Five tips to take your email marketing to the next level

In 1978, the first-ever mass email was sent to 400 people. Flashforward 41 years, email continues to be a digital marketer’s top performing asset. In fact, it’s predicted by the end of 2022, there will be more than 4.2 billion email users worldwide.

From knowing your audience to having the ability to build cross-channel campaigns, email is a great way to engage with your existing, past and potential clients.

Regardless of whether you’re an email marketing veteran or about to hit send on your very first digital message, we have five tips to help improve your email marketing strategy:

1. Select an email marketing tool that works for you

If you want to impress your clients with a regular templated email like a newsletter or holiday greeting, why not design your own template? Some popular and easy-to-use marketing automation platforms include: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Salesforce Pardot or Marketing Cloud, and more. These platforms can help you improve engagement by delivering personalized and timely messages to clients, while saving you time to focus on growing your business.  There’s a platform made for every budget and most are scalable to your needs and growth, so you can find one that works for you.


TIP: Ready to take your email marketing to the next level? A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help you manage your clients and prospects and have the power to streamline all your marketing and customer service efforts.


2. Segment your subscribers for personalized content

Location, location, location. REALTORS®, who are members of local real estate boards and associations are neighbourhood experts. Knowing where your clients and prospects are located and what neighbourhoods they hope to call home can allow you to segment your subscribers to drive local, more personalized content.

3. Use A/B testing to optimize email performance and test interactive content

A/B testing is the process of sending a different variation of your email to a sample of your subscribers. It allows you to determine if one email is more effective in driving a certain metric like opens, clicks or conversions. After a time period (generally 24 hours), the best performing email can be sent manually or automatically to the remainder of your audience to help drive better results. In order to understand what drove the success of one email vs. another, you can only test one thing at time. Here are some examples of what you can test in your emails:

  • Subject line (Example: “Find your dream 🏠” vs. “Five Tips to Finding Your Dream 🏠”).
  • Call to action button (Example: “Get started” vs. “Schedule an appointment”).
  • Personalization (Example: “Hi there” vs. “Hi John”).
  • Time of day or day of week (Example: 8:00 a.m. vs. 12:00 p.m. or Thursday vs. Saturday).
  • Content (Example: Headline, images or GIFs).

TIP: People love interactive content like emojis and GIFs. If you really want to impress your clients and prospects, try (or hire a pro) to make your own custom animated GIF. Take a look at these custom GIFs for inspiration.


4. Ensure your emails have a responsive design

Many studies show that worldwide, at least 50% of emails are opened on a mobile device. You can compare this stat to your own subscribers by diving into the email reports in your email marketing tool. To ensure your emails look great no matter the device or email provider, it’s recommended you test your emails either on your own devices or using tools like Litmus or Email on Acid. According to Campaign Monitor, people who originally opened an email on their mobile device and then opened it again on their desktop are 65% more likely to click through the email.

5. Include an “unsubscribe” link to comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

Odds are, you’ve received emails you never signed up for in the first place. It’s important for all marketers to know that they are subject to Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL). CASL is enforced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to protect individuals from receiving commercial electronic messages without consent, identification information, and an unsubscribe link. Be sure to make your list, check it twice and only send messages to people who have given express consent to receive commercial electronic messages including emails, private messages over social media and texts, or where you can imply consent based on the grounds set out in CASL. You can learn more about CASL with this trusty resource.


TIP: Stay in the loop on our product and marketing updates, events, advocacy efforts and more by ensuring you’re subscribed to CREA’s emails including NEWS2Me and Read All About It. Want to share popular REALTOR.ca Living Room blog posts and product and market updates with your clients? Create a REALTOR.ca account and check your communications preferences to make sure you’re opted in.


If you’re looking to boost your marketing strategy, email is a great place to start. Want to take it a step further? Grab a coffee and read our favourite social media tips. Before you know it, you’ll be driving engagement with your clients and prospects, too.

Let us know what email tip you’re most looking forward to trying out in the Comments section below.

As former Assistant Marketing Manager, Lizzie Lennox promoted CREA’s products, with a focus on developing member and consumer campaigns for REALTOR.ca. She also acted as a national liaison for board and association YPN initiatives. An avid traveler, Lizzie enjoys exploring new places and meeting new people. In her spare time, she can be found at the ski hill, working on her inner yogi, volunteering with Special Olympics, and spending time with friends and family.


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