A few direct mail questions

Real Estate Investor Marketing Help & Advice 31.2K Posts 4.2K Discussions

1. Is it too soon after Thanksgiving to send out yellow letters a couple days after the Holiday? If yes, how long should I wait?

2. Once you have someone's phone or fax number that is on your yellow letter list, do you continue to mail them a letter or do you just call/fax them instead to save money.

3. I have my first list of 644 names (absentee,SFR,equity, 3/2+,non-trust,10-150k) but I haven't filtered it for last sale date. When I tested last sale date 1900-2005 the list shrunk to 250 names or so. These are all out of state owners. I could either start to include in-state owners or leave the sale date filter off and I'm conflicted.

I assume that inherited out of state owners will be included in this list and wouldn't want to exlude them by filtering 2005 or older, but I can understand that a new investor isn't looking to sell either. I don't know if out of state outweighs the pre 2005 sale date.

Any thoughts or experience on this? I'm hoping Michael "Quarters" Quarles (hehe, I noticed someone called you that in another thread) will chime in.

Thank you

I'd mail irrespective of the Holidays. In fact, the Holiday period is the most stressful period for many if not most an the greatest number of deaths occur during or just after this period.

While I like your analytical thought process, it's also easy to outthink ourselves. I prefer to have people contact me rather than pursue them (unless it's a skiptrace situation). So, just because I have the target's contact info, I'm not very likely to call them, and certainly not fax. Nothing to do with do-not-call list either (actually, as a buyer, I would not be trying to sell them something, would I?).

If you put yourself in the shoes of the person answering the phone, it's not only annoying to get a call from a stranger but intrusive. Then you have to go thru the deal about how you got their phone number (I always say "Internet" when Skiptracing). And maybe, just maybe, they'll open up to what's really going on. However, I'd much more rather have a prospect call me. On my terms. During my higher energy time period. At my desk, not on my cell phone, not driving the all, and with no competing distractions.

As to inherited property, most heirs/beneficiaries take only about 18 months on average to hate landlording. Pretty rare that the parents have trained their offspring in the art and science of property management.

BTW, most all of the posts that I've read in BP concerning direct mail involves someone going after absentee owners. You really ought to think about some other targets or continue thinking thru the filters on the list that you are currently working. Look for catalysts (triggers) and build your USP's around those. I like those that cause people to not want to deal with the problem (evicting relatives, bad memories, etc.). Got any good horror stories that you could incorporate into you copywriting?

Medium rtpg logo drop shadowRick H., Probate+Property Puzzles Solved | http://ricktheprobateguy.com

1) Here's a previous post on this - http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/87/topics/77821-holiday-mailing-schedule

2) I would continue to mail them. You'll be wasting a lot of time calling people that have no intention of selling.

3) I'm not sure what type of investing your looking to do but as a rehabber I would send to all pre-2000 (most have enough equity to sell at a price that I want to buy) and I then sort the addresses post-2000 by last sale price to add addresses that show $0-my average purchase price in the area.

I would take a look at past posts by @Michael Quarles but it seems like he isn't posting on BP anymore - http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/56/topics/78511-saying-goodbye

Medium open letter marketing logoJustin Silverio, Open Letter Marketing LLC | [email protected] | (978) 269‑0245 | http://www.OpenLetterMarketing.com

I am actually sending a mailing out late this week or early next week to get the owners during the turkey day week.
I am looking to combine it with a door hanger campaign that will hit about 200 houses or so in my target area.
People have more time to read something when they are off of work then when they are trying to get homework done, kids feed, kids to soccer etc.

I am also sending a yellow letter this week. 500 tomorrow and maybe another 500 next week? Depends on the response from the first 500.

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast | [email protected] | 214‑929‑6545

I should have mentioned. I'm sending a mailing today as well.

Medium open letter marketing logoJustin Silverio, Open Letter Marketing LLC | [email protected] | (978) 269‑0245 | http://www.OpenLetterMarketing.com

@David Tower

In all honesty, the Holiday probably matters most on the day itself. Beyond that, most people are in their routine all the way to the 11th hour, and immediately the day after. That said, how are you mailing, bulk or first class? Are you tracking your mailings? Do you know the average deliver time from your drop date?

I guess my point in all of this is that I think you are over analyzing. Your target list is not very big. Knowing that mail times in general vary, it's almost impossible to gauge.

Consider a bench mark response rate of 2%. Response being someone getting your letter and calling you. 2% of 644 is about 12 calls. Are you getting that?

The reality is, direct mail is a wide net approach. It's a little counter intuitive, but you are never going to see success in direct mail, if you look for ways to narrow your audience. When you are playing a numbers game, you need the odds in your favor.

Instead of limiting your list, you should be expanding it. Instead of sending one mailing you should be sending 4. To the same list.

If you have a phone number, use it - that is if they gave it to you as a response to your mail piece. You should follow the same rule of thumb with phone numbers as you do with email. If they didn't give it to you with permission to contact them, don't use it. It's just that simple.

As for us, we just don't mail the week of the holiday itself. But not for a lack of response, business in general slows down. Everyone shuts their brains off, and getting anything done becomes a real struggle. But we are sending thousands of pieces/week.

Hope that helps.

I agree with @Barry Hammond 100%, both in his mail delivery and list building. In your particular situation, I would include other out of area owners also...out of state only will likely not produce the results you are looking for.

Medium mlaw logo v1Jerry Puckett, New Refined Images LLC | [email protected] | (214) 699‑7565 | http://www.marketlikeawholesaler.com

@Justin Silverio - thanks for the link. I guess it does make sense that non owner occupied doesn't matter. Also, I'm deeply saddened that MQ is not posting anymore. He's definitely earned a break though if anyone has. It is people like him that make me want to pay it forward when I become successful in this business.

