email_campaignMany of you are squeezing social media so hard that you have forgotten about the “old-fashioned” email marketing campaign. Are you thinking, “With all of these status updates, tweets, article postings, video sharing, and more — we just don’t need the email campaigns like we used to.”?

Lately, I have received an increase in requests to speak to home builders about using social media to generate new home sales. It’s the topic du jour. In my presentations, I always start with this thought:

“Even though we are here to talk about social media and how you can leverage that network, the bottom line is, home buyers are not going out to search for a home on Facebook. You must have a solid foundation and a bullet-proof online sales program, before you invest all of your time and effort building a social media campaign.”

One of the key Internet marketing tools in your Online Sales Program is your email marketing. If you aren’t sending out monthly campaigns to potential customers, realtor, and past customers – you are missing valuable opportunities.

“But Mike, we have 1,000 followers on Twitter and 400 Facebook fans. They all see our stuff,” is the response I get. But does your post stick around? No, which is why email campaigns are so great.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of this traditional form of marketing (funny that email campaigns are now considered “traditional”).

  • Email campaigns are targeted. Unlike a tweet. you can guarantee that email recipients almost always see the subject line. Your challenge is to make that subject line engaging enough for the recipient to want to open it.
  • Email campaigns are more permanent. When the email is in someone’s inbox, they have to delete it to get rid of it. A Facebook status update or an article will disappear on its own. So, in this case, an email “lives” until the recipient takes action.
  • Email campaigns have more real estate. Emails offer more space to talk about your message link to other information, and add enticing images, which is much more powerful than the 140 characters allowed by Twitter.
  • You can track effectiveness with email campaigns. Tracking an email’s effectiveness is easier and less time-consuming than tracking the ROI of social media.
  • You can take action with email campaigns. With a targeted email message, you can actually see who opens and clicks through to the specific link. When you drill down into that data, you can then pick up the phone, call the prospect or realtor and talk about the subject immediately. Very powerful stuff!

If you really want to go old school, look at direct mail. When done correctly, it can still be very effective. Like a diverse portfolio, you must always keep your marketing program well-rounded. Just because there is a great new technology or a new advertising medium, it doesn’t mean the old method is useless. You always have to look at the return on time and investment to determine its value for you or your company. What “old school” methods still work for you?

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