Direct mail is one of the best ways to jumpstart your business. Instead of buying a list and blindly sending letters out, you need to put some thought into it. As many investors who have had great success with direct mail there is also a large contingent that is disappointed with the results. If you don’t know what you are doing and don’t execute your plan, your phone will not ring. Before you think about any mailing, you need to consider your plan of attack. Being organized and focused on your mailing will quickly give you more deals than you can handle. There are four key steps to making your next direct mailing campaign a success:
Target: A generic letter to a random list of people will not get the job done. The very first thing you need to do with any marketing is establish your target audience. Are you looking to target distressed homeowners who are near foreclosure? Are you looking to reach landlords who may be tired of the rental business? Whatever your target is, you need to establish it before you begin. Your market will go a long way in determining what type of letter you provide. It will also help figure out where to find the lists that you will use. Different lists have different costs associated with them. The more targeted the list, the more expensive it is. You can go with a generic list, but your results will be disappointing. If you really want to get the most out of your mailing, you need to know exactly what you want out of it. Having a defined target market will help you do this.
Sources: Where you get your list from can make all the difference. A good source has access to the most recent information. Using an old list will leave you frustrated and wondering why your phone isn’t ringing. Spend time and do your homework finding the best list. If you are going to spend more money in one area of your mailing, it should be with the source of your list. Everything else can be executed perfectly, but it may not matter if your source is poor. You have every right to ask for some references or test the list out before you buy. If you are not totally satisfied there are many other sources to choose from. If you plan to develop the list yourself through town hall or online material, spend the time and do it right. Mailing out a letter to outdated information will not do anything but waste your time and money.
Content: Investors that have the best success put themselves in the recipient’s shoes prior to mailing. They get a feel of what their letter looks like from another point of view. By doing this they deliver content that is direct and without the “salesy” point of view. How your letter looks and what it says is important. Most homeowners will not give any letter they receive more than a few seconds glance. If the material is not direct and attention grabbing in the first two seconds it can be quickly discarded. You need to walk the fine line between over the top and offering real information. A neon green envelope may make the letter stand out but it can also have a negative impact as well. Your content should fit with whatever type of homeowner you are looking to reach. Focus more on what the benefit is for the them rather than the other way around. Instead of using long paragraphs to make your point use bullets or lists. Your goal is for the recipient to reach you within moments of them getting your letter. The clearer your content is the greater chance this will happen.
Consistency: The biggest reason why investors don’t have more direct mail success is because they don’t give it a chance. Before you consider direct mail you need to be prepared to send your letter at least six times. Sending even the best letter once or twice will have little to no impact. In most cases your recipient will not respond until at least the fourth letter. Every time you mail costs money but it will also improve the chance your phone rings. It is always far better to send a lower quality list more times than a great list just a few. Think about the letters you receive. One nice postcard may pique your curiosity but the odds are you will throw it out after a few days. If you get a few more you will be inclined to remember the company and by the fourth one you are ready to finally call. Mailing can have an overnight impact but it should not be viewed as a short term fix. This is an investment in your business and you need to send your letters as many times as it takes. If you are not willing to do that you should consider other ways of finding deals.
A quality direct mail campaign can dramatically change your business. Your goal should be to get quality deals that you really want. The more leads you produce, the greater the chance this can happen to you. The little things with direct mail often make all the difference. The letter, envelope, font type and even stamp are all important. Organization and commitment can turn an ordinary campaign into a great one.