Do you not use follow-up emails or any other type of follow-up in your real estate business? 

If yes, you will leave much money on the table and unnecessarily increase your costs per lead and customer.

This is just one aspect of using follow-up emails for real estate. 

And one thing is the apparent benefits of using them, but the other is how to write them.

Writing a follow-up email for real estate is just another field of copywriting, the art of selling with words.

Therefore, this article will cover what approach you can take to use copywriting for that, thus covering…

  • 25 reasons why you want to send follow-up emails to your real estate leads [backed by studies and statistics]
  • 13 factors that make or break great follow-up emails for real estate
  • Writing a subject line for real estate follow-up emails that your prospects can’t ignore… ignore this at your own peril!
  • Copywriting techniques to move the communication from email to phone or a personal meeting
  • 13 additional scenarios for shorter real estate follow-up email sequences


23 Reasons Why You Want to Send Follow-Up Emails to Your Real Estate Leads [Backed by Studies and Statistics]

Before I dive deeper into how you can write killer follow-up emails to your generated real estate leads, you may want to first know what all the fuss is about.

So, why do you want to make this effort and send follow-up emails in the first place?

To answer this question, I researched several statistics and studies about follow-up emails and what they can do for your marketing performance.

I looked mainly at how these types of emails can influence different marketing key performance indicators and what techniques and tactics make them perform better.


5 Statistics About General Benefits of Email Follow Ups

You may not even need to check statistics to conclude that you will likely benefit from writing and sending follow-up emails to your real estate leads.

How so?

At least one benefit you can conclude by using email marketing and follow-ups is that you can reduce your costs per customer.

Suppose you pay $20 per lead and need 20 leads to convert them into one customer without doing any email marketing, including follow-ups. 

In that case, that’s $400 per customer.

Instead, when you do email marketing and send follow-up emails, you increase your chances of converting more of those leads into customers.

If it’s only one more you convert, you have just halved your costs per customer.

Nevertheless, let’s dive into additional statistics to back up the benefits of sending follow-up emails to your real estate leads.

According to this provider specializing in cold-email campaigns, you can increase email response rates by 90% if you follow up three or more times compared to just one source).  

You may get an average 9% reply rate without follow-up emails.

Just one follow-up email can bump this up to 13%.

Generally, email marketing also has a two times higher return than cold calling (source).

Moreover, it can double your ROI compared to cold calling (source).


18 Performance Statistics About Email Marketing and Follow Ups

So, up to now, it may be clearer that there are benefits in following up and especially following up via email with your real estate leads.

But how do we ideally and effectively follow up with real estate leads via email, and what should we consider when writing such emails?

The following statistics will shine a light or two on that, so we can arrive at conclusions that inform the best practices of writing killer follow-up emails for real estate.

I am sure you know those people that shout by texting in all caps (don’t be that person).

Well, if you do that with your email subject line, it will cost you dearly and impact your response rate, and not in a good way.

You can expect a decrease in the response rate of 30% (source).

Staying with the critical element of email subject lines…

If you want the most effective one, it should be personalized to the recipient’s interests, engage curiosity, and include promotional offers (source).

Related to personalization is also the use of the recipient’s first name in the subject line.

If you do this, you can increase the opening rate by 29.3% (source).

It’s true for copywriting in general, and it applies to email writing for marketing purposes (which is actually copywriting applied to email marketing).

You want to write in a way that the text is easy to read and understand.

According to this sourceyou will get a 36% higher chance of a reply if you write on a third-grade reading level.

You can increase your odds of getting a reply by 50% when you use 1-3 questions in your emails compared to not using any (source).

By the way, this is also a good practice in general when writing sales copy to keep the reader and potential lead engaged.

Also relevant for writing effective real estate follow-up emails is subscriber segmentation to tailor your persuasive message better to the prospects’ individual needs.

Therefore, it’s no wonder that according to this source, the most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns are subscriber segmentation (78%), message personalization (72%), and email automation campaigns (71%).

According to this sourcesegmentation can lead to a 760% increase in revenue and a 50% increase in your CTR (source).

The segmentation and personalization part is still a field with many opportunities and getting you a competitive edge. 

How so?

Only 4% of marketers (I can imagine that even fewer real estate pros do that) use personalized targeting.

And it’s only slightly more (13% to 31%) segment their audiences, while the majority (53%) do no segmentation at all (source).

As always in lead generation and marketing in general, being able to test campaigns is one important cornerstone to steadily improve your effectiveness and, thus, your ROI.

So, it’s again no wonder that according to this sourceQA, A/B, and spam testing can lead to a 28% higher return.

By doing A/B tests, you can see what sales copy performs best and worst and adapt and improve your writing accordingly.

Almost half of the emails were opened on mobile devices in 2022 (source).

So, you can imagine what it will do to your response rate should you not optimize your emails for mobiles.

You may be surprised to learn that, in fact, almost 20% of email campaigns are actually not optimized for mobiles (source).

Let’s talk about the ideal sales cadence of six touches within three weeks.

So, your email follow-ups should be spaced out three or four days apart, according to this source.

If you wait longer than 5 days with your follow-up, you decrease your chances of reaching a lead by over 10 times.

You can also increase your persuasive power when writing your follow-up emails using the word “video .”(Don’t just use the term; in that case, actually include a video).

This will likely increase the open rates by 19%, the CTR by 65%, and decrease the unsubscribe rates by 26%, according to this source.

One thing is using great sales copy in writing your real estate follow-up emails, but another is the right timing.

You can have the best-written follow-up real estate email but won’t reap many benefits if you send it at the wrong time, such as during weekends, for example.

This source says these emails get the worst open and click-through rates.

So, what are the best days and times to send emails so your copy will have the best impact by reaching the highest number of recipients?

The best time to send these emails is during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 11 am and 12 pm (source).

Besides the copywriting techniques and skills you want to apply to writing real estate follow-up emails, there is something else you can do to increase the open rate by 56% (source).

You want to use GIFs, emojis, and stickers, but only if the subscribers or leads you email to are mainly Millennials.

Having a segmented email list will make your life easier to use this tactic in a laser-focused way (here, you can see the importance of segmenting your email list again).

With baby boomers, you want to use this tactic sparingly because only a minority (37%) like seeing GIFs, emojis, and stickers (source).


13 Factors that Make or Break Great Follow-Up Emails for Real Estate

There are 12 general factors and a lead-specific factor making or breaking a great follow-up email for real estate.

Let’s get first into the general factors, which are:

  • The subject line
  • The opening line
  • The body of the email
  • The closing line and call to action
  • The tone and professionalism of the email
  • The formatting and layout of the email
  • Personalization to the recipient
  • The length of the email
  • The frequency of follow-up emails
  • Including relevant content and/or resources
  • Using the proper email signatures and correct contact information
  • Checking for errors and proofreading

When you look a bit closer at these factors, you will realize that more than half are related to copywriting (here is my article on real estate copywriting for additional reading).

And not all of these factors have the same weight or importance.

As in a sales letter or other sales copy, the headline is one of the most important elements.

The same is true for the subject lines of emails.

And you already learned how important subject lines are from the above statistics.

So, the subject line can be considered the headline or the title.

The different emails you send in a series of follow-up emails can be considered as different sections of a sales letter, or you can use all elements of a sales letter in one email.

The latter is not as recommended as the first since you don’t want to come across as too “salesy” right from the get-go.

So, it is better to distribute these sales copy elements across several emails.

Let’s use one of the many copywriting formulas, such as AIDA, as an example.

You always want to include the attention part (the first “A”), such as in the subject line. That’s the headline in a sales letter.

But then you can send several emails just with content that raises the interest (the “I” in AIDA) of the respective leads you follow up with.

This can be just helpful, relevant content you could repurpose from the content you may already produce for your website.

After a while, you may come closer to more “salesy” real estate follow-up emails using content or copy that triggers your leads’ desires (the “D”) in AIDA.

The last “A” in AIDA is the call to action, which you may then include in all of the rather desire-triggering emails at the end (e.g., “Schedule a Call Now”).

Besides the above factors that can make or break a great follow-up email for real estate, there is also one essential factor related to the things you need to have in place before even writing a single word.

Here, we enter the world of copywriting and its preparation phase again.

It’s the target group and, more specifically, the type of real estate lead you want to send your follow-up emails to bring the written conversation via email to a call or a personal meeting (approaching a sale/contract signing, etc.).

And the type of real estate leads you send your follow-up emails to depends on the lead generation campaign you run.

In other words, the goals, including the target audience of your real estate lead generation campaign, inform how you need to write your follow-up emails.

Therefore, the copy of your follow-up emails needs to be tailored to the awareness levels of the real estate leads you likely have in your email list, as shown in the infographic below.


Writing a Subject Line for Real Estate Follow-Up Emails That Your Leads Can’t Ignore… Ignore This at Your Own Peril!

As you could already read in the statistics above, you want to write a subject line that is…

  • Personalized to the recipient’s interests
  • Engage curiosity
  • Uses the recipient’s first name

The same statistics also mention using a promotional offer.

But here, I have a slightly different opinion because not every follow-up email, especially the first ones, should promote something directly.

