Response Rates for Direct Mail at Different Times of Year
Do you track the response you get from your direct mail campaigns each time you send one out? I hope that everyone said yes, because you should be. Tracking your response from each mailing is the only way you can figure out if it’s working like it should. It’s imperative that we spend those precious marketing dollars wisely in our business.
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The two main groups of people I mail to regularly are probates and absentee owners. I have never sent a direct mail campaign out to probates in the month of December for obvious reasons. Previous mailings have also taught me that absentee owners are less likely to respond to your mailing the closer it gets to the holidays. A lot of these folks don’t want to fool with selling a house even if they NEED to sell it. It has been my policy not to mail to absentee owners past the first week of December, and not to mail probates at all in December for as long as I have been in this business.
What about January?
I have always resumed my mailings for probates at the very end of January, typically around the last week of the month. The last thing someone wants to get in the mail at the first of January is a reminder that their loved one wasn’t here to share in the joy and celebration of the holidays. So like previous years, I held my big mailing until last week. One half went out the last week in January, and the other half will go out this week. I have already gotten a couple of calls that look promising.
Absentee owner mailings were always started up again around the middle of January. Until last year this schedule always seemed to work for me. What I noticed both last year and this year in January was that I got a terrible response rate from that mailing. I would even go so far as to say it was a dismal failure, not to mention a waste of money. I got very few calls on a pretty big mailing.
I am really at a loss to explain this. When it happened last year, truthfully I thought it was a fluke. Now that I had the same experience last month, I’m not really sure what the answer is. Is it that folks just aren’t ready to deal with those “extra, unwanted” houses at that particular time of the year? Or is there another reason? I really don’t know.
If anyone has had a similar experience I would love to hear about it.