Direct Mail Marketing In Real Estate: Handwritten or Print?

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Direct mail marketing in real estate can be hugely successful and cost-effective if you know when to use handwritten and print direct mail.

Handwritten letters can have higher open and response rates while direct mail will let you use visuals and graphics. While one is personal, the other is more eye catching. You want to have a good mix of being on the top of their mind and to build a relationship and trust.

So, here are tips on when to use handwritten letters and when to use print mail as part of your direct mail marketing in real estate. (Link to download templates at the bottom)

Handwritten direct mail marketing in real estate:

Targeted marketing: If you are running a targeted direct mail campaign, think about using handwritten letters. If your campaign is targeted, you want to make sure it is as personal as possible. Plus, using handwritten letters will ensure higher open rates and higher conversions.

Special Occasions: Instead of the usual greeting card that every one of your competitor uses, send a handwritten note on the special occasion. It will have a stronger impact and will help build close personal and business relationships with them. A few ideas:

  • Take some candid pictures of them when they first sign the papers or move into their house. Save one or two of those pictures and send them on their first month, six months or first year anniversary with a handwritten note of course.
  • If they have young kids, on their birthday, send them a handwritten birthday note along with some helpful information for their toddler.

Referrals and Repeat customers: Referrals and repeat customers require a personal touch. You don’t have to create a new message every time you write to one of your customers and referrers. But, sending a handwritten card to thank them can go a long way  in providing a personal touch and strengthening your relationship.

After print mail campaign: Use handwritten letters to connect with people  who have responded to your print mail or flyer.

Events: To make it personal, use handwritten invites rather than postcards. Create your own events and have your own seminar. As Jason Van Steenwyk says,

Seminars can take a lot of planning, but people will line up to speak with you after the event if you do it well – and the crowds will usually be relatively free of competing agents.

Print direct mail marketing in real estate:

Non-targeted Lists: If you are sending flyers to a list that is not very targeted, it’s best to use a printed flyer. Printed direct mail can be cheaper to send out. Plus, non-targeted lists, generally speaking, have a much lower conversion than targeted lists. So, you do not want to waste your precious marketing dollars on a list that is not going to convert well.

However, your non-targeted list is still good because you can build a super-targeted list by marketing to them wisely.

To build a targeted list from your non-targeted list, insert a link or call-to-action (email or call me) in your direct mail piece. Your call-to-action should be a link to a landing page that collects emails so you know who on your list is possibly warm and considering taking action. Here is a good example of a landing page…

real estate CTA, real estate direct mail templates,

In your case, your landing page can offer an e-book download about market information for sellers and buyers or even a free consultation. Just keep it easy for yourself, you don’t want to spend a lot of time without further qualifying your prospects.

Create a separate list for those who responded to your print mail. Follow up with a handwritten note to start building relationships with these qualified prospects. Use a mix of print and handwritten direct mail.

Buyer & Seller Tips: Sending tips to your prospects can be a good way of staying in touch with your customers. While they may not convert directly, it will definitely keep you in front of your customers. This is best sent as printed direct mail since it will let you fit a lot of information on a single sheet. Here are a few ideas on info you can send out:

  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Home equity
  • Mortgage shopping

Neighborhood Information: People are always curious about the market value of their property, their neighborhood and the city. Once a month, send them your analysis of the market and statistics of their area or the city in general.

For example, when a house in a prospect’s neighborhood is sold, send them print mail with visuals. Add a call-to-action, and if they respond, follow it up with handwritten letters to start building a relationship.

Tip: Your handwritten letter or note should always have your phone number under your name.

Direct mail marketing in real estate, just like email marketing and sales, needs perseverance. We can’t give up too quickly.

Research shows in 2007, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. (source: TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group)

However, the average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect. (source: Sirius Decisions)

So, being consistent and persistent becomes highly important if you want to be successful.

You can’t just send out one direct mail piece and expect it to work. You have to be persistent and consistent. It’s a long term game with long term effects.

Our copy and letter writing experts have put together handwritten direct mail templates specifically for realtors. Written with best practices, they make it easy to get more yeses from your prospects.

If you liked this post, you might like: Direct Mail for Real Estate: 11 Free Templates

Author: Abby Hoban

Abby Hoban is a marketing expert who helped dozens of businesses succeed with handwritten letters in their sales and marketing campaigns. Abby consulted for MailLift and will always be part of the MailLift family.