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“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” ~ Estee Lauder, Co-founder, the Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

How do you plan your direct mail marketing campaigns?

You buy a list, prepare your mailings, and send them to the entire client list. And then, you wait for results.

Isn’t that quite similar to making a wish while throwing a coin in the wishing well? I bet it’s a close resemblance.

What happens is that sometimes your campaign works and sometimes it doesn’t; I still couldn’t stop thinking of the wishing well analogy.

The cut-throat competition in the online real estate MLS sites has made it challenging to find deals online, making direct mail marketing a crucial part of your business. And one thing is for sure that you cannot leave your top lead generating medium to wishing alone.

Let’s find out how you can move from wishing to generating profit-making leads.

Start with a clean mailing list

When you are ready to list a house, what’s the first thing you do? You target a specific set of clientele, either from your previous client list or a new one. What it does is to increase the chances of selling the house quickly.

The same concept applies to your mailing list. You target a specific audience, and even if you have a list of your potential clients, it’s a must to clean the list.

Start by eliminating duplicate addresses. Ask your list provider to run it through the National Change of Address database.

Pro tip: If you’re using multiple mailing lists, put a tracking code on the mail piece to identify the best performing list or have a custom phone number for that mailing.

Prepare a customer-oriented copy

So, you have closed a thousand deals in your career and have even received special recognition for your work. Good for you, but putting it all on your mailing piece doesn’t help your customer.

A mistake often committed in direct mail copy is focusing on your business instead of the customer. Always put your customer first by discussing their pain point and how you can alleviate it.

If you’re targeting foreclosures or short sales, offer them a direct solution. Offers such as full cash purchase or no question purchase will trigger action from their end. Similarly, if you’re dealing with property owners having eviction issues, tell them how you can make their lives easier.

The basic details such as including their name in the mailer goes without saying.

Pro tip: Test multiple copies and find out which copy engages your customer. If you want to succeed, test, test, and test!

Be creative with your mailer design

When was the last time you received a mailer that you kept for its design alone irrespective of the content it had?

Yes, that’s the power of creativeness.

A unique design gives your mailer a sense of importance and makes it stand out from the crowd. You can use a different size envelope than the regular 6 x 9 ones or use different finishes to give a rich look. In fact, adding a magnet to the mailer makes it useful for the recipient.

In addition to the design part, put a creative bold heading on your mailer. Something like the information you requested will do the trick.

First impressions are important, so choose a design that presents your brand value and embarks a healthy relationship.

Pro tip: You can try different designs for different campaigns and identify the one that works best for you.

Integrate your direct mail campaign with social campaigns

In real estate, it’s all about creating a network and while doing so, always consider the long-term perspective. As marketers, we always operate on the seller’s timetable, so even if you didn’t receive a direct response, providing your social link may get the recipient to enter your social network. Once they are in your network, you have an unlimited opportunity to market your services, educate them, and stay on their mind. In the case of a trigger event, they are likely to prefer you over other marketers.

Pro tip: Do not use your social feed for advertising your services only. Try to offer quality content to your network, and develop rapport.

Clear and easy call to action

You have an amazing mailer design.

Your copy interacts well with the customer, and just when they are about to call you, it takes a couple of seconds to find your contact information or worse, the printed number is out of service.

While it may sound naive, these things happen when you lose attention, and your marketing dollars go straight to the waste bin.

When designing your mailer, always provide multiple call-to-actions. Use a separate telephone number for the campaign, and if using a website, have a custom landing page for your customers. It just doesn’t make sense to redirect them to your home page or any random page. Crosscheck all the details to the point of zero error.

Pro tip: Create a system that takes care of all the incoming calls and emails. Always respond to your audience at the earliest. Do not wait for a week to get back to them. Being proactive is the key here.

Bonus Tips

  • Follow up: One of the best ways to increase your ROI is to follow up with your clients. You can send a follow-up mailer. Remember, a single mailer will not land you a deal; be consistent.
  • Custom offers: Depending upon your mailing list, you can make custom offers for different lists. For example, a full cash purchase is likely to convert with a foreclosure lead or a property going for short sale.
  • More images less text: As humans, we respond better to visual messages, so why not use it in your mailer. Try to use relevant images and use text with precision.
  • Measure ROI: In the end, it comes down to the ROI of your campaign. You have to be very thorough and precise when calculating the ROI of the campaign. This data will help you design efficient campaigns in the future.

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