Direct mail

22 Replies

Anyone have any luck with direct mail? I'm a newbie and want to learn about tapping into this marketing method. Right now I'm using Zillow tax history link to find out if there are any tax liens on the property. While on the county's website I wrote down the current owners address to send them a letter or post card. This process is really time consuming so if there is a better way, I'd like to hear about it. Bigger Pockets family, I really want to land my first deal before Christmas 2015!!! Please share any valuable input, thank you.

I have good results with mailers. I would say that I have to send 1000 or more mailers to get 1 deal. To play it safe I try to always order at least 2500 mailers. That way Im expecting 2 deals at the minimum. The amount of deals you get will vary everytime but you give yourself the highest possible chances by sending out enough mailers. Also remember to have a good letter and quality lead intake call center.!!! Let me know if you need help with your mail. I help out a lot of my buddies.

Yes, I will need all the help I can get. What is your investment strategy? Rental or rehabbing, wholesaling or buy and hold? Is there a way you can walk me through the necessary steps to get started since I have a goal of at least 1 deal by year end. It sounds to me like it's very doable with mailers. I appreciate your support since I am a newbie. Thank you tons!!!

Head over to marketlikeawholesaler.com 

Or look for @Jerry Puckett on here. He does all of my direct mail. He can pull lists for you and drop. He does 3500 pieces a month for me. I am not an employee just a satisfied customer. 

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)
800-347-9296

I'm a newbie as well. The first batch of bandit signs go up this weekend coupled with more drive bys. We're attending our local REIA meetings to network and discuss strategies and have a mentor 30 years in the biz.

This post has been removed.

Roberta James Check out some of my mailers saved in the BP Fileplace... Marketing Docs. Ive been sending them out fishing for sellers. I'm see better results with interesting content on the mailer. Frank
Frank Romine, Real Estate Agent in CA (#01957844)
Originally posted by @Roberta James :

Yes, I will need all the help I can get. What is your investment strategy? Rental or rehabbing, wholesaling or buy and hold? Is there a way you can walk me through the necessary steps to get started since I have a goal of at least 1 deal by year end. It sounds to me like it's very doable with mailers. I appreciate your support since I am a newbie. Thank you tons!!!

 I do wholesale real estate. 

First. Pick your Niche. "Rehabs in La county". Once you know what your looking for get data that will focus on your niche. I currently get a discount with corelogic because i order a lot for my friends.

Secondly. Create a mailer. I like to send Letters that look like checks. It pretty much says, "this check can be yours if you sell me your house" Get creative and personalize these as much as possible.

Third. Find a reputable mailing service. I stage mine and my friends campaigns and send them to a facility that prints and pre sorts it. If your paying for than 92 cents per mailer then get in contact with me ;).

Thats just the short version.  Hope it helps.

try reading http://www.amazon.com/Direct-Mail-Solution-Lead-Ge...

I found it helpful. 

Originally posted by @Sherri Southwell :

I'm a newbie as well. The first batch of bandit signs go up this weekend coupled with more drive bys. We're attending our local REIA meetings to network and discuss strategies and have a mentor 30 years in the biz.

 I'd like to use banding signs but Im worried ill waste time placing signs in places im not sure i can find sellers.

Originally posted by @Sherri Southwell :

I'm a newbie as well. The first batch of bandit signs go up this weekend coupled with more drive bys. We're attending our local REIA meetings to network and discuss strategies and have a mentor 30 years in the biz.

 I'd like to use banding signs but Im worried ill waste time placing signs in places im not sure i can find sellers.

Originally posted by @Ryan Dossey :

Head over to marketlikeawholesaler.com 

Or look for @Jerry Puckett on here. He does all of my direct mail. He can pull lists for you and drop. He does 3500 pieces a month for me. I am not an employee just a satisfied customer. 

Originally posted by @Roberta James:
Originally posted by @Ryan D.:

Head over to marketlikeawholesaler.com 

Or look for @Jerry Puckett on here. He does all of my direct mail. He can pull lists for you and drop. He does 3500 pieces a month for me. I am not an employee just a satisfied customer. 

