Revere is a deal marketing and transaction management solution for the CRE industry. We send millions of email marketing messages each month and analyze aggregate statistics from our clients to improve our service. We frequently hear from our marketing service users and owners:
• Did my deal reach all relevant buyers?
• Why am I getting spammed with irrelevant ...deals?
• Does Revere have issues delivering emails?
Many of these questions stem from misconceptions about email or over-reliance on outdated email technology. While Revere provides the highest possible deliverability and transparency using email, the underlying technology is unreliable and adds roadblocks for deal marketers trying to get their assets in front of the right investors.
Revere’s proprietary distribution network solves many of the problems from the existing distribution workflow. Revere’s deal distribution channels provide 100% deliverability and guarantee the marketer has all possible information about investor engagement. Here, we discuss the existing email pitfalls and how our team will solve these issues for the CRE professional.
The Anatomy of Email
To better understand Revere CRE’s place in the deal distribution pipeline we define a marketing message to consist of the following components:
• What: Info being communicated to the recipient in ...the form of text, links, images, etc. (i.e., blast notifying the recipient about new investment opportunity).
• Where: The recipient can view and act upon the message (i.e., the user’s email client, usually Outlook).
• How: Message sent to the inbox (i.e., email, however many complications in this step).
• Who: Is sending the message, and where it links back to (i.e., Revere Platform, on behalf of our clients).
Email - Flawed Distribution Channel
Distribution of CRE marketing materials is currently almost exclusively done through email. This approach has a number of pitfalls, but no
alternatives exist in the market. The result is an opaque and confusing process that relies on multiple technologies working together correctly in order to inform potential investors about newly available assets.
Delivery is not reliable. Email delivery is dependent on many factors external to the sender and provider, any of which can stop an investor from correctly receiving the materials:
• The provided contact information may be out of date.
• The recipient’s company may block certain senders or choose not to render vital information such as images or broker contact information.
• The email can be silently placed outside of the main inbox, such as in the Promotions and Other tabs. This classification is automatic based on the email client and cannot be configured by the recipient.
• Senders do not have visibility into which emails are classified as junk and spam scores are inconsistent.
• Inbox provider capacities differ, mailboxes can be full or reject mail if they are receiving too many too quickly.
Email Marketing / HTML Best Practices
• Subject Line Use of spam-like words or symbols (Free, guarantee, credit card, buy, $, etc.) can negatively impact deliverability. Overuse of symbols or capitalization can have the same effect.
• Pre-Header Text The same rules that exist for a Subject exist for the preview text in your email. Using no pre-header text will negatively impact your deliverability.
• In-Body Content The quantity and content within your email body are the most important aspects affecting email deliverability. A lack of text, or a surplus of images, buttons, external links, etc. can result in an email being flagged as spam.
• Body Formatting Use of oversized content can result in worse email deliverability and an inability to render the content. A maximum of 650 px width is recommended as best practice in the email marketing industry.
Challenges & Roadblocks
Email clients are outdated
Microsoft Outlook on Windows, the leading email client among commercial real estate professionals, uses Microsoft Word to render email HTML content.
• It is difficult to create designs more complex than basic text and tables that render correctly.
• Images are inconsistent across laptops and mobile.
• Link contents are obfuscated, breaking click-tracking and user-customized links.
• Email layout and links break when forwarding, and forwarded links are clickable by anyone.
This particularly opens up the sender to vulnerabilities of third parties unsubscribing on behalf of the forwarding agent mistakenly.
Operational complexities are obfuscated
Typically, the user responsible for the creation of email marketing campaigns is unaware of the underlying technological reasons for these issues. This results in sub-optimal behavior by users trying to validate the quality of their marketing materials, including:
• Sending distributions to themselves to “ensure” deals were sent out. This is uncorrelated with the success of the remainder of the email sends.
• Structuring emails as a single image to avoid formatting issues. Single images are often hard to read on mobile devices and are registered as spam by common email providers (Outlook, Gmail).
Email marketing is a wide net
Using an overly broad contact list to find investors in a sophisticated industry frustrates recipients.
Investors that feel spammed by irrelevant opportunities will unsubscribe or block senders creating a more hostile marketing environment.
Additionally, deal marketers have only two metrics by which to gauge investor intent: opens and clicks. These can be misleading and are often wrong.
Dealmaking Reimagined, A Better Way
Revere maintains a permanent internal record of all emails sent across all deals and email campaigns, regardless of deliverability or changes to client email technologies. Using this information, Revere has created a distribution channel for deal marketing materials that solve all the pitfalls of traditional email marketing described above.
• Guaranteed inbox placement and delivery that works outside of the email client, avoiding spam filters, subpar inbox placement, and unreliable technology. Previously operational complexities are no longer relevant.
• Marketing material is rendered in a browser with the latest evergreen browser standards. Deal marketing teams know that their collateral is displayed exactly the same for investors as what they see on their screens, pixel-for-pixel.
• Instead of relying on traditional “wide-net” approaches to email distribution, Revere guarantees firm-wide reach to any participating capital markets team through our proprietary shared team inbox technology. Send it to one person and “the right person” will see it within that firm’s investment team.
• Increased traffic to private listings. Listing agents of “unlisted” deals see increased exposure without forsaking privacy, damaging the perceived quality of the asset, or subverting the expectations of the seller/selling agent. This is done via proprietary tooling provided to CRE investors, which anonymizes key information until the selling agent approves access to the investor.
• Better visibility to investor behavior and first-class support for sharing opportunities within a team. Information is no longer lost via opaque email forwarding since opportunities are shared within Revere, giving marketing full transparency into who has viewed their opportunities.
As a fallback, email is still distributed to individual investors and investment teams in all cases. Revere will continue to provide best-in-class transparency into email deliverability while offering the next generation of deal marketing distribution.
Summary & Conclusions
In the early 2000s, the industry had to be convinced of the operational efficiencies of email vs. physically mailing material to investors. There were concerns about deliverability, adoption, personalization, and ultimately trust. With the rise of Salesforce and cloud-based email service providers, this narrative has changed.
Revere aims to evolve the industry once again, providing a new standard for CRE professionals to operate with the efficiencies of the 21st century. As an industry, we are over-reliant on email technology which is fundamentally out of our own control. The benefits of consolidation can be seen in parallel industries such as securities (Bloomberg), advertising(Google), transportation (Uber), and media (Netflix). Revere’s distribution technology provides a reliable deal marketing solution that solves real-world problems and mitigates the largest deal marketing risk within CRE (email). The Revere Distribution Channel enables efficiency, transparency, and reliability for deal marketers so they can market their deals with complete confidence.