Tech meets tradition: How to make your direct mail count

Direct mail has never been easier or more technically sophisticated than it is now

Realtor.com is facing a class-action lawsuit from agents unhappy with the quality of their leads. Buying Zillow leads, according to one of the industry’s biggest names, is lazy.

Despite the lawsuits and complaints, paid online lead models have proven their worth amidst the evolving internet era of real estate. However, claiming web leads can become an arms race within local markets, leaving agents without top-producer budgets filtering the bottom of the barrel.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of evidence supporting the success of more traditional lead-generation tactics, such as direct mail. And you don’t have to worry about out-spending anyone to be good at it.

Founded in 1917, the Data & Marketing Association (formerly the Direct Mail Association) reports that the volume of direct mail went down to 149.4 billion pieces in 2017, but direct mail as a percentage of all mail went up, pushing direct mail’s response rate to 4.4 percent.

Not bad.

UK Royal Mail study, “The Private Life of Mail,” found that people enjoyed the “tangible experience” of engaging with direct mail and that it makes recipients feel more valued.

In short, physically sending something to someone still has impact, and real estate agents should still be doing it.

Not coincidentally, there’s been an increase in the number of web-based direct marketing and fulfillment services that provide fast and sophisticated ways to launch mail campaigns.

For example:

  1. ProspectsPLUS: This is a tenured and tech-savvy real estate marketing company through which agents can use a mobile device to send precisely targeted postcards in only three clicks.
  2. Postable: Think open house follow-ups and thank you cards. Using designs crafted by working artists, Postable sends unique, Pinterest-friendly cards and mailers certain to earn the attention of your millennial-slash-hipster-slash-barrista prospects.
  3. Enthusem: An ICNY 18 exhibitor, Enthusem’s lighting fast, personalized printing caught the attention of quite a few attendees and earned a 4-star rating.
  4. DealMachine: DealMachine uses a smartphone’s GPS data to pinpoint the location of a home, find its owner and create a postcard campaign to reach them, whether they live there or not.
  5. Remzy: Remzy is a platform that was invited to Reaology’s 2017 FWD Innovation Summit. The company connects frustrated buyers unhappy with their market’s inventory to owners of off-market homes. Remzy mails a professional letter of interest via FedEx, essentially putting every house in the country up for sale.

Should you divert all of your marketing budget to direct mail in 2018? Of course not.

If you haven’t given it a shot in a while, at least know that direct mail has substantially modernized, and shouldn’t be considered an antiquated way to earn quality leads in a time of big-budget wars over an ever-shrinking pool of opportunities.

Article by Craig Rowe

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