Direct Mail

4 Steps to Growing Your Farm with Targeted Mailing Lists

4 Steps to Growing Your Farm with Targeted Mailing Lists

One of the best weapons to keep in your real estate marketing arsenal may surprise you. It’s direct mail.

But wait, you think, isn’t direct mail outdated? Does it really work? Actually, direct mail is a 16 billion dollar industry that seasoned realtors swear by for building up their farms. Direct mail does work, and it works even more effectively when you take the time to do it right – with targeted mailing lists. Here are some steps to get you started.

1) Determine Your Purpose and Audience

First, figure out what your purpose is in sending out a direct mail piece so you can develop the best messaging. Are you running a Just Listed/Just Sold campaign, or are you wanting to send out a newsletter or seasonal message? Once you’ve determined your purpose, consider who your audience will be. Think through the characteristics of the ideal group of people to receive your postcard. What are their ages? Income level? Family size? If you’d like some guidelines to help you think through this process, check out our buyer persona template.

2) Design Your Mailing Piece

A successful mailing piece has a carefully balanced combination of text, images, contact information, and a CTA, or “Call to Action” that encourages the reader to act quickly on your offer. If designing your own postcard sounds daunting, we can help. Xpressdocs is a leader in providing direct mail storefronts and design tools for the real estate industry. If your company has a platform through Xpressdocs, check to see if pre-loaded, branded postcards are available for you in your storefront. If your company does not have a platform, you can still create a profile through the Xpressdocs website and gain access to dozens of pre-loaded templates. Postcard design? Done.

3) Find a Mailing List Provider

Now that you’ve figured out your purpose and audience and designed your mailer, it’s time to obtain a mailing list. To get access to a truly stellar mailing list, you will have to pay for it. (If someone is offering you names and addresses for free, they will most likely be outdated and useless.) When looking for a reputable source for your mailing lists, look for a company that tells you exactly where they get their database. For example, Xpressdocs’ database is compiled from high-quality, third-party list services including White and Yellow Page directories, public records, catalog purchases, surveys, publications, and state and government sources. The lists are also updated monthly or bimonthly and regularly cleaned using the U.S. Postal Service National Change of Address (NCOA®), providing you with a clean and accurate database of millions of households and businesses.

Also, make sure your mailing list provider allows you to filter your lists based on various criteria, such as these helpful options:

  • Radius – Target prospects by specifying a distance around a center point, such as an address.
  • Street – Create a list by pinpointing residences on a particular street.
  • Demographic – Filter your list by income, age, and more.
  • EDDM – Instead of targeting individual pieces to specific names and addresses, with EDDM, you send your campaign to an entire zip code or neighborhood, as defined by a postal carrier route, for a fraction of the cost.

Xpressdocs offers all of these options for targeting your mailing lists as well as one more – Upload Your Own. If you already have your own list of promising prospects or dedicated clients, don’t let us stop you – just upload them to the mailing list tool. Also, check out this guide to find out the best times to mail out those postcards.

4) Reel in the Results and Repeat

Studies show that running a direct mail campaign can produce a 29% ROI, which is not too shabby. Using direct mail along with other marketing methods means more callbacks, more contacts, and a bigger farm for you. A 2% response rate from a direct mail campaign is seen as very successful, so the more you target your lists, the closer you’ll get to that response rate.

However, to get the best results out of direct mail, don’t stop at just one campaign. It takes a minimum of five to seven touchpoints, or encounters a prospect has with your information, to close a sale in today’s market. Sending repeated campaigns to your prospects on a regular schedule is critical for making the most out of direct mail and gaining new customers.

Also, after a few rounds of campaigns to build and refine your mailing lists, you’ll get to the point where you have a pretty accurate list of current and past clients, strong prospects, and connections. Sending out multiple campaigns allows you to optimize your mailing lists to send out the most accurate and cost-effective campaigns as possible.

How Xpressdocs Can Help

Xpressdocs has over 20 years of experience in helping real estate companies manage their brands and provide the best marketing tools for their agents. Be sure to check our weekly blog and our 2022 Real Estate Marketing Guide for more tips and advice for real estate agents.

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