Direct Mail Marketing failure

37 Replies

So I’ve been DMM now for about 3 months. No real leads yet, which I expected. The calls that I have received are people telling me to take them off of my solicitation and are not happy about me mailing them.

Then to make matters worse after I’m already discouraged about my efforts as a real estate investor, I come home to find a dead chicken in my front yard wrapped up in a black plastic trash bag.

So my question is what can I do better?

What am I doing wrong? How can I target seller’s who are actually motivated and not waste my time or theirs. Better lists? Cold calling? I also D4D on occasion when I can find the time. But that takes time away from my kids on the weekends which is hard when I work out of town most of the week.

I have now realized I should take my return address off of the mailers at least lol

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.

@Dylan Bowman get a po box and use that as your return address. Also,look at other neighborhoods to ascertain if there are better candidates. Look at your mailer and judge if it is sending the right message. Direct mail is meant to adjusted to be effective.

@Dylan Bowman Can you elaborate on what kind of DMM you're doing? What kind of letters, how many, what kind of offers, and how are you sourcing leads? Need a little more info to help.

Or if you're more comfortable messaging the answers that works too.

How many do you send monthly?  What is the message?  Who are you sending the mail to?  Direct mail has worked for a very long time and I know a lot of people that still use it in enormous volume.

I was just listening to Ryan Dosseys interview on DMM. Very informative and maybe you can take some things from one he said and apply them to your business model. It won't be easy but don't give up, I'm confident with some adjustments things will pick up. Also, sorry about the dead chicken that is...unfortunate lol. I copied the title for that interview below, hope it helps!

Finding Off-Market Deals, Step-by-Step with Ryan Dossey and Drew Wiard: Part 1 | Rookie Podcast 09

The dead chicken is a new low to a simple post card!   I'm SMS marketing same zero results except for beginners luck in the first month got a subject to closed and keeping.  My list is low equity, high financial stress, buying 30-60-90 day late leads AND pulling low equity from IMHO the best lead source and deep study of each address including mortgages, liens, BK etc.

To your problem;  DM is a million percent in the list!!!!  I can't stress it enough that the quality (and focus) of your list is everything.

Read other DM threads here on BP, go to youtube watch videos.  Go to and and read their helps.

If its in the lead list how does one target a prospective seller?

I target subject to sellers, which are low equity, high stress, "will you sell for what you owe?".  This might highlight for you how diverse list targeting can be.

The FB group for propstream a wholesaler offered his filter:  out of state owned, vacant, owned >15 yrs.  This targets absentee and vacant AND high equity via owned many years.   I can tell you that this kind of filtering will wittle down a county with 300k addresses to at most a few hundred.  Yup lists get short the more filters you "stack".

You need to be come a deep study in "the filter"!!!   I find to be a very easy tool to play with filters and immiately see the size of list. shows lead count immedixately too, but I find listsources interface teadious with all those drop downs. 

The next gorrilla in the DM room is; data quality (or lack of it). A dirty secret in the data world is lots of data is just pure junk, IE addresses of random happy owners. Your list may be mostly junk!! Or at least not well filtered. If you are mailing absentee verify a few addresses with the tax assessors website to verify the mailing address is different from the house address. In propstream you can enter the address and see absentee, vacant, owner occ'ed etc etc etc. Also if its in MLS or a failed listing (another lead type)...

The list is driven from your deal type desired.   

==== Covid feed back.

From my own SMS marketing and my own deep study and tieing into experts;   the past 9 mo especially last few, covid has everyone hunkering down.  Few are thinking of selling for fear of having to move and covid exposure.  This may be another issue in play.  ALSO ALSO covid has created fear, anger, frustration in everyone, so an investors offer to buy no fixing, just sign here offers may be making folks madder then in past times.  I get these hollerings at too, but I admit Sir you are the first I've heard of who's gotten a dead chicken thrown at them...  Sorry very sorry to hear.  There's alot of frustration out there.   Take care friend.

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Let Us Help You Buy Your Next Home someone was so mad at you for sending them a postcard that they killed a living creature, traveled to your location, and left it there? 

@Ian Walsh I send 1000 a month. First month is a yellow letter. Second month is a post card. My message says “ Hi my name is Dylan, I would like to $BUY your house at 123 main st. Please call me at (Phone number).

Right now I’m mailing absentee homeowners with 30% equity. I think I realized now this is not the best list to mail. I have some things I need to tweak.

@Dylan Bowman

Look for owners with equity. If they don’t have equity, likely you won’t be able to find a deal worth buying. This can be filtered through the many different data base websites out there. Also, date of purchase and owners age are good filters too- old people who have owned their house awhile.

@Dylan Bowman I have had good response by targeting non-owner occupied properties. Properties owned for 7+ yrs. 3-4 bedrooms, tax values under $250k. This is for North Texas. I send out a few thousand at a time. I'm looking for burned out landlords. I would like to expand to higher end flips by targeting estate owned properties. Those typically sale after 12-24 months . I have an agent that writes letter to them and follows up with phone calls. He does get listings that way but it is longer time horizon.

@Kyle Mccaw . Did you say you got a dead chicken on your door step for sending a post card? In America?

How would someone receiving your mailer know where you live? Is your home address on it?

Was the chicken killed or did it die of natural causes? It it was killed I think you have some bigger problems going on than your direct mail not working.

I think a bigger issue here is that many/most homeowners are getting a lot of real estate related junk mail already.  I get 3-5 pieces a week. Plus at least a couple of robocalls.  Mostly its from agents but also from people who want to Buy My House for CA$H!!!!!! Not to mention the bandit signs, billboards, etc.  

The market is saturated, at least in my area.  

@Dylan Bowman Lots of good info in this thread! The absentee with equity list is very common so maybe try mailing to owners who are absentee & are late on taxes, or have liens etc.. of course when you send out mail you have to wait for them to call, so maybe start doing some code calls too. Don’t wait for the money, go and get it ( :

I see you’re in Visalia too, i’m from Fresno! Maybe try marketing to other cities around you too. Good luck!

Originally posted by @Moises R Cosme :

@Dylan Bowman its all about the list... 70% of your success comes from the list. Foreclosure starts is the best list from our perspective.


Lists do not "work".


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