@Barry Hammond - Thanks for the response. This will be my first mailing (finally). I've heard and or read other people's (pros) results with a targeted list for hand-written yellow letters to be in the 10-15% response rate, sometimes higher. I'm hoping mine will be more in line with that.

I do plan on mailing the same list multiple times while also growing it as success permits. Probably 2 or 3 yellow letters then postcards. I hope to be able to mail them until I get the deal or they tell me to stop. The reason I asked about the phone # is because every person I make a soft pass offer to is getting a written offer by e-mail or fax. Even the tire kickers. I will follow up with them in some form.

Originally posted by David Tower:
The reason I asked about the phone # is because every person I make a soft pass offer to is getting a written offer by e-mail or fax. Even the tire kickers. I will follow up with them in some form.

I generally take some one off the list after they respond...but I capture email and phone #....I still reach out and touch them from time to time through email and text messaging.

Medium mlaw logo v1Jerry Puckett, New Refined Images LLC | [email protected] | (214) 699‑7565 | http://www.marketlikeawholesaler.com

Don't fret over @Michael Quarles - he still seems to be connecting to BP and is at least keeping tabs on things here; check his profile link for when he was "last active". Maybe if he sees somebody really in a serious struggle for something, he'll be kind enough to step in and offer a suggestion. So talk about him all you want, he seems to be listening in ...

@Justin Silverio I'm not sure if I read your first post correctly. Did you say your average purchase price was $0? If it is I gotta know what the deal is, lol.

Originally posted by Justin Silverio:
... I then sort the addresses post-2000 by last sale price to add addresses that show $0-my average purchase price in the area.

...

I read that as a range, from $0 up to the average purchase price that Justin uses. It's a simple way to identify those that have a better chance of selling for less than Justin's average number.

@Tim Czarkowski Am I paying too much? ha

It's what @Steve Babiak said, I was refering to a range.

Medium open letter marketing logoJustin Silverio, Open Letter Marketing LLC | [email protected] | (978) 269‑0245 | http://www.OpenLetterMarketing.com

@Justin Silverio ,

No problem. The only thing I will caution you on is this. I spent about 15 years as a marketing consultant. One thing I've seen happen about 99.99999 % of the time is that people who don't actually track their direct mail responses, always like to guess that their response rate is anywhere from 15 to 30 %. While that is possible, an overwhelming number of people (including myself) have an experience that is contrary to that. If you get 15 to 30 % response that is not just unusual, it is ridiculously successful and you should be ready to take advantage of every single bit of it. If I were you, I would adjust your expectations to a more realistic bench mark of say 2%. If you hit your 10 - 15 that's great. But I've been doing this for a long time now and I have yet to see evidence that anyone should expect more than that. BTW, in the DM world 2% is considered it pretty meaningful accomplishments.

Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.

Originally posted by Steve Babiak:
Don't fret over Michael Quarles - he still seems to be connecting to BP and is at least keeping tabs on things here; check his profile link for when he was "last active". Maybe if he sees somebody really in a serious struggle for something, he'll be kind enough to step in and offer a suggestion. So talk about him all you want, he seems to be listening in ...

Damn, Steve is going all super sleuthy on us. (is that even a word?)

Very good thread on here and some very good replies and suggestions. As much as it would seem to the contrary, people seem to pay attention a little more during the holidays. It may be that they have a little time off on their hands or they get bored or simply spend more time doing things other than work, but we have always had good success with mailings and follow up calls during these periods.

Medium memphis invest logo 2015Chris Clothier, Memphis Invest, GP | 901‑751‑7191 | http://www.memphisinvest.com

@Barry Hammond I think you meant to mention @David Tower

Medium open letter marketing logoJustin Silverio, Open Letter Marketing LLC | [email protected] | (978) 269‑0245 | http://www.OpenLetterMarketing.com

Steve so your sleuthing me? Is that like throwing a party? A celebration.

As for the responses. Some almost made me fall over in my chair and some I raised my thumbs.

Great thing bout BP is opinions will be given.

Medium 12508820 795950820515167 766055113351596216 nMichael Quarles, The Michael Quarles Real Estate Show | [email protected] | (888) 550‑9112 | http://www.MichaelQuarles.com

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has returned to the Building!

Medium mlaw logo v1Jerry Puckett, New Refined Images LLC | [email protected] | (214) 699‑7565 | http://www.marketlikeawholesaler.com

Originally posted by @Michael Quarles :
Steve so your sleuthing me? Is that like throwing a party? A celebration.

As for the responses. Some almost made me fall over in my chair and some I raised my thumbs.

Great thing bout BP is opinions will be given.

Michael Quarles - from my observations of you over the years, I determined that you are somewhat of a contrarian. That is a good thing IMO, because it keeps the rest of us thinking differently, "out of the box" as they say. So how better to get a contrarian back than to do something contrarian? Lots of folks posted on your "goodbye" thread, but I managed to get you back here - and that is also a good thing for BP! I still think you miss your influence points :)

But please do continue your generous ways, sharing what you know - and some of your other generous gestures, like the giveaway of BP summit arrangements, and yellow letter campaign giveaway.

Does the day of the week you mail matter?

Thanks,

Lynn (FL)

Originally posted by @Lynn Henley :
Does the day of the week you mail matter?

Hi Lynn,

I generally do best mailing out on a Saturday, and letting that mail hit in the early part of the week. Seems to be less stuff in the box for the piece to get mixed up.

Medium mlaw logo v1Jerry Puckett, New Refined Images LLC | [email protected] | (214) 699‑7565 | http://www.marketlikeawholesaler.com