Property Investment | Paid Social vs Email Marketing

Whilst almost all businesses in the property sector will use a combination of both paid social media and email as part of their marketing strategy, it’s not quite as obvious where most of your time (or budget) should be placed.

It is therefore important to identify which method will give you the greatest return on investment, and this will depend on several key factors. For ease, we will make comparisons using the cost per lead (CPL) method.

Paid social

Social media has grown exponentially over the last decade or so and has now become a staple for any marketer, with 93% using Facebook paid promotions alone as part of their overall marketing strategy. The ability to reach a highly defined audience with your product or service makes it an obvious choice, with over half of the world’s population using at least one social media platform

Marketing through social media is fantastic at providing segmenting and targeting to a specific audience. An example here for targeting property investors would be, if you are trying to market a new development to investors over the age of 55 in the Southwest of the UK, Facebook (and often Instagram) would be a great way to promote these new units. The quantity and accuracy of data available is great for a highly targeted campaign.

Typically, the CPL for social media ads is lower than email for property investment companies. However, without the correct knowledge of how to implement paid social ads, you may find your ROI to be worse than expected!

Paid Social vs Email Marketing - CPL

All industries. Source: linchpinseo

Your application of paid social ads will determine the relative success of both your CPL and lead quality. Marketers in the property sector report that leads obtained via social media ads tend to have longer conversion times and can be of reduced quality when compared to other marketing methods such as email marketing. 

This is often down to the ease in which users can provide information through social ads: 

Paid Social vs Email Marketing - Social Ad Ease - Facebook

Whilst the quantity of leads obtained is higher than many other forms of lead generation due to this ease of submitting information, the lead quality tends to be lower as prospective customers have had less time to engage with your business. 

By creating an advertisement that links through to a separate landing page, prospective leads can find out more information about your business before submitting their information. You can request that more information is provided from a potential customer, for example budget and location, as this also helps to ensure that bot traffic is minimised.

Email marketing

Email has been around for a great deal longer than social media has. Whilst a lot of marketers once believed that social media would replace email as the primary tool for communicating and promoting your product or service with customers, the reality is that email marketing is stronger than ever.  

Email marketing is a standout winner when it comes to return on investment. This coincides with email tending to have a lower conversion time as you can be more personal with your approach

In fact, 60 percent of people would rather have promotions delivered to their inbox over any other form of communication. When comparing this to the 20 percent of users who would rather receive promotions via social media, customers are far more likely to engage with your offering through email. In fact, email marketing has an average conversion rate of over 6 percent compared to just 1.9 percent across social media. 

Growing an engaged email list should be the priority. However, many businesses find it difficult to take advantage of the benefits of email marketing as their database is too small. A workaround for this is to ‘rent’ a database. 

Renting a database

Here, you can leverage another company´s email database, typically via a marketing agency that has a tailored list of customers with similar interests to those of your own business. In this instance, you would be looking to send to a list of engaged property investors.  

A picture containing envelope, vector graphics
Description automatically generated

Whilst the CPL is likely to be higher when using this approach (the average being between $100 and $400 per thousand emails), you have the benefit of being able to get your product or service in front of a highly engaged audience immediately.

The quality of databases can vary, so it is worth paying for a smaller send to a company’s database to ‘test the waters’ and assess the response before committing to any larger sends. Bear in mind that in the property sector, margins are quite large, particularly if you are in the selling market. Just one or two engaged recipients could net you a healthy ROI. 

Whilst the benefits are clear, you should also be mindful of the potentially detrimental impact a large send to a database can have on a business. If users consider emails as unsolicited, you may end up paying the price in the form of complaints and negative reviews, something that can negatively affect the company in the long term.

Where should I invest my time?

So, where should you place most of your time and budget, social ads or email marketing? The short and best answer is a healthy combination of both.

Email and social is widely considered to be one of the strongest pairings in property marketing. Paid ads via social media allow initial engagement for prospective customers to familiarise themselves with your business. From here, you can use email to establish a long term and more personalised relationship with your lead. Long term relationships are essential when it comes to property investment companies – when a customer has one good experience with you, you will likely become their choice for any additional investments.

As a rule, consumers are far more likely to share an email address if they:

  1. Want to find out more about your product or service, or 
  2. They will get something in return.

As touched on before, running a paid campaign on social media with a view of not only sharing information about your business, but also a clear call to action where a customer can find out more information about your offering will be invaluable.  

For a property investment company, you could provide valuable information in the form of a report or brochure showcasing some insider investment tips in exchange for an email address, or even offer subscribers to your mailing list exclusive offerings not found anywhere else. 

The long-term benefits of having your own highly engaged email list will be worth its weight in gold, and social ads can help you realise this.