By Mark Brodsky

I hope that you’ve been using email to stay in touch with your client base over the past few years (if not, check out this piece). You’re likely familiar with the 80/20 rule. If you apply it to your own business, chances are that 80 per cent of your business comes through referral and repeat clients while 20 per cent is from new leads. I think it makes much more sense to spend your time and money marketing to your past clients – this is where email comes in.

Here are five ways you can take your email marketing to the next level in 2019:


Nobody likes to feel like they’re receiving a generic email blast. Including a first name in the subject line can increase your open rates by about 50 per cent. Don’t stop there – almost every email marketing software will allow you to personalize the greeting. An email that opens with hello and your clients’ first name feels much more personal than hello all!

If you don’t have everybody’s first name in your database, now’s the perfect time to clean it up. Go through your list and update it. And while you’re at it…

Figure out who’s paying attention and segment your lists

If you are using email marketing software, you can create a list of people who are opening your emails on a regular basis. These are the people you need to focus on because they are the most engaged. Put them on a separate list and send them special offers such as discounted tickets to home shows or the first chance to attend client events.

You can also pull a list of people who didn’t even open an email in 2018. Take a look at that list. Do you know those people? Have you been in touch with them in some other way? Maybe it’s time to remove them from your list or at the very least, tag them as non-openers or move them to a list of people who don’t open emails.

You can even send an email just to these people. Maybe you want to include a survey with a chance to win a prize just to figure out why they’re not opening your email.


While we’re on the topic of surveys, don’t forget they’re a great tool for assessing where your clients are when it comes to making a move, or if they’re happy where they are. There are some good free sites such as SurveyMonkey and good paid sites such as Typeform. The promise of a chance to win a $100 gift card to a local restaurant can be incentive enough for people to take a few minutes to give you valuable information.

Birthday or anniversary cards

Do you have a system of getting in touch with past buyers on the anniversary of their purchase? A paper card is great, but an email can also be effective – and automated. You’ll only have to create one card for the year and then it can be automatically personalized with small details such as their names, move-in date, address or neighbourhood.


If you try just one new thing this year, it should be video. Recorded or live, video generates a lot of engagement and is content you can use across all channels: email, social media and your website. A lot of virtual ink has been spilled talking about video, but here’s a short clip explaining the benefits. Including a video in your email means people will spend more time engaging with your marketing – and make it a lot easier for them to remember you.


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