When it comes to creative marketing, real estate professionals often struggle with low response rate. Increasing direct mail response rates can be a challenge for many different reasons, but, the bottom line is, if we are sending out mail to prospects and they are not calling us, we have a problem.
Often, people blame the list. It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that the lack of is due to a low-quality list or even getting angry at the person who supplied the list instead of asking how we can improve the rate of response without changing or stacking lists.
One effective strategy is to improve the quality of the mail piece itself. Specifically, the goal is to increase curiosity. In many markets, most homeowners are getting the same mail from everybody, with messages that are almost identical. “I'll buy your house in seven days. Cash” or “We close quickly. We're friendly. We're local”. Sellers are not reading these messages. It feels like static – white noise that they have all heard a million times before.
What can we do as house buyers to create a little more curiosity? One easy, simple solution is to start putting your face on your mail. Instead of trying to be a faceless company, with only the logo and the brand, let people see who you are. Homeowners, potential sellers – they are regular people who want to work with folks that they know, like, and trust. A smiling face on a postcard makes a huge difference in perception. It creates recognition which leads to positive thoughts and associations. “I like this person. I trust them.”
When we put a picture of one of our books on our marketing, the trust factor skyrockets. Now, not only are we real people living and working here in the community, but we are also the local experts on Senior Housing. Personally, I am focused exclusively on buying in a small geographic area, so the neighborhood gets to know me. I am part of the community and that helps build trust.
A lot of investors want to remain anonymous for a variety of reasons. That certainly works for some, but, putting your face on a piece of mail, putting a picture or message that is different, allows you to stand out from the stack of yellow letters and postcards and can significantly improve your response rate without increasing your costs.
A less risky option for those looking to maintain a business only brand is to put a QR code on your mail. This allows people to take a picture of the QR code with their smart phone and view the content you choose to direct them to: a video, a blog post, a landing page, a downloadable checklist – anything you can host on the internet. For example, “Take a picture of this and check out our tips for working with an investor.” Keep it simple, informative, and relevant to your list. They will appreciate the free education and view you as an advocate and guide rather than just another salesperson.
Another successful addition to a direct mail campaign is to provide information for people who are at risk of foreclosure. “Do you want to figure out how to keep your home from going into foreclosure? Take a picture of this and watch the video to learn more.” People will watch your videos. Some will call you immediately, some will keep you in mind when they finally decide to sell weeks, months, or years into the future. Invest a bit of extra time now to create content that generates curiosity and builds trust and you will reap the benefits long-term with minimal updates.
Inspire curiosity. Provide value without sales language. Obligation free education is the key to motivating sellers to take the next step. Changing the color of the postcard is not enough. Craft a unique message, value add, or offer, or simply add your photo to your marketing. These strategies, alone or in combination, can make all the difference between a profitable campaign and failure.