The 7 Deadly Sins of Direct Marketing

By Alex Camelio, CEO - Posted on
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Last Updated on August 18, 2021

I’ve noticed recently that agents are getting frustrated chasing online leads, and many of them are turning to Direct Response Marketing instead… which has me really excited! However, I’ve also noticed that people are making the same classic mistakes with their Direct Response Campaigns and I don’t want you to fall victim. So, I’ve outlined the 7 Deadly Sins that could destroy your Direct Response Marketing Campaign, and ruin any hopes of it significantly growing your business.

SIN #7 – Sent To The Wrong People

Sending to the wrong people is probably one of the most common and damaging mistakes you can make. I’ve outlined this on the blog before, and I also go through it in detail in this webinar, so I’ll give you the short version.

The top 100 – 200 people in your sphere are by far the most valuable contacts you could possibly have. Over your career, you can easily generate more money with this small group of people, than you could ever hope to by chasing cold leads. For some reason though, many agents deploy their marketing on total strangers – while ignoring that small, but incredibly profitable group.

Solution: Focus your direct response marketing campaigns on a small, but incredibly powerful list of your top contacts.

SIN #6 – Looks Like Marketing

The second sin is one that can stop even the best campaigns in their tracks. Let me ask – where do you sort your mail? If it’s anything like me, it’s over the recycling bin, because the first thing I want to do is get rid of anything that looks like it’s trying to sell me something. Heck, I even do the same thing with my email and delete sales offers immediately.

Don’t get caught in that trap! If your direct response campaign looks too colorful, glossy, or professionally designed, it can easily end up in the trash before it even has a chance to get you referrals.

Solution: Make your marketing campaign look as though you created it yourself and sent it directly.

SIN #5 – Generic and Not Personal

Beyond looking personal enough to make it past the recycling bin, it’s also about making a connection with the content you send. When you form a relationship with someone, they’re a lot more likely to work with you and send you business. However, too often I see agents who keep their marketing totally business related… with no personal flair.

Solution: Make a personal connection with your marketing by including things like, information about yourself, recognition of clients or those sending you referrals, or even a personal note.

SIN #4 – Lacks Valuable Content

I see agents make this same mistake in nearly all their marketing. – they send content that’s only valuable to part of their audience, some of the time… and yes, I’m talking about real estate information!

On average, someone enters a real estate transaction roughly every 8 years. Even if they spend a full year thinking about the transaction beforehand, you’ve still got 7 years where they don’t really care about the real estate market. So, if you’re only sending people real estate information, they’re going to tune out your message over time.

Solution: To keep your sphere engaged and coming back for more, you need to provide interesting and valuable information for them. This can be things like helpful how-to content, gifts & giveaways, involvement devices, check-in’s, and even a helpful ear.

SIN #3 – No, or Bad Calls To Action

This mistake is less common than the others, but is a critical component to making sure your marketing delivers clients. Not including any calls to action is a pretty bad oversight, but including a bad call to action can be even worse! If you come off as being too salesy, you can ruin the relationship your campaign worked so hard to build.

Solution: Use an offer for additional valuable information – or referral programming – to convert clients without being salesy.

SIN #2 – Not Positioning Yourself As an Expert

I know we talked about people not really caring about real estate information in between transactions, but you still need to position yourself as an expert in order to end up with clients and referrals when it’s time. The mistake I see is, agents are either all or nothing when including real estate information in their marketing – and totally excluding it can be almost as damaging as using it exclusively.

Solution: Position only 10%-20% of your content as real estate information and do it in a roundabout way, like thanking clients, or offering additional information like we discussed above.

SIN #1 – One and Done

The #1 most common and damaging error that I see agents make with their direct marketing campaigns is sending it once and then quitting… or sending messages inconsistently. Whether you’re talking about your best list of contacts, or cold leads, your likelihood of converting business off of a single marketing piece is abysmal. Beyond which, for every month you don’t follow up with your existing contacts, you actively lose about 10% of them.

Solution: Use a service to make it easy to consistently follow up with your leads in a way that feels personal but has the right balance of referral programming to drive you business.

Skip the Sins, Get Straight Down to Business

If you really want to get results, and significantly grow your real estate business with direct response marketing, here’s my best tip: make it easy on yourself and use something that does it for you, like Service For Life!®. This personal marketing system is one of the most successful strategies I’ve ever seen agents incorporate in their business, because it was created specifically to help agents stop making common and costly mistakes with their marketing, and to start seeing new business generated from every dollar spent.

If you aren’t familiar with this golden goose of personalized real estate marketing, I highly suggest giving it a try in your practice before more agents catch on to the genius of direct response!

Generate Leads in as Little as 90-Seconds a Month!

“There are so many gimmicks out there…but this one really works…” – Kenneth T., REALTOR®, New York 

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Alex Camelio
Throughout his career, Alex has personally helped over 15,000 Agents and Brokers, including some of the Top REALTORS® in North America. His passion for marketing, technology and business development has translated into more than a decade of cutting edge technology and contributions to the real estate industry. As the CEO of the Agent Inner Circle®, a 40,000-member real estate agent community, Alex focuses on providing agents with education and actionable strategies to grow and optimize their business, ultimately building some of the most successful careers in real estate today. Alex is an internationally recognized educator who’s shared his thoughtful and energetic presentations with various National Associations and industry organizations. As always, Alex is excited to share his expertise with everyone.
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