direct mail techniques

got about 195 listings of houses that have been on the market for 90 days+, I wanted to direct mail every single one and see the response rate.

Was thinking of 2 options:

  • - all they need is a spreadsheet with names & addresses, they take care of the rest

  • writing out personal letters or postcards (handwritten)

obviously click2mail would take me about one-hundreth of the time, but I was wondering if anyone had experience both ways and saw a difference in responses?

Both have their advantage. The yellow letters will pull good results. However hard to beat the cost and easy of the PO

Good to see you back Michael. :beer


Both will take the same amount of time if you get a mailhouse to do your personal letters. And the personal letters will most certainly pull much better than postcards.

Matter of fact MichaelQuarles offers such a service and his pricing can’t be beat.

click2mail is the least desirable method for us. We’re fairly convinced if you use click2mail you’ll think that direct mail is dead. Why?

We believe it’s because it looks like what it is; bulk mail; complete with bar codes, machined postage, and “dot matrix” labeling and other “machining tells” (as in gambler’s tics).

We’ve experimented with over four thousand direct mail pieces using C2M and got 2 responses in 30 days. That’s using proven pieces we’ve otherwise hand addressed and hand stamped and achieved a 10% response rate after 90 days.

However, the amount of filtering increased/decreased the quality and number of response rates. Meantime, 10% response rates from highly filtered lists is normal for us.

Meantime, for every 50 handwritten letters we send, we get 10-12 responses in the first round. When I say “handwritten,” I mean a short paragraph written in pencil, stuffed in a white envelope, and hand addressed in blue ink with a stamped return address on the front.

[b]Our list rule(s) are…

  1. Know the market by defining the “best” prospects.
    a. by location, size, equity position, price point, loan terms, etc.
  2. Filter the prospect list to match the criteria we’ve defined as “best.”
    a. exclude certain ranges of locations, sizes, equity positions, price points, loan terms, etc.
  3. Maintain the most organic/personal marketing approach as feasible.
    a. generate a “relationship” with the prospect with as much genuine personalization of the mail piece as is workable.
  4. Respond to prospects quickly and personally.
  5. Make money.
  6. Rinse and repeat.[/b]

Hope that helps…


Very below tips are good to know an much better to implement. I have not done this before and would like to know what more I can do better. Some of my friends are using and implementing this and they are getting better responses too.

I have probably mailed over 100,000 click2 mail post cards over the last 3 years. The response rate is about 1/2 of a percent based on my mail. Now I have gotten as high as 5% on other pieces. But, it was not as good.

Just as the “Yellow Letter” you will get responses. But, are the responses from Motivated Sellers? Some tout 5-15%. Some say they just a very short message such as

"Hi James,

My name is Deryl and my wife Darlene want to buy your home at 123 MAIN STREET"

Personally, I think those kind of calls are a waist. Conversion rates are low. Maybe I am wrong. Personally, I have only mailed about 1,000 of these yellow letters…some with longer messages as I wanted to weed out the NON MOTIVATED guy.

This is just my opinion

Yeah, in direct response marketing, the quality of the response is much more important than the number of responses. That’s why it’s necessary to both define, refine, and filter our mailing list in the first place, and/or refine the message to filter out those who don’t qualify for what we’re offering; in our case “unmotivated sellers.”

So, filtering the mailing list would be a more efficient way to cut marketing costs, regardless of what the mail piece comprises.

Meantime, it seems to me that many newbies confuse volume response with quality response. Never mind the time, money, or emotional burn out rate from dealing with the unqualified, confused and/or unmotivated prospects simply, because little/no effort is made to direct the advertising to the smallest, most responsive, likely list of prospects. Tiny, filtered lists are like thick veins of gold to mine.

I think John $Cash$ Locke would call this “message to market” advertising.

Filtering is what I think is the best way and I am willing to get into this. There are still some people who are not known to direct mail techniques and through here they can get better updates. I am not into Direct mailing but, I am about to start this but, before this I want to get some better updates.

I’m finding sellers using codes violations first. I have to go to the city codes administration to get addresses because its not online. I send them a letter once a month with a personal message.

Regarding mailings, you send say 100 letters out to prospects. What’s next? Do you send another hundred a week later? Do you mix up letters with post cards? I’ve heard you have to “touch” people 5-7 times before you get a response. Thanks in advance. Rob

We believe that multiple exposures is the key to lasting success. Some prospects need a reminder. Others need to become familiar. Others need a kick in the head. Our response rates “climb with time,” to coin phrase. However, our message needs to be as focused as we can and tailored to the narrowest niche, so that our money and time are efficiently spent on the most likely prospects.

It’s not like we’re trying to get everyone to drink Coke. It’s like we’re trying to find a tiny niche of folks who are most likely interested in drinking drain water. Just kidding…! More like capturing the prospects that would drink carrot apple-juice, for example.

Just for giggles let’s say that our goal is to find all the “first time” carrot-apple juice drinkers. There might be several motivations for people to choose to buy and drink our carrot apple juice. Health. Healing. Preventative health. Energy. Coolness (hipness) and ???

So our job as direct response marketers then is to offer prospects health, healing, prevention of disease, energy and the chance to become cooler than their friends; offering them reason(s) (and a chance) to buy our juice …today!

Now, multiple exposures to this message will soften up the ones that hate vegetables, but want to be cool; motivate the ones that want to have energy; and maybe energize others who became sick. Any one or all of these potential prospects might need to be warmed up to our product offer and call to actions …over time.

We think that more than one type of exposure creates both credibility and familiarity with our offers (and us). We think that postcards go with letters go with websites go with phone messages go with yard signs go with online ads, etc. etc. It brands us and is very powerful when it’s all working.

Here’s to carrot-apple juice…! :beer

Nice post above… :beer

In today’s market where there are limited home sellers prospect types I like the more laser approach to marketing. Absolutely having all aspects of your business is beneficial however if new a focused marketing approach is king.

I wrote a book on 101 advertising methods if you care to take a read… You may find some helpful hints.

Happy hunting…

Where do I get a copy of your book?

Response and conversion rates will always be low with any marketing, however conversion rates ultimately depend on how good the investor is at presenting the solutions. But “low” is a relative term; the majority of leads will never turn into deals no matter what we do.

It’s true that with yellow letters most of the calls will be junk. Many of them call just to tell you they’re not looking to sell. But you’re only concerned with the ones with an actual house for sale. The thing I like about yellow letters is if they actually have a house for sale they will be compelled to call. So if you get a 15% response rate from a yellow letter mailing, perhaps only 3% of that list even has a house for sale. With the yellow letter you’re almost assured that a good-sized chunk of that 3% will pick up the phone. However if you mail postcards to that exact same list you’ll be lucky to get a fraction of that same 3% to respond.

That is an interesting thought about your conversion rates. But, I can hit 3 houses with a post card to 1 letter. Not sure I do agree with your idea of the conversion rate to call. But you are correct, that it is about SELLING not TELLING.

We do get a lot of calls from our yellow letters telling us they aren’t selling, where did you get my info, etc., but it’s a numbers game and you’ll go through that with any direct mail. We do a combination of yellow letters and post cards to the same list. We get more calls from a batch of yellow letters, but the number of quality calls is probably the same as postcards - but it does get you talking with some people that wouldn’t respond to a card, so you never know. We’ll keep using them.

there are also other ways too that u can use
only sending email will not work , u need a lot of other work
try livebusinesscare , they will do that at a very low price