The Secret Recipe for Email Success

Every morning I look forward to my inbox. If that sounds counter-intuitive, I promise you it’s true. And it’s largely due to one email I’m eager to open: Groupon.

Groupon is a raging success. The company, founded in late 2008, operates on a simple premise. One email sent daily. One deal, every day featuring the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your town. That deal gets triggered only when a certain threshold of buyers is reached and it is usually extremely tempting – $25 for $50 worth of organic groceries, for example, was one of the recent offers.

The company claims to have saved consumers over $71 million since it kicked open its doors – and this rampant startup success led it to a $30 million Series B round of financing in December of last year.

One might say the company was lucky. And, to be sure, launching this site at the nadir of the Great Recession has presented them a marketplace filled with bargain hunters.

But I think that the premise behind Groupon ultimately taps something much deeper; it goes beyond the tantalizing lure of a deal and the thrill of scoring a bargain. It’s touching that distinctive feeling of exclusivity that comes from being “in the know.”

At 1000WATT we’re bullish on email while some are proclaiming its death for this very reason. It underlines the launch of our latest creation, the 1000WATT Spotlight.

It’s also a concept that we believe is largely untapped in real estate.

Not Your Father’s Email Newsletter

Unlike the unbounded backcountry of the World Wild Web, a weekly email newsletter is delivered to the relative silence and intimacy of one’s inbox. As such, it’s a place that deserves respect and veneration. The Delete key is always one stroke away.

But Groupon proves that along with that challenge can come opportunity.

Earlier this month at Real Estate Connect, Camilla Sullivan from Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate talked about the growth of “lifestyle” marketing in real estate. About how to extend a real estate brand out of the ethereal by tying it more concretely to a vision of the real world that the brand might inhabit (disclosure: BH&GRE is a 1000WATT Consulting client).

An email newsletter presents just such an occasion to do this; a simple touchpoint that structures and reinforces the lifestyle elements of a brand. So, a brand like Corcoran might take a nod from Daily Candy and feature luxury fashions and accessories along with properties in its regular missive.

On the other hand, a brand like Century21 might take its cue from its name and like Uncrate, feature cutting-edge technology and gadgets every week.

There are ample opportunities with email to get creative and the startup costs are minimal. Start by discovering what is unique about your brand and build from there.

But remember email can be a fickle medium. There are some special considerations you must abide:

You are writing for the Inbox, not the web. Avoid big paragraphs and long sentences.

Be short and to the point. Have a distinctive voice that ties to your brand proposition.

Most of all, make it relevant.

Ultimately, the secret to email is simple – highlight something unique, support your brand, make your customers feel “in the know” and reap the rewards.

photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg