Crafting Captivating Real Estate Email Subject Lines

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9 Ways to Craft Captivating and Effective Real Estate Email Subject Lines

It’s not easy to coax potential customers to click on an email – the internet has shortened attention spans, provided previews of email subject lines, filled our inboxes with clutter, and taught us all about the power of skepticism.

To increase clientele and build meaningful connections with current and future clients, you have to know how to draft captivating content in your emails. Below are a list of the 9 best ways to create powerful email subject lines that work. Including any of these along with a BombBomb video will guarantee higher open rates, more appointments held, and offer a better customer experience.


1. Keep Email Subject Lines Simple And Short

Did you know that 40% of emails are being read on cell phones and mobile devices? And it’s not unlikely this trend will only increase as time goes on.

Desktops and large monitors may be great for work and leisure, but most of your customers are getting your mailers right to their pockets.

While that may seem like a good thing, the screen on a mobile device is tiny, offering them only 4 to 7 words of your subject line before it falls out of sight.

What does this mean?

Well, it means that your subject lines have to be punchy and straight to the point.

People are more likely to click on a short, evocative subject line than a complete sentence.

You’re not trying to write them a novel—you only want to give them enough to entice them. Instead of “The real estate listings you need to see right now,” trying something like “Don’t miss these listings” or “Make house-hunting easier.”

2. Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Mystery

Though customers have become accustomed to common sales pitches in their mailbox, everyone loves a good mystery.

When deciding on your email subject lines for real estate, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and offer your future customers an enticing hook.  It creates a curiosity gap.

The only job of a email subject lines is to get the reader to open.

So, try taking a unique strategy for your approach.

A subject line like “Let’s get right to it” creates curiosity readers feel compelled to follow. You could also go for “It’s been a while” or “I can’t believe I forgot,” anything that asks a question of the reader.

One we’ve used that works great is starting with “Something happened and…”.

A subject line like this compels the mind to bridge the information gap. We can’t help but wonder what happens, and what that means for us.

It’s very important the email subject lines that use this curiosity mechanism to lead to an email that truly delivers on the initial message, or you’ll cause your reader to lose confidence and trust in you.

It’s not about tricking your customers, it’s about giving them the chance to learn about the truly amazing listings, service and offers you have for them.

Writing subject lines like this gives you a much better opportunity to get your message in front of someone it can serve.

3. Do a Little Research

You’ve already taken your first step – why reinvent the wheel when you can see what the professionals have been doing?

Find out which tactics work and which don’t. Use this wisdom to improve your email click-through rates.

There are tools out there that you let you look up keywords to see how they’re performing. The Email Subject Lines Grader, for instance, allows you type in a subject line and gives you a score of 1-100 based on the words it contains, word and character count.

4. Cultivate a Sense of Urgency

Much like how people crave mystery, your potential customers can also be unmotivated to click if there isn’t a reason for them to do it right now.

While the promise of expert real estate advice should get them in the door, the fact is, sometimes you’re going to need to light a fire under them. A sense of urgency creates a sense of momentum, a sense of need, and can offer a boost to their interest.

Here are a few real estate email subject lines examples that use a feeling of urgency to promise a one-time deal:

  • “One more day on the market!”
  • “Don’t miss this open house”
  • “Last chance for your dream home”

5. Be Honest!

While the subtle approach can sometimes pay dividends, don’t be afraid to experiment with blunt honesty.

For one, it’s refreshing, a welcome break from the sneaky language of sales that potential customers shy away from.

Secondly, honesty can make the reader laugh, which creates intimacy and opens the door to feeling good about the person on the other end of the email.

Thirdly, people don’t expect it, and if you surprise your reader, it makes you become memorable.

Try shaking loose and trying something like…

“Yet another real estate email,” or

“House hunting sucks! If only you could make someone else do it for you.”

Honesty is indeed the best policy for a reason, and using it in your email subject lines can build trust and credibility with your prospects, clients, and readers.

Even sending a simple thank you message to new clients working with you is a great way to establish rapport.

6. The Power of Threats

Now, we don’t mean actual threats. Rather, we’re talking about describing the negatives to not working with you.

Realize that while selling the benefit of action can be great, selling the downside of not acting can be just as, if not more motivating.

“Don’t fall into this home buying trap,” plants a seed of doubt in the reader’s mind, questioning their own abilities and making them wonder if they’re doing something wrong.

