‘Does direct mail marketing still work?’ ‘Is direct mail dead?’ In this technologically advanced age, sending real estate direct mail sounds boring and outdated. Many established and beginner real estate investors think that this idea is not worth their time or money. However, a report from the United States Postal Service showed that direct mail marketing has a 5.1% response rate. These were the response rates to common digital marketing strategies, for comparison:
- Social media – .04%
- Paid search – 0.8%
- Email – 0.6%
- Online display ads – 0.2%
In another study, 73% of U.S. consumers said they prefer direct mail since they can read the content at their convenience. A study by the Data and Marketing Association revealed that 42.2% of direct mail recipients either scan or read the mail they get.
The numbers show us that direct mail still works and as a real estate investor, it is sure to help you generate property leads- if you go about it in the right way.
What Is Direct Mail?
Also known as junk mail, mailshot, or admail, direct mail is a type of marketing that involves delivering merchandising material physically to a prospect’s mailbox through a mail delivery service. Real estate direct mail marketing includes sending real estate postcards, brochures, flyers, and catalogs. These materials could be addressed to specific individuals or delivered unaddressed to homes in a particular neighborhood.
The Benefits of Using Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing
Here are some of the benefits of real estate direct mail marketing:
- Less competitive – Much of the world has moved on to digital marketing. With the clutter in their email inboxes, most people don’t even pay attention to marketing messages. The Data and Marketing Association reports that 90% of direct mail gets opened, as opposed to only 20-30% of emails.
- Tangible and personal – Unlike online messages, physical mail can be hung on the fridge, put in the pocket, or placed on a shelf. This will act as a constant reminder for recipients.
- Builds trust – Due to the increase of online scams, most people are wary of online ads. Direct mail is considered to be a more trustworthy advertising strategy. When you use consistent logos and colors, it also helps build brand recognition.
- Complements digital marketing – Direct mail and digital marketing can work very well together. For instance, you could send postcards with a QR code which recipients can scan and land on your sales pages. Combining these strategies will increase customer engagement and boost your overall conversion rate.
5 Tips for Successful Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing
So, how do you go about direct mail marketing in real estate? Here are some tips for successful real estate direct mail marketing:
Get the timing right
Just like any other market, the real estate market experiences seasonal trends. For example, the winter market is usually slow, while the spring to fall months are the busiest when it comes to buying and selling houses. Getting your timing right will make your real estate direct mail marketing campaigns more effective. Use real estate direct mail marketing to increase brand awareness during slow months and to make direct offers during the busy seasons.
Target the right audience
An effective real estate direct mail marketing campaign requires properly targeting your audience. To determine who your ideal recipient is, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to target homeowners or landlords?
- Do you want to target low or high-income housing?
- Do you want to build awareness or get leads?
With this information, you can then choose the ideal target area. For best results, be sure to tailor your messages based on the needs of your target audience.
Find highly motivated sellers
As a real estate investor, the ability to identify and reach out to motivated sellers is crucial for your success. Here are four types of motivated sellers you could target:
- Pre-foreclosure property owners – These are property owners that are between 30 to 90 days behind on their mortgage payments, thus on the brink of going into foreclosure. You can reach out to such homeowners before foreclosure happens. To get such motivated seller leads, reach out to title companies or lenders in your target area.
- Out-of-state landlords – Since managing cash flow properties from a long distance can be very stressful, many out-of-state landlords may be willing to sell. You can find such leads for real estate investors by visiting the local tax assessor’s office or website.
- Probate real estate and inherited properties – The process of transferring titles to heirs is often followed by the sale of the investment property. To access probate records, visit the local probate court office (also referred to as the orphan’s court, surrogate’s court, or circuit court).
Once you’ve identified properties, the next step is to learn how to find out who owns a house. One of the best sources of homeowner data for off market properties is Mashboard. You will find the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of single-family home or multifamily home property owners.
Use a strong call-to-action (CTA)
All your real estate direct mail marketing materials should be accompanied by a strong call-to-action. Avoid weak statements like ‘If you have any questions, please call us’, or ‘We hope to hear from you soon’. You’ll find these are less effective when marketing to homeowners. Instead, use more assertive statements like ‘Call us today to book your appointment’ or ‘Call now – limited time offer’. Having a solid call-to-action could boost your response rates significantly.
The time between seeing an ad and actually buying or selling investment property can be very lengthy – weeks, months, or even years. This is why you need to be consistent in your marketing efforts. Even when recipients don’t respond, be sure to follow up with more direct mail to remind them that you exist. However, don’t make it too frequent or you will end up annoying your recipients.
A Few Final Words
As you continue reaching out via real estate direct mail marketing campaigns, remember to keep your email notifications on and your phone nearby. When your target audience contacts you, be ready to answer phone calls and respond to emails fast.
Don’t forget to analyze the results of your direct mail campaigns. Which segments of your target audience responded better? What kind of marketing materials worked best? How much did direct mail marketing contribute to growing your real estate business? Such an analysis will help you identify loopholes in your real estate direct mail marketing strategy and develop ways to improve your future campaigns.