Yellow Letters

39 Replies

I'm in the process of starting my first direct mail campaign for absentee owners. I have my list and I'm trying to decide who to use for the mail piece.  I was wondering if anyone has used and if so what was your experience?

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@Michael Q. 

  Ok I got to ask what is a Yellow letter.. ??? I basically know what it intends to do but what exactly is this imfamous Yellow letter

@Jay Hinrichs  

I am not sure.  I think it's like the Loch Ness Monster or similar character.  All I do know is that it helps investors find motivated sellers. And is the best vehicle for obtaining prospect leads.  

@Michael Q. 

  Ok Mike your making fun of me......

sorry. I thought you were kidding. 

@? Nope never heard of it  I have only been on BP since jan or feb but I have 1005  post since then... and I listened to a few minutes of your pod cast thingy  like what you said some did not like your sales approach but those that did not don't understand the mechanics of how to sell.. I my self grew up with my dad that worked for Boise Cascade selling lots in the CA foothills of which I am sure your very familiar with those projects. And hanging around 50 sales guys taught me a few things about selling..

A good salesmen will outsell someone who may be book smart every day of the week

But you could not say that on your pod cast but I got it.

And is it not the goal to get the deal but also keep your morals and integrity in tac people need to be led into the deals If you just say hey what do you think call me if you decide you will get far and few call backs. Just ask a car salesman !

where is @steve babiak? There are so many, many threads talking yellow letters inside out and upside down on this site.....hard to imagine someone with over 1000 posts missing out.....but a simple search would turn up what you need. 

But Steve has a way of putting together a great catalogue that will give you just what you need in a fair and balanced way.

unless I happen to be intruding into a sprigboard event here......if so, my apologies. Please play through....."fore!!"

@Jay Hinrichs  

Maybe on tomorrows Podcast we will actually talk about marketing and if so I am certain we will mention yellow letters. I will try to be thorough in my explanation.

Although I hope Steve chimes in as @Jerry Puckett    is correct, Steve has a magical way at pulling together posts.

@Jerry Puckett  

  Your assuming I know how to search I have never searched anything. I just read and respond. Plus non of my 1000 plus post are ( welcome to BP so nice your here :)

I truly never heard of the yellow letter.. I have done many direct mail pieces in my day I grew up with it.

My dad as I mentioned above sold lots for Boise Cascade in the 60's.. he did not like getting two to 4 company leads a week so he bought a printing press put it our garage and I would after school print out 1000 or more door hangers . then on the weekends he would take me and 2 or 3 buddies out to the areas he wanted to advertise in and we would drop 2 to 3k door hangers  ( circa 1968 to 1974) my pop would end up with 20 leads all self generated and he was a top salesmen in those days.. Then the leads would come in my mom would call and set appointments my dad would do in home presentations and then meet clients at the property and close the deal..  This is the environment I grew up in.

So yes I know it well.. and did it for 10 years.. but then never did direct mail again. So fast forward and now instead of door hangers you have direct mail... I have certainly seen my share.. walking into homes I bought at courthouse steps and the old owners left stacks of letters and post cards they received prior to losing their home. 

So ya I am old school and ya I am not going to search anything I just ask questions and try to contribute the best I can

@Jay Hinrichs  Old school or new school it's all about making contact with the property owner, whatever method that may happen to be (door knocking,door hangers,flyers,Yellow Letters, facebook, what ever)

Just a side note my dad worked for boise cascade as well (which is now sonoco)

To all...just keep doing what works and be persistent and consistent results will follow :)

@Jay Hinrichs  

Since nobody has answered your question I'll give it a try, with the disclaimer I am not a marketing or direct mail expert and have never actually used yellow letters up to this point.

So the original idea behind a yellow letter was a have something on yellow lined paper that was hand written and looked personal.  As in it didn't look like something some kid pounded a 1000 off of on a printing press.  It was supposed to give the feel that someone saw your house and when they got home grabbed a yellow legal pad and a pen and just jotted down a note to you and sent it right then.  I believe the idea was originally made popular in real estate by Ron LeGrand in the 80s or early 90s (If you don't know who that is you can ask a kid to use The Google to find him on the Inter-Web for you:) ).