And, do you notice anything else this subject line does?

It creates a curiosity gap!

The line “7 mistakes buyers make” invokes both mystery and a sense of fear they may be making the same mistake as these buyers.

And this type of subject line is sure to get you opens.

Suggesting a problem or possible problem and promising a solution is as old as advertising itself, and can work wonders on any email subject line.

7. Personal Interest

When thinking about email subject lines for real estate, consider the fact that your reader is only interested in themselves.

They don’t want to feel like another face in the crowd or an email address on a mailing list somewhere.

While it’s easier to mass-produce generic newsletters and fire them into the ether, it rarely works, and you’ll get unsubscribes aplenty with that approach.

But, if you use the tools in your mailing list program or website to personalize your message, you increase the odds of a reader opening that email with anticipation of what’s in it for them.

We always recommend getting as personal as possible. If 1:1 videos aren’t an option, try segmenting groups that have similar interests. The more granular the better.

Counties are good, cities are better, and neighborhoods are the best if you have that kind of intel. The bulk of the message can stay the same, but simply change the subject line and use local real estate listings.

It’s more work to do it this way, but you want the great results, right?

A tailored email feels more like a conversation, and is well worth the extra bit of effort.

Try “Buying a home in [LOCATION]?” or “[LOCATION] homes getting scooped up fast”.

Subject lines like these are more likely to catch the eye of a reader than generic ones.

8. Avoid These Words

Not every email subject line is created equal, and not every subject line has the same shot at greatness. When writing a subject line, try not to think of it as a label.

Many people use the subject line as a title, which has been shown to immediately turn-off readers. For instance, there is a 18.7% decrease in click rates when the word “newsletter” is included.


Because no one wants to read a newsletter.

Now, people do read newsletters all the time, but not because their called newsletters in the subject line. As you can see by the graphic below, removing the word “newsletter” only drops the CTR one percentage point.

The other side of the coin is to think of the automated side of the process – the dreaded spam filter.

Spam filters are a constantly shifting target, so it’s important to search for “words to avoid in email subject lines” every six months or so to stay abreast of the changing requirements.

Here are a few of the words and phrases you currently want to avoid to not get hit by the spam hammer:

  • Once in a Lifetime
  • Don’t Delete
  • Bonus
  • Congratulations
  • Certified
  • Free Quote
  • Act Now
  • Best Price
  • Big Bucks
  • Credit
  • Free Consultation
  • Income

There are more, plenty more, which is why it’s a good idea to frequently check on what words throw up red flags.

8. One word you should use

We did a study of 15,000,000 email sends from BombBomb in January of 2016, and found that emails with the word “video” in the subject line got

  • An 8.3% higher open rate, and…
  • A 32.8% higher play rate of the video in the email

That is a significant increase in open rate from only including one word. And if you have the word, you can start off in the email by introducing recipients to open your video message.

That’s one of the ways that BombBomb helps business professionals get more email opens and more replies and responses.

In addition to the increased open rate, there’s no better way to communicate your message so you connect with your audience or reader in an impactful way.

If your reader is compelled by the subject line enough to click that email and open it, seeing a smiling face in that email is going to make a much better impression than a plain-text email. 

9. Question Everything

A question dares an answer, even if the reader doesn’t end up saying it out loud. A question tucked into your subject line triggers an innate human response to find or provide an answer.

That means that by asking a question in your subject line, your recipient is psychologically already engaged with your content before they’ve clicked on the email.

A question like “Why isn’t your home selling?” drops an obvious answer in your reader’s mind: “Well, I don’t know.”

Even if it’s just in their head, they’ve recognized a potential shortcoming in themselves, and you’ve tossed them a life preserver, all in one swoop.

Try “How can your real estate agent do better?” to thrust the reader into a conversation they didn’t even know they were having.

Right away, they feel like they want to be helpful.

They want to improve both themselves and their relationship with their real estate agent.

They’re curious about the tips you have to offer to make their real estate experience easier and more fruitful. They want to know more.

Research, Personalization, and Engagement

Writing an email subject line is its own art form, one you can master and profit by. A little time and research will not only save you wasted effort, but can increase your leads over time. Buying or selling a home is a stressful experience, and the people on your mailing list do want help. Sometimes they just need a little hook to get them reading, to get them listening, and to get them clicking.


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