Direct mail is the lifeblood for marketing. Without it you will have no deals and thus no business. After numerous requests on the forums I have decided to write the ultimate guide that will help you design a successful marketing campaign, whether you are a real estate agent, land lord or rehabber. With that being said, lets dive into what it takes to create a successful marketing campaign from step A to Z.
Before anything else I must stress, the most important factor when it comes to marketing is to be consistent. To be consistent you need to design a marketing budget. Figure out what you can comfortably afford to spend every month on direct mail without fail. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you initially spend $1, 500 a month, only to find 3 months in you can no longer afford to do so. By being consistent you will “touch” each prospect a certain amount of times through the year. By doing so you are creating brand awareness and keeping your company on top of their mind if they have a trigger event.
It all begins with having a quality list. Before you begin marketing you need to understand exactly what type of property you are looking for and mail to prospects that meet specific criteria. Something I like to call “laser focused shotgun marketing.” You are not just blanketing a zip code and hoping for the best, instead you are mailing to a large number of leads with specific criteria . Perhaps you are a landlord looking for properties in a certain zipcode that are 3/2/2s 1200-1500 sq ft and built after 1965. With the right list, you can do that. If you are looking for motivated sellers that need to sell at a discount you need to figure out what sorts of groups you will target whether its marketing to: probate, absentee-owner, preforeclosure, code violations, or driving for dollars when generating your list. Perhaps you are a realtor and want to announce your new listing to the neighborhood. It entirely depends on your goals as to what type of list you select and ultimately mail to. I pull my list in December and mail them for a whole year. Once December comes up again I pull a new list. However, if your criteria is the same or similar, you will still have overlap and many people will continue to receive mail from you, which is not a bad thing.
The message on your marketing piece is very important whether you are utilizing yellow letters or postcards. People need to be more willing to put their message out there and be accepting of it, don’t try to hide it, especially investors! You buy houses at a DISCOUNT for CASH and can offer a QUICK CLOSING in most cases (unless a title issue springs up or the seller requests a closing further out). There are NO Realtor commissions appraisals or any of that mess. Get that message to the right people and it has appeal, I promise you. People try to manipulate response rate using all sorts of tricks from variable data to handwritten fonts. Again, you want people to contact you for the right reason. Your marketing piece should do some upfront filtering for you. Some people on here talk about how you need to field 30-50 calls to get one deal. That’s ridiculous and its likely because they are not using a clear marketing message and consequently having to field more unqualified calls.
This is a metric that is often discussed at length in the forums. My personal thoughts: who cares about response rate? I would rather get 8 calls a month, 4 of which turn out to be deals. I have enough going on and the last thing I want is to be sorting through tons of unqualified leads. An 83% response rate isn’t meaningful or impressive if they are all unqualified and unmotivated leads. What would you rather have, an 83% response rate with a bunch of tire kickers that generates no deals, or a 2% response rate and 3 houses under contract? I think you know the answer to that.