Contrary to what you might believe, direct mail marketing is anything but extinct in this day and age. In fact, $46 billion dollars is still being invested in direct mail marketing by major corporations. Even with the advent of modern technologies that spread awareness of company promotions like email and social media; direct mail isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Direct mail has too many marketing benefits that the new kids on the block just cannot compete with.
For starters, think about the hassle a consumer has to deal with when being flooded with spam email. There are:
- Newsletters that you used to read 7 years ago.
- Promotions from companies that you never intended to see or receive.
- Status updates from what your once-upon-a-time high school friends are doing during their trip to the Ozarks.
- The tenth “forgot password” request that pushes you oh so closer to throwing your laptop out the window.
All of these emails are the same: they are an Arial-font request asking you to buy or do something you have little interest in doing.
Compare that with this year’s birthday card from Grandma. Outside of the intimate family connection you have with this individual, what does the direct mail card look like? What does it feel like? What meaningful message is in there? What’s the psychological connection that is made knowing they went out of their time to pick a card, write in it, seal it and send it with postage?
It’s more than striking a few keys and pressing “send”– it means something.
Even within all the physical mail you receive, this sticks out. It seems in 2018 the only letters you receive in the mail are the various bills you’re obligated to pay (unless of course you opted for “paperless”).
All of this plays into a hefty advantage in your favor as a real estate agent. Here’s how. Consumers like direct mail more. A recent study indicates that 73% of your customers actually prefer to receive direct mail over other marketing mediums. This is even more pronounced with millennials where 90% of them reported to responding favorably to direct mail when making their purchasing decisions.
Direct mail allows for easily tracking ROI. At first glance, it might seem like tracking ROI would be in depth and time-consuming.
On the contrary.
The ROI of direct mail is measured simply by choosing your sample size of the direct mail campaign, calculating costs for sending the campaign out, providing direct responses in your campaign, and tracking the rates of people sending back the responses. It’s that simple.
People love tangible, physical objects. We can see this prevalence for “the physical” in both the book industries (physical book sales consistently outselling kindle and digital) and music with vinyl albums hitting record highs in 2017. Even with being in the digital age, people love to hold, touch and experience “real things.” With direct mail marketing, you are able to set yourself apart from the competition with uniqueness.
- You can choose a striking color for your envelope.
- You can choose an interesting shape for your card.
- You can include personal graphics of your team.
- You can include a physical call to action within the content of your mail.
Any variable you choose to implement into your strategy further bolsters your uniqueness in reaching your customers and keeps you at the forefront of their mind–something of dire importance in the real estate industry. One study, “The neuroscience behind the response-driving power of direct mail” found that,
“Brand recall was 70 percent higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.”
Direct mail also builds trust, maybe the most important facet of this job. Studies indicate that 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.
As an agent, you are overseeing and working with a specific geographic location. You are the real estate arbiter of a neighborhood. An effective method you can use in optimizing your direct mail marketing strategy is to implement it in conjunction with Nextdoor, the social media platform that allows you to touch and impact a given neighborhood without physically knocking on their doors. You might be thinking that with all these benefits direct mail marketing can bring you, the upstart would be labor intensive and take a decent chunk out of your marketing budget.
Wrong and wrong.
In 2018, there are plenty of companies that specialize in equipping you with everything you need to develop and implement the best direct mail marketing campaign to fit your business.
- Postcardmania is a great business to employ if you are looking to spread brand awareness. They are low cost and offer a bunch of customizable looks to help get your brand into the hands people are looking for.
- Mail Shark is a company that is specific for the real estate industry. They offer three different products that are solving three specific needs: Targeted Mail to specific types of people, Saturation Mail to people in a specific area, and EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) for people who want to hit a specific area and prefer to do the mailing themselves.
Open Letter Marketing is again another company geared specifically for real estate that offers a menu of different options from handwritten letters to professional letters that help generate exposure and also offer a call to action and lead generator tools for your given market.
While technology is always innovating and changing, there are some tools that remain constant.
These tools pass the test of time and remain in the marketplace because they work. If you aren’t using them, you are missing out on effective ways to grow your business and enterprise. Direct mail marketing tops this list of “old dog“ tools. The tools that have remained viable even though many people have forgotten their effectiveness. What many people forget, you can use to your advantage. Be where others aren’t and see the success of your business rise.