Fast forward to recent years and the several services that provide mass produced ones that make the paper look very similar to lined paper you can buy and have elaborate hand written fonts that make the pieces look fairly authentic, at least at first glance.

I also think that the looking "personal" aspect has taken a back seat to the hope of sticking out.  As you mentioned you have seen stacks of letters and post cards in places you have bought.  The marketers here are hoping that these pieces will be more memorable and will be less likely to get tossed into the pile without a 2nd thought.

It also seems that the "Open Rate" is also a major concern so in addition to the letters themselves you will hear a lot about how you deliver them so they aren't flagged as junk mail before they even get opened.  So you might see someone say that they have gotten good results split testing the same letter but sent it in a cream colored invitation style envelope with a real hand written address (like actually hired a human to do it) in royal blue ink.  Then used a Christmas stamp that was upside down and 30 degrees askew while putting the return address on the back.

@Mark Dammeyer  

Yellow Letter can work, but buying them will take a nice chip out of your pocket. I personally have never used a yellow letter compnay, i can create my own letter plus mailing for less than .41 cents...Avergae cost for a yellow letter is over $1.00

It will take some of your time, but look at it if you sent 1000 letters it will cost you more than $1000 dollars, if you did it on your own it would cost less than half of that. But you might like to get it done with a simple click to a yellowletter company while you sit back and get phone calls....Its up to you...I send out out regular old letter on white copy paper, my trick is the envelope. I used nice pparty invite envelops that look like they might be getting a letter from their aunt Susie or somethin..., i dont personally think a yellow piece of paper with red writing will make some one want to sell. Its about getting them to open it..if there motivated, it wont matter if its pink,orage, blue, green they will call..

Just my experience

@Jason Farmer

Are you using postcards?

@Shaun Reilly  

  thanks Shaun,   its like those letters you get in the mail that look like  a Faux fed ex package or priority mail package... Or I have seen many of those lined paper direct mail pieces in different colors for different types of products.

when I did sub too and foreclosure rescue  before it became illegal here in Or and WA.. ( not Sub too) but sub to if they are in foreclosure.... we just door knocked we never went with post cards  door knocking was the way to get the deal...

I checked out the YellowLetters website the other day.  If you so wish, they will even provide you with a coffee stain.  :)

@Jason Farmer How can you do letters for less than .41 when a stamp is .49 + envelopes+stationary+ink+++?

I would also love to know how I can send yellow letters for less than $ you have a discount with a company to get your supplies and use a bulk mail stamp? Even then I don't think $.41 is doable 

creating a 41 cent is probably possible doing everything yourself 

Standard stamp postage .31

Envelope (I buy 500,000 at a time) .02

Paper (I buy. 500,000 at a time ) .03 

Ink (I run two up) .02

Naturally that doesn't include the 80,000 machine

Address ink .01

Folding stuffing .05

So that is .44 cents but doesn't include the 20plus people who make it happen. 7 huge printers 3 large cutters facility and everything else that goes with it. 

@Michael Q. That sounds like quite the process...and some expensive equipment! How many letters do you pump out in a week? 

Not enough.   It's fun helping investors.  we are working on hitting 8 zeros a year. 

Doing millions of letters gives me a great knowledge of what works.  

@Danny Bower  @Tim Leslie 

I use bulk mailing with the USPS, its cost $200 bucks a year, you have to send 200 pieces or more each mailing it was .29 cents but it just went up to .31 cents per stamp...I buy my paper at coscto, 5000 pieces for about $34 thats less than a penny per sheet, i buy my envelpoes at walmart, 100 envelopes for $1, thats 1 cents per envelope, and i just estimate what ink cost, i learned how to set my printer up to maximize ink usuage. And i pay roughly .05 cents per enveloped stuffed and folded...

I save alot of money doing it this way, but it is very time consuming starting out, its clock work for me now.But i does take some time still...

Hi Jason,

Are you getting good results using the bulk mail printed stamp as opposed to what many here on BP recommend; using first class peel and stick stamps? Do you mail postcards as well? Also, do you mind if I ask what kind of printer you are using?



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