4 Secrets The Pros Use To Make Money With Direct Mail

The key is to get your mail opened, read, and acted upon. If you’ve struggled to get new clients with direct mail farming, chances are it’s because your mail was seen as “junk mail” and trashed before ever opened. (Or because you picked the wrong area and not a targeted “strategic farm” where homes are selling, but that’s a topic for another article). Below you’ll find 4 essential secrets direct marketing pros use to get past this junk mail hurdle, and how you can use the same strategies to get new real estate clients…and make sure to check out www.ServiceforLife.com for a fantastic system that uses direct mail to generate referrals and repeats for life..

SECRET #1:   Make it “lumpy mail”

Have you ever heard of “lumpy mail”?  Lumpy mail is the process of inserting “something” into an envelope or doing something “unique” to make it stand out, involve curiosity and get opened.  It’s also known as a “grabber”. The “thing” you include must tie-into your message inside. For example, one agent mails their farming pieces in a small brown paper bag with a stamp.  Inside, the letter headlines, “Here’s Why There’s No Free Lunch When Selling Your Home…” The letter talks about “you get what you pay for — so why would you use a discount broker and steal from yourself?” The letter then talks about the risks of using a discount broker, all the ways the agent can net the homeowner as much or more than a discount broker, makes an irresistible, completely risk free offer for a “Free Home Audit” and a “Free Special Report”. The agent also uses a few great testimonials and statistics about their success (proof). The letter is then followed-up by a second and third notice. Can you see how this type of mailing would get noticed and acted upon?

SECRET #2:   Make it “personal”

OK, you don’t always have to put something “lumpy” in your mail for it to stand out. Another way to get your mail seen is to make it so personal, the reader thinks it’s just for them. Here’s what to use on the envelope to make your mail look personal:

  • Hand addressed — or use handwriting font that actually looks real
  • Return address has personal name — not just business name
  • Stick on a “live” postage stamp — use Commemorative one if possible
  • Different size envelope than standard — 6 x 9 or greeting card size works great

Everything on this list above has personal appeal vs. junk mail – so your mail actually gets opened.

SECRET #3:   Make it “blind”

Have you ever received a letter with just a return address and NO business name? This works great when farming to new areas where people don’t know you – your prospect’s curiosity will help your mail get opened.

Here’s a blind envelope template you can use when farming (click the image to download the template)…

3-Steps To Use Your “Blind Envelope” Template STEP 1: Save the document to your computerBlindEnvelopeTemplateImage… Click the image or download this 6×9” BLIND ENVELOPE template by Clicking Here. STEP 2: Personalize it with your information… DO NOT put your name or your broker’s name at the upper left-hand return address. You can disclose your broker at the END of your letter inside of the envelope. Just use your return street address. STEP 3: Direct impression right on to your envelope… You can add merge fields to the template and then run the envelopes through your printer to “direct impression” the return address and the recipients address (or send the template to your printer with your mailing list).  But DO NOT use mailing labels. Curiosity is one of the strongest human emotions –  if you don’t have a relationship with a mailing list this can be one of the best ways to get your mail actually opened instead of being quickly identified as “just another promotion to throw out”. But remember, curiosity alone won’t help you build a stable business.  You also need to be marketing to a hot prospect, give compelling proof, a great offer, and call to action.

SECRET #4:   Make it “multi-sequence”

Multi-sequence contact always out-pulls single contact.  This applies to follow-up with leads or with farming an area. Direct mail pros have found that you may spend 2 or 3 times more to send out a sequence of 3 letters, but because the response rates are so much higher your ROI is also higher. To send a multi-sequence mailing successfully for a FSBO or Expired campaign…send your first mailing, then a second notice about 7 days later, then a third notice another 7 days later.  You can continue to send additional follow-up mailings or contacts until it’s no longer profitable.  But first start with a 3-step sequence rather than the usual one-and-done mailing agents usually do. And for target farm areas and especially to your Power List™ of past clients and friends…send direct mail MONTHLY to be there when the time is right for them to buy/sell/refer AND to demonstrate your consistency and follow-through. You’re leaving money on the table by not continuing to follow-up with a sequence of mailings. One last piece of advice from my 36-year direct marketing experience… I’ve just shared the most effective ways to get your direct mail opened. However, if you’re going to get new business you need direct mail letters that capture attention, engage your prospects, and make a strong offer so people contact you. Through our testing with thousands of agents across North America, we’ve identified a collection of pre-written templates that are proven to work. It’s just one part of what you get as a member of my 3-STEPS ULTIMATE™ Real Estate Success System. Learn more by clicking here.


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