A fascinating, gradual mind-shift starts to happen after a spectacular failure in your first big direct mail marketing campaign; especially if you are a brand new full-time flipper with a stay-at-home wife and two toddlers under 3 years old. This was my experience towards the end of 2015 after sending 16,000 pieces of mail over the period of 4 months and buying no houses. For that matter, we barely had any decent responses. We stopped mailing in about November of that year and re-assessed our situation, trying to solve the puzzle as to why we were failing while everyone else wasn’t. We didn’t have any answers but one thing we were very clear on is that we had to find a way to buy houses…and quickly.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2016; we had somehow scratched together a couple of overpriced contracts from a wholesaler and had picked up a decent deal through some very targeted small-scale mailings. We were stoked. We were finally in the game but still uneasy about the idea of a big mailing campaign.
Finally, the mind-shift came full circle when in June of 2016, I realized that in order to survive as a full-time flipper, I had no choice but to go big. The idea that seemed so risky, all of a sudden became my only option to force success. When you are flipping houses on the side, it’s perfectly reasonable (and totally advisable) to simply dip your toes into direct mail marketing. When you go full time, however, you can’t afford to send 500 pieces a month in order to buy 1 or 2 houses a year…you’ll starve. So that summer, we went big. We sent 50,000 pieces of mail over the next 5 months and didn’t buy a house until late August. We held our breath through the Fall and in December 2016, picked up 3 more and we were in business.
The bottom line is that direct mail marketing works, it just likes to scare you to death every once in a while. It’s a numbers game, and the numbers get more consistent when the volume goes up. So, when you absolutely need consistency in your life, like I did in the Summer of 2016, consider going big.