According to research by the National Association of Realtors 64% of sellers, found an agent because of a friend, relative, or neighbor referral.
A primary way of maintaining your relationships in 2022 is through email which is possibly why 92% of realtors use email marketing daily and another study found that 66% of real estate agents want to focus on improving their email marketing campaigns to grow their business. But, one of the most intimidating problems real estate agents face today is finding the right email marketing service. ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp are two email marketing software you might want to explore.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about ActiveCampaign and MailChimp, as it applies to real estate, to help you pick the right one for your needs. Let’s dive in.
The Short & Sweet Deets;
- Mailchimp Is The Easiest one to use which is a huge plus when simply using beginning to nurture your email list.
- ActiveCampaign does provide more integration with real estate specific IDX platforms such as Zillow.
- Bottomline: If you're a solo real estate agent, start with Mailchimp and get in the process of routinely sending emails. Routine email contact via mail chimp will get you 95% of the email marketing routine. If you have a 'tech' person on your team, Activecampaign will give you maximum functionality.
What Do Real Estate Agents Need From Email Marketing Software?
We’ve discussed the key points and features that real estate agents need in email marketing software to set themselves up for success.
Powerful and Intuitive Email Builder
As a realtor, you want to be able to easily create beautiful emails. A user-friendly builder and beautiful customizable templates are two of the most desirable features in any email marketing software.
Both MailChimp and ActiveCampaign offer ready-to-use and customizable email templates as well as an intuitive drag-and-drop builder. You won’t need any design skills or experience to craft brandable email designs with both of these tools. Also, they let you create your own templates and use them later. Let’s take a look at what ActiveCampaign and MailChimp have to offer in this department.
Now, you can directly go to the ActiveCampaign editor after clicking on “Campaigns”. However, before you can do that, you need:
Once you have an email list, you can start designing and writing your emails. As soon as you click the “Campaigns” option, ActiveCampaign asks you to create a new campaign.
Once you hit the “Create your first campaign” option, you’re asked to name it and pick the type.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there is a total of 6 campaign types to choose from. Let’s go with the “Standard” one for the sake of this review. Here’s what you’ll see after that.
Now, this is where you can select the list of email addresses you want to send your email to. After selecting the list and hitting “Next”, you’ll see the following window:
The “Email Designer” lets you design and edit your emails with a drag-and-drop interface. It’s the option that most users would like to use.
Next, you can either build your emails from scratch or select a pre-designed template and edit it to your heart’s content. ActiveCampaign provides you with plenty of well-designed and brandable templates. Working on a pre-made template gives you a good jump-start as it eliminates most of the guesswork.
The good thing is that all these templates are optimized for mobile, making them responsive. And depending on your industry, goals, and design needs, you can choose from either of the three options:
As soon as you select one of these options, you’ll be redirected to the email editor.
And as you can see, the editor lets you change the feel, look, and branding of your emails with a simple drag-and-drop action. The cool thing is that you can even view your edit history and go back to a previous version whenever you want.
Once you’re done with the changes, you can either:
ActiveCampaign also lets you analyze and track your campaign with these features:
You can even have a preview of how your emails will look on your prospects’ browsers. There’s no mobile preview option though.
MailChimp already has a pretty good reputation as far as the ease of use and pre-designed templates are concerned. After you click on “Create”, MailChimp will give you three options.
We want to explore the “Regular email” option for now. As soon as you click on it, MailChimp will ask you to:
Once you’re done with that, you click on “Design Email”, and it takes you to the editor.
As you scroll down the same page, you can add your social media posts and set tracking options.
Next, you can select a ready-made free or paid template and give yourself a jump-start.
You’ll then be taken to the editor where you can customize and design your email as you like.
On ActiveCampaign, we saw that the elements or blocks were on the right side of the screen. And you could just drag and drop them onto the canvas. MailChimp’s editor works a little differently. When you want to add an element or block, you just click the “+” icon and select one of the drop-down options.
Moreover, under the “Styles” tab, you can change the colors of the body text, background, and even links.
As soon as you’re done editing your email, you can either schedule it for later or send it immediately.
Winner: It’s hard to pick one winner here, but MailChimp does offer some attractive features like social media posts.
Sync with CRM
If you’re a real estate agent or marketer, you probably already have a CRM of your own. The good thing is you don’t have to shift to a completely different CRM as both these tools integrate with popular CRMs out there. Let’s take a look at the CRM integration capabilities of both tools.
ActiveCampaign offers a robust CRM solution. Plus, it integrates with tons of other CRM apps and platforms.
So, you probably won’t have to switch to ActiveCampaign’s CRM and keep using your existing platforms. Here are the most popular real-estate integrations ActiveCampaign offers:
Again, if you’re not already using a CRM platform, you don’t need to worry about all that. ActiveCampaign’s own CRM is powerful enough to help you grow your business.
MailChimp doesn’t offer a great CRM solution. But, thankfully, MailChimp integrates with plenty of CRMs tailored toward real estate agents. So, chances are, you can easily connect your existing CRM with MailChimp. Some of them can be integrated natively, but some would require Zapier.
Here are some of the popular real estate CRMs that can be integrated with MailChimp without a hassle:
The fact that you can integrate so many CRMs with MailChimp makes it a pretty good option for real estate agents. Now, many of these CRMs might already have email marketing features, but they simply aren’t enough for advanced-level marketing.
List Segmentation and Personalization
Now, you want to be able to deliver different content to buyers and sellers. Plus, the type of content you’ll need to deliver to a $500,000 home buyer and a $2,000,000 home buyer would be different.
