There’s no doubt that real estate direct mail marketing works (in fact, according to the latest USPS figures, a whopping 76% of consumers have been “directly influenced to purchase through direct mail”).
Even still, every marketer wants to know how to improve their results – how to get even just a few more of the people in their target market to call, buy, or respond in some way. The following ten tips are almost guaranteed to make your direct-mail marketing efforts better performers
1. Segment Your Mailing List
Instead of mailing one generic marketing piece to your entire list of prospects, send targeted messages and special offers to the sub-groups most likely to respond. For example, a real estate agent could…
- Send a “Home prices have never been better” mailing to apartment dwellers.
- Mail a “Let me show you how to get the most money for your home in an upside-down market” marketing piece to homeowners.
- Send a “Refer a friend and get two tickets” offer to past customers and referral resources.
The smaller the group, and the more targeted your message, the better your results will be.
2. Make Your Call-to-action Stronger
Always end every direct-mail message with an assertive call-to-action. Instead of “I hope to hear from you soon,” or “Call if I can be of service,” try something like:
- Timing is everything in real estate, and the time to buy is now. Call me.
- Consider this a personal invitation to pick up the phone and call me for a one-on-one analysis.
- We’ll take care of all the pruning, fertilizing and lawn maintenance. All you have to do is call (today!).
- Our next shipment of these shoes is scheduled for Friday, May 5th. Stop by the store no later than Saturday for the best selection.
Any direct-marketing effort that doesn’t direct the reader to do something specific – right away – is missing the boat.
3. Include a Special Offer
It’s just human nature: People like to feel they’re getting special treatment. So any time you offer your target market something extra, response to your mailing is just about guaranteed to jump.
You could offer a free consultation, a gift, a special pricing discount, free shipping, free gift-wrapping, an extra night’s stay, a glass of wine for stopping by, two-for-one, points towards a future purchase, entry into a drawing, a free white paper, an opportunity to be the first to try a new product, or a money-back satisfaction guarantee. Once you get the creative juices flowing, the options are never-ending.
4. Focus on the Important Stuff
Direct mail is no place to be long-winded or all-encompassing. You have a limited amount of space and only a few seconds to prove yourself. That means you need to communicate just one over-riding message, and communicate it well:
- Grab the reader’s attention right away by stating a question, a fact, or the number one most compelling benefit.
- Make your point quickly, and don’t stray too far from it.
- Focus on just one or two benefits of your product / service.
- Restate your main message at least twice to make sure it isn’t overlooked.
- Finish with a strong call-to-action.
5. Emphasize the Benefits, Not the Features
When it comes to convincing prospects to make a purchase, you need to spell-out the benefits of each feature. To see the difference, compare the following:
- Feature: “Strong relationships with all the best vendors.”
- A benefit of that feature: “Those connections allow us to get the latest designs at some of the industry’s best prices.”
You still need to communicate all the features of your product / service. But you also need to explain exactly what the benefits of those things are for the reader.
6. Tout What Makes You Different
If you want your target market to choose you over your competitors (thereby increasing the response to your mailings), you’ve got to highlight the little things that make your business different (or even just seem different).
Trying to differentiate your business on price alone is a bad idea. But what about your extended hours, your satisfaction guarantee, your extensive selection, your cutting-edge equipment, or your super-friendly staff? Those are the kind of competitive advantages you want to tout.
7. Use Figures, Facts and Statistics
Any business can make bold claims in their direct-marketing materials. But if you can back your claims up with facts, figures and statistics, that’s what will make your target audience believe (and respond).
8. Target New-movers
New-movers are the people who have only been living at their current address for 12 months or less. And boy are they eager to buy. According to research from the US Postal Service, 80 percent of new-movers are actively searching for businesses to establish long-term relationships with. Plus, most end up spending an average of $7,100 for services and goods directly attributable to their relocation.
Start including those folks in your mailings (inexpensive new-mover mailing lists are available from a number of reputable marketing services, including Xpressdocs), and you’re bound to see a spike in response.
9. Collaborate With an Allied Business
Ever considered exchanging mailing lists with an allied business? It’s an easy way for both of you to not only quickly expand your mailing lists, but also get a business-boosting referral.
Imagine the positive response if you both sent mailings to you customers that read something like this: “You trust us for help with your [fill in the blank]. Now, allow us to recommend another company that offers a complimentary collection of [products or services] you also don’t want to be without.”
10. Keep Testing New Approaches
If you want your direct-mail response rates to keep improving, you’ve got to keep trying new marketing approaches. The natural tendency for most small- and mid-sized businesses is to use a strategy until it finally runs out of steam. But then you’re stuck until you find something new.
Want more real estate tips? Check out our full list of real estate marketing guides.