Direct Mail: They say keep mailing, but my metrics disagree...

10 Replies

Hard to squeeze it into the title, but everyone says you gotta keep mailing, at least 6 times. Every DM deal I've done has been in the 1st - 3rd mailing. And about 80% of those have been the very first mailer. My call back percentages trail off into the abyss after a couple mailings. The generally accepted truth of sales is that 80% of your deals are after the 7th touch with the customer/seller, or something to that affect. But my business has not reflected that at all! What gives?

Are the deals more profitable when they call after getting 6 letters? I feel like some of my campaigns are hemorrhaging money with .3% response rate of those wanting to sell after the 3rd mailing. 

Interested in what others have experienced in their marketing!

Example: One I recently started had 1.6% calls of people actually wanting to sell on the first mailing, then .3% on the 2nd. Overall response rate (all types of calls) is 1.3%. It's a small list of 300 or so. Why even bother mailing a 4th 5th etc time? 

I can feel your pain. First, I would increase the size of your list so you can catch more people. My return call back rate this year has been horrid. Part is the market because people can list their POS and get full price. The other issue is my market is saturated with wholesalers and rehabbers mailing everyone. Saying that, we mail every month. Mainly because we need houses and selling is situational. Skip a month and you may miss someone who now needs to sell. I guess my goal is like with all marketing - I want to make sure I’m in front of them when they have their need.  

I apologize if I should have been more clear, but my question was more trying to focus on what other folks are seeing in their business on those mailers after the 3rd one. What is your ROI on the money spent on mailers 4 - x?

Do you have a website?  Facebook?  LinkedIn?  

Much more cost-effective and much better conversion rates.  It's often less work than direct mail too.

The same amount of creative work can go a lot farther when you leverage the web.

@Allan Smith I do cold calling instead of direct mail but have experienced the exact same thing. There's no reason to contact someone who already said no, unless it's much later, 6 months at the very least. It's far more effective for me to simply cast a wider net than it is to beat my head on the same rock hoping that the 6th time I do it I won't get a headache!

@Doug Pretorius Exactly. I mean, I get that it's all about timing and being the letter in the mailbox when they decide it's time, but it just hit me that I have gotten 0 deals from letters after the 3rd piece. I'd be interested in hearing from someone who is a real believer in the repetition.

@Sam Puccetti I'm starting to develop a website campaign. PPC is a whole different game though and I've heard you have to jump all in and commit to make it work.

@Allan Smith How did this turn out? Did you see any calls/deals out of your 4th and 5th mailing? I'm doing my first direct mail campaign and am just finishing up my 3rd month with no deal as of yet. I'm curious to see if I should expect that to continue. 

@Joseph H. Well I am certainly not the expert which is why I opened this thread. My metrics so far have been deals on the first few mailers, but then again I've only mailed more than 3 times to a small percentage of my campaigns!

This is something I'm concerned about too. What's an appropriate stopping point? My plan is to do about 6 rounds on my current campaign. 

The response rate is somewhat irrelevant. Take a look at your leads - are they hot? Tire-kickers? There's no point in paying to fill up your pipeline with tirekickers. Just makes life harder.

Mailing 300 is extremely rough in terms of expecting a deal. Honestly, I can mail 6000 per month and expect a deal every other month. That ends up around $3,000 dollars to net around $10,000 dollars.

Unless your mailing probates (and pretty much only that niche), 300 isn't going to get it done (or you'd just have to be extremely lucky or in the perfect non-competitive market).

@Allan Smith I am the outlier in the group I put together a simple hand written letter, which I later photo copied and input names and addresses. I have mailed about 500 letters total and have purchased four buildings (13 units), flipped some land, wholesaled a property, and received a referral fee for another lead. I also received probably 30-40 calls and still have deals in the pipeline.

I have also sent out about 350 yellow letters and received 3 calls and zero leads using nearly the same format but typed font and metered postage.  

My thought is send a letter or DM that you would not only open but want to respond to. I am no expert but it has been pivotal in getting my REI career started.

Best of luck!

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

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here