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Best Direct Mail Practices for RE Investors

By Sharad Mehta
13th Dec, 2019

Best Direct Mail Practices for RE Investors

If I had a penny for every time someone asked me this question..
“What works best? Actual Handwritten Letters, Handwritten Font Letters, Business Letters, or Postcards?”
…I would have about 56 pennies 😊

If you have ever done Direct Mail, at some point this question has crossed your mind as well.
BiggerPockets and Facebook discussions are filled with debates on what format of direct mail brings in the highest ROI. So today, I thought I share what some of the most experienced investors use.

Here’s a quick summary between these letters:

Handwritten Letters

What are these:
• Actual handwritten letter with pen
• Actual handwritten envelope with pen

• Very personalized
• Higher open rate
• In this digital world, some people still love receiving personalized letters

• Time consuming
• Expensive
• Some homeowners may see it as unprofessional


Handwritten Fonts Letters

What are these
• Computer generated fonts that give the look and feel of an actual handwritten letter

• Less expensive and time consuming than actual handwritten letters
• Can send via bulk postage to save on postage cost
• Most homeowners can’t tell a difference between printed font vs actual handwritten letter
• They provide the ease of creation as they are template based

• Slightly less
• Investors can get too fancy with font selection and pick a hard to read font


Business Letters

What are these
• Printer letters with typed fonts
• They typically have company logos
• Can send via bulk postage to save on postage cost

• Less expensive and time consuming than actual handwritten letters
• Appeals to homeowners who are looking for professional companies to work with

• Lack personal touch
• Lower open rate than Actual Handwritten Letters and Handwritten Font Letters



What are these
• As the name suggests, these are postcards

• Least expensive direct mail
• 100s of design options
• No need to open them

• Lack personal touch
• Can easily get lost in other clutter that homeowner receives

So now that you know the basics about different direct mail, which option is the best?

I would do in this order:
1. Postcard
2. Handwritten Font Letter
3. Business Letter
4. Different color postcard
5. Handwritten Font Letter in a different color envelope
6. Business Letter in a different color envelope

Here’s my reason for doing that…

I would start with a postcard because it’s the least expensive so I can get return mail for bad addresses and clean my list for future mailings.

If I could only ONE direct mail piece to send out, I would send out Handwritten Font Letter (with Presorted Standard Postage and mix up the envelope color. The price difference will be about 10-15 cents between postcards and these letters, and I think the personalized touch of these letters will be worth the extra 10-15 cents.
Who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten note? The personalized touch in direct mail marketing is what makes direct mail work in this digital age.
In reading experiences of other investors who have tried Actual Handwritten Letters vs Handwritten Font Letters, they don’t tend to notice a BIG difference in response rate between the two letter types.
The only way to be sure about what’s working in your marketing is by doing test and tracking your ROI. There is no substitute for tracking your KPIs!!

Contact us at or (619) 786-3482 to learn more about how we can help you track your KPIs down to the penny by each campaign and save you TONS of money on your Direct Mail campaigns.

Happy Investing!
Sharad Mehta