With so many free apps and online services, it’s easy to move all your marketing online. Don’t forget direct mail. Online and direct mail marketing are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re natural partners in your real estate business. Direct mail is a great way to integrate your online marketing with print marketing to promote your business on a local level while boosting your online brand.

Think about it: Each direct mail piece is delivered to the home of the potential client and will be physically handled. Tactile interaction adds another dimension to your brand and your marketing, which helps imprint your brand in a client’s memory.

Conversely, relying on Internet marketing alone requires the potential client to get online and search for the information. They may find your site or they may find your competitor – which is probably not the result you want.

If your direct mail message is compelling, it will cement your brand and position you as someone who understands their needs and can help them. It will also encourage potential clients to access more information using the method they prefer. (That’s excellent customer service!) Here are some tips for making your direct mail campaign more successful.

1. Give them options and drive them online.

Your direct mail will cater to personal preferences if it includes:

  1. A phone number for people who prefer personal contact
  2. A QR code for those who do everything on their smartphone
  3. An email address for individuals who prefer to keep everything in writing
  4. Your URL so they can visit your website without searching

2. Play the Odds

Most individuals are bombarded with dozens, even hundreds of emails on their computers each day. Few of these emails are ever opened.

Compare this to direct mail, which has much less competition in this online-focused day and age.  There are fewer items in physical mailboxs. Additionally, direct mail can use bright colors, attention-grabbing graphics, and messages that are crafted to appeal to the recipient at a glance (in the case of real estate postcards).

3. Time it right

If a direct mail campaign is advertising an open house or any other time sensitive event, make sure to time your campaign in such a way that your postcards reach your list at least a few days prior to the event. Postcards mailed first class take about 5 business days to reach their addresses from the time they have been delivered to the post office. Bulk mail can take up to 15 business days, after it has been delivered to the post office.

4. Target and Craft the Message

Sending to your vetted and categorized farm lists means you can tailor the message and the information to appeal specifically to that individual. Pertinent information gets attention. Information that doesn’t impact the receiver will be tossed aside.

A postcard about local contractors specializing in aging-in-place conversions with a link to your website to learn more about things you can do to prepare a house for aging-in-place, sent to seniors will get attention. That same information sent to first-time homebuyers won’t. Likewise, sending out a “Back to School” mailing with information on the rankings of the local schools will interest young families more than seniors (unless they have grandchildren in the local area).

So, take the time to organize your real estate farm list into categories using searchable tags and add those tags to every new contact you add to keep your marketing (direct mail and other types) on track and working for you.

5. Regular Contact is the Key

This isn’t news to you veterans. You should plan for a minimum of 4-8 contacts with each individual on your mailing list per year. You can use holidays, changes in the market, listings of interest to the specific client, a recently sold home in their area (or with the amenities they desire most), a change of seasons, a new calendar year, time changes, events or celebrations specific to the local market, etc.)

Let your imagination guide you on how and when to contact them, but be sure to schedule the contacts in advance. Plan first and send on schedule. You can always add a new mail campaign if a situation arises that warrants the contact, but that should not alter your scheduled contacts.

6.  Keep Costs Down

Fewer companies are sending physical mail for lead generation due to postal rate hikes and the time required to send out properly crafted direct mail pieces. They aren’t as organized and as creative as you are. There are several things you can do to reduce your costs, while making your direct mail stand out:

  1. Use a print marketing company specializing in real estate. (Select one that permits use of a library of effective, tested marketing templates and messages for your target audience, or develop your own brilliant ideas!) If you’re good at designing, you can create your own design and upload them for printing.
  2. Use bulk mail for campaigns that aren’t time sensitive. Bulk mailing costs less when compared to first class mailing. Use first class mailing for time sensitive campaigns, like just listed or open house postcards.  Personal promotion or brand building campaigns are not time sensitive and you can use bulk mail that will offer you significant savings.
  3. Create a postcard for brand building or personal promotion. Buy these postcards in bulk. Typically, significant discounts are available when you buy larger quantities say 2500 or 5000 postcards. Then mail 50 to 100 postcards every week to your neighborhood or farm. Imagine sending out a 100 cards each week for less than $40.

Direct mail is relationship-building form of marketing and will continue to pay dividends over the long haul. It’s like residual income. You build it and tend it regularly and it grows your leads today, tomorrow, and into the next generation of your client’s families and throughout their network of friends. Give your potential clients useful information on a regular basis and they will use your services and will recommend you to others.

Guest Blogger: Angela Allen is a content marketing specialist working with real estate agents since 2000. She helps her own real estate clients focus their marketing efforts while blogging regularly on topics related to direct mail marketing, real estate marketing, and business building topics at www.bestprintbuy.com/blog