When it comes to marketing in real estate, most realtors underrate a lot of marketing tools and feel it won't work or it won't yield results. One of the marketing practices I am talking about is investing and utilizing the direct mail campaign.
This marketing technique will continue to surprise people, it is a simple and yet very effective marketing method. It has proven itself in the real estate world and thus if used wisely, it will not only enable investors to invest but will also generate leads and makes it easy for you to convert your leads into new customers.
Now let's take a look at what direct mail fully entails; it is a type of direct marketing in which you as a business owner can send letters, postcards, or any other promotional materials to your past, current or potential customers, or clients. Also, you may decide to target either a consumer or business or both. But in so many cases, the mailing is usually directed to a target demographic or geographic market, it may be a specific neighborhood or area.
Moreover, you can also decide to do a mass or bulk mailing, but you can send direct mail in smaller quantities as well, it all depends on your budget and how you want to run the campaign.
Types of Direct Mail
We have various types of direct mail in which you can choose from, and they majorly include:
- Catalogues — this includes bound, multi-page promotions of products
- Self-mailers — this can be created from a single-printed sheet that has been folded
- Envelope mailers — you use this by inserting whatever you want to advertise into the envelope
- Postcards — using postcards you include a promotional message on one side and then the customer's address on the other side
- Snap mailers — it is folded and sealed with pressure
- Dimensional mailers — for example, a small box
- Intelligent documents — for this, you print with personalized information which is gotten from a database
Direct Marketing Elements
A direct marketing campaign is often carried out through different communication channels like mail, email, telemarketing, catalogue and mobile. For proper execution, the campaign is based on the marketing objective of the business, i.e, what you want to achieve at the end of the campaign will determine the techniques on how to run it.
The objectives consist of five direct marketing elements but the first three are the most important ones. The first three are the list, the offer and the copy. Then the last two are layout and timing.
This is a list of names and contact information of your current and potential customers that you want to direct the marketing piece towards. There are often collected through natural business interactions, or can also be bought.
Real Estate companies such as Offrs and SmartZip provide exactly this. A list of homeowners in your desired area who are looking to sell their home.
Great, right? But how do they know they will sell their home? Both of these lead generation companies use algorithms that look at 250+ data points on every homeowner in your zip.
They then run the data through their proprietary algorithm and provide 20% of the homeowners from your area. Within this list of homomers contains 70% of the listings that will happen within the next 12 months.
These types of lists are perfect for direct mail campaigns as it targets a very specific narrow down lists, like a sniper approach vs a shotgun approach (targeting the entire zip). This, in the long run, will save you a significant amount of time and money.
For this particular one, it is designed by the marketer to entice the recipient/consumer to respond. The response gotten from the consumer is always based on the marketing objective that is being used to activate the new activity sales, and also to retain the loyalty of the client. All of these is based on the marketer’s financial objective.
These comprise the text written by the marketer in charge, in the direct marketing piece. A copy usually explains an offer and informs the recipient about the product/service, these also include incentives, guarantees, and response instructions.
All these things mentioned along with the tone of the copywriting matters a lot. E.g. for the language, dialect, length, font, grammar, and use of punctuation used are very vital and important for a direct marketer to take note of, it makes it easy for decisions.
This part is not that crucial but it is also important. The Layout and format should be carefully designed to ensure that the recipient can easily understand what you are bringing to the table. They should be able to read the offer, read the copy, and understand how to respond.
Before sending direct mail, you must also consider the timing. The timing can be aligned with an event, or during the holiday, or membership renewal, knowing the best time to send them can help increase interest and response rates from the recipient.
The Benefits of Using Direct Mail for Real Estate Marketing
There are various benefits attached to using direct mail for real estate marketing. Most top real estate marketers have always loved to use direct mail to find new prospects and also grow their businesses.
Learning all of the processes and techniques will give you fresh insight into how to run it.
Using direct mail as a realtor gives you the following advantages:
- It gives you a direct connection to your prospects in local geographical areas; these new tools make it easy to buy or rent the lists of any size and area.
- Postcards for real estate is a tangible resource that most prospects hold on to, so often time for days or weeks to look at the images of the property they want to buy. So automated direct mail tools used will make it easy for you to deploy good campaigns to nurture prospects over long periods.
- Using direct mail will not only give you prospect but it will also give you an avenue to build a long term relationship with your customers. For most real estate marketing, it is very important to build a long term relationship with your clients that you feel are very valuable.
- Building a long relationship will always make the clients want to come back to the marketer or even help the marketer markets to friend's or family, this also helps in boosting the business and before you know it, you will be closing a lot of deals mainly because you are available as at when the clients need it.
Strategic Usage of Direct Mail as a Realtor
Before running a Direct Mail Marketing and the tips goes thus;
The first thing you need to do is to define your marketing list by targeting your audience. To get your ideal clients, you can ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you want to target house buyers or house sellers?
- Will you like to target high or low-income housing?
- What do you want as your results, to get leads, or to build awareness?
Having that information in mind will help you determine the ideal target area.
So if you desire high revenue leads you might need to target high-income areas. If it's for low budget people, you will target low-income areas.
For every message, there is an audience because every audience has a problem. Everything goes down to the problem you are solving. Target them!
Secondly, make sure your advertisement is of good quality. Just choose a direct mail list that matches your target audience or customers. You can decide to get a list of addresses in the postcodes you want to send direct mail to or the lists of customers who have opted-in to receive offers from third parties.
Thirdly, your designs need to be top-notch because trust me it attracts prospects. It is also advisable to engage a professional designer and brief them on how you want the design on your direct mail material to look like, especially for your particular target audience. But always make sure to keep your messages sharp and brief with the help of a professional copywriter of course.
Also, You can decide to run promotional adverts by giving discounts or giving gifts that are worth something to them.
Lastly, time your mail, it's very important and crucial. We all know in real estate there are times everyone wants to buy a house and they are times no one will even think about that.
Understanding when people buy more is critical for the success of your direct mail campaigns.
Real Estate companies sell more houses during the spring to fall months than winter months. So if you send the right campaign at the wrong time you are just wasting money.
Just make sure to study the best time you sell the most and work on it.