Innovation for Direct Mail Marketing
Innovation for Direct Mail Marketing
Innovation is defined by Webster dictionary as “a new idea, device or method.” Think of some of the most innovative companies out there: Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon; just to name a few. They are constantly bringing new ideas and products to the marketplace.
So how do we take the idea of innovation and apply it to direct mail marketing for real estate investors? In general, direct mail is kind of boring. I mean, what is exciting about postcards and letters? Although direct mail is boring, what direct mail does for us as investors is exciting! Closing deals is what it’s really all about. So how can you use innovation for direct mail to close more deals?
Let’s think about this: Direct mail for our industry basically consists of 2 types of mail: a letter and a postcard. So how can we take the idea of innovation, which, again is defined as a new idea, device, or method and apply it to something as simple as a postcard?
The fist thing you can do is start off by asking yourself a series of questions. For example, let’s think about grabbing someone’s attention (The Attention Grabber). Some questions you might ask yourself are “how can I grab this home owners’ attention? What can I do to the letter or postcard to make them look at it? How can I stand out from everyone else?” Ideas may include: Big bold catchy headlines, capturing a picture of their house and put it on the mail piece, hand writing the letter, unique style envelopes etc… There are many different things you can do to stand out and grab the home owners’ attention.
Yellow letters were unique at one time because they were different. The reason why they were different is because it looked like an individual person took the time to sit down and write a letter, instead of a company. Yellow letters have become extremely popular for real estate investors because they worked, they worked because they were innovative. The problem: they became so popular that many other investors started using them. Because of the increase in popularity many motivated sellers started to receive them and because of this, they are no longer unique or innovative.
Once you have grabbed the home owners’ attention with your mail piece, the next part of making your mail piece innovative is your message. What is your unique selling proposition? Why would the seller want to pick up the phone and call you? Are you offering a guarantee? Are you offering to pay for their moving cost? Ask yourself, “How can I be different? What can I do to make them call me? What can I offer these people to make this a pain-free process?” Really dig down and think about the questions you can ask yourself to stand out. Think outside-the-box.
So far, we have covered the attention grabber and your unique selling proposition of a mail piece. What is another way you can innovate? How about the frequency in which you mail? If you go back to the definition of innovation, it can be defined as a new method. So why not try a new method when it comes to frequency. Most investors I’ve worked with mail the same list once a month. Why not try something different. What if you mailed 4 or 5 times in a month? I’m not saying that is the way to go, but is it worth testing?
Every technique will not work, some will flop, but when you do find a technique that works it will pay big dividends.
I’m not saying reinvent the wheel when it comes to certain methods but you should always be tweaking and testing. If something doesn’t work, throw it away. If something works, keep it, and use it to close deals. Test it against a new idea, method or product. The importance of tracking cannot be overstated. You need to track to know what works and what doesn’t. You can read about tracking in my previous blog post.