Yellow Letters

11 Replies

Good morning all!

I am about to send out my first round of yellow letters this week. I received a few different types of mailing list. One of the list that I am using is an active code violations list. I am wondering for those properties that don't seem to have an absentee owner, should I still send them a letter? 

Hi Jabari,

Yellow letters are a wonderful way to prospect for sellers.  Depending on your target audience, send a letter to whomever is on your list.  If you are targeting absentee owners exclusively, send a letter to only those that meet that criteria.

Consistency and tracking are important parts of any mail campaign.  Be sure to set up a system in order to glean information from your mail campaign.  I started finding sellers with a direct mail campaign and believe it or not, I began with mailing 20 letters a week to homes around the area in which I live.  The response rate surprised me and I did get my first deal from that campaign.  

Everyone using direct mail campaigns says that consistency is more important than volume.  A lot of times people will shy away from a mailing campaign because they believe they have to send hundreds of letters out to get a response.  A numbers game it is, but no one knows what that number has to be.

I do wish you the best of luck in your campaign and want to hear how your campaign goes.  

Most sincerely.

Victoria is correct, in my opinion. Keeping track of mailings is a challenge, though. I am presently doing mine manually. 

(I am looking for a CRM, that doesn't require 4 years of study to master. )

Every mailing should be a test. 

There are no GURU's in this. If anyone tells you they are expert, be careful. Just start mailing and you will learn. I think it is just "Numbers". Mail enough and you will do some business. 

To answer your question, why not mail to the Code Violators that are not absentee?  They are also likely to own a house that is in disrepair.

And, direct mail is not just a "send it out and hope" crap shoot.  True, no one an predict what will happen and there are many variables such as the list, the copy you use, the form (letter, postcard), delivery method, etc.  But I can tell you that a list from someone like Listsource.com, where you can specify "Equity %" is key to getting more deals.   People with no equity have no ability to negotiate with you on the price of their property, so why mail to them?  Targeting certain zips over others can help you improve your strategy and results, only mailing to people below median market value makes sure you're not mailing to million dollars houses that you cannot buy.  So there is a LOT you can do to fine tune a direct mail strategy.

@Victoria Winters  has it right tho - once you have a good list and good copy, etc. the key is the touch your prospect pool repeatedly - every 4-6 weeks for most groups.

Most new investors that do direct mail do it TWICE and quit.  What they don't realize, is the 2nd mailing is almost always ineffective.  Your leads come after sending your message to (the same list of) people 4-6 times AT LEAST, but we call it the "rule of 7" - you need to commit to 7 mailings or you shouldn't do it... spend your $ on something else...

@Dave Horn

Thank you Dave.  Yes  you are correct about the necessary follow up to any direct mail campaign.  It works wonderfully well and should be included in the system every direct mail marketer sets up.  The consistent repetition of contact positively impacts the campaign.  Thanks so much for winding up the story of yellow letter marketing!

Thank you so much for your suggestions and input @VictoriaWinters , @Dave Horn and @Joseph Ball 

I am putting the first 20 out in a couple of days. Putting the tracking system in place now.

Hahaha I like how your name has magically turned to "Dave" @Dev Horn  

What do you send in each mailing? I can't possibly send the same yellow letter over and over.

Alas,@Tony Johnson  I am used to that.  =D  Because I have an unusual name, I pretty much answer to anything close to Dev!

To answer your question, we like to create a series of letters or postcards for a campaign.  We make sure they all have the same look for brand awareness.

EXAMPLE FROM ANOTHER "BUSINESS"
I saved the postcards that a mid-term political candidate sent to my house in the 45 days or so proceeding the election earlier this month.  I thought this was an impressive campaign - 12 postcards sent - about 1 every 3 days - and not a single duplicate - every one unique but all having a consistent look that built up the "brand" of this candidate:

Originally posted by @Dev Horn :

Alas,@Tony Johnson  I am used to that.  =D  Because I have an unusual name, I pretty much answer to anything close to Dev!

To answer your question, we like to create a series of letters or postcards for a campaign.  We make sure they all have the same look for brand awareness.

EXAMPLE FROM ANOTHER "BUSINESS"
I saved the postcards that a mid-term political candidate sent to my house in the 45 days or so proceeding the election earlier this month.  I thought this was an impressive campaign - 12 postcards sent - about 1 every 3 days - and not a single duplicate - every one unique but all having a consistent look that built up the "brand" of this candidate:

 Blitzkrieg Marketing!  I like it. 

Great post @Dev Horn I'm a starting REI and not sure how much I want to devote to a "Company Brand" as much as just my "Personal Brand." I say that because I'm looking more to find if you have a specific sequence of media that you send your letters/PC )i.e. YL,PC,PC,YL or any variation. I like your video on the power of 7. Just want to know if there's a more strategic way of doing the 7+.

@Dev Horn @Tony Johnson @Victoria Winters @Joseph Ball 

I just sent my first round of letters out on Saturday and this was the first response I received:

Hello Jabari,

I received your letter expressing your interest in purchasing my property at the above address.

I just finished spending $20,000 in renovations. This property is now one of the best in

Rittenhouse Park. The property has an estimated value of $115,000. If you are interested

in making me a serious offer, I would be willing to listen.

Thank you.

The neighborhood that the house is in the average comps are $55,000. I'm not really concerned about his valuation, I'm really concerned about my next approach. I'm wondering if I should maybe wholesale it to a live-in owner instead of a normal cash buyer/flipper. Any suggestions?

Wow, too bad about that response.   I would save the postage and leave that guy off the follow up letters.  Have you gotten any other responses?

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