Direct mail may seem like an archaic marketing practice in a digital age saturated with targeted Facebook ads, drip email campaigns, and social media, but if you aren’t using it you may be missing out on significant returns.
Direct mail is not only here to stay, it’s thriving. According to the USPS, direct mail generated $65 billion in revenue in 2021 alone and even Google employs direct mail to promote some of its business marketing services.
Sending potential clients physical mail may be an old method, but it has been tried and tested. Combine this with the latest automation and data scraping technology and you get a potent marketing tool with a high response rate and high ROI.
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Direct Mail Has High Response Rates and High ROI
Every business decision you make in real estate should be guided by return on investment (ROI). This is where direct mail shines. Research shows that direct mail campaigns outperform most digital marketing channels in both response rate and ROI.
Analysis from the Data & Marketing Association shows that direct mail yielded an average of 9% response rate compared to an average of 1% for all digital channels combined. The fact is that our digital inboxes are flooded with dozens of emails throughout the day. It’s very easy to simply delete them or send them to the spam folder.
On the other hand, our physical mailboxes can only hold so much and the fear of discarding an important bank statement, bill, or amazon delivery, makes us more discerning. Therefore, prospects are much more likely to see direct mail and interact with your brand.
There are only two digital marketing channels that boast a higher ROI than direct mail—email marketing and social media marketing. However, consider that this higher ROI is likely a consequence of employing these channels on a national level. Direct mail allows you to send more targeted, personal ads when you’re working in a local real estate market.
How to Market to Motivated Sellers with Direct Mail
The key to marketing to motivated sellers with direct mail is identifying patterns. For example, the National Association of Realtors found three main reasons people wanted to sell their homes in 2019:
- 18% — Wanting to be closer to friends and family
- 17% — Wanting more space
- 11% — Neighborhood became less desirable
Financial distress and sudden life events also correlate very highly with motivated sellers that are willing to sell their properties for less than market value. Reasons may include divorce, foreclosure, property tax increases, physically distressed properties, etc.
Related: PropStream Review: Software That Finds Deals for Real Estate Investors
These are the individuals who you want to target with direct mail. There are myriad cumbersome ways to find these individuals, but driving around the neighborhood looking for distressed properties is inefficient. Furthermore, the easy, well-trodden methods for finding motivated sellers will be saturated.
Fortunately, there are companies like Print Genie that automate this process for you.
Print Genie Review: The Future of Direct Mail Today
Print Genie allows you to narrow your search based on specific variables. For example, you could target owners in financial distress by searching for properties that have recently had their water shut off or are tax delinquent. Here are some other examples of search criteria:
- High equity
- Mortgage default
- Absentee owner
- Affidavit of death
You can search for these criteria in your state, county, or zip. You can even choose multiple locations. Print Genie will then curate a list of addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
Once you have your list you can use their “Direct Mail Builder” to design handwritten postcards or letters from scratch using drag and drop or choose from 100’s of pre-made options. From there, Print Genie will send your direct mail and you can accurately and easily track performance from their platform.
Automated Direct Mail
Automation is where the future meets the past when it comes to direct mail. Automation platforms like Print Genie allow real estate entrepreneurs to circumvent the outdated manual process that traditional direct mail once required.
Gone are the days of manually importing PDFs and CSV files, loading the printer, sorting, labeling, and stuffing envelopes. You can use automated direct mail to plan and deliver mail campaigns, collect details, personalize messages, mail in bulk, track, and report.
Perhaps the most powerful automated direct mail tool is the ability to test and analyze results with ease. You can measure campaign performance and recalibrate your strategy for future marketing campaigns.
Handwritten Direct Mail Letters
Handwritten direct mail letters have an 80% open rate. The average email open rate for the real estate industry is only 26%. While that’s an astonishing statistic, who wants to handwrite thousands of personalized direct mail letters?
Neutral direct mail letters allow you have more control over the individual offers you send and provide the opportunity to build rapport with the seller. However, they typically cost more than postcards and more time is spent communicating with sellers.
Fortunately, companies like Print Genie allow you to design personalized, handwritten letters and take care of the rest.
Handwritten Direct Mail Postcards
Postcards are generally more affordable than neutral direct mail letters and thus lend themselves to higher volume. Furthermore, postcards are very eye-catching because they are not sealed in an envelope. The prospect has no choice but to look at them.
The trick with postcards is to capture attention right away with good ad copy and graphic design.
Real Estate Mailers Cost
The cost of direct mail depends on the number of mailings, postage, personalization, graphic design, copy, and type of collateral. Some direct mail real estate companies focus on design and copywriting, while others include mailing list automation and data tools.
Due to the number of variables, a single piece of direct mail can range from $0.30 to over $10. If you are sending out 1,000 postcards, the cost can quickly add up. However, if a $1,500 direct mail campaign produces $150,000 in profits, it’s a win.
Whether your campaign budget is $500 or $1,500, platforms like Print Genie allow you to achieve a higher ROI with less work and in less time.