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Direct mail is the most established form of marketing and has sustained and prospered regardless of the introduction of the internet and email. No other form of direct marketing makes the same impression on customers as a targeted, well-designed direct mail piece.

The same applies in marketing for real estate. If seven per cent of people move each year and you mail 1,000 pieces, then 70 recipients are very likely to contact you in their search for a Realtor. It’s a numbers game.

A study from the US Postal Service revealed that when clients are retrieving and reading their mail, time allocation known as “the mail moment”, they are incredibly focused and attentive to the contents of their mail. This daily ritual provides a unique opportunity for Realtors to get their messages read. A direct mail piece with personalization and colour makes it a high-impact form of direct marketing, helping you take advantage of the “mail moment” and encourage clients to take action.

In a survey conducted by Pitney Bowes and DMNews, 73 per cent of consumers claimed they prefer mail for receiving new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with, compared with 18 per cent for email. Mail was also preferred by 70 per cent of respondents for receiving unsolicited information on products and services from companies with which they are not currently doing business.

However, with over 40,000 real estate agents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), twice as many as 10 years ago, how will you not only get noticed, but stand out?

Here are the top four ways to improve the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign:

1) Personalize It

Here is an interesting fact: 26 percent of Canadians would be more likely to read unsolicited communication if it was personalized. Think back to a time when you responded to a direct mail piece. Why did you respond? Probably because the piece was laser-focused and targeted to some significant aspect of your life. It may have been a postcard from a car dealership offering a maintenance special for the owner of a Lexus ES 350 with over 125,000 miles, and you just happened to own that car, with that many miles.

Consider the various types of homeowners when you determine the type of content to use in your direct mail campaign:

  • Probate owners
  • Absentee owners
  • FSBOs
  • Expired and withdrawn listings
  • Owner-occupied.

To target the needs of each type of seller requires that the content you send is relevant to their situation.

Remember: The most successful direct mail campaign speaks to the homeowner’s problems and needs, and how you can solve the problems and fulfill the needs.

2) Variety, Variety, Variety

“The worst number in any business is one,” according to marketing guru, and author Dan Kennedy. One product, one customer, one type of marketing and one direct mail piece all get you nowhere. Yet, so many agents send one letter, postcard or other direct-mail piece and call it a campaign.

Remember, the money is in the follow up. So, why don’t you do it? Better yet, let’s find a way to help you do it.

There are many direct mail experts that will tell you that a minimum of 12, 18 or 24 pieces a year is essential. Depending on your budget and resources I would aim for 24 touches a year and mix them up. Here are some example of what you can send over 12 months:

  • Eight “Just Listed/Just Sold” 6×9-inch postcards
  • Four memo pads with the title Things To Do Today
  • Eight market update newsletters on letter-sized glossy paper
  • Four non-real-estate-related postcards (see #3 for ideas)

3) Make it Refrigerator-Worthy

In addition to postcards and pictures of homes you just sold, you should be sending out content with valuable information that can be retained for future reference, or even end up on the fridge.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Local Events Schedule: Send them a calendar of all the local events. Better yet – make it a magnet calendar so it definitely ends up on their fridge! It demonstrates empathy, and shows them that you care.
  • Blank Phone Number Directory: on the back of a direct mail piece, you can add the heading “Important Phone Numbers” and add lines they can write on.
  • Restaurants Directory: Compile a list of the best restaurants in the area and include take-out and delivery options.

4) Automation

Let’s face it – as a Real Estate Agent, you have many priorities that demand your attention every day. There are phone calls to be returned, clients to see, paperwork to get done, properties to research, presentations and meetings to attend, networking events to go to – the list goes on and on.

According to psychologists, a work overload can have a serious negative impact on your level of motivation, and hence, your results and revenues. This is why an automated marketing campaign is an absolute must. This allows you to focus on the things you do best to stay on top of your game and grow your business.

To find out how you can automate an effective marketing campaign, call (905) 820-6566 or contact us at to book your complimentary consultation.

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