Direct Mail Marketing: Not Dead Yet

Posted on Sep 9 2014 - 4:29am by Suzanne De Vita

mail on deskOnce a real estate agent’s bread and butter, direct mail marketing (known in the business world as “direct response advertising”) is near extinction. Marketing experts from every corner of the Internet proclaim that direct mail marketing is dead. Say it ain’t so!

This blogger has hope. I bet there are agents out there who still send mailers to reach their target markets. Whether I’ve inspired you to start a new campaign or breathe new life into a time-honored strategy, this handy guide will help boost your direct mail marketing efforts.

Related: Learn how Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® keeps in touch with clients all year long.

How much should I spend?
Start by assessing your budget: what your expenses are, how much you can afford, and what you’re willing to spend. It’s important to note that the size of your budget doesn’t matter nearly as much as the longevity of your campaign. It’s much more important to allocate marketing funds that you can comfortably afford for an extended period of time. It helps to forecast your financial outlook as much as possible, and remember that all marketing, no matter which tactic you employ, takes time.

Who should I send mail to?
The next step is to create a list. Your list will certainly include prospects (most likely from a database of names), but might also incorporate former clients, colleagues, business owners or community influencers. If you’re strictly promoting a listing, consider targeting your DMM to specific audiences by having multiple lists on hand. Instead of hitting an entire zip code, mail to smaller areas that will be much more likely to respond.

What should I say?
Once you’ve established a list, craft a message that tells others exactly who you are, what you can do for them or what you’re selling. Include a call to action – something as simple as “Call today!” can make the difference between generating a quality lead or ending up lost in someone’s mail pile. Most importantly, be clear. You don’t want to waste time taking unnecessary calls (which won’t lead to business) because your message contains confusing information.

How often should I send mail?
Some agents opt to schedule their mailings, particularly if they’re not time-sensitive. The best distribution method is on a timeline that works for you and your budget. A few times a year is generally an accepted practice that helps you stay top-of-mind and won’t break the bank, but you might send pieces more frequently during selling season.

How will I know if my mailings are a success?
One of the biggest advantages of DMM is the ability to measure your efforts. But do you need to track your results every month? Consider this: if you have a high return rate, but the majority are unqualified leads, then a statistic would mean little to your bottom line. Keep tabs on metrics when you’re just starting out to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, but avoid investing too much time on analyzing responses. Your success will be determined by the real business you acquire.

How about it, readers – is direct mail marketing dead? Weigh in below!

Suzanne De Vita
is RISMedia’s Online Associate Editor and social butterfly. Aside from mail, she’s successfully fed a fork and a T-shirt through her paper shredder.

7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Gail Hickman September 11, 2014 at 7:44 am - Reply

    I do direct mail quarterly, and it still works.

  2. Gail Hickman September 11, 2014 at 7:46 am - Reply

    I send out postcards six months out of 12 every year, and it works.

  3. Bert Gor September 11, 2014 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Direct mail is not dead whatsoever. I still use it and working on one right now. As long as I am still getting listings it is not dead. But it sure has become very costly. But still worth it. Good read!

  4. Mark Sweeney September 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I send a monthly mailing to a farm of 525 monthly in a condo community in addition to a quarterly market report and just listed and sold. I receive great feedback as well as seller listings. I use every door direct for all mailing except month newsletter a use the personal marketing company for that and the quality is excellent.

  5. Richard Gonzalez November 11, 2014 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Direct mail marketing is not dead and I don’t think it will be any soon. This great article, will definitely be a good help for anyone who is still confused about the success rate of direct mail marketing. The secret to success of direct mail marketing is doing it right. Just sending a number of mails to some random people won’t help. Sending the right message, right amount of mails, in right time to the right people will definitely bring success. For past 4 years, I am using direct mail marketing services of Troi Mailing services in Toronto. So I can guarantee it will work.

  6. Derek December 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    You don’t have to spend a lot on mailers to grab the attention of possible customers. Make them bold and bright, and make a clear offer that can’t be refused! Direct Mail Marketing has not perished! It’s still a beneficial part of any ad campaign.

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