What Exactly is a Direct Mail Campaign?
A direct mail campaign is an ongoing process; not a one or two time event where you mail to prospects. So what are the pieces that make up a direct mail campaign?
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There are four major parts to a creating a direct mail campaign.
- The mail piece
- The message
- The list
- The mailing
What Type of Direct Mail Piece Will you be Using?
The first thing is to determine what type of mail piece you will be using; a postcard or a letter. This comes before the message because if you are using a postcard, you are going to need a much more concise message.
I have always used white letters for probates, with hand addressed envelopes. I want to be very respectful of their grief and the challenges they face.
A coupIe of years ago I switched from using letters for absentee owners to postcards. I have found postcards to be just as effective for absentee owners as letters, and they are much easier and cheaper to use. In fact you can use postcards for most niches.
One distinct advantage of postcards is there is no envelope to open. The person has to see your message.
Your Direct Mail Message
Once you have determined which type of mail piece you are using, you have to create your message. To do this, you have know exactly who your target market is. Your message has to be tailored to the particular niche you are marketing to. For instance, your message to probates will be very different than it will be to foreclosures or tired landlords. Each one will be unique. One size really doesn’t fit all when it comes to your message.
Once you have created your message, it’s time to compile your list.
Know Your Target Audience
You can use one of the list sources like listsource.com for some lists like absentee owners and pre-foreclosures. For others like probates, you won’t be able to use these sources so you will have to figure out where to get those lists.
But wherever you get your list, you want to be very clear on who your target audience is. Take some time and think about this. What price range houses are you targeting? What areas will they be in? How much equity should they have? You need to know the answers to these questions otherwise you will be wasting a lot of money on a list that doesn’t suit your needs.
Getting Down To Work
So now you have your mail piece, your message and your list. It’s time to get down to work.
In the early years I did everything myself, and that’s the way most investors do it in the beginning. My advice to you is to outsource this piece of the puzzle as quickly as possible. There are a number of companies that you can use to help with this process. You can also print letters from your database and hire someone to fold and stuff the letters, and to hand address the envelopes for you. You can find a student or stay at home mom to do this for about $10 per 100 letters.
If you focus on building a good list of potentially motivated sellers, and set up systems for automating your direct mail you will find yourself with a steady stream of leads coming in your door.
Other Direct Mail Resources
Here are some other posts I did here on BiggerPockets that will help you fill in the gaps for creating successful direct mail campaigns for your business.
Do you use direct mail? Let’s talk in the comments below!