This is why you need to have powerful segmentation features. Plus, personalized emails tend to do better than generic emails. You want enough personalization features on your email marketing software.
The cool thing is that ActiveCampaign offers plenty of pre-built segments right off the bat. It lets you segment your email list by:
If you don’t find what you need, ActiveCampaign lets you add your own custom field. You can find segmentation options by going to “Contacts” and then clicking on the search box.
You’ll see the “Advanced Search” option as soon as you click the search bar. Clicking on it will open the segmentation options.
ActiveCampaign also lets you segment your audience under:
Here’s how it’s done under the “Lists” tab while creating your campaign.
In addition, ActiveCampaign’s advanced list management features are pretty useful. For instance, the lead scoring feature tracks your top leads and adds tags to them automatically.
This just means that whenever your contact takes a certain action, they’re tagged by the system, allowing you to send more targeted content.
MailChimp can be a little underwhelming in the segmentation and personalization department, especially when you compare it with ActiveCampaign. The cool thing is that as soon as you hit “Audience”, you can see different segmented lists based on different criteria, including:
For advanced segmentation, you can create a new segment and choose targeting options.
For instance, if you want to target people based on their physical location, select the “Location” targeting under “Personal Details About Your Contacts”. Here’s how location targeting would look on MailChimp.
However, MailChimp’s segmentation department doesn’t come without its flaws. For instance: You can’t use the same contacts from two different lists in a single campaign. Now, since the software charges on the basis of the number of subscribers, you can easily end up paying for the same subscribers on two lists, separately.
Winner: When it comes to segmentation and contact management, ActiveCampaign does seem to take the lead.
Understanding your most engaged audience is important to identifying warm leads for a real estate business. For instance, let’s say a potential seller has been opening your emails but isn’t acting on your offers.
Now, you need to have that information in order to convert warm leads like that. ActiveCampaign and MailChimp both offer actionable engagement analytics to help you move in the right direction.
They help you track essential engagement metrics like:
The “Reports” tab on your ActiveCampaign dashboard tells you everything you need to know to identify new opportunities.
MailChimp actually has more to offer when it comes to engagement tracking. For instance, you can track your campaigns’:
Winner: MailChimp can help real estate agents track and analyze their email campaigns better.
As a real estate agent, your goal with email marketing is to take clients from the “Consideration” stage of their journey to the “Buying” one. In order to nurture your leads, you need to be able to send effective drip campaigns to your prospects.
A drip campaign is a collection of emails that are sent out by your email software on a pre-defined schedule. Drip campaign emails are also triggered when prospects take certain action within the sales funnel.
This is where the automation features of an email marketing tool can come in handy. Let’s see which one of these tools provides better drip or automation features.
ActiveCampaign offers more automation features than you probably need right now and would need in the future. The fascinating thing is that it offers more than 270 automation workflows. And these workflows are categorized on the basis of:
Let’s go with the “Abandoned Cart Reminder” workflow. Remember, you can even start from scratch and use your own actions and triggers if you want. After choosing a workflow, you can customize it with:
Plus, you can even add a new trigger using the visual builder shown in the above screenshot with a drag-and-drop action. If you don’t want to use drag-and-drop, just click on the plus sign after each element to add a new one of your choice.
When you click on the “Condition and Workflow”, you’ll notice that ActiveCampaign provides tons of ways to personalize your automation flows.
In addition, you can integrate ActiveCampaign’s automation builder with their built-in CRM. This integration can help you automate even more workflows like:
And, when someone matches your applied conditions, ActiveCampaign sends them the “Abandoned cart reminder”. ActiveCampaign’s automation features are really tough to compete with.
MailChimp also comes with all the automation features you’d need to automate most of your workflows. Here’s an overview of MailChimp’s automation features:
The good thing is the automation builder tool of MailChimp is easy to use, so there’s a very small learning curve to it. Plus, you can create highly personalized email campaigns by adding filters and segments.
In addition, MailChimp also allows you to add:
That being said, MailChimp doesn’t offer as many automation features as ActiveCampaign.
Winner: The winner, when it comes to automating your email workflows, is ActiveCampaign.
Lead Capture (Forms & Landing Pages)
Both Activecampaign and Mailchimp have features that will allow you to capture leads from your existing content. (Related: How to Get More Leads and Conversions on Your Landing Page Using SEMrush)
ActiveCampaign lets you customize your email forms with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. You’ll have to go to “Sites” to start building your forms.
On the right panel, you get a lot of elements you can add to your forms.
Moreover, it comes with an easy-to-use, intuitive landing page builder. After clicking on “Pages” under “Site”, you can either select a ready-made template and customize it or start with a blank template.
The cool thing is you get more than 40 ready-made templates, which eliminates the need for building a landing page from scratch. Here’s what ActiveCampaign’s landing page builder looks like.
However, you don’t get this feature on all the plans. To use the landing page builder, you need to have a plan of $129 or above.
MailChimp’s form builder provides several options right off the bat.
The builder is pretty simple to use; you can change the fonts, color, and size, and add other important elements to your emails with ease.
Winner: It’s easy to pick a winner here because MailChimp offers its landing page builder on the free plan.
Regardless of which platform you choose, the best thing you can do is start nurturing you clients with email. So for that reason, whichever one will get you started sooner, is the best.
Technically speaking, ActiveCampaign is the winner. There's nothing you can conceive that it can't do. But the user interface is overwhelming. MailChimp is simple and effective. It lets you get your emails out there without much though.
Both platforms offer a free trial for at least 14 days, so if you can't decide, sign up for both and take them for a test drive -- then cancel whichever one you don't want!
ActiveCampaign is best if you want:
MailChimp is best if you want: