Email marketing is still an essential element of any business.
And by now, you might have heard of email marketing providers such as MailChimp that can handle automated email series and more for you.
Besides MailChimp, you can choose from many more email marketing providers, but now you may wonder if MailChimp is any good for real estate in the first place.
As a whole, MailChimp is suitable for real estate because it integrates with the majority of the well-known real estate CRMs on the market and can extend their often limited email marketing functionality.
However, you might not want to use it when you are just starting out.
Please keep reading if you want to know how I arrived at this conclusion.
I cover in today’s article what MailChimp is, the reason for choosing a separate email marketing provider for real estate, such as MailChimp, its features, and its pricing.
What is MailChimp?
MailChimp is a web-based email marketing software specially tailored to small businesses.
It was founded in 2001 and had its headquarters in Atlanta, with additional offices in Brooklyn, Vancouver, and Oakland.
Since its founding years, it has grown from a simple email marketing software to a now fully-fletched all-in-one marketing platform.
The main idea since the start was to give small businesses a chance to compete against larger companies with access to more comprehensive and expensive email marketing solutions.
During that time (the early 2000s), they filled a gap.
Why Choosing a Separate Email Marketing Provider for Real Estate in the First Place
You may have asked yourself the question, “is MailChimp good for real estate” because you don’t know yet if you want to use an all-in-one real estate marketing suite that usually includes a CRM with email marketing functionality or if you want to assemble the different software pieces for your realtor business yourself.
The pros of assembling the different “software pieces” yourself for your real estate marketing needs are the following:
- Less dependency on just one platform
- Potential cost savings
- More flexibility in terms of adapting to market changes or changing your real estate marketing strategy
The cons of this approach also need to be mentioned:
- A higher time investment in finding the right tools to assemble
- Often more technical knowledge is necessary
- A higher time investment when it comes to carrying out marketing campaigns
Now, in terms of using a separate email marketing software, a general rule of thumb you could use is the following:
If you are starting out and don’t have many clients yet, you don’t need email marketing software or even a whole CRM real estate marketing suite.
Because first, you will be on a shoestring budget, and second (even more important), the time investment in learning the software might be higher than using just your email program (e.g., Gmail) and a free CRM (Google Excel or Podio).
Later, once you have more prospects, potential clients, and/or past clients, it might be worthwhile to go for email marketing software or an all-in-one real estate marketing suite.
But let’s say you are at this point, and for whatever reason, you want to go with an email marketing provider such as MailChimp.
For this, we will take a closer look at the features MailChimp has to offer in the next section.
MailChimp’s features can be grouped into audience management, creative tools, marketing automation, insights, and analytics.
1) Audience Management
The features available in the audience management group consist of:
- Sign-up forms
- Audience dashboard
The sign-up forms feature helps you create built-in sign-up and pop-up forms connected to different marketing CRMs.
While MailChimp itself offers some CRMs a native integration option, I wanted to check which of the CRMs more tailored to real estate provides a MailChimp integration.
This would be an essential criterion to answer this article’s question of whether MailChimp is good for real estate.
So, I headed over to the article I’ve written about real estate CRMs and checked them individually in terms of a possible connection and integration with MailChimp.
From these CRMs, I identified the following that can integrate MailChimp:
- Zoho CRM (native MailChimp integration)
- Wise Agent (native MailChimp integration)
- amoCRM (native MailChimp integration)
- CompanyHub (integration possible with Zapier)
- RealOffice 360 (native MailChimp integration)
- Realty Back Office (native MailChimp integration)
- HubSpot CRM (native MailChimp integration)
- Podio (native MailChimp integration)
- Zillow Premier Agent CRM (integration possible via Zapier)
- Freshsales (native MailChimp integration)
- AgileCRM (integration possible with Zapier)
- Contactually (integration possible with Zapier)
- Real Geeks (integration possible with Zapier)
- Top Producer (integration possible with Zapier)
- FollowUp Boss (native MailChimp integration)
- IXACT Contact (integration possible via Zapier)
- Close (native MailChimp integration)
- Nutshell (native MailChimp integration)
- Apptivo (integration possible via Piesync)
- Less Annoying CRM (native MailChimp integration)
- Lion Desk (integration possible via Zapier)
- Insightly (native MailChimp integration)
- Capsule CRM (native MailChimp integration)
- Pipedrive (native MailChimp integration)
Of the 28 CRMs I discussed above, 24 (roughly 86%) can be integrated with MailChimp natively or via Zapier or another API integration bridge tool.
Integrating MailChimp in that many CRMs tailored to the real estate industry is a good sign and makes this email marketing provider generally a good fit for real estate professionals.
However, you may want to remember that some of the mentioned CRMs already have their own email marketing feature, albeit sometimes with limitations.
These limitations are often related to advanced email marketing automation logic, where MailChimp can be an excellent add-on to fill this gap.
For basic email marketing, it can be a bit redundant to additionally integrate MailChimp with a CRM platform that offers the same email marketing functionality.
When it comes to the pop-up forms, you can determine where and when they “pop up.”
Another option is adding a MailChimp form to your real estate website’s sidebar, footer, or any other place.
These forms are also easily shareable across different marketing channels and are also mobile-friendly.
MailChimp’s audience dashboard features clickable sections allowing you to launch campaigns based on the data it provides.
The data you gather here allows you to detect certain patterns in your audience (e.g., trends) and then segment this audience.
So, the audience dashboard is directly interwoven with the segmentation feature.
For example, send a mix of new property listings to your audience, and you find out that most clicked on properties in the price range between 250k and 350k. You could create a new segment and then send only property listings in this price range to this new segment in the future.
Further features based on the data you can analyze:
- The origin of new contacts
- Tagging contacts and sending messages based on these tags
- Segments based on the way people interact with your emails
- Messages based on your contact’s age and gender
Several other features are rather tailored to e-commerce.
These features allow you to get a customer lifetime value calculated based on the purchases made or likely purchases in the future.
You can then segment them accordingly.
2) Creative Tools
The features available in the creative tools consist of the following:
- The creative assistant
- Dynamic content
- Product recommendations
All three features are powered by artificial intelligence when designing your emails.
For example, you can import and store brand assets and then use these assets to create different designs.
So, the emails you create will align with your brand’s look and feel.
3) Marketing Automation
Especially when it comes to advanced marketing automation, some CRM tools I discussed in my article here may have only some limited possibilities. That’s where an additional email marketing tool such as MailChimp can help.
The marketing automation features consist mainly of the following:
- Customer journeys
- Send time optimization
- Transactional email (tailored to e-commerce, less relevant for real estate)
I greatly like the customer journey feature to create an automated email marketing sequence.
Because it also aligns with how you may want to approach your overall real estate content marketing strategy (as discussed in this article).
You can create your automated email series based on the typical customer journey you are aware of. But there are also pre-made automated email series you can use.
One of the typical automated email series could be when a potential client subscribes to your newsletter and gets a welcome series of emails with particular content.
Let’s say a potential client opted into your lead magnet, such as a free home evaluation.
The first email could be the thank you email, and then the home evaluation could be delivered to them.
You could then configure the automation so the potential client gets another email three days later with further helpful content (see my article about different real estate content ideas and the customer journey here).
The way you design this automated series depends on where the client opted in, so you know at which point of the customer journey she or he is.
The send-time optimization feature is based on data science and helps you determine when your potential clients in your email list will most likely engage. It then sends the relevant emails at that time.
The transactional email feature is irrelevant for real estate (unless you manage to sell properties directly on your website) as it’s tailored to e-commerce businesses and sends email updates related to purchases or account activity.
4) Insights & Analytics
The insights and analytics features include “smart recommendations,” A/B testing, reports, surveys, and the “content optimizer.”
Regarding “smart recommendations,” MailChimp uses 2 billion data points.
In the e-commerce context, the system can automatically generate content blocks for best-selling or personalized products.
Part of “smart recommendations” are also dynamic content and a subject line helper.
The A/B testing feature helps you test different versions of the same email. You can focus these tests on specific elements, such as subject lines, send times, from names, and email content.
The reports feature is available for desktop and mobile and enables you to analyze the performance of your email campaigns.
You can learn who interacted with your emails, clicked, downloaded, and more.
Additionally, you can see with the help of a “click map” what was clicked most of the time.
You can compare the performance data you get here with the industry standards to know if you under or over-perform.
I might have put it in another category, but you also find the survey feature in the same insights and analytics features.
You can use it to send questions to a particular email subscriber segment and draw your conclusions or develop your next marketing strategy for your next campaign.
For example, you could survey and ask a certain segment of your subscribers if they prefer to visit furnished or unfurnished houses.
Once you know the answer, you could create a new segment and only propose furnished or unfurnished houses.
You can also use the same survey feature to collect new email addresses on your website.
Finally, the last feature of insights & analytics is the content optimizer.
You will get suggestions on improving future emails based on the campaign analysis MailChimp does for you.
It compares the email campaigns you run with email best practices.
What usually is suggested are improvements in imagery, layout, and email copy.
MailChimp divides its pricing plan into three categories: Marketing Platform, Website & E-Commerce, and Transactional Email.
For MailChimp as a marketing platform, the plan starts from free, then $9.99, $14.99, and then $299 monthly.
For websites and e-commerce, the pricing plans start from free, $10, and $29 per month for the Plus plan.
The real estate irrelevant transactional email plan is on a per-user basis.
I used MailChimp in the past when the free plans didn’t have the limitations they have today, which means that you will only get a tiny little taste of MailChimp should you choose a free plan.
As a general rule of thumb, also for other email marketing providers: the more subscribers you have and emails you need to send monthly, the higher the price you pay for the respective plan.
If you are starting out as a realtor, you will likely not need MailChimp or any other email marketing provider.
Once you realize that manually following up with prospects, potential clients, and past clients becomes too time-consuming, you might change to MailChimp or any other email marketing provider or even a CRM with integrated email marketing functionality.
Before you switch to such a CRM (usually costlier), you might also try the combination of the free CRM called Podio and integrate MailChimp with it.
Podio has a MailChimp extension that you can use for this.
Additionally, you might want to add MailChimp to your existing real estate marketing suite, should it have a limited email marketing functionality.
Finally, the fact that MailChimp integrates with most of the real estate CRMs I know of makes it good for real estate.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.