Marketing - Direct Mail

8 Replies

I'm looking to start a direct marketing campaign.  I am looking to do postcards.  Is it best to pick a one stop shop vendor that designs the post cards, sends them and creates the list or should I get the list from a place like listsource?  Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hi Scott,

Congrats. Getting into direct mail is fun!

So there's no "better" - just different strategies that depend more on where your priorities are with regards to time, money, market intelligence, and experience. And what gets you excited. 

Some things that do matter:

Emphasising upfront investment or effort in targeting the right prospects saves you the expense of sending direct mail to the wrong prospects. Better targeting also makes it easier to craft messaging that resonates with the recipients. Make it more about them, less about you.

You can invest those savings in:

1. Multiple mailings to that smaller targeted list of prospects. Frequency is as important as the targeting itself. Hence "campaign" - multiple mailings over time...because timing is everything.

2. The ability to A/B test multiple mailings for improving the creative and messaging.

3. Investing in professional help with design, messaging, and delivery optimization.

4. Reaching those prospects across multiple channels, or setting up a means to capture response electronic for online retargeting.

Often, the targeting is not as difficult as navigating the nuances of crafting creative designing direct mail and that stands out and connects with those prospects with the right message.

The best bet when getting started is to make small bets as you learn the process, gain experience, insights, and results. 10x to 100 with 2x creatives is better than 1x to 1000. 1x doesn't provide you experience, insights, and results.

Hope that helps!

@Scott Jordan

If you can create your own lists, that's the best approach in this saturated SoCal market. If you can't, then I'd say find a provider that has deals with the list providers, it's funny that it's actually cheaper that way than going directly to the source due to volume discounts. There are plenty of companies that do direct mail, you can check the marketplace. Pricing, services, and quality differs so make sure you pick a good company.

@Scott Jordan I agree with Ray.  Creating a list from external sources like Driving for Dollars, Tax Liens, etc. is a better approach than just pulling from Listsource.  Generally, the more difficult a list is to pull, the less competition you'll be up against.

How many postcards are you looking to mail?  In my experience, postcards are good when you're mailing to a large list (10k+) or you're testing out a new mailing list.  Otherwise, letters seem to perform better in most markets.  

Happy to chat if you need some direction.

@davidlaplante thanks for the detailed response.  Great advice.  I have heard that you have to stick with it for you to start to see the returns.  With your last comment at the bottom are you saying that it may be best to test out 2 different "styles" of postcards and seeing which one works best? Thanks again for reaching out!  

@Ray Lai Thanks for the advice.  In my search for a company I have seen that there are companies that help with the list as well.  How would I be able to tell if they have a deal with the list provider?  Thanks for the advice.

@Justin Silverio Thanks for the feedback.  I am growing my property management company as well as setting up leads for motivated sellers.  In your experience the letters work better in most markets for finding the motivated sellers?  Do you think that postcards would be the best way to go to target say absentee owners that may need a property manager or would letters work better for that as well?

@Scott Jordan - by asking them and seeing their prices. Companies that have relationships with list providers have prices around the 10 cent mark. If you go directly to list providers as a new customer, their prices usually start in the 20c + area per address. The reason why some direct mail companies have cheaper pricing is because of the volume of business they provide to their partners.

I look at a mail piece keeping 2 things in mind.  1) how effective is it 2) how will the prospect perceive my mailings.

1) this is obvious.  You want to elicit more calls from your mailers.

2) in my opinion, postcards can look more like junk mail.  Some letters, however, can provide a much more personal or professional impression with your sellers.  I beleive this helps with brand building.

Don't get me wrong, I know some people that send only postcards (but they send 20K+ month) and they are getting deals.  However, I have a lot of people that call me first because they like my letters.

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