Direct Mail Best Practices

Usually, when someone checks their mailbox, they will some form of direct mail. Whether it’s a postcard, a letter, or some other mailer, it still has an important place in an overall direct mail marketing strategy. 

However, to be successful with a direct mail campaign, certain elements separate mediocre campaigns from good campaigns. Just a few key adjustments can elevate a good campaign to a great one!

In this article, we will provide the keys to success using direct mail best practices in real estate.

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?”

For example, in real estate, there are two primary goals for any real estate agent’s marketing campaigns: obtaining listing leads and obtaining 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? Because 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, photo, template color, 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 effective templates 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, such as Just Listed, Under Contract, and Just Sold, and Market Updates. Therefore, two separate templates will make it easier to highlight the features of each topic depending on the content. 


For example, a successful direct mail marketing strategy in real estate would include status change templates that feature photos of the home along with a brief synopsis and an update to its current status, while market updates 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 a minimal schedule of once per month for 12 months, it is essential that you establish a strict schedule and adhere to it. 

What do we mean by “strict schedule?”

A good example is 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 various 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 real estate branding. If you keep changing the design of your postcards, recipients will have a harder time recognizing you or your brand.

If you change your branding, the chances of your past audience noticing the new style are 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 time, 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 a way 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. Real estate shortages usually correlate with higher sale prices for homes, providing more incentive to someone in the area interested in selling. Additionally, 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?

We mentioned having a strict schedule and adhering to it. However, that schedule should only be utilized as a minimal guideline. Ideally, you want to mail 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 never miss a mailing, it is essential that you provide a call to action.

A call to action is more than providing a way to contact you. It should create a sense of urgency in your audience, causing them 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. Let’s 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 the following call to action phrases.

“This home sold in less than 30 days for the full asking price! There are motivated buyers, and NOW is the time to sell! Call me at [phone] or email me at [email], and let me put my 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. Implying that this current buyer’s market may not last long.

Combining your expertise with a sense of urgency 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 and executing a successful direct mail campaign. Have you been using direct mail 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. Create a free account with no credit card required and see how Wise Pelican can get you more listings!

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