 I will definitely check him out and tell him that you sent me as a referral. What kinds of successes has it generated for you? 

This post has been removed.


First. Pick your Niche. "Rehabs in La county". Once you know what your looking for get data that will focus on your niche. I currently get a discount with corelogic because i order a lot for my friends.

Secondly. Create a mailer. I like to send Letters that look like checks. It pretty much says, "this check can be yours if you sell me your house" Get creative and personalize these as much as possible.

Third. Find a reputable mailing service. I stage mine and my friends campaigns and send them to a facility that prints and pre sorts it. If your paying for than 92 cents per mailer then get in contact with me ;).

Thats just the short version.  Hope it helps.

try reading http://www.amazon.com/Direct-Mail-Solution-Lead-Ge...

I found it helpful. 

 This was helpful!!!

Originally posted by @Roberta James :

First. Pick your Niche. "Rehabs in La county". Once you know what your looking for get data that will focus on your niche. I currently get a discount with corelogic because i order a lot for my friends.

Secondly. Create a mailer. I like to send Letters that look like checks. It pretty much says, "this check can be yours if you sell me your house" Get creative and personalize these as much as possible.

Third. Find a reputable mailing service. I stage mine and my friends campaigns and send them to a facility that prints and pre sorts it. If your paying for than 92 cents per mailer then get in contact with me ;).

Thats just the short version.  Hope it helps.

try reading http://www.amazon.com/Direct-Mail-Solution-Lead-Ge...

I found it helpful. 

 This was helpful!!!

 Glad to hear it! Let me know how it works out!

I am about to jump into the "pool" of direct mail marketers...yup, as the distressed property owner sorts through his mail, over the trash can looking for utility bills....and throws away all those yellow letters etc....I'm actually going to spend some hard earned money to be one of those letters....with the hope that someone on my mail list chooses to open the letter, or read the postcard and call me to see if I can help them out of their financial situation.

I've asked a lot of questions....watched videos....read articles...and given it a lot of thought.

I need a list that I can mail to on a consistent basis..I'm thinking once a month for six months...then move on to a new list.


The criteria I plan to use:


  • single family and multi family properties
  • owned for at least 10 years
  • have a trustees sale notice recorded within the last three months
  • Maricopa County

Is this a perfect list? No, but if I mail nothing out...I'm a secret investor and reach no one, since I'm still working for the next eight months full time and don't have the time to door knock or do anything else.

What have I missed?

What are your thoughts or comments?

I want to start my mail campaign 1/1/16 and am committing $1,000 per month to mailings and will commit to six months.

I should generate some leads...hopefully I can close them.

I am soliciting for your feedback, suggestions and/or comments......I hope you can find the time to respond to help me.

Thanks in advance,

Clary Roberts

Two things I've noticed after mailing hundreds of thousands of pieces:

1) If you are mailing to people and you don't know how much equity they have, you are wasting a huge percentage of your marketing dollars.  People without equity cannot sell to you at a discount unless they bring a bucket of cash to the closing table, and these sellers don't have money or they would have repaired their houses and paid their house payments.

2) Mailing to owner occupants, even with equity, is a huge waste of money.  Owner occupants are FAR less likely to respond to your mailing as absentee owners.  You need to mail to about 3X the owner occupants to get the same number of responses as you'll get from absentee owners.

Last point I'll make.  Letters are TOO FREAKING EXPENSIVE.  Like more than a BUCK A PIECE.  Postcards are half that (i.e., mail 2X the pcs for the same $$!).  Don't be a lemming and mail those stupid "My wife and I want to $BUY$ your house..." letters.  Be efficient and innovative and direct mail can be a very productive part of your advertising mix.

Originally posted by @Dev Horn :

Two things I've noticed after mailing hundreds of thousands of pieces:

1) If you are mailing to people and you don't know how much equity they have, you are wasting a huge percentage of your marketing dollars.  People without equity cannot sell to you at a discount unless they bring a bucket of cash to the closing table, and these sellers don't have money or they would have repaired their houses and paid their house payments.

2) Mailing to owner occupants, even with equity, is a huge waste of money.  Owner occupants are FAR less likely to respond to your mailing as absentee owners.  You need to mail to about 3X the owner occupants to get the same number of responses as you'll get from absentee owners.

