Direct mail marketing remains one of the most effective marketing techniques to find new customers, investors, and to drum up new business. Here is a useful guide to getting you started on your direct mail campaign.
Real estate investor direct mail campaigns must be consistent. You need to put out a regular, predictable stream of mailers to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign. Many marketing campaigns rely on multiple contacts with one lead before conversion. The last thing your business needs is to run out of funding one or two months into a campaign. Set a manageable budget and timeline, then stick to it.
This refers to the relevancy of your leads list. Carefully review the properties for which you are soliciting real estate investors. Your campaign must be consistent and relevant to the audience to whom you are advertising. Think about your buyer: where do they live, where do they want to live, and in what kind of abode do they reside?
For instance, you might want households in XXXX zip code and prefer families in two bedroom units and above. You can generate a list based on those parameters. The more targeted your list, the more effective your direct mailing campaign.
Carefully select your message. It should be easy to remember and clearly identify your marketing “niche.” For instance, you buy houses with cash, no closing costs, or fast escrow, etc.
Your business needs both relevant leads and leads who call your business asking the right questions and wanting the right things. Your message narrows the broad range of leads your campaign generates into a useful collection of interested real estate investors.
Response rates might matter for some businesses, like “freemium” companies. However, it does not matter much for real estate investors. You are concerned with closing houses under contract, not with securing a 90 percent response rate. The purpose of narrow mailing lists and targeted messaging is to weed out the “window shoppers.” Don’t waste time worrying about a response rate.
Studying the Market
Real estate is an inherently local practice. Therefore, you need to conduct market research to understand precisely what your customers want, where they are looking, and how they will respond. In some neighborhoods, postcards may work. In others, Yellow Letters are preferred.
To understand your market, you need to conduct tests. The popular experiment is the “split test.” The split test entails you using two different marketing techniques: Yellow Letters vs. postcards, different messaging, various lead lists, etc. The goal of split testing is to identify the responsive components in a campaign and tailor it to the given market.
Direct mailers are useful to generate groundswell support that gradually builds. Many real estate investors’ direct mail campaigns are cut after one or two distributions. Don’t fall into this trap. It will take at least six months and possibly longer for your campaign to begin affecting potential leads and generating calls.
Direct mailers are excellent at building momentum for leads so that you get few calls on the front-end but many calls on the back-end.
Creating a Campaign
Now that you have identified a relevant list, narrowed your message, and studied your market – it is time to build your campaign. Think about your timeline and funding. Ideally, you should give a direct mail campaign at least six months lead time to generate responses.
For this stage, it is crucial you know your marketing budget and its limitations. As stated before, it is more important to be consistent than to run a single campaign but use double-bonded card stock, gloss, and colored ink. Don’t get carried away by extraneous expenses; you want your campaign to build momentum in people’s everyday lives, and that takes time.