How to automate direct mail to motivated sellers

If you’re like me, you don’t want to worry about your lead generation.

You want it running in the background for you while you run the other parts of the business. I mean, that’s the whole reason we got into business… to create an asset that generates cash for us.

One part of your business you can absolutely run automatically is direct mail.

If you’re a real estate wholesaler or flipper I’m going to walk you through how to create a CONSISTENT lead generation system via direct mail so it runs in the background, filling up your pipeline with new leads, every month.

Let’s dive in…

1. The list

The number #1 factor in a successful mailing is the list.

It makes up 80% of the results.

Everything from how accurate the data is, how clean it is, removing duplicates, and the list strategy.

There are 2 ways to go about this:

1.) Pull a NEW list every month.

2.) Pull a list once, and mail it every month for 6-7 months.

The first step to making this automated is to opt in for option #2.

This is what we call “The Lazy Investor Sequence“. Not to add any negative tonality to investors, but I’d rather not pull a new list every single month. It’s a lot of work exporting, scraping, and importing again. And option number 2 is just as successful as option number. The truth is, MOST of the same contacts will be in your new list every month. So you’re doing EXTRA work getting a new one every month.

Plus… contacts need to see your message multiple times before they call.

NOTE: If you call us today, we can set you up with this strategy for you — pulling the lists, and placing them on a monthly consistent mailing.

Which lists?

There are all types of lists:

  1. Equity
  2. Absentee
  3. Owner Occupant
  4. Age-related
  5. MLS expired
  6. Foreclosure
  7. Vacant
  8. And more

So what should you use?

All those lists can be broken up into 3 categories:

1.) Absentee

2.) Owner Occupant

3.) Niche lists

Niche lists are great to have — they encompass pretty much any situation that calls for selling: bankruptcy, divorce, MLS expired, vacant, etc.

You can pull Niche lists from a tool called Propstream. Another place to pull this list is your county. You’ll have to Google your county name plus “recorder” to find the portal to look up these recordings (NOTE: “recordings” mean that someone filed something (a lien, a memorandum, etc) on the property and they are typically public records).

Here’s a video showing you how to pull “Pre Probate” leads (properties of deceased owners) on Propstream:

What we recommend:

Here’s what we typically do (and what we do for our clients in our Lead Engine Program (where we do all this for you plus more))…

  1. First, figure out your budget for monthly mailings — if you’re not sure, here’s a guide.
  2. Start with Niche lists — Niche lists are small and most likely won’t fill your budget.
  3. Fill the rest with Absentee’s

Historically, Absentee lists are where we find MOST of our real estate deals and sellers.

Landlords become tired and overburdened with property management.

And, they are far less attached to properties than owner occupants.

So we regularly market to them with direct mail.

Ok so that’s your list, what about the mailer and frequency…

NOTE: You can book a call with us here, to go over the right mailing strategy to make this year’s direct mail turn on autopilot!

2. The Mailer

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of different mailer types.

There are check mailers, yellow letters, postcards, handwritten, fake font, Urgent notices, and every other tactic and strategy for each of those categories.

That can get overbearing and not very automated.

So let me get straight to what actually works… 

We’ve mailed millions and millions of mailers.

We’re investors ourselves — we actually use the mailers we sell.

We run our own acquisitions companies.

We work very closely with our clients viewing successes.

So we know what works.

And this sequence I’m about to tell is hands down the most successful and most automated we’ve tried…

It’s using a combo of our handwritten Greeting Letter:


And then one of our 6-card postcard series (Either our AI-themed, Comic, or Retro).

Here’s how it works:

1.) First send one of our choices of Greeting Letter, for 1st month

2.) Second month – remove all the responses and “return to sender”* off your list (this will be done every month) – and send the first card of the postcard sequence

3.) Third month – Same as above, but send the second card of the sequence

4.) Fourth month – If you have a large amount of RTS (return to sender), skip trace these and call them – Then send the 3rd mailer.

5.) By this point you should have closed up a few deals (depending on the size of your list). But you’ll want to continue your sequence until the sequence is done. We typically have 6-7 postcards in our sequences.

How is this automated?

It’s automated in the “list pulling” phase. You don’t have to pull a new list. Yes, you’ll have to remove the responded (you don’t want to waste money sending them another mailer) and the RTS*

*RTS (Return to sender) is when the post office sends you back the mailer you sent because of a bad address, wrong address, or the recipient rejected it. You don’t want to keep wasting money sending them mailers. Instead, it’s a good idea, to skip trace and contact them a different means.

Using Lead Engine to automate it

If you’re a Lead Engine client, use our connected CRM (ReSimpli), removing the RTS is simple. And then we’ll automatically send off, every month, a new mailer to your list.

When should you get a deal?

This is a hard one to answer directly but we can give you som details on what to look for…

Metrics to measure

1.Response rates — this metric is the least important. There are mailers that will generate a ton of responses, but no deals. And others that will generate little response but the most deals… and everything else in between. Response rates — typically — in the real estate industry aren’t a good way to measure the success of a campaign. I’ve had my personal campaigns generate a .5% response (not very good), but pull deals that gave me 15x return on my spend. Historically, our handwritten mailers have generated 1%-3% in some markets, while in others .5%. Each market is different but again, response rates are not the best way to measure success, the next metric is…

2. CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) — this is the holy grail of metrics. Typically we see a $2,500-$3,500 spend per deal on AVERAGE. This doesn’t mean that for every $2,500 you spend you get a deal on that one campaign. This means that on AVERAGE after sending mail consistently, it’ll average to this. This number varies greatly with markets. Big coastal cities might see a higher number (costs more overall to acquire a deal). We have a marketing guide for this right here

3. Cost per Call — another metric measuring how much does it costs per inbound call you receive.

What should I expect?

We typically see deals start turning on month 3 or month 4. But that doesn’t mean you should stop marketing to that list. You should still continue sending mail until your sequence is done.

33/33/33 rule

For all the calls you receive, you should get:

  1. 33% are non-sellers, tire kickers
  2. 33% are appointments now
  3. 33% are sellers but not yet.

So to put into perspective…

If you get 10 calls (from a .5% response rate of a 2,000 mailer campaign), you might get:

  • 3 appointments.
  • 3 “Get me off your list” angry calls.
  • 3 possible sellers.

Those are numbers you should be striving for.

Finding kinks in your chain

Not getting enough deals? 

Ask if you’re making enough appointments

Not getting enough contracts signed? 

Ask how many appointments did you go on vs contracts.

When you do what to expect, you can work backward to fix the broken chains.

Bonus Video

Check out this cool video on pulling a great list to market to, Seniors with equity:


Making direct mail for wholesalers and real estate agents automated is more about the consistency of a plan.

We have the tools in place to help you make it as automated as possible.

But it’s the STRATEGY that helps you with the automation AND creating a lead flow machine.

Contact our office to learn about the Lead Engine Program to help you automate your direct mail!

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