We have been producing real estate direct mail campaigns for many years with great results. Three measures of successful campaigns are: having a defined target market, having an up-to-date clean mailing list; and scheduling frequent mailings.
Defined Target Markets
If your real estate direct mail campaigns did not succeed in the past, the problem could be your mailing list or your targeted market. What were your criteria for targeting? Real estate experts from BiggerPockets recommend several categories of targets for your direct mailing i.e. vacant and occupied houses and probates.
Vacant or Occupied Houses
First, it seems to be a good idea to look for vacant houses because these properties are one of the biggest money problems for real estate investors. How can you find their absentee owners? The only way to reach those folks is through a well-managed direct mail campaign. Through this type of mailing, you can reach homeowners that can’t afford to “fix-up” their houses but want to sell them quickly.
You can also target specific subsets of owners living in occupied houses: retired people or those who have owned their homes for 20+ years. Many retired homeowners reconsider their housing options, given that many of them face an income shortfall. Their reason to sell and move is higher costs of housing maintenance, properties taxes, and homeowners insurance. Selling their home in retirement and moving to a smaller one
, allows them to right-size their cost of living.
Another promising group is beneficiaries of an estate in probate. Although this group needs time for grieving and sorting through personal items, they might inherit a house that needs a lot of improvements. There may also still be a mortgage on the property that they do not want to continue to pay. Express your condolences and acknowledge that this might be a difficult time, but let them know that you’ll be there for them when they are ready to sell.
Up-to-Date and Clean Mailing Lists
There are a lot of free sources where you can get lists of these groups of sellers, but you have to do some cleaning on your own to have an accurate database. Or you can rent/buy an accurate mailing list from Accurate Mailing Services with a high guaranteed deliverable rate. You can also segment your list by area of influence filtering the list by zip codes, or by the price of the house if you want to avoid those on the highest price range or areas with a bad reputation.
The ability to profile customers on more than just a zip code contributes to direct mailing success. The more you know about your customer, the better you will be able to direct the message to your market. Don’t march on one size fits all approach, send different messages to each of your segmented lists.
Frequency of Mailing
You need to mail to your list consistently for an extended period. Mail to these houses until either you get the deal, someone else gets the deal, or your prospects ask you to stop the mailing, or perhaps you did some calling, and you are almost sure the deal won’t happen.
A real estate direct mail campaign is an ongoing process, not a one or two-time event. Inconsistent mailings will only cause you to lose traction and waste money.
Those who responded to your offer can be put on a longer follow-up plan. Give your prospects a monthly call, send a follow-up letter, retarget them on Facebook or send an email sequence. They will eventually sell their property, and you will be the first person they’ll think about.
Customers require up to seven interactions with an offer before they are willing to buy into it. That means that when you use direct mail or another integrated marketing channel, you need to have enough interactions with your customers
, before expecting them to take any action.
A letter or a Postcard?
A handwritten letter might seem old school; however, it has proven effective even in the digital era. And you don’t need to write the letter by hand. Many mailing houses can print your message using a font that looks handwritten.
Postcards are the most cost-effective direct mail format. They are economical to produce, and there is no lower postcard postage in USPS Marketing Mail. However, with postcards, you must downsize your message to fit the recommended template. You can send a 5.5″×10.5″ oversized postcard to make sure your postcard has been noticed. Or an 8.5″×10.5″ jumbo postcard that won’t get lost with other postcards and envelopes, but quite the opposite, it will be the first to be seen and read.
You can also choose typed letters. This format can be pricier than a postcard due to folding and envelope stuffing.
Real Estate Direct Mail testing
If you don’t know what to send: try a yellow letter with fonts that look like handwriting, a typed letter or a postcard
. Here is an example:
- Send the yellow letter to one-third of your mailing list and a typed letter to another third. The letter that gets more calls and deals is your winner. You can then mail to additional zip codes and the remaining one-third of your mailing list. Test your new formats against the winner, and you’ll know which works best for you with every direct mail campaign.
- Remember, when it comes to direct mail marketing, your biggest asset is your mailing list. Approach each segment of your market separately and saturate your targets with a consistent mailing. Whatever format you choose, a handwritten letter or a typed one, don’t forget to test it first on a smaller portion, then roll it out to the rest of your mailing list.
AccurateAZ offers from a single-color letterhead to a fully customized magazine, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, the Accurate Mailing Services team is always happy to help.
You can reach us at phone: (602) 433-9101 and toll-free: 1-877-433-9101 or text us at [email protected]