Since writing (follow-up) emails is just another field of copywriting and subject lines correspond with the headline in a sales letter, we can use different headline formulas for the subject lines.

A simple trick is to just write out different headlines first and then convert them into subject lines with the above three criteria for the best impact.

Moreover, you may already have headlines available if you do content marketing with blog articles.

Let’s use an example. 

Suppose the real estate lead campaign you run targets home sellers, most of whom are baby boomers.

On your blog, you already have several articles with the following topics targeting the same home sellers:

  • Home improvements that effectively increase the value of a property
  • Ideal color pallets according to the area of a house
  • Ways to retain value in a remodeling project
  • A list of appliances and how long they last

By the way, the topic ideas come from my real estate content marketing article.

The above could already be used as headlines for different blog articles, but they are still pretty weak persuading-wise.

Let’s turn them into more persuasive headlines before converting them into subject lines.

To do that, we use a straightforward headline formula: End Result + Customer Wants + Specific Period of Time + Address the Objections.

Not all elements of this formula must be used, though that would be ideal.

Now, we convert the rather lame headlines from above into more persuasive ones.

  • Increase the Value of Your Property with These 7 Surprisingly Cheap Home Improvements in Just One Weekend
  • These 13 Hacks Retain the Value of Your Remodeling Project Without Breaking the Bank
  • Never Get Surprised by Suddenly Dying Appliances Again with this Overview of Operating Lives

Two of the three criteria for email subject lines are already met: personalization to the recipient’s interests, which are the interests of potential sellers.

They also engage curiosity, at least more than the rather boring topic descriptions above.

The only thing that is still missing is using the recipient’s first name.

This now leads to the following subject lines:

  • John, with these 7 surprisingly cheap home improvements, you can increase the value of your property in just one weekend…
  • Ana, with these 13 hacks, you can retain the value of your remodeling project without breaking the bank…
  • Bill, you will never get surprised by suddenly dying appliances again when you have this overview of different operating lives…


Copywriting Techniques to Move the Communication from Email to Phone or a Personal Meeting

When we talk about persuasion and copywriting techniques to move the communication from your follow-up emails to a phone or a personal meeting, in the context of copywriting, we talk about the closing part of sales copy.

To answer the question of what can be done to bring this communication to a phone or personal meeting is to know what can be done in copywriting and apply this to your follow-up emails.

So, in copywriting, there are the following things you can do:

  • Restate the unique value you can provide to the potential sellers in your email list), your offer, and the benefits you bring to the table.
  • Restate your USP (unique selling proposition) and, thus, how you are different from your competition.
  • Lead them to take action by explaining further how they can schedule a call or personal meeting with you and what will happen then.
  • Make your offer seem like a good value by price anchoring, such as, for example, ‘home staging is included.’
  • Add an additional and/or unexpected benefit as a bonus (e.g., securing their desired second home before the prospect’s house is sold).
  • Create a sense of urgency (e.g., ‘don’t wait too long,’ ‘the market can turn into a buyers market any moment now,’ etc.)


13 Additional Scenarios for Shorter Real Estate Follow-Up Email Sequences

Until now, I covered the longer real estate email follow-ups more often applied to nurturing campaigns after you a new lead enters your list or database.

For the sake of completion and approaching the end of this article, there are typical scenarios in which you may need to manually send a shorter real estate follow-up sequence.

These are the scenarios for which you may also need to write these emails:

  • A client is interested in a property but has yet to make an offer.
  • A client with interest in a property but has yet to schedule a showing.
  • After the showing with a client who has yet to make an offer.
  • A client has made an offer on a property but has yet to move further on closing the deal.
  • After a client has closed on a property, you must find out if there are additional questions or needs.
  • A cold client who has yet to reply to past emails or phone calls.
  • A client asked for further information about a property.
  • A client who is behind on completing the needed paperwork for closing.
  • A client who needed information on mortgage lenders or home inspection companies.
  • After a client asked about the availability of properties in a specific area or price range.
  • After a client requests additional information about the status of a particular property.
  • A client has not communicated a budget or price range after showing interest in a property.
  • After a client makes a post-closing walk-through of a property.

As you can see, many different real estate scenarios and many more merit follow-up emails and follow-ups.

Since there are so many, it is not necessarily the best idea to have a one-size fits all template for all of them.

However, over time, you may find a pattern of repeatedly sending follow-up emails.

In that case, preparing a template may not be a bad idea. So you can copy and paste it.

You may also add clients you need to follow up manually via email to your automated nurturing campaign list (also follow-ups) that receive your follow-up or nurturing emails over a longer period.

However, in that matter, you want to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act

Implicitly or explicitly, you will always need permission to do that.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher