Direct Mail 3000 Postcards a month 500 a week or 200 Cluster Mail

28 Replies

I have read that yellow letters cost less based on response rate. I have read about people doing very well just mailing postcards. I understand that the list I pull is a factor and  testing and tweaking is something I will have to do. Also touches is a factor - many people agree that it basically takes 4-6 touches to get a response...

Questions?

Will (1) one touch using postcards every month (4-6 months with higher volume) possibly get a better response than mailing every week with 6 touches in 6 weeks using cluster mail (with lower volume)?

Is 3000 postcards once a month enough volume to get a better response than 300 cluster mails a week? 

I would like to know which would possibly be the most effective.

My budget is based on 3 months of  (2) 6 week campaigns and will allow me only 1(ONE) of the options for mailing: 

Postcards:

Option 1- 3000 Postcards a month (sent out in 1 shot every month) 

Option 2 - 1500 Postcards every 2 weeks (will run campaign for 6 weeks then scrub list and repeat)

Option 3- 500 Postcards a week for 6 weeks (will run campaign for 6 weeks then scrub list and repeat)

Cluster Mail:

300 pieces a week for 6 weeks (will run campaign for 6 weeks then scrub list and repeat)

Week 1 -Yellow Letter

Week 2 - Yellow Letter

Week 3 - Postcard

Week 4 - Typed Letter

Week 5- Zip Letter

Week 6 - Yellow-Letter

Anyone with experience and input would be greatly appreciated

Hi @Tye Harris ,

Am I reading this correctly? Options 2 and 3 above you would be mailing your entire list more than once per month? I would highly recommend against that. Mailing your prospects more often than once per week will run you into diminishing returns very quickly.  Conversely mailing less often than every 6 weeks will leave your prospects unable to connect the dots and rob you of some of the power of multiple touches / branding.

You have other options here considering your budget. Whatever you decide to do, I'd recommend only touching prospects once per month. Kudos to you for actually taking some action! Puts you head and shoulder above most.

Hope that helps!

How big is your total mailing list?

@Jerry Puckett  

Am I reading this correctly? Options 2 and 3 above you would be mailing your entire list more than once per month?

**I can mail 3000 postcards once a month or 300 cluster mail once a week (consisting of Yellow letters Zip Letters, Post Card and Professional Letter 

Mailing your prospects more often than once per week will run you into diminishing returns very quickly

**The most I would mail is once a week:

- it would be  500 postcards for 6 weeks = 3000 postcards or

- 300 cluster mail once a week for 6 weeks= 1800 pieces of mail

You have other options here considering your budget. Whatever you decide to do, I'd recommend only touching prospects once per month.

*** My budget would allow:

- 3000 postcards once a month or 

- 1800 Yellow letters once a month 

Kudos to you for actually taking some action!

**Thanks I appreciate you

@Tye Harris

I'm sorry, I mis typed. Mailing to your prospects more than once per MONTH leads to diminishing returns.

You can batch out your mail such that you are mailing something every week (that is a GOOD idea as it levels out your work flow), but do not cycle all the way through your list more often than once per month. You will seriously irritate your prospects.

I'm not a fan of post cards (I believe they are junk that lands in the trash....something I determined after sending millions of the little suckers to more than 90 markets across the country). Also not a huge proponent of cluster marketing as described, and cannot recommend Zip letters at all. Oh man, I could tell you horror stories about those :-)!

If it were me, and I had to choose between 3000 postcards or 1800 letters, I'd run with the letters every time. No question. Just my opinion. Different strokes for different folks! Good luck to you!

@Brian Garrett

How big is your total mailing list?

** The list of leads from List Source or another provider? If this is what your asking I pulled a list of around 485 when my list is narrowed down and more targeted. A broader net is over 5000 leads. (I didn't order the list yet)

If your asking about the mailings I can send 3000 postcards or 1800 Yellow letters 

I guess this falls under the same scenario (More postcards leads sent out in 1 shot or less yellow letters sent out weekly)

Monthly - 

3000 Post card leads once a month

                   vs

1800 Yellow letters once a month

Weekly - 

500 post card leads once a week  

                  vs

300 yellow letter leads once a week

I would touch them +/- every 6 weeks consistently over time. Not too soon and not too far apart like @Jerry Puckett said.  If they aren't ready to sell today, then they wont be ready to sell next week, the week after that, or the week after that....... But 6 months or a year from now may be a different story. Life circumstances change!! And the fact that you will be there 6 months or a year from now with a slow and steady postcard campaign, they will call you. You don't want to blow it all on a short window when they might not be ready to sell. Just my $.02.

Good Luck

There are different opinions about different methods and they’ve been debated at nausium.  

The reality is a lot goes into gearing for success prior to the intitial letter, postcard, zip, bandit sign call or car wrap head turn. 

One of the biggest items most don’t concern themselves with is learning negotiation.  

A lot of us want our marketing to do all of the heavy lifting and it certainly can as long as you have capture systems in place and a budget for it. 

As the CFO of YellowLetters.com I know we send out millions of pieces of various types of mail a month.  I can tell you what works and what works better.  

What colors what packaging what message.  

The harsh reality is is that it’s more important what YOU say to your prospect than what your mail piece offers.  

I’ve recorded hundreds of podcasts on the subject and BP has a full list as well.   

Listen learn implement require and achieve.  

Good hunting.  

@Joseph Druther

I would touch them +/- every 6 weeks consistently over time. Not too soon and not too far apart 

** Sounds good we have exactly 9 months before we run out of our budget. That's if we cant close 1 deal

I will stack as much of those $.02 as I can they will add up

Thanks I appreciate the info

@Michael Quarles

One of the biggest items most don’t concern themselves with is learning negotiation.

** I agree .. have to know how to negotiate and close the deal...were working on it

The harsh reality is is that it’s more important what YOU say to your prospect than what your mail piece offers.

**Understood

I appreciate the response 

@Tye Harris I would personally send them all at once and make sure you are consistent. On a side note, I strongly recommend you build a portion of your list and don't just buy it from list source or melissa data. My first mailing was a complete failure when I first sent out a ton of zip letters in the Dallas market. I'm not saying these lists don't work but I think your ROI on your marketing is much lower when you target the same people everyone else is targeting.

On behalf of everyone who lives in the Dallas market but does not work for the postal service please stop.  Just stop.  We don't care how fast you can give us 70% of the tax valuation of our homes that are often valued $50,000 less than true value.

We will not distinguish your letter or card from the others we get that week.

How many people do you think that company sold our address to?

@Daniel Moctezuma

I would personally send them all at once and make sure you are consistent. On a side note, I strongly recommend you build a portion of your list and don't just buy it from list source or melissa data.

**When you say build a portion you mean just don't pick the generic "Absentee" list, add some more parameters to build a more targeted market?

Thanks for the response

@Michael Biggs

We will not distinguish your letter or card from the others we get that week.

How many people do you think that company sold our address to?

** Trust me this did go over my head I got the memo..

I appreciate the response

@Tye Harris Given how hot the market is in many parts of the country, I don't recommend sending all your mailers from a list provider. Why? There are another 10-20 investors mailing the same people. I just sent a batch of 6,500 post cards and I didn't receive more than 15-20 calls. And that was including tire kickers, angry people, etc. 

Instead focus on finding people no one else might be targeting. For example, tax delinquent list, probates, evictions, etc. While a lot of investors target these lists, they are somewhat harder to find depending on your state. 

You will probably get a better response rate in smaller markets since it's less saturated with investors. Whatever list you decide to target, just make sure to stay consistent and mail them monthly for at least 6 months.

@Daniel Moctezuma

Instead focus on finding people no one else might be targeting. For example, tax delinquent list, probates, evictions, etc. While a lot of investors target these lists, they are somewhat harder to find depending on your state. 

**Understood

Thanks for the response

Originally posted by @Daniel Moctezuma :

@Tye Harris Given how hot the market is....

Instead focus on finding people no one else might be targeting. For example, tax delinquent list, probates, evictions, etc. While a lot of investors target these lists, they are somewhat harder to find depending on your state. 

Another harsh reality.....If they have equity, SOMEONE is mailing to them. When it comes right down to brass tacks, barring some creative financing, equity is the only criteria that matters. 

Your probates and such....they may or may not have equity....not saying those are bad lists....but it's much easier to find everyone who has equity.

And I have to say, I'm not at all surprised that a huge mail out of zip letters didn' didn't get the job done. In my experience, those really tend to irritate people....alienate them. Not a great way to start. Just sayin'

@Jerry Puckett

Another harsh reality.....If they have equity, SOMEONE is mailing to them. When it comes right down to brass tacks, barring some creative financing, equity is the only criteria that matters. 

**I have had this same thought and I do have equity on my list with other parameters.

I appreciate the response

Originally posted by @Michael Biggs :

On behalf of everyone who lives in the Dallas market but does not work for the postal service please stop.  Just stop.  We don't care how fast you can give us 70% of the tax valuation of our homes that are often valued $50,000 less than true value.

 Impressive that you can speak for an entire market like that!! Kudos to you man, that's a huge responsibility.....However, I am in the DFW market and do not work for the U.S Postal service. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from speaking for me. I'm quite capable of speaking for myself :-)

If you'll indulge me, maybe just one more harsh reality. Obviously people DO care how fast we can close, and people do call us from our mailers ALL THE TIME. Many people are happy to trade some or even all of their equity for the speed and ease of the transaction. I'm just a small fish in a really big pond, there are some very large operators in my market, and everyone is getting mailed to by someone.

So apparently people do also distinguish between mailers and make choices based on what they see and read. Not just any guy with a printer is going to be a good marketer just like not every guy with a wrench is a mechanic. 

Your mailer cannot close a deal, or do all the work in a negotiation for you....that's simply to much to ask of it. But it can, and should start a conversation, and conversations should be followed up on. (25% of my entire business comes through following up with people who have told me "no" the first time).

Lastly, I do not ever worry about what my competitors may or may not be doing. I just do my own thing and let my competitors worry about me.

Jerry... I will remember the fact that you keep contacting people until they say yes, when I am advocating in Austin for a law to keep people from using CAD data for marketing purposes.

Originally posted by @Michael Biggs :

Jerry... I will remember the fact that you keep contacting people until they say yes, when I am advocating in Austin for a law to keep people from using CAD data for marketing purposes.

All I can say is....good luck with that. There are a number of ways to get property records, CAD date being among the least reliable. You'll also need to figure out a way to shut down EDDM.

I did not, in fact say that I contact people until they say yes.There is a vast difference between saying "no, I do not want to sell" and saying "Take me off your list". I hope you'll quote me correctly in Austin.

I certainly apologize if I struck a nerve.

How about we allow this thread to get back on topic? Do you have anything constructive or helpful to add to the OP's question?

Jerry...  EDDM is another issue.  I always just leave a pile of it at the post office for them to pay to recycle.

The issue I was referring to was people using CAD data to act as if they are familiar with a property or the owner when they are not.  There is no reason for the tax payers to financially support it when about 99% of them wish the mailers were not coming in the mail.

I know the information comes from the CAD.

@Jerry Puckett   What is currently working for you in a market as hot as Dallas? I decided to target other markets like OKC and Indiana. Do you have a particular criteria when pulling these lists? I would assume you actually build your own list instead of buying one from list source. 

Hi Tye

We've found that mailing the same list 3 or more times at 3-4 week intervals will drive the best ROI. In listening to some of our customers, they get their best returns on the 3rd + mail drops.

The bigger investors are mailing upwards of 30,000 pieces every week (to different lists). The key to higher returns is:

1. Differentiation (what makes you stand out in the "crowd"

2. Eye catching... getting past the trash can

3. Content (your message) drives the call to action.

Hope this helps and keep it up....have a great 2018

@Jerry Puckett

Well put, and some great advice. I find it amazing how people get so agitated at real estate marketers who pull public data and mail to that same public data in order to generate business for their particular company, and in the midst of that help lots of people, but won't have that same agitation/anger at the local grocery store that sends out ads regularly, or the oil change company that consistently sends out advertisements as well. I just don't see it being that much trouble to toss the mail in the trash if it has no interest to you; I do it daily. Keep up the good work......Love this quote from you: 

"Lastly, I do not ever worry about what my competitors may or may not be doing. I just do my own thing and let my competitors worry about me."

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