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The Value of Email Marketing Campaigns Outside the Inbox

Travis Balinas
November 5, 2013

Email has been around for decades and for a while, the value of email marketing has simply been measured by opens, clicks, and ever-evolving metrics. These are great indicators of a number of things. If your emails aren’t having a high deliverability rate, then you can better understand why people aren’t replying to you. When the open rates for your emails are higher, then you’re doing a great job with time of day delivery and subject lines. If people are clicking through on links, then you know that you’ve got the attention of people in a good way. However, the the value of email doesn’t stop there and that single email will rarely be the single event that gets you business.

Like most things in sales and marketing, it’s not that simple and I’m here to tell you that there is a lot that happens outside of the inbox that plays into you getting repeat business, referrals, and new customers. I’d estimate that standard email metrics account for only 25% of the actual power of good email marketing campaigns.

Below, I’ve put together some examples that showcase the power email has outside of the inbox. Some of these examples are based off of experiences our real estate customers have shared with us and highlight the variety of things that happen outside of the standard email metrics.

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1. Referrals Outside the Inbox

Judy just did a quick glance of her inbox before heading to lunch with a friend. She saw your name but didn’t open your email. However, at lunch, her friend asked for a real estate agent in town and your name was immediately top-of-mind.

2. Referrals Through Forwarding

While sitting at lunch, Judy quickly pulls out her phone and forwards your email to her friend. Judy knows that your name, phone number, and email information are in the email and it’s a hassle-free way for her to get this information to her friend.

3. To-Do List Reminders

While catching up on personal emails during lunch, your email was seen in Tom’s inbox, prompting him to add your name and phone number to his afternoon to-do list. He’s getting ready to sell his house and has been meaning to call you but just kept forgetting and couldn’t find your number.

4. Browser Search Prompts

Half browsing aimlessly, half watching TV at night, Jenna checks her email and sees your name and newsletter. Instead of clicking the email, she opens up a new tab in her browser and does a Google search on your name and company.

5. Social Media Crossover

Kevin is checking out Facebook on his laptop but has his email open on his second monitor. After quickly glancing over to that screen, he sees your latest email campaign and instead of opening it, he decides to search for you on Facebook, since he’d rather get your updates there instead of his inbox.

6. Saved for Later

Karen is pretty organized and every time she gets your emails, she files them in her “Homeowner” folder in her Gmail account. She now has your information on hand and stored in a place she knows next time she needs to get in touch with you.

7. Weekend DIY Projects

Jeff recently bought a home from you and is spending his weekends doing DIY projects to increase curb appeal. He remembers you sending him an email with ideas on how to update your bathroom and searches his email for that content.

A lot of times, you don’t think twice about the new business that comes through your door, assuming that they found you online or they easily remembered your name from 4 years ago. However, you have to accept that there are many things that take place outside of the inbox. It’s important to realize that most of them are out of your control from happening, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the catalyst that triggers a memory prompt in someone’s mind. That’s how you begin to position yourself as being top-of-mind with your clients and prospects, and that’s how you extend the value of email marketing outside the inbox.


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