can increase the chance of capturing additional information about a prospect. Other incentives may include a discount coupon or coupons for discount at local merchants. Get creative and work with other professionals in the home buying process to develop meaningful and effective incentives.

6. Frequency

Too many emails will lead to more clients unsubscribing. To reach prospects you want to be direct and timely — consider weekly emails for a fixed period of 6 weeks to 3 months. If you don’t get a response in that timeframe you can try again down the road. For a nurture campaign, you may email monthly for anywhere from one to three years.

7. Measurement

Open rate, response rate, and conversion are the primary measures to be watching. Keep in mind that the cost of attracting new clients is generally five times that of retaining an existing client. And, with roughly 70% of clients saying they would use the same real estate agent for their next home purchase, you don’t want to underestimate the impact of a good nurture campaign.

The bottom line

Using an email drip campaign to reach prospects or maintain contact with past clients is an affordable and effective way to grow and maintain your business. Easy-to-use templates and streamlined automation software make it even easier.