It’s one thing to introduce yourself to someone in person. It’s another thing altogether to introduce yourself to someone in an email.
Email lacks a lot of the subtle nuances we use in everyday conversation—and with the rise of today’s millennial homeowner demographic, it’s important to know how to reach them effectively on their home turf.
So how do you put the written word to work, and write an email that a stranger (and potential client) will actually respond to?
Here’s your essential guide for emailing those millennial homebuyers!
Step 1: Choosing the perfect subject line
Your subject line is your opening line. A strong one can help mitigate the fear a lot of folks have about opening emails from strangers.
The bottom line: People like subject lines that outline what they’re getting out of the email. Keep it simple, make it a little bit personal, and highlight what benefit they’ll get.
Let’s say you’re reaching out to someone who’s expressed interest in working with you already (most likely through a form or submission on your website). You can provide value by pulling any information you can from their submission.
- Did they say anything about why they filled out that form?
- Has anyone in your brokerage worked with them in the past?
- Have they recently interacted with your social media channels?
These are little details that you can usually find without too much research, but can be a huge value-add for your subject lines.
Step 2: Picking the right salutation
The general formula for email greetings is:
[dear, hi, hello, hey] + [firstname/there]
Now, let’s break down the appropriate contexts for the elements of that formula.
Dear: Best for writing to someone in a conservative industry like finance or government
Hi: An all-around good choice for writing to prospects, best used with a first name or “there”
Hello: A good back-up choice, especially when excluding names or “there”
Hey: Not great for emailing people you haven’t met—it’s a bit too casual for an introduction
Firstname: Best choice when including a name—first and last can sound too stilted, and a title and the last name can sound like the writer is young and/or inexperienced
There: Best combined with “hi” when you don’t have the addressee’s first name
Step 3: Writing a winning opening line
Your subject line and your opening line should work like a one-two punch, driving home what your reader is going to get from your email.
Which means clichés (like “Hi, my name is”) and anything that points to the fact that you’re a stranger (like “We’ve never met, but”) should hit the bench.
The former isn’t a strong hook, and the latter can immediately put you on the defensive—you suddenly have to work a lot harder to convince your reader to finish the email.
Instead, stick to things you know about them, and compliment them where possible.
- I noticed you [were interested in a listing/attended an open house with us at [insert location] recently]—you have great taste!
- Just saw your comment on [social post] and I thought you made a great point.
Step 4: Explaining your reason for reaching out
Here, you can connect the dots between what caught your eye about this person, and why you’re contacting them.
Bonus points if you offer them something; people like to reciprocate, so giving them value inspires them to return the favor.
For example, if you’re reaching out to learn more about what they want in a house, offer to buy them a coffee or a lunch to discuss it. You could also suggest a service that your brokerage offers that they might find useful, like an app or a tool, or recommend an article (or a blog post of yours) that they might find useful.
Step 5: Adding an actionable CTA
Make it as easy as possible for your reader to do what you’re asking; if you use a scheduling app to manage your calendar, for example, include it so they can pick a date and time that works for them.
It’s key to strike a balance between politeness and confidence here.
- “I’d normally never ask, but”
- “You probably don’t have time, but”
And stick to positive phrases like:
- “I’d love to find a time for us to”
Step 6: Say “thanks,” and sign off
No need to write a novel here; the more fluff you have, the less likely someone is to reach the bottom of your email.
Optional: Following up
If by chance someone doesn’t respond to your introduction, your next step is to send a follow-up they won’t be able to ignore!
For example, you could try inviting them to an upcoming event, offering to follow up in person, or sending them actionable advice. The key here is to use verbs in your subject line, like “Learn more about your favorite listing this weekend.”