Since its invention in the 1970s, email has revolutionized the way we communicate. There are now more than 3.9 billion email users worldwide. Though the commercial real estate industry is still very traditional in many aspects, email has become one of the most popular forms of staying connected and engaging with important contacts.
The use of email marketing in CRE firms has definitely made communication faster and easier. Beyond those efficiencies, email marketing provides a way to quickly disseminate information to hundreds or even thousands of contacts, to share this information at scale, and to stay top of mind with investors. The ability to segment your audiences enables you to magnify these benefits even further.
What is User Segmentation?
In commercial real estate, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your business, new offerings, and portfolio updates to your network. But with hundreds of investors, business partners, prospects, and other stakeholders, it can be challenging to know who to email and when is the right time. Further, everybody may not need to receive every message, which could reduce their chances of reading those emails that are relevant. Creating targeted email distribution lists to organize your contacts can help you manage and scale your communication efforts.
While distribution lists carry a significant portion of the workload for scaling communications, evaluating your contact list and creating user segments is a technique CRE firms should strategically consider in order to take their marketing and communications to the next level. Creating user segments involves dividing a broad audience into targeted subsets of contacts who have common needs, wants, demand, or characteristics.
The Impact of Targeted Marketing Campaigns
Eighty-one percent of consumers today wish companies knew them better, while 94% of businesses wish they knew their customers better. Segments enable you to better understand the patterns that differentiate your customers. Analyzing customer segments enables you to customize your messaging and send relevant communications. According to Mailchimp, segmented campaigns drive 100% more clicks.
It’s no secret that not all customers are created equally, and user segments can help firms identify the most and least profitable customers. An examination of revenue by customer segment usually reveals that a minority of customer segments is responsible for the majority of profits or investment capital. This is called the Pareto Principle. Identifying more profitable segments allows you to focus your efforts on keeping these clients happy by meeting their expectations for transparency and increased communication, which can in turn convert to increased capital investments from these customers.
The ability to send relevant emails and thus customize clients’ engagement with your firm further helps to improve customer retention and trust. Segments often have different interests, values, and relationships with your firm. Vastly disparate segments may not respond to the same marketing messages or may expect different types of business updates and communications. But when you meet your customers’ expectations of personalized communications, you can begin to build customer loyalty. Loyal customers are more likely to do business with you again and recommend you to their friends and colleagues. In addition, segmentation may reveal what kinds of incentives cause each segment to choose to repeatedly invest with your firm.
Creating User Segments
So how do you know when you are ready to create your own user segments and distribution lists? While there is no specific metrics for this, one factor you can consider is the frequency with which you send emails to the group. If you send emails regularly, then creating an email distribution list could drastically help you save time and scale your communication efforts. Another factor to consider is how easily it is to forget to add certain recipients into your email list by relying on manual methods. With distribution lists, there is no need to remember to CC all of the intended recipients every time you send an email.
10 User Segments CRE Sponsors Should Be Using:
- Investment Parameters – Asset Type, Specified Return Parameters, Timeline of Project, etc.
- Regional and Geographic location
- Pipeline – Prospect, Current Investor, Past Investor
- Marketing Communication List – Newsletters, Press Releases, Company Partnerships, etc.
- Roles – Investor, Business Partner, Vendors, etc.
- Company Partnerships/Business Relationships
- Customer Referral Program Participants
- New vs Returning Investors
- Level of Investor Engagement
- Source Type (Active Prospecting, Word of Mouth, Friends and Family, Networking, etc.)
The bottom line: In an industry where relationships are everything, the more personal you can get in your marketing, the better.