Direct Mail Marketing on a Budget: How to Get the Best Bang for Your Buck

    Why direct mail?

    According to a CMO survey (a company that collects the opinions of top marketers), only 16.3 percent of marketers “are confident about recommending investing in social media marketing.”

    If professional marketers aren’t able to justify spending their clients’ money on social media marketing, then you may want to pass for now, specifically if you’re working with a tight budget.

    So where do you spend your marketing dollars when you’re funds are limited?

    The proof is in the numbers

    Direct mail’s marketings response rate, according to the DMA Response Rate Report, stands at nine percent to warm leads and five percent to cold.

    In addition, the DMA states 56% of consumers believe print marketing is the most trustworthy of all marketing channels.

    The email marketing response rate is one percent. Online display ads are even worse, at 0.30 percent.

    Clearly, if you are looking for the best place to spend your limited marketing dollars, the answer is direct mail marketing.

    How much should you allocate
    Free Home Market Analysis postcard from Call to Action Series

    Before getting clear your budget you must understand your revenue goals and objectives.

    As a guide, businesses spend, on average, 9.8 percent of revenue on marketing, according to the aforementioned CMO survey.

    We see you wincing. But consider this: according to NAR, the overall budget item that agents spend the most money on every year is on their automobiles.

    Cars aren’t exactly lead-generating machines, yet there you have it.

    So, determine a percentage that you can feel comfortable with, based on your goals, and commit to spending that budget during the remainder of the year.

    The following are three tips to get the most bang for your direct mail marketing budget
    1. The List

    For any marketing campaign to be successful you must know your audience. This is even more critical when you’re on a tight budget. Now is not the time to attempt to be all things to all people.

    The easiest way to whittle down the audience is by first figuring out if you’re going after buyers or sellers. Make a choice.

    This not only ensures that what you mail is relevant to the recipient, but helps you choose a farming area (subdivision vs apartment building, for instance).

    Be very picky who you mail to. Throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks is a sure way to burn through your budget with nothing to show for the time and money spent.

    Once you have defined your target markets, use our prospect list tools to create your prospect lists. Then pair your list with the correct targeted marketing pieces on ProspectsPLUS!.

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    2. The mail piece

    After taking into account how many mailed pieces your budget will allow you to send, it’s time to determine an economic format. Postcards are most likely your best bet. They’re inexpensive to print and to mail.

    If your budget is super tight, consider foregoing postage costs and delivering door hangers. The advantages to using door hangers include that they stand out more (unlike mailed pieces which typically arrive in a stack of mail) and because you’ll save on postage your list can be larger.

    Disadvantages include the labor intensiveness of having to visit each home on your list. Also, door hangers aren’t quite as effective when used in neighborhoods where people routinely enter their homes through the garage.

    3. Offer something

    Come up with a compelling offer and feature that on your direct mail piece. A free evaluation of home value is one idea or consider offering free staging to anyone who lists with you, an informative E-book with a snazzy title, or a free pre-listing home inspection.

    The idea is to move recipients to act or, at the very least, hang on to your postcard until they’re ready to act.

    Bottom line

    Now, when your budget is tight, isn’t the time to take chances with marketing your real estate business.

    Jumping on time-consuming and costly social media bandwagons that don’t deliver your target audience or wasting time and resources on an email that may not be opened, let alone read, can wait.

    Use your budget on marketing that has the highest response rate – direct mail marketing.

    Comparative Market Analysis postcards from Call to Action Series
    Send the Comparative Market Analysis postcard from the Call to Action Series to an area where you want more listings.

    Need help targeting a specific niche of buyers or sellers? Use our Demographic Search Tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy). Or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

    PLUS: When you have time…here are some helpful resources we’ve made available to support your success.

    1. The Free Real Estate Mailing List Guide

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    The Real Estate Mailing List Guide outlines the top tools for generating targeted prospecting lists including Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters, Investors, Lifestyle Interests, High-Income Renters, Move-Up Markets, and more. The Guide also defines done-for-you marketing campaigns to match these markets. –Click Here

    2. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

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    The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Get More Listings, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence. –Click Here

    3. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

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    Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan.  – Click Here

    4. Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

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    Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here

    5. The Market Dominator

    Become branded in a specific neighborhood with a 12X15 marketing piece sent automatically each month to an exclusive carrier route. Watch this video to learn more or Click Here.

    6. The Free Online ROI Calculator

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    Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! –Click Here

    7. The Free Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

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    The “Crush It” Guide includes easy steps to launching an effective direct mail marketing campaign, how to create a targeted prospect list, the perfect way to layout marketing materials for success, seven opportunities available to target in your area right now. –Click Here

    Lisa Gray
    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.