We’ve built self-driving cars, social media platforms with billions of users, and phones that can do pretty much anything.
Still, in the land of real estate investing, direct mail is one of the best ways to generate a consistent flow of listings and deals every single month. Heck — if you do a Google search for “best real estate marketing ideas”, virtually all the results will include direct mail somewhere near the top.
That’s because (done right) direct mail is an affordable and proven way to get the phone ringing.
But how many mailers should you send every month? How much should you expect to spend? Who should you send mailers to? And most importantly, what exactly should you send?
Investors… buckle up.
We’re going to give you everything you need.
How Many Mailers Should You Send Every Month?
The answer to this question is dependent on how many deals you want to do every month, how much money you’re able to spend on direct mail, and how much time you have to work your leads (if you don’t want to worry about answering the phone all the time, check out Call Porter).
The first thing you need to figure out is: about how many mailers you’ll need to send to get one deal.
This estimation doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should be close to accurate. Here are some generalizations to help you make an educated guess based on the size of your market…
Small Rural Markets (Populations of 100,000 or less) — Approximately 1,000 to 2,000 Mailers Per Deal
Mid-Sized Markets (Populations of 150,000 to 500,000) — Approximately 2,500 to 4,000 Mailers Per Deal
Large Metropolitan Markets (i.e. L.A., Dallas, Seattle, etc.) — Approximately 4,000 to 6,000 Mailers Per Deal
These are just estimates but they should set your expectations and give you a general idea of how many mailers you’ll need to send to acquire each deal or listing.
Now you just need to determine your budget and how many deals you want to do every month. Then determine the cost of the mailers you’re going to send.
If, for instance, I want to do two deals per month in a mid-sized market, then I need to send about 5,000 mailers every month. Assume I decide to send Ballpoint Marketing’s hand-written postcard mailers (which get shipped directly to my list of sellers), those cost about $0.80 per piece, which means I’ll be spending (5,000 x $0.80) about $4,000 per month on direct mail. If that nets me two wholesale deals, as I hope it will, then with an assignment fee of $7,500 I will drive $15,000 in revenue and $11,000 in profit.
This is how you should think through how much to spend every month on direct mail…
- How many deals do you want to do per month?
- How many mailers do you need to send per deal?
- How much can you afford to spend on direct mail?
Answer those questions and then come up with a realistic plan for your direct mail marketing campaign.
If you’re just getting started and you’re trying to snag your first deal, keep in mind that it’s better to oversend than it is to undersend… especially when you’re “proof of concept” for your real estate business depends on this initial campaign. In other words, estimate high so you can ensure you’re able to snag your first deal.
What Lists Should You Send Mailers To?
With that out of the way, you are probably now wondering who, exactly, you should send mailers to.
We’ve made this super easy for you in our best mailing lists for Wholesalers guide — we even show you exactly how to pull each of those lists using Propstream. Go check it out for the details. Here’s a quick overview of our favorite mailing lists for investors.
Absentee + Vacant — Homeowners who live out of the state or country where their property is located are considered absentee owners. If their home is vacant, that’s another indication they may not be too attached to it.
High Equity + Absentee — When a property owner has equity in their home but also lives far away from it, they may be willing to sell for less than market value in order to save on the hassle and expense of managing the property from afar.
Empty Nesters — Older homeowners who no longer have children living at home are often good candidates for selling their property. They may be looking to downsize or move to a retirement community.
Tax Delinquent — Homeowners who are behind on their property taxes may be motivated to sell in order to avoid further penalties.
Free & Clear — Homeowners who don’t have a mortgage on their property may be more willing to negotiate on price since they don’t have to worry about paying off a loan.
Expired Listings — If a home doesn’t sell after being on the market for a certain amount of time, the listing expires. The owner may be more motivated to sell at a lower price once their listing has expired.
Active Liens — If a property has any active liens against it, the owner may be motivated to sell in order to clear up the title.
Active & Dismissed Bankruptcies — Both active and dismissed bankruptcies are good indicators that an owner may be struggling financially. They may be more willing to sell at a discount in order to get some relief.
Pre-Foreclosure + Equity — Homeowners who are in pre-foreclosure may be willing to sell in order to avoid formal foreclosure proceedings. If they have equity in their home, they may be more open to negotiating on price.
Inherited Properties — Homeowners who have inherited a property they don’t want may be willing to sell at a discount in order to get rid of it.
The Two Biggest Mistakes That Investors Make With Their Mailers…
Now before we show you exactly what to send to those lists you’ve pulled, we need to talk about two elephants in the room.
That is, two things that investors do that destroy their chances of being successful in this business.
First, they send too few mailers one time and they never send again, carrying an excuse like, “My market is too competitive” or “Direct mail doesn’t work.”
