Ballpoint Marketing Direct Mail Service Review
In-Depth Review Of Ballpoint Marketing Direct Mail Service (2023)
At REsimpli, we’re not just “tech guys” who push a CRM… we’re investors ourselves. Outside of our CRM, I also run an ACTIVE off-market REI business turning deals every month.
And one of my choice lead generation strategies is direct mail.
There are hundreds of print shops out there… but we’re going to dive into one of the top mail shops for real estate investors (and one that I’ve PERSONALLY used myself): Ballpoint Marketing.
Before we get into a pros-and-cons review of Ballpoint Marketing, let’s dive into the benefits of using direct mail for your business and how to do it
(If you wish to skip this and read about our Ballpoint Marketing review go here)
Why all investor should (eventually) use direct mail consistently
I am biased.
I use direct mail for my real estate investing business.
But here’s why…
1.) Direct mail is predictable –– every market has a “cost per acquisition”. And knowing this and knowing YOUR output in direct mail gives you a predictable outcome. And direct mail compared to other marketing mediums has the most predictable outcome. I’ve used many different marketing mediums but as far as deal flow, direct mail has been the most consistent for me.
2.) Direct mail is scalable — cold calling needs hundreds of hours of calling; either you are hiring a mediocre call center or creating one yourself which takes a lot of time and energy. Cold texting needs an “army” of people to respond back and forth. While direct mail is as easy as a push of a button
3.) Direct mail is legal — Cold texting has the spotlight from the FCC now. Investors are constantly worried about getting fined (which is happening right now). And they’re constantly scrambling to find new numbers because their last number got shut down. With direct mail you don’t have to keep hiding in the shadows… you can use a marketing medium that’s accepted by the rest of the world.
Alright let’s jump into a review of Ballpoint Marketing and start off with an important of it; who runs it…
Founders of Ballpoint Marketing
It’s founded by 2 brothers, Justin Dossey and Ryan Dossey.
Ryan is an active investor himself and a user of all the mail they sell (apparently he actually buys the mail and gets nothing for free). What we like about Ballpoint Marketing is that the owners are constantly testing and using their own products. There are lots of print shops who aren’t even USERS of their product which I think is a mistake. At REsimpli, I actually USE the product in my own REI business and I love the fact that the owners at Ballpoint do the same.
Ryan is also a real estate investing coach who created a mastermind for investors and still flips heavily in the Indianapolis market.
Why they created Ballpoint Marketing
Ryan didn’t like the results from yellow letters.
So he designed a never-before-seen mailer that would be almost guaranteed to get opened… a handwritten “Greeting Letter”.
With it, he found extraordinary results.
He realized sellers really like the handwritten component and called because of it.
He opened up his own mail shop to sell the letter.
What we like about Ballpoint Marketing, is that they were one of the first to develop this type of letter. Because of the results, there have been a lot of copycats along the way.
Compared to other print shops, they’re fairly competitive.
One thing I’ve found with Ballpoint Marketing is they are truly a direct mail business…
They’re not just pitching letters… they want you to be fully educated in direct mail before purchasing.
They have a great (free) book on everything from lists, data, to execution of direct mail inside a book they published called “Direct Mail Guide for Real Estate Investors”.
Then when you get on a call with their Strategy Reps, which I’ve done, they’ll help decide which list and mailer is right for your market.
This is actually a really important (and underlooked) piece to a mail shop. Because I’ve used the vendors who pitch mail at really great prices but their customer service lacks big time; like not updating you on your order, not correcting errors, and taking days to get back to you — which explains their low prices!
A direct mail service is also your “right hand man” in your marketing. So it’s important to have someone that is there for you on a DAILY basis, answering your questions, and concerns… and fixing any problem asap.
Ballpoint Marketing is one of the best customer services I’ve experienced in direct mail companies.
One thing they provide is a guarantee to help you fix your campaign. Because sometimes, direct mail campaigns don’t go as planned, and if it does you can reach out to them for help to examine WHY it didn’t do well.
Results of course are all we care about in direct mail.
But it’s a lot harder to gauge “results” than meets the eye.
Lots of investors compare mail by using “response rates”. But in my opinion (and also Ballpoint Marketings), response rate is a poor indicator of the success of a campaign.
Because you can have a .5% response rate and get a deal, and another campaign can have a 1% response and get no deal. There are those “Final Warning” postcards that claim you can get 2% response rate and above, but we’ve found that claim very misleading as the responses are angry ticked off individuals that aren’t selling their property.
The metric to consider is “cost per acquisition”.
I learned this from Ballpoint Marketing because that’s a true KPI that’s testable and reliable.
They test themselves!
BPM actually put their money where their mouth is and did a test years ago (albeit it was many years ago, but still what mail shop out there puts their product to a test).
They tested their postcards with cheap “junk mail” type postcards (That was their words). The junk mail got a cost per deal of $7k. Their handwritten postcard got $4k per deal.
That’s a $3k difference!
So it’s important not to measure things with upfront costs or upfront response rates but total costs with total profit.
Integrates with REsimpli!
Before we get into the pros and cons of BPM, if you’re a REsimpli user, we have great news.
We now integrate with Ballpoint Marketing mail where you can order letters/cards directly from your dashboard and you don’t have to pay extra fees!
If you need help with this, make sure you contact support@REsimpli.com.
Now let’s move into whether or not you should use BPM as your mail shop…
Cons of Ballpoint Marketing
As with any company, there are some cons.
So after being a USER of BPM, and looking at it with a fine comb here are some things that you might not like…
- Costly upfront — All direct mail can be “costly”. They tend to be a little more expensive than their competitors when buying a large bulk (like 5,000+ pieces). However, we find that their higher quality first class letters to be of better quality than competitors which can contribute to better results
- 500 minimum — You can’t order less than 500 of anything on their website. So if you’re looking to only send 200 letters, you won’t be able to make that order.
- Not a lot of discounts — Other competitors will pitch lots of different discounts to get new customers. BPM doesn’t really do that. Although they DO have some discounts (like 10%), they don’t regularly advertise or create new sales.
- Not a lot of variety — They offer (at the time of this writing), 2 different options for postcards, 6 different designs for their greeting letter, 1 design for their realtor letter, and 1 design for their commercial letter. Compared to other mail shops, they don’t have that much variety — others have 20+ different types of letters/cards to choose from… although that might seem like a con, they preach that they only have this small selection because they’ve actually tested and proven their selection; unlike competitors who create products every month without testing anything.
Pros of Ballpoint Marketing
- Variety in pricing — With their Greeting letters, they offer first class and pre-sorted. Presorted is a lot cheaper than first class. The benefit of first class is that you’ll get local stamping which might boost your open rates.
- Proven templates — Like mentioned above, they don’t pump out loads of letters and cards where you can get overwhelmed. They have their proven, handful of styles to choose from; which means quicker decisions on your part, and never being overwhelmed
- Great customer service — This was mentioned earlier, but they have an excellent team that are always there to help
- The only hand-written door hangers — They were the first to come out with real handwritten door hangers. Which can come in handy when you’re driving for dollars.
- Training — They offer training to their customers. When I ordered for the first time, I got an email sequence with links to negotiation videos.
Summary Review of Ballpoint Marketing
Ballpoint Marketing is far from your average mail shop.
It’s not the cheapest (upfront), but we really like the fact that the owners are actually using their own products AND testing out products before they launch them.
For us, we’ve seen great results from their mail (compared to cheaper mail out there).
If you’re someone who’s looking to enter into the direct mail world (which we HIGHLY suggest if you want to make a long-lasting REI business) we highly suggest trying out BPM.