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RISMEDIA, November 5, 2010—Google recently introduced Gmail Priority Inbox, which is great in theory, but is based on algorithms having to do with replies as opposed to abstract decision making. Essentially, it splits a user’s inbox into three sections: important and unread; starred; and everything else. Gmail’s servers prioritize based on what e-mails are opened and who is e-mailed most frequently.

Instead of looking at this as a potential challenge for real estate agents and brokers, it’s actually a great opportunity to make sure all of your e-mail campaigns follow best practices. These changes will make what you share more valuable to your customers and more likely to fall into the right spot in the inbox.

For instance, use the e-mail to state your differentiator, whether your specialty is high-end homes or first-time home buyers. Making sure you include the right message will help you stand out from the crowd.

Here are three additional ways to keep your e-mail campaigns in the Priority Inbox:

1. Real Estate Is All about Relevance.
Relevance has always been a golden rule when it comes to e-mail marketing—if you aren’t providing relevant information, your customers simply aren’t going to open your e-mail. Want to make sure customers with Gmail accounts mark your e-mails as “priority?” Provide them with relevant information they will want to read. It’s really that simple.

2. Give Focus to Your E-mail Lists.
This is where you can turn any issues into opportunities. Instead of one-to-many e-mail blasts, segment your contact list based on the recipients’ preferences. This way you can send relevant information based on stage in life, age of children and home style preferences you have collected. By sending the right message to the right person at the right time, there is an increased likelihood that your e-mail campaign will be opened and your hyperlinks will be clicked on.

3. Ask Your Customers.
In my mind, any new obstacle also presents an opportunity, and Priority Inbox is no different. Use this as a chance to reach out to your customer base and ask them what they’d like to see in your campaigns and how often they want to hear from you. Incorporating their feedback in future e-mail marketing efforts means that you’re more likely to be classified as a “priority e-mail” with customers using Gmail or other inbox management tools offered by Microsoft Hotmail, Yahoo! and AOL.

Lastly,

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