My first direct mailing - any advice?

I’ve finally learned how to compile my own list from public records.

I have a list of Lis Pendens (pre-foreclosures) from public records that have been filed this month. I plan to mail them all once a week for 4 weeks with a yellow letter campaign.

It’s .35 cents to view the full records online, but there’s enough information for me to compile a list of Lis Pendens recorded and the name for free. I’m as targetted as :

  • pre-foreclosure
  • Joliet, IL

I’m curious how you guys break down your lists farther. I’d consider paying to view the full files if i knew what to look for next, but for a first mailing this seems to be a quality source of pre-foreclosure leads.

If you are going to be using the yellow letter for marketing, all you need is the Property Owner’s Name, the Property Address, and the Mailing Address. That’s it!! When they call you, that is when you can collect any additional information that will help in your pre-screening phase/
Good Luck!!

Yes that’s what i have. Property address, owner, and date of Lis Penden recorded.

But i know if i pay to view the full file i can do my own title work and estimate how much equity they have, and pre-screen my list. I just want to make sure i’m not shooting myself in the foot by ‘over-targeting’ and missing the target lol.

If the records would have that sort of information then it would be well worth it to pay .35 to find out. I would like to know how you are able to access the lis pendens from public records? Is it just making a trip to the courthouse or what? I am only able to get them when they hit the paper and then I have 3 wks or less to turn it around.

It started out as a trip to the court house fishing through the records. I learned that the records are available online for my county. I can search through them, and get some basic information, but for the full document i need to pay .35 a piece.

I have enough information for free to find Lis Penden’s recorded, the address, and the