The Future of Real Estate Email Marketing

As we are coming down the final stretch for launching our direct marketing tool using the Meredith Corporation subscriber database I have been entrenched in the concept of putting the right message, in front of the right consumer, at the right time, to get the desired response.  So it would be fitting that I actually saw a real world example of this last week from Amazon.com.

I was shopping for a new TV over the weekend on Amazon.com, Samsung and Sony LCD TVs to be exact, and I just wasn’t convinced to buy it on the spot as every purchase needs to be considered after buying a house less than 6 months ago.  Let me preface this story by saying that I am an avid shopper of Amazon.com so they have my email address and I have opted in to receive marketing communications.

So on Monday morning I check my email and there is a message from Amazon.com with the subject line “Sony Two-Day Sale in Televisions & Video.”  I obviously opened the message so Amazon NOW knows I am seriously interested in buying a TV.  I was mildly impressed and sort of chalked it up to mere coincidence.  Then this morning I have a NEW email from Amazon with the subject line of “Up to $300 Off Select Samsung HDTVs.”  So now I know it’s not a coincidence as I have received 2 separate promotional emails for both TVs I viewed on the site days earlier.  My conclusion is that Amazon is using browsing behavior to enable micro-targeting in their email marketing program.  This is a concept that has been floating around for almost 10 years, but this is truly the first time I had seen it executed so flawlessly.

Why do I bring this up on a real estate blog?  Because the application for real estate web sites is 100{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} translatable.  Today a perspective home buyer can sign up for push emails based upon predefined criteria, such as city, beds, baths, price ,etc.  Now that is good but what would be better is if your analytics solution (Omniture, Google Analytics, etc.) that tracks browsing behavior was tied into an email marketing platform.  For example, if you viewed an article on gourmet kitchens on bhgrealestate.com and then ran a property search in Franklin Lakes, NJ we could automate the email system to send you a message when a price drop occurred on a property in Franklin Lakes that has the keywords of gourmet kitchen in the description.  This could obviously be taken to the next level and factor in a relational model to suggest alternatives to the location based upon city attributes similar to Franklin Lakes, for example Ridgewood.  To me this is Pandora Radio meets Real Estate email marketing.

Ultimately this is all enabled by connecting the right email solution, analytics package and data tagging.  The goal being more leads which should result in more transactions.

The only thing left for Amazon to do is figure out how to convince my wife that we need 1080P!

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