Rule the (Real Estate) World with these 6 Direct Mail Tips


Direct mail is an incredible yet often overlooked tool for real estate agents. Marketers have used direct mail effectively to build fortunes of untold riches, but with the rise of online and social media marketing, direct mail has been unfairly kicked to the curb.

“It’s too expensive”, or “it’s not cost effective in today’s digital economy” are common criticisms, but the thing is, direct mail has been refined to an exact science over the past century, and most real estate agents aren’t aware of the proven secrets-to-success in direct mail.

Here’s a rundown of some of the tried-and-true direct mail tactics that you probably haven’t heard about:

1.) Direct mail is not about branding

Direct mail has nothing to do about branding, and everything to do with direct response marketing. This is the biggest mistake agents make about direct mail – branding is a nice byproduct of sustained direct response marketing, but it cannot be the primary goal. Think about it, there’s a reason why your mailbox is full of coupons from the local grocery store advertising this week’s sale on Coke (direct response) rather than postcards from Coca-Cola telling you how awesome Coke tastes (branding). Direct response is the only cost-effective strategy for direct mail.

2.) Avoid the recycling bin

Think about it, where do you sort your mail? Over the trash can, right? You’re trying to quickly get rid of the junk mail so you only have to open the good stuff. You’re goal is to get into the pile of good stuff. This means that you need to build interest – or better yet, curiosity – in the first split-second. You do this by not looking like junk mail.

3.) Look like a personal letter

The best method for not looking like junk mail is to look like a personal letter. The easiest way to do this is with a hand-addressed envelope. Blue ballpoint ink get the highest open rate, and interestingly enough, you can boost your open rates even more by making the stamp slightly crooked. Hand-addressing, blue ballpoint ink, and skewed stamps are all difficult to replicate with machine printing, so your envelope looks like a personal letter.

4.) And while you’re at it, try a “handwritten” letter

Here’s an advanced trick that works like a champ to get your entire message read. Replicate the look of a handwritten letter by writing an original copy of the letter using a black sharpie on blank copy paper, and then copying the letter onto legal pad paper. It will look like each letter was handwritten! Just be sure to…

5.) Deliver value

Regardless of how you send your message: postcard, newsletter, or letter – make sure you’re delivering valuable content or an offer for valuable content. Homeowners are interested in primarily in 2 things: learning about sold homes in the neighborhood and what their home is worth. So, send something like market stats, recent sales in the neighborhood, or an offer for a free home valuation.

6.) Get them to take action (Call-To-Action)

Whatever you send, include a strong call-to-action with clear instructions on how to respond to your offer. Something like: “Curious what your home is worth? Call me today at 925-555-5555 for a complimentary home valuation report.”

Direct mail has been making people rich for over a century. Now that you know the secrets to success, why not give it a shot?

Written by Josh Hohman