Last point I'll make.  Letters are TOO FREAKING EXPENSIVE.  Like more than a BUCK A PIECE.  Postcards are half that (i.e., mail 2X the pcs for the same $$!).  Don't be a lemming and mail those stupid "My wife and I want to $BUY$ your house..." letters.  Be efficient and innovative and direct mail can be a very productive part of your advertising mix.

 Funny, I was going to put the almost exact line in my letters. "My husband and I would like to..."

Originally posted by @Dev Horn :

Two things I've noticed after mailing hundreds of thousands of pieces:

1) If you are mailing to people and you don't know how much equity they have, you are wasting a huge percentage of your marketing dollars.  People without equity cannot sell to you at a discount unless they bring a bucket of cash to the closing table, and these sellers don't have money or they would have repaired their houses and paid their house payments.

2) Mailing to owner occupants, even with equity, is a huge waste of money.  Owner occupants are FAR less likely to respond to your mailing as absentee owners.  You need to mail to about 3X the owner occupants to get the same number of responses as you'll get from absentee owners.

Last point I'll make.  Letters are TOO FREAKING EXPENSIVE.  Like more than a BUCK A PIECE.  Postcards are half that (i.e., mail 2X the pcs for the same $$!).  Don't be a lemming and mail those stupid "My wife and I want to $BUY$ your house..." letters.  Be efficient and innovative and direct mail can be a very productive part of your advertising mix.

 Interesting take on post cards, would you say you response rate is the same as letters? IF not does the cost per card/ lower response rate outweigh  the higher response rate and doing letters. 

In general, letters get better response rate per piece mailed than postcards.  Both have a role in direct marketing and expert direct mail guys like @Michael Quarles recommend using both and other types of mailers as well.

If your letter has copy that makes it sound like you LOVE their house and doesn't mention that you buy real estate for a living, you are going to get more calls. However, many of those will be full-price tire kickers. So you have a higher "response rate"... who cares? Focus on getting lead quality, not lead quantity, and you'll get a better ROI from your marketing.

Is sharing my direct mail lists to meet potential partners a bad idea? The absentee owners lists I have made for county tax records are performing well for me. Does it make since to sell these lists to other investors if they are interested, or would I just be creating too much competition?

I think the real driver of response is actually more the MESSAGE (your ad copy) than the MEDIUM (Letter vs. Postcard).  I often hear that letters have a higher response rate, but it's apples and oranges to compare, because the letter might say:
"My wife and I want to $$BUY$$ your house..."
(recipient assumes someone who loves their house is willing to pay full price - or even more) and the postcard might say:
"I buy houses FAST for CASH, regardless of CONDITION!".  

We don't mail anything with ambiguous copy like the letter example, because you get calls from that but they are mostly NOT real opportunities.  With the postcard example, the only people likely to respond are those who need CASH, FAST, and they don't have (or want to spend) the $ to make REPAIRS so their house can be sold on the retail market (and these are the people we are looking for).  Lead quality is more important that lead quantity. 

Now, if I had basically the same MESSAGE on both letters and postcards, I might still get more calls from letters, but it won't be twice as many calls compared to postcards.

And one last point, clever direct marketers mix up the media - maybe mixing letters and postcards over the course of a campaign, or (as we do) using different postcards - perhaps several in a series, or some with photos of houses, others with photos of people, etc. Whatever the media mix, the message remains very important. Don't dilute your message to get more calls - you won't get a good ROI from your marketing and that is what you should care about more than response rate.

I've tried both postcards and yellow letters. 

My postcard mailers tend to see a lower response rate (about 1% on average), but more quality responses. 

On the other hand, my yellow letters get a higher response rate (as high as 11%) but are all types of calls. Angry callers, tire-kickers, curious callers, quality calls, etc. Though it may seem tedious to have to go through all these messages and calls, i look at it like this: I'm getting people on the phone and getting their contact information and I can start guiding our conversations in the direction I want them to go in. Simply, I want to buy your house, let's make a deal. I've made some deals with folks after getting their "curious call".

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you