Tag : email-subscribers

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A Facebook Tool You Probably Didn’t Know You Have

For more than a year now, Facebook has quietly allowed advertisers to link their Facebook and Mail Chimp accounts. With this connection, you can target ads and posts to the people Facebook can match from your Mail Chimp lists and to the demographic lookalikes of those matches. As people sign up for your auction alerts through your website, your Mail Chimp audience grows; but so can your Facebook audience—automatically. Not only does this give you the opportunity for extra advertising impressions with your email subscribers, it allows your Facebook lookalikes audience to grow more and more accurate. If you’ve ever wished you could grow your email list faster, this Facebook-Mail Chimp partnership is the next best thing. 

And maybe even better.

One thing Facebook ads don’t have to worry about is a junk filter. And ads reveal the entire visual presentation of your content at once without hoping a headline will get prospects to open your ad. Also, Facebook’s algorithm allows the lookalike audiences tool to find people we were missing.

What if you don’t have Mail Chimp?

If you use another email program for building your emails, you can still use and replicate your email subscribers lists. You just have to export them manually. The process adds a few extra minutes but not much complexity. Both the automatic and download-then-upload methods use the Customer List tab of the Custom Audiences menu in Ads Manager. And the process of building the lookalikes audience is actually identical.

What if you have a small email list?

First, you’re in good company. Many auction firms are still growing their in-house lists. Second, you can use Facebook ads and your other advertising to drive people to your site (instead of your open houses or live events), where you can put an invitation to subscribe on every page they visit. Many companies find that offering something like a free buyer or seller guide in exchange for an email address garners more subscribers. If you’re wondering about how big your email list will need to be, Facebook has to match at least 100 (and usually more) of the email addresses and names on your list to be able to target ads to your list and lookalikes. So, you’ll probably need an email list of several hundred, maybe even more than 500.

What if you have no email list?

I buy email lists almost every week. Actually, I pay to include email addresses where available with mailing lists I purchase from my list broker. It costs significantly more than the addresses alone, but those opt-in addresses can be used both for my clients’ emails and their Facebook in perpetuity. Even if someone gets a new email address, Facebook knows who the original email address holder was. One benefit to this approach is that you can build multiple lists for different types of assets. You can save each one separately in your email distribution platform and in Facebook.

By the way, this same tool works for the bidders or consignors in your database and the lookalikes of those Facebook can match from those databases. If your auction software allows you to export these contacts from specific auctions or asset categories, you can imagine how targeted these audiences can be. 

All auctions can benefit from this connection between your email and Facebook marketing platforms, but real estate auctions have the most to gain. Since 2019, Facebook’s compliance with HUD anti-discrimination guidelines has prevented us from targeting real estate ads based on demographic and consumer interest criteria. But we can upload lists (or connect Mail Chimp), accept the indemnity of the targeting, and have Facebook create lookalikes through the Special Ad Audiences tool. So, segmented email and/or mailing lists can allow us to weed out members of the general population who are less likely to be interested in our properties.

Within reason, repetition of advertising impressions moves prospects closer to purchasing. This Mail Chimp Facebook partnership doesn’t just do that. It adds value to the two separate advertising methods in such a way that two plus two equals more than four.

Stock photo purchased from iStockPhoto.com

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165: Get Better Results From Your Facebook Advertising

I talk to auctioneers who don’t see Facebook as a vital marketing tool, because it hasn’t worked for them. After asking a few questions, it’s clear why their Facebook campaigns have reaped subpar results: they’re advertising to the wrong people.

“I posted the auction on my Facebook.”

While it probably doesn’t hurt for you to share your auction with your Facebook friends, few people on your friends list are potential buyers or even referrers to potential buyers. Also, Facebook doesn’t show your posts to all of your friends, anyway—only the ones who interact most with your content.

“I did a Facebook post on my business page.”

This is a baby step forward, but it makes several incorrect assumptions.

  1. Those who like your Facebook page are likely buyers.
  2. People who liked your page in the past because of a specific auction or asset are interested in others.
  3. Facebook shows your business post to more than 10% of your page likes.

For more successful campaigns, you will most likely need to post multiple paid ads. Each will have its own headline and copy, its own photo(s) or video, and it’s own audience. Here are some audiences my auction clients use to see fantastic results from their Facebook ads.

Locals (general public nearest the auction or asset location)

Most real estate—especially farm real estate—sells to someone local. The same holds true for estate sale assets. Facebook allows you to circle your advertising around a specific address. If you know the neighbors or locals won’t be buyers, Facebook also allows you to exclude specific geography.

Current or recent visitors

If you’re selling something to tourists—vacation real estate or boats, for instance—you can target people in a geographic area that don’t live there but are currently visiting. You can also target those who just left that area.

Demographic selectors

Facebook gives you scores of options from net worth and household income to pastimes and priorities. You can pull people who like specific brands, who work in specific trades, who speak specific languages, or who collect specific items. You can also exclude any of the selectors, like recent home buyers (who probably won’t respond to your real estate ad).

Fans of publications

Don’t want to pay to advertise in expensive publications? Can’t make an early deadline? Does the magazine publish after the auction? Does the publisher allow only the advertisers who use their online bidding platform? Then target people who have liked or mentioned the publication. That won’t equal the total circulation, but it’s a lot better than nothing. Not all publications are available, but the current selection comes in handy for a number of asset categories.

Business executives

Whether you’re selling commercial real estate or business liquidations, you can target people based on their executive status. That goes for positions like president, vice president, CEO and others; but it also works for business owners and founders. You can also target executive and management positions in educational institutions and government offices. Facebook won’t grant you 100% saturation, but even a fraction is a good start.

Brokers, investors, and management professionals

Because you can target specific job titles, you can appeal to those who would benefit by bringing you real estate buyers. You can also select Facebook users who attach to the national associations for REALTORS, home builders, and mortgage lenders. For you commercial real estate pros, yes: you can select CCIM members, too. You can also target the investor class to supplement your end-user campaign.

Past bidders and lookalikes

Upload your list of past bidders’s email addresses or mobile numbers, and Facebook will allow you to serve ads to those it can match. You can take that one step further, and let Facebook find you people who look demographically just like your past bidders. This is a free service from Facebook. You pay only for the ads, not the matching.

Email subscribers and lookalikes

Likewise, you can match up to 50% of your email subscribers and direct ads to them. This allows you to reinforce your email and/or direct mail campaign with Facebook promotion, giving potential buyers more interactions with the asset and its headlines. Facebook can build a lookalike audience from these folks, too—again at no charge for the matching, just the ads.

Website visitors and lookalikes

After you install a free bit of code on your website, you can advertise to people who visited any page of your website. So, if you’re selling an asset similar to one you’ve recently sold; you can advertise to people who visited that former auction’s page. Using the lookalike audience tool, you can serve ads to people who look demographically like the people who visited that page. Taking that one step further, you can run (1) reminder ads for the auction at hand to people who already investigated it and/or (2) ads to a lookalike audience of people who’ve already visited this auction’s page.


Finally, you can segment almost all of these lists by any of the other lists. You can also take any of these lists and sort it further by age, wealth, gender, geography, language, and much more. And you can save the lists for future use.

While there are groups or lists of people you can’t find on Facebook, there are a lot of specific audiences readily available to make your auction advertising more effective and efficient. Not all buyers are on Facebook; but there are more buyers there on any given day than in newsprint, magazines, or any TV channel. The specificity to which you can market on Facebook is unprecedented and unparalleled.

Stock image purchased from iStockPhoto.com