How to Create a Free Drip Campaign for your Real Estate Clients
We all want to keep in contact with our clients when we aren’t working with them daily. There are many ways to do this: client appreciation parties, birthday cards, pop-by’s and more. Living in a digital world, it is becoming more and more required to also provide value to our clients via email which is why the word “Drip” has become as common as “Coffee” and “iPhone”.
So how are you going to set up a Drip Campaign for your real estate clients? Well, there are a bunch of great platforms out there that will do this for you but the problem, most cost money! It doesn’t have to be that way, you can set up a professional Drip Campaign for your clients for free and we will show you how using MailChimp, the world leader in email marketing.
What type of emails should be in a Drip Campaign for real estate marketing
Your drip campaign can be customized any way you like but we suggest you start with the following six:
1. Happy Birthday
2. Happy Home Anniversary
3. Season Checklist – Spring
4. Season Checklist – Summer
5. Season Checklist – Fall
6. Season Checklist – Winter
You can obviously add more to this list, but you don’t need too. You will need to walk the fine line between what you believe is valuable for your clients, so they don’t unsubscribe! Either way, you need to start, and we will show you how to set up and start your real estate drip campaign for free with MailChimp.
What is MailChimp and how do I create an account
MailChimp is the world leader in email marketing (they do post cards too) and the best part, their initial plan is free! You can have up to 2,000 clients and 12,000 emails/month on their free plan. While the service does a bunch of great stuff, what we care about is the date-based automations (or Drip Campaigns) which you can learn about here.
I have a MailChimp account! Help me build my Drip Campaign for my real estate clients
Step One – Building a List with Dates
Great! So once you have logged into MailChimp, you will want to first create a client list. Now if you have a CRM with your clients that integrates with MailChimp make sure that you do this first. If you don’t, you may want to consider RealOffice360™ as your CRM. Either way, you need to make a client list in MailChimp.
Click on “Lists” at the top.
In here you can click the button, “Create List” which will open the following screen which asks you to enter the details of your list. We choose to call our list, “Real Estate Client Drip Campaign” but you can call your list whatever you wish.
Once this has been completed you are ready to add clients! You can import or add them one at a time, or you can sync from your favourite real estate CRM. We built RealOffice360™ to sync your contacts directly with MailChimp so you don’t have to do this tedious work! Not to fret, if you don’t use RealOffice360™ you can still add clients or “Subscribers” as MailChimp likes to call them, directly. Once you add your clients, you will need to add additional date fields to your Subscribers. To do this you need to do a little trickier, you need to click “Settings” and then click on “List fields and *|MERGE|* tags.
In here, we need to add six fields to our list:
· Date 1 (Home Anniversary)
· Date 2 (Spring Checklist) – Market dependent but somewhere around June March 1
· Date 3 (Summer Checklist) – Market dependent but somewhere around June 1
· Date 4 (Fall Checklist) – Market dependent but somewhere around September 1
· Date 5 (Winter Checklist) - Market dependent but somewhere around December 1
In here, you want to go to the bottom and click on “Add A Field” which will give you the following options:
For the Birthday, select “Birthday”, for all other dates you can select “Date”. Do this for each of the dates you want your real estate drip campaign to send out on. It will look like this when you are done.
Upon pushing “Save Changes,” you will then navigate back to your list view where you can click on each client and input the dates. If you have a spreadsheet you can also import that data directly, or you can sync the list from your real estate CRM. You will know you have done it correct if you click on your client’s name and see this:
Once you have your clients in MailChimp and you have added your dates, you are now ready to move on to step two, creating your drip campaign!
Step Two: Building a free real estate Drip Campaign for each date event
Once you have a client list built, the next part is building your specific emails for each date, you do this by clicking on “Campaigns” in the top navigation.
You won’t have any campaigns yet, but we will fix that. Click on “Create Campaign”.
MailChimp sure does do a lot, but let’s click on “Email” for now.
From here, let’s click on “Triggered, then “Date Based”. Then lastly click on “Recurring dates”. If you did something wrong when making your list you will see this:
However, if your list is set up correctly, you will see this. Notice how they pre-select the list that has date information. If you have multiple lists make sure you select the correct list!
Time to click “Begin” and you will be sent to the campaign builder!
The first step is to decide which campaign you would like to set up first by selecting the date. Do you want to set up the Birthday email drip or Home Anniversary? It doesn’t matter, what does is that you select the correct date reference for the email so that way you aren’t sending a Happy Birthday Email to all your clients on September 1! To select the date, just click on the drop down at the top and toggle your preference. In our case, we chose “Home Anniversary”
Once that is complete you will see the image above, we have highlighted the box showing you which date has been selected.
MailChimp will automatically create three emails to be sent around any date. This is too much for most correspondence, so we recommend that you delete the first and the last email which MailChimp proposes you send the day before and day after any date.
To do this, click on “Design Email” down arrow and click “Delete Email”.
You will be left with one email for this date, in this case it is the Home Anniversary. From here you can pick what time you want the email sent on that day as well as add in any additional emails. The next step is to “Design Email”.
Step Three: Design a free real estate Drip Campaign for each date event
MailChimp has a vast amount of standard templates you can choose from to start including several surrounding the major holidays and birthdays. Upon clicking on “Design Email” above, you will be met with a vast amount of starting templates.
If you click on “Themes” you will see even more designs, and by scrolling down you will see the holiday or date specific templates!
From here, simply click on the theme you like the best and you can begin customizing your email. We choose a client appreciation theme for our Anniversary email.
In the editor, you can customize your text, add images, and more. It is completely up to you how you would like this to look. Once you have it how you like it, Push “Save and Continue” which will then bring you back to our previous screen, only this time the template is loaded and ready to go and now all you have to push is “Next”!
Just like that, you have now set up a free Drip Campaign for your real estate clients. You will know if you set it up correct as upon returning to your Campaigns you will see it sitting there and it will say, “Sending”.
As you add clients to your list, they will automatically be added to this Drip Campaign and you can now set it and forget it! You will need to set up a different campaign for each event that you build. So if you want to build a Drip Campaign around the six dates we mentioned at the beginning, once complete you will have six of these campaigns “Sending”!