Postcards or Yellow Letters? What kind of direct mail campaign has worked for you?

5 Replies

So recently we have been having a discussion here about whether we should invest in postcard mailers or yellow letter mailers. Then the discussion comes down to whether we should pay for a larger quantity of cheaper postcards or less postcards, but larger and higher quality. Has anyone ever tried both of these strategies and if so what seemed to work best for you? Anyone with experience please provide feedback on what your response rates were like. Just trying to get a feel of what gets the best response for your buck. Thanks everyone!

both work if you are consistently mailing solid lists. I found that letters spark more curiosity and will result in a higher response rate vs postcards. Most of the calls I received from yellow letters were tire kickers wanting to know who i was and why i thought there house was for sale. I got a few angry callers too asking me not to mail them anymore.  Personally I prefer post cards.  the response rate will be lower compared to yellow letters, but  I found the callers that do call  are more motivated and are actually looking to sell a house.  Real estate is local...every market is different.  I suggest testing both and see what works better in your market.  there are no magic secrets when it comes to marketing.. the key is to consistently get your message in front of potential sellers. Whether its letters or post cards, if a seller is truley motivated and needs to sell they will call.

It depends on your budget. Like @Alan King    said, Yellow Letters are more expensive but will bring in a higher response (about 8-10%) than postcards that typically bring in about half of a percent. Zip Letters work great as well, they bring in about a 3% response but they are the quality of calls that postcards bring in. @Robert Laird  

Updated about 7 years ago

*meant 1-3% for Zips

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I'm sure you've noticed in other related threads here on BP that marketing response rates vary and are dependent on a number of variables. 

Don't get stuck in "analysis paralysis." Put together a marketing plan and get after it, because the only response numbers that matter are YOUR response numbers. 

Test. Track. Tweak. Repeat. 

Test the copy, track the results, make adjustments, and do it again! Do this for yellow letters, and then do the same for postcards.

I mail both yellow letters and postcards. For example:

Month 1 - Yellow letters. Copy A & Copy B

Month 2 - Postcards. Copy A & Copy B

Month 3 - Yellow letters. Copy C & Copy D

Month 4 - Postcards. Copy C & Copy D

And so on...

The goal is to continually improve what works, and to remove what doesn't.

@Alan King  Thanks for the feed back! 

"calls I received from yellow letters were tire kickers wanting to know who I was and why I thought there house was for sale. I got a few angry callers too asking me not to mail them anymore."

I didn't really think about that, but it is a really good point. I am sure the letters get a more hostile response because it appears as if it is coming from an individual, unlike the people who respond to the postcards know it is mass mailed and don't care. I have also heard stories of angry people writing yellow letters back. I agree with you and think that although postcards give a lower response rate the quality of the leads is better.

@Cody Alexander  Thanks for the services! We have ordered several postcard campaigns from you and they are always effective. Keep up the good work!

@Nick Williamson  I agree with you that there are tons of variables to consider before you have an good marketing game plan. The only real way to know what works is through trial and error. I think we will need to do a couple more campaigns before we get an idea of what works in the Portland market though. Thanks for the advice!


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