Important Direct Marketing Campaign ElementsBy Paul Esajian on June 21, 2019
One of the keys to any successful real estate business is lead generation. With the explosion of the internet and social medial there are more places to find deals than ever before. A tried and true method that has stood the test of time is direct mail.
Sure, direct mail can be pricey and time consuming, but it can also single-handedly give your pipeline an instant boost. If executed property, just one campaign can give you an infusion of new leads, that are ready to close. However, without a clear plan and if you don’t know what you are doing you will be greatly disappointed in the results. Like anything else in real estate there is often a fine line between success and disappointment. Here are five important elements to consider prior to starting your next direct mail campaign.
- Objective: Simply put, what do you want out of the campaign? Of course you want your phone to ring off the hook and get plenty of deals but what kind of deals do you want. Are you focused on a specific zip code or property type? Is there a certain price point you are comfortable with? Is there a type of seller that you are looking for? You should have a clear objective prior to getting too far. Your objectives will define how and where you find your list and even the type of materials you mail. As difficult as it may be, you need to take your time and map everything out. This could take a few extra weeks but consider that necessary due diligence. You don’t want to have regrets after you pay for a list or send out your first marketing piece. You should only go after deals you really want.
- Budget: Your budget must be in line with your objectives. There is no getting around the fact that direct mail campaigns will quickly add up. This should be something you are ready for, and almost embrace. One thing to keep in mind with your budget is that it is always better to mail the list more than send one piece and see what happens. Your audience slowly builds trust with every piece they receive. In a perfect world you will send your list anywhere from five to seven times. At a minimum, you should budget for four rounds of mailings. Every round means budgeting for the cost of postage and envelopes. Fixed costs for your list and composition of your letter are onetime expenses. As much as you want to save some money, you can go cheap with your list. There are places that sell cheaper lists, but their material is often outdated. You will send multiple times and wonder why you aren’t getting the response you desire. If you decide on direct mailing you need to commit to spending money. A slightly better list or just one more round of mailings often makes all the difference.
- Execution: Once you have your objectives and budget in line you can start focusing on the execution. There are a lot of seemingly little things that go into a successful campaign. Most investors understand the importance of a good letter or sharp postcard. However, many overlook having a dedicated phone number and a call to action. You can certainly put your personal cell phone and run with that, however you need to anticipate the volume of calls you will receive. You also need to be mindful of when your mailings should drop. Avoid sending around holidays if possible and try to mail out in batches. If you plan on sending 5000 letters you should break them up in five rounds of 1,000 each. If the response is strong, it can be difficult fielding calls and giving the right amount of attention to each call. Always proofread every mailing and double check all numbers, email address and dates. The little things impact your execution, which determines your results.
- Closing Percentage: You should treat every call that comes in as a prospective deal. The numbers for direct mail tell us that there will be a good amount of calls that don’t turn into deals. You can’t let this ruin your attitude and presentation on the calls you receive. As obvious as it sounds, you want to turn calls into deals. However, you need to understand that this does not happen overnight. Calls should provide information which should turn into a meeting which can then turn into a discussion on specifics. If you try to rush the process the seller may get turned off and pull back. Prior to mailing you should lay out your process for property evaluation, so you can make quick decisions and keep things moving. The goal isn’t to get a ton of phone calls. Your goal is to turn those calls into deals.
- Retention: Not every homeowner is ready to act when you call. One of secrets to any campaign is to get as much information as possible, so you can continue to market moving forward. In your first phone call you should get an email address and cell phone number. The email address can be put into a drip marketing campaign where the homeowner will get something from you every week or so. You can also follow up by phone periodically, so you keep yourself fresh on their brain. It is not a stretch to say that a majority of the deals you get from direct mail will come from the strength of your retention and follow up.
Direct mail can truly change your business, if you do it right. Use these five tips to maximize the success on your next direct mail campaign.