The truth is that thousands of investors in literally every market around the U.S. are using direct mail to do new deals every single month. You can do the same — but you need to be realistic about how many mailers you’ll need to send to get a deal and how much that’ll cost you. It’s far better to overestimate your costs and snag your first deal than it is to underestimate your costs and become discouraged.
Additionally, recognize the importance of timing. An owner might receive your mailer and be curious… but the timing simply isn’t right for them. That’s why it’s very important to send mailers to owners every month, so that you stay top-of-mind and when they’re ready to sell, you’ll be the first person they call.
What’s the second mistake?
It’s one that both new and seasoned investors make: they send boring, uninteresting, and deceptive mailers that result in very poor response rates and sky-high costs per deal.
Things like this…
Here at Ballpoint Marketing, we’ve designed mailers for real estate investors that get much higher response rates than what you see above (meaning a lower cost per deal for you) — they’re actually handwritten (by robots) with real pen-and-ink.
See for yourself…
Below, we’re going to show you all of the mailers we’ve created that are proven to work (they’re literally generating hundreds of deals every month for investors all around the nation). And we’ll even show you our pre-built sequences that will keep your deals flowing on autopilot every single month.
Let’s dive in!
1. The Americana Sequence
Joe Sugarman, one of the best copywriters of all time, famously said, “The sole purpose of the first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence.”
His point was this: if you don’t catch your target market’s attention… then whatever comes after doesn’t matter.
Each of our mailers is designed to catch the recipient’s attention so that they actually take the time to read your mailer.
Our first one is called The Americana Sequence and it consists of the seven following postcards…
On the back of each postcard is the following handwriting (with, obviously, your own business name)…
You can select either the cursive above or the print handwriting below…
These (in addition to our Comic Card Sequence) are our most affordable mailers at just $0.80 per piece — just upload your mailing list and we’ll send them directly to your list of sellers.
You can also choose to do a full 7-month drip sequence where we’ll send a new design to your list every month for 7 months so you don’t have to think about it. That means lead-gen on autopilot.
2. The Comic Card Sequence
This is the same in cost and execution as our Americana Sequence, but our Comic Card Sequence has seven different eye-catching designs. For the best results, we recommend periodically mixing it up between designs to keep things fresh.
3. The Greeting Letter Sequence
These mailers are a little more expensive — at around $1.50 per piece — but they get some of our highest response rates out of all of our mailers.
In the words of one of our customers, “It’s as if Grandma sent it!”
Here’s what our greeting letters look like. On the outside of the envelope is a handwritten name and address..
And on the inside is a handwritten letter.
In order to get your local postmark on each mailer (and really drive home the personalization feel), we send these mailers directly to you and then you must take them to your local post office to send them off.
You can also order a sequence of these mailers so that you send a new design every month to your list for 7 months.
4. Custom Branded Mailers
Maybe you’ve got slightly deeper pockets and you want to really customize the look and feel of your mailers.
For that, we’ve got our custom-branded mailers. These are some of our most expensive mailers at around $1.70 per piece, but if you want to stand out from your competitors and keep everything “on brand”, then these are the perfect option.
5. Commercial Acquisition Mailers
Something we haven’t talked much about is those of you who might be looking to acquire commercial properties for your investments.
We’ve got a handwritten letter for that as well.
Whether you buy or wholesale MH parks, storage, or MFU’s, this commercial letter is just what you need. The copy is designed to create a local feel with added proof and urgency showing you’re ready to take action. There are even “Asset Class” merge fields that allow for laser targeting.
Each letter is hand signed at the bottom.
6. Golden Letters For Realtors
Maybe you are also a real estate agent.
In that case, we’ve got Golden Letters that are perfect for farming zip codes and snagging listings. Each letter is hand signed at the bottom — with a handwritten address and name on the outside of the envelope.
7. Winter Greetings Letters
It can be helpful to send seasonal mailers that fit the time of year.
At Ballpoint Marketing, we’re always designing and offering new mailers to help you grab the seller’s attention.
At the time of this writing, we have our winter greeting letters, which are great to send out during the holidays, and which help get the deals flowing during the new year.
8. Fall Greetings Letters
Currently, our second seasonal option is our fall mailers. These are great to send at the end of summer for a fittingly festive design.
9. Door Hangers
In addition to our mailers, it’s also worth mentioning that we have handwritten door hangers which are perfect when you’re driving for dollars. Drive neighborhoods and hang these on the doors of distressed properties.
This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways we know for beginners to get deals. It also makes a great addition to any driving-for-dollars strategy.
10. Free Sampler Pack
Unsure whether you want to try these mailers out for yourself?
You can see all of our testimonials from other investors over here, and we also have a free sampler pack (just pay $7.95 for shipping) where we’ll send you a few samples of each mailer so you can see them for yourself. You can get that here.