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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Emailing Your Past Clients

One of your most important audiences is the one you most likely take for granted. Past clients make up a huge portion of your business, but without the right messaging, they can slip out of the conversion funnel like the coldest of leads...

How you talk matters

According to a recent NAR report, a typical REALTOR® earns 12% of their business from repeat clients, and 17% from referrals. Most of the agents we know say it's even higher. Regardless, a lot of real estate agents barely market to past clients specifically, and if they do, they use the same strategies they would with a new lead. 

Unlike people who are just now finding you through inbound marketing techniques like blog posts, online reviews, and social media content, past clients already have the relationship to you that your lead generation efforts work to build. These efforts fall on deaf ears. 

If you ignore past clients, or talk to them like they aren't clients, pretty soon...they won't be. 

Stories are a two way street; they require both the storyteller and the listener to participate. You want to ensure your messaging to past clients is content they'll engage with.

your clients aren't as loyal as you think...

Your past clients are being bombarded by your competitors, and studies show that your competition is winning.

American companies lose $1 trillion annually to their competitors due to not consistently staying relevant to their consumers.


Past clients say they would use their real estate agent again


Clients actually use their real estate agent again


Clients are happy to provide a referral


Clients actually provide a referral

Question your emails

To help keep the fire burning, there are five questions you need to consider before emailing past clients. They’re simple questions, but adjusting how you answer them will facilitate messages that resonate with the reader, rather than the writer.

Question One: What Do They Need To Know?

You probably think you’re already answering this question, intuitively. With something like: “oh, they need to know that I’m having an open house," or, “I have a new video series to check out.”

Not to sound harsh, but nobody needs to know what you’ve got going on. Even if your past clients love you, they don’t think about what they need in terms of you. Dig deeper, and find a reason they need to know what you want them to know. If you can't think of something, then you may need to adjust what you're trying to tell them.

Daley & Co Real Estate leveraged their readers' fear of being gross to provide value and increase site traffic at the same time.

Question two: Why do you want them to know it?

Again, you probably answer this question already when writing emails, but based on what you want from them, rather than what they need.  

 Think about the cost of failure from your client’s perspective. Your clients need to understand that failing to act will have consequences based on what you are presenting them. Think personally, not practically. What will they miss out on?

By first recognizing what’s at stake for your clients, you reaffirm that, even after closing a deal, you still serve their interest. 

Question Three: What do you want them to do?

Remember what you thought was the answer to question one? This is where that comes in. Only now, you’re advocating for specific solution to a problem. Rather than asking for something, you’re offering help.

When you understand the problems your clients face before they do, you showcase your value, you reaffirm their trust, and you brand yourself as a leader.

Dan Chin was clever to frame his Request for Reviews as an advisement to his clients on helping their own businesses limit the negative review ratio. 

Question FOUR: What do They Need To Do?

This is the nugget. This is where your expertise shines through. Here is the practical, data driven solution. Question 2 is about soliciting an emotional reaction. This is about outlining the logical solution. Explain the benefit of what you’re asking them to do in clear, no frills language, and prove yourself the expert they can trust.

Question Five: How can you help them remember it?

A wedding speech needs a joke. A marketing email needs a punch. In every email you send, find a way to sum up the previous four questions into one solid knockout punch. A favorite example? Curaytor’s own Jimmy Mackin calling some of his top performing clients “glorified telemarketers.”

I’m not suggesting you sting someone like that all the time. But playing into emotion by hitting ‘em where it hurts, or encouraging when they need it most will give your emails the personal touch that relationships are built on.


Of course, not every email is going to be a five-part journey. Sometimes a nine word email is enough to convert someone, while a ten page blog post can sit in an unread browser tab all week. But having answers to these questions is the key to sending emails that will be useful to the person receiving them. And, perhaps most importantly, showcasing your value to past clients is how you create repeat clients.

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