Like you, on a given day I receive a lot of email. Some of that email is marketing related and from companies whose products and services I use. Now, while I read many of these emails, I delete a lot of them without really giving them the time of day.

Coming from a marketing and technology background, I know what makes an effective marketing email. While there are many things that determine an email’s effectiveness in terms of opens, clicks, reads, etc., in this article I’m going to share with you a key piece of insight.

Your marketing emails need to be personalized and relevant. If you’re taking the “batch and blast” approach to email communications, you’re missing the boat.

By personalized, I mean addressing each email to its recipient by their name. The “Dear Valued Client” approach (or no salutation at all) is cold and screams out “SPAM.” You want your recipients to think your email was just for them.

Now, with regards to relevancy, you’re not going to want to send Jim an email about a new home if he just bought one last week. You’re not going to want to send prospective buyer information on home rentals. You get the point, right?

With the right technology tools, such as a real estate CRM, it’s easy to make your emails personalized and relevant. And are marketing emails worth sending? Absolutely.

Email is an inexpensive way to stay top of mind with your real estate sphere of influence (SOI) and keep in touch with past clients. Your emails can range from Just Listed or Just Sold e-flyers to a monthly real estate newsletter to a “Hi, how’s it going?” email.

So what you should do is use your real estate CRM to group and categorize your database. You may have an “A List Client” group a “Renter” group, a “Former Co-workers” group, a “Country Club” group and so on.

A customer of ours, Jim, used to work for HP before going into real estate. Once he became an agent, he sent an email to a special group in his database called “Friends at HP.” He announced that he got his real estate license and is now a practicing REALTOR®. In the email, he emphasized his shared experiences working at HP to connect with the people he was sending the email to. It was obvious that he was a vital part of their community.

Jim got five leads from this email and two turned into clients – pretty good I’d say! In terms of email marketing, Jim recognized he has different relationships with the different people in his database so he sent a variety of messages to groups depending on his relationship with them.

Email marketing can be a highly effective tool to reach people and stay memorable in their minds (remember to supplement email with phone calls, direct mail, and face-to-face meetings). When it’s done the right way, it can be instrumental in helping you achieve your goals of building awareness, referrals, and repeat business.