Direct Mail Best Practices

Every time someone checks their mailbox, they will receive direct mail. Whether it’s in the form of a postcard, a letter, or some other direct mail piece, direct mail still has an important place in an overall marketing strategy. 

However, in order to be successful with a direct mail campaign, there are certain elements that separate mediocre campaigns from good campaigns. Furthermore, it takes only a few keys to turn a good campaign into a great campaign!

In this blog post, we will provide the keys to success using direct mail best practices, regardless of industry!

Using Direct Mail Best Practices: Know The “Why?”

The most important aspect of a successful direct mail campaign begins before you even design your template. Having a clear understanding of Why you are using direct mail will save you time and money in the long run.

What do we mean by understanding the Why? In real estate, there are two primary goals for any real estate agent’s marketing campaigns: obtain listing leads and obtain buyer leads. Therefore, direct mail campaigns will work effectively for both.

However, successful direct mail campaigns for real estate agents and teams are exclusively utilized for obtaining listings, not buyers. Why is this the case? Most importantly, buyer leads can be obtained through other means that are much cheaper compared to direct mail.

Once you understand the purpose of your direct mail campaign, you are ready to move forward!

Using Direct Mail Best Practices: Be Consistent

Paralysis by analysis can ruin a direct mail marketing strategy. Sorting through every potential font style, font size, photos, template colors, and logo placement will add unneeded stress and prevent you from effectively implementing direct mail best practices to reach your audience.

Instead of fussing over creating the perfect template, many direct mail companies have templates that are proven and ready for you to use. Remember that consistency is more important than anything. Choose a look and stick with it!

Most real estate postcards should contain one of two different categories: status changes (e.g. Just Listed, Under Contract, and Sold) and market updates (by month, by quarter, etc.). Therefore, two separate templates will make it easier to highlight the features of each topic depending on the content. 

For example, status change templates feature photos of the home along with a brief synopsis and an update to its current status, while market updates will utilize text and graphics.

We have dedicated an entire blog post as to why being consistent with your mailings is so important, but the point necessitates repeating. 

Even if you start with the minimal schedule of once per month for 12 months, it is essential that you establish a strict schedule and adhere to it, no matter what. 

What do we mean by “strict schedule?”

A good example are the sale ad bundles most of us receive in the mail. Unless there is a national or locally recognized holiday that interferes with the schedule, you will receive said bundle each and every week. If you want the neighborhood or geographical region to receive your postcards every month, make sure every mailing is ready to go on time. 

Staying consistent provides a variety of benefits, especially for those who actually look forward to seeing your postcard when they check their mail. Even if this audience is only a small fraction of your target audience, they are still incredibly valuable, and you want to maintain that sense of authority and hold their attention.

Consistency also matters in your branding. If you keep changing the design of your postcards, the harder it will be for recipients to recognize you (or your brand). This carries over from the 2nd Key: “Don’t Overthink It!”, but it is still applicable to staying consistent. 

If you change your branding, the chances of your past audience noticing the new style is reduced, and you’ll lose prospective leads.

Things to remember:

  1. Consistency is far more important than having the perfect design and the perfect message.
  2. Choose a schedule, and do not miss mailings!

One of the most common questions we receive is, “I’m just getting started as a real estate agent; what can I provide to my target area if I don’t have any listings?”

It’s a very good question, and in the next section, we will answer it for you!

Using Direct Mail Best Practices: Provide Value

No matter what the real estate market looks like at a given period, there is always new data to explore. When you are trying to establish yourself as an expert in a specific neighborhood, one of the easiest ways is to provide market updates in ways that the average person can understand.

For example, say that the inventory in your neighborhood’s zip code is experiencing a shortage in inventory compared to the year before. This is a golden opportunity to let your target audience know with the combination of a graph or chart along with a brief explanation.

This type of information is helpful to both your audience and yourself. First, real estate shortages usually correlate into higher sale prices for homes, which will provide more incentive to someone in the area interested in selling. Second, if they received this update from a real estate agent who has consistently provided transparent market information, who are they more likely to trust and contact?

Using Direct Mail Best Practices: Use Every Opportunity to Mail Your List

We mentioned having a strict schedule and adhering to that schedule. However, that schedule should only be utilized as a minimal guideline. Ideally, you want to be mailing your target audience at every opportunity.

As an example, let’s say you receive a phone call about a listing, and they sign a listing agreement. Congratulations! Now, you have at least four different opportunities to send direct mail to your audience.

You can send a Coming Soon, Just Listed, Under Contract, and Just Sold postcard at least once, and (ideally) twice for every status update. By aggressively informing your audience about every listing during every step, you accomplish two things:

  1. You further establish yourself as an expert in the area, and gain more traction with your target audience.
  2. You also demonstrate a willingness to go the extra mile for your clients, which sends the signal that you will provide the same level of service to other prospective clients, too!

By keeping your audience informed consistently, you lay the necessary groundwork to establish yourself as THE expert in a given area.

Using Direct Mail Best Practices: Always Have a Call-to-Action

Even if you have an eye-catching template with valuable information, and you never miss a mailing, it is essential that you provide a call-to-action.

Call-to-action is more than providing a way to contact you; it should provide a sense of urgency to your audience that they need to contact you as soon as possible. One of the most effective ways to create that sense of urgency is through scarcity.

Let’s re-examine a couple of the previous examples. Say you close a listing, and you want to entice your target audience to list their home with you. After you share the details of the transaction, you could end with:

“This home sold in less than 30 days for full asking price! There are motivated buyers, and NOW is the time to sell! Call me/us at [phone] or email me/us at [email] and let me/us put our expertise to work for you!”

The above example demonstrates a few key aspects:

  1. You know how to close a real estate transaction.
  2. Proof that homes are selling quickly for top dollar
  3. (Implied) This buyer’s market may not last long.

Combining your expertise with a sense of urgency (i.e. sell while the buyer’s market is hot) will get the phone ringing consistently.

Share How Using Direct Mail Best Practices Has Benefitted Your Campaigns!

There are plenty of factors involved in creating an executing a successful direct mail campaign. Have you been using direct mail marketing best practices? How has your strategy evolved from the beginning to now? Let us know in the comments below!

Creating a successful direct marketing campaign doesn’t have to be hard. You can create a free account with no credit card to see how Wise Pelican works by clicking here.

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