The Inside Scoop on Direct Mail
Direct mail. If you just solicited a groan then you’re not alone. The truth is that not everyone likes direct mail or even should use it.
Sure, you hear people say “Just send a text or an email. It’s quick and easy.” But when you’re hoping to make BIG dollars, quick and easy isn’t the right answer.
Enter everyone’s old friend: the letter. Since July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system has been delivering rain or shine. Can emails and SMS say they have that long-standing record?
And before you ask, no, direct mail isn’t dead. Direct mail is the one platform that actually gets the most responses STILL. Signed, sealed, delivered!
In the world of everything online or digital all the time, direct mail lets your sellers know you care about the personal touches. For those off-market deals or the sellers who are on the verge of selling, direct mail shows them value.
Here at Ballpoint Marketing, we know the risks and the rewards of using direct mail. We’ve seen direct mail campaigns fail and succeed massively.
We don’t want to see your direct mail fail, which is where this article comes in to show you (if you haven’t used direct mail) why you shouldn’t forget it.
Why You Should Use Direct Mail
Our own Ballpoint Marketing clients are raking in the deals with direct mail. Since real estate is a market where things are always changing and evolving, you need that one constant (ahem, mail.)
According to a study published by the United States Postal Service (USPS) 67% of people said that they felt mail was more personal that the internet.
For direct mail to be successful, you need to send at least one piece of mail once a month for three to five months minimum. (Of course this is all based off of your budget).
Plus, it’s a great way to find those off market deals before they hit the MLS. That’s why direct mail remains a staple plus:
- It’s Legal– you aren’t going to get yourself in trouble (accidentally) like you could with other spammy, uncredible methods like SMS.
- It’s Ethical– it shows an interest in the seller on a personal level and you won’t have sellers getting mad at you over the phone.
- It’s Scalable– you can tailor it to your own business needs.
- It Takes minimal staff– this is a big one as you aren’t having to pay everyone (and their dog) to get your mail out.
- It’s Targeted– Consider the phrase: direct mail. Pretty straight forward; it goes directly to who it’s intended.
- It’s Fast– in a successful direct mail campaign you can see results within a couple weeks.
When You Shouldn’t Use Direct Mail
Alright, you check all the above boxes and say “Okay, direct mail here I come!” Hold off just one moment…because your personal situation can kill a direct mail campaign IF you find yourself in any of these:
- If you don’t have the time for the follow-up or to take the business on, don’t waste the time (or the cash!) sending out direct mail. Plain and simple. If you can’t commit to the leg work and keep it going, don’t even bother starting it. Consistency is vital to direct mail. Commit to it or don’t do it.
- If you find yourself wanting to make some cash because you’re broke, do not, I repeat DO NOT put your money into a direct mail campaign. For a direct mail marketing campaign to be truly successful you need to be prepared to spend money and if you can’t do that right now…. Close your purse strings and wait for the right time.
- If you’ve just started in the real estate market and have never spoken to a seller, direct mail is NOT for you (yet). Work on building your presence and getting your toes dipped in the water of what real estate marketing looks like for you before you launch a campaign.
- If you’re just “trying it out”, refrain from using direct mail. Don’t expect results worthwhile with a 500 piece mailing. We recommend 2,500 template letters (that’s the average amount we see 1 deal being produced depending on your market, list, and selling ability). If you can’t because of your budget, then make sure you commit to a regular monthly mailing to fresh new contacts or save up. The point: Commit. Don’t Dabble.
If you find yourself identifying with any of these, keep the idea of direct mail in your back pocket. While it might not be for you right now, as you grow your business, it may end up being your best friend later.
You can be successful!
The big idea of direct mail being successful is 100% on YOU. You can try and do everything that is recommended and have all the money in your budget and still fail. Throw these tips in your back pocket as you work your direct mail campaigns.
1. Be a local expert
That’s right. This seems pretty obvious, but the benefit of knowing your location is vitally important to your success.
Showing that you know your locale allows your client to be at ease with you and trust that you have their best interest at heart. Knowing what they want and where they want to be will allow for a smoother interaction too!
2. Know the right time
There is a right time and definitely a wrong time. Don’t find yourself caught on the wrong side. Seasonal success is a HUGE factor in the success of your campaign.
Think spring and summer vs fall and winter. What times would YOU rather sell in…if your answer is the spring and summer, you would be with the vast majority.
While holiday’s are fun (and great for cute season’s greeting mailers) they’re also stressful. You’re more likely to find frustrated sellers saying “I just need to get through the holidays.”
Save that direct mail money and wait a couple months.
3. Establish long-term relationships
By developing relationships with sellers, it shows that you aren’t just concerned about filling your pockets. Developing a relationship with sellers paves the way for them to come back to you as more time goes on. Besides, sellers have friends.
Who knows, developing that long-term relationship could get you multiple deals as time goes on. And who would turn that down?
4. Hand-written mailers
Think quality over quantity here. People love to receive personalized mail. There’s something to be said for receiving a piece of mail that shows real interest. It very easily boils down, motivated sellers are human beings, not numbers.
That single hand-written mailer has a greater chance of success than one spammy looking letter with all the intent in the world. The personal little touches may be the difference between a big deal and a big flop.
Our best direct mail approach
Overall, direct mail is an extremely effective way to reach potential customers and add to your ROI.
If you’re ready to take that leap, try one of our mailers. They’re both eye-catching, personal, and relevant.
Our own clients have seen HUGE SUCCESS using our hand-written mailers for their direct mail campaigns.
Don’t just take our word for it, take David Pere’s from Missouri:
““[BPM letters] ARE my deal flow, haha. Almost every deal I’ve landed over the last year has been from BPM!”
Or Arvi Carkanji from Tennessee:
“BPM has really exceeded my expectations when it comes to direct mail. I’ve used different companies before and the response from the handwritten letter has been ridiculously high. Totally surprised me. Because of their handwritten letters I got my first deal with only 500 letters dropped in the first week.”
You may be one direct mail campaign away from your best deal! If you want to know more about how direct mail can help you, give us a call. We’d love to help you launch that successful direct mail campaign: