While direct mail is not a crowded marketing space, a good portion of mail ends up in the trash without a second glance.
The reasons for this dismissive attitude vary, but there is one glaring fact: The recipient knows that you’re trying to sell them on something.
If the mail that doesn’t get straight to the point then it is most likely going to be tossed aside without being read. Now your only chance of sending successful direct mail is to target the proper audience, with the correct message, at the perfect time.
We have provided some tips that can help give your real estate direct mail the best chance of attracting your audience and landing leads.
Target Your Audience
You must find your audience. It is important to note that if you don’t have a target audience, then you don’t have a message. And if you don’t have a message, then you don’t have a direct mail campaign.
In order to discover your ideal recipient, you must ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to target house buyers or house sellers?
- Do you want to target high or low-income housing?
- What is your desired end result, to get leads, or to build awareness?
With this information in mind, you will be able to determine the ideal target area. If your company has a desire for high revenue leads then you will need to target high-income areas. On the other hand if you desire low-income leads then you will need to target low-income areas.
Every message you create has an audience because every audience has a problem. So the big question is what problem are you solving and who are its victims? Find out and target them.
Timing Your Mail Correctly
It’s no secret that there are seasonal trends that dominate the real estate market. The months between November through mid-February are typically the slowest months of the year. Then in March you will start to see sales spike and they will continue to do so until they reach the peak time in June. Then they will steadily decrease and be revamped the next Spring where the cycle continues.
Having an understanding of this arc is essential to the success of your direct mail campaigns. People tend to sell more houses between the Spring to Fall months rather than winter months. If you end up sending a good campaign, but at the wrong time then you might as well throw the mail away yourself.
So you want to use this arc to your advantage. This will lead your audience to become more receptive. Data shows that the best strategy is to strike the market preemptively in mid-February and then keep sending out until the fall. So the big question is what to do in the winter? During this slow time you will want to send holiday mail, and not to land leads. During the time you statistically won’t land leads but you can still increase your brand awareness.
Now your goal isn’t to sell and buy during the holidays, so you don’t want to be pushy. So instead you’ll want to use something more holiday friendly. During the holidays you want to simply remind people that you are the friendly realtor in the area. Keep them on your mind, be friendly, be engaging. Then during spring through fall, send those direct offers.
Any great salesperson will say that timing is everything, and in real estate, timing is dire. It is important to follow the seasons.
Find the Ideal Frequency
Now you don’t want to annoy, but you also don’t want to avoid. This is a fine line you’ll have to walk along. So choosing the best frequency is a matter of experimenting with different frequencies and tracking the impact. Now, even though trial and error is a great way to learn, it might not be the most efficient process.
A good rule of thumb for direct mail frequency is to send once a month.
This frequency will keep you in touch regularly with your audience without annoying them.
Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with a higher frequency during the selling season of Spring through Fall and a lower frequency during the holidays. Whichever frequency you choose, you must commit to it and relentlessly hit your due dates.
Catch Your Audience’s Eye
You audience’s mailbox is filled with postcards and envelopes so it might be tricky to get your message to stand. Luckily, you don’t need your direct mail to stand out. Rather, you need to quickly give the recipient all of the appropriate information. Even though people are quick to throw away their mail they still glance at every piece of mail to make sure it’s worthy of the trash.
Goal: catch the eye of your intended audience.
If you try grab everyone’s attention, then you’ll get no one’s attention. This is why you must determine who your audience ahead of time, and then target them with laser focus.
The message on your direct mail should have as few words as possible, explain what is being offered and what you can do about it if you’re interested. The quicker you are able to communicate with who you’re targeting, the better. You don’t want to drag people along for a ride they don’t want to go on. This will only lead to an upset potential client, create distrust for your brand, and you’ll end up missing out on a sale.
So you want to provide a quick description of what you do, an easy to read font, and a short explanation of what the interested receiver can do. These are the ingredients needed for an eye-catching direct mail.
This isn’t a website, or a giant magazine advertisement. You don’t have an endless amount of space and you don’t want to fill the space with too many things. It is important, particularly with postcards, that you use the space wisely. Because there isn’t much space to use, you’ll want focus on three primary things.
- What you do.
- Who you are.
- And… what the recipient can do about it.
When it comes to real estate postcards, you’ll want to stick to these three things religiously.
Consider a Digest
USPS has found that the daily average amount of time that a person spends reading their mail is 30 minutes.
Now, we know that they aren’t spending 30 minutes reading postcards from real estate companies. Most likely, they’re looking at their bills, magazines, and catalogs. So this points out out an important detail for your direct mail campaign.
While, postcards aren’t being looked at for 30 minutes there is a type of mail that will naturally get more reading time: A digest of the city’s happenings.
You can easily add event listings and other notable happenings in the area to the back of your direct mailer. So while one side of the mailer is quickly grabbing the attention of your audience, you have another side providing genuinely helpful and interesting information.
Finding a balance between the digest and the postcard will help your offers be taken more seriously and with greater consideration.
The key to any type of marketing is consistency. Whether you are blogging, create a podcast, or send direct mail, consistency is key.
There is a lengthy amount of time between seeing an advertisement and actually making a purchasing. This can be weeks or sometimes months, this just shows the importance to marketing.
Remember, when it comes to direct mail, you’re trying to remind people that you exist. So when the timing is right and they do need you, they’ll find you.
So it is important to decide on your frequency and stick to it for a preset amount of time. Once you near the end, you will want to see if any adjustments can be made for the next period of time. This process should continue to make sure that you are always improving.
If you’d like to find out even more about how to avoid getting stuck in the dreaded “direct mail” rut, or if you have any additional questions about topics like graphic design or targeted mailing that you’d like to go over in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.