Along with the basics for real estate licensing, McKissock Learning offers a membership program featuring additional tools — such as on-demand training and access to industry insights — that help real estate agents increase their earning potential and sharpen their skills.
McKissock had an existing email campaign that was focused on contacting real estate agents and encouraging them to use McKissock to fulfill their licensing and continuing education requirements.
One major challenge we noticed was that, by focusing on renewals, McKissock was missing out on the benefits of selling memberships. Memberships are a more lucrative option for several reasons:
- Memberships renew annually, whereas license renewal periods can be as long as 4 years, leaving long gaps in the customer lifecycle
- Memberships are offered at a higher price point because they feature the core license renewal resources AND premium benefits for real estate professionals
- Memberships promote customer loyalty by establishing a relationship with frequent contact and lots of value for the client
There were some issues with the structure of McKissock’s existing email marketing efforts as well:
- Overly long cadence of 120 days
- No segmentation, especially between customers and prospects. The full database received the same messaging
- Workflows were not differentiated by state, despite each state having very different requirements for securing and maintaining real estate licensure
- Email formatting and design was outdated
McKissock’s challenges emerged because of a lack of overall strategy to keep their flywheel spinning, as well as the general difficulties of segmenting, maintaining, and utilizing a functional email database.
While email marketing is a fantastic tool throughout the flywheel, it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to organize an unsegmented database and undifferentiated campaigns into a system that is effective and manageable.
We started by establishing separate email databases and campaigns for two states: Arkansas and Florida. A revised strategy was put in place for each state, built around their specific real estate licensure timelines.
For both strategies, we shortened the campaign cadence. Renewal emails would begin 60 days (rather than 120 days) before the prospect’s license renewal due date. We also reduced the number of emails delivered to each prospect from 31 to 14.
We overhauled email design to utilize clean drag-and-drop templates. We also implemented merge tags for state and name personalization, which is shown to improve email metrics.
Next, we used A/B testing to determine the most impactful workflow. Cadence and content were tested but subject lines remained the same to minimize the variables.
Returning customers and prospects were separated into two lists to be viewed and targeted independently. New segments were created as well, including landing page visitors and an “upsell” list of customers who had purchased license renewal packages but not the membership.
Finally, to focus the strategy on memberships rather than renewal packages, the sales pages for both states were revised in alignment with email marketing efforts.
McKissock saw a significant improvement in key metrics following the implementation of this new strategy in both Florida and Arkansas, as well as their redesigned sales page.
- 13 out of 14 emails had a higher CTR when compared to the original workflow
- Some CTRs reached double digits
- At the time of the project retrospective, the average CTR for new email campaigns was 6.97% — up from 2.04% in the original workflow
- The new campaign’s goal conversion reached 2.36%, while the old campaign had a 1.14% lifetime conversion
- McKissock recorded a 41% increase over the previous year
- 10 out of 14 emails had a higher CTR when compared to the original workflow
- Emails 13 and 14 showed the most significant improvement, with a 294% and 250% CTR increase respectively
- Transactions from this page increased 22.86% over the same period in the year prior
McKissock Learning now enjoys a fully segmented email marketing database and the tools they need to implement effective marketing strategies. Growth in membership subscriptions will provide ongoing, perennial revenue as McKissock continues to delight customers and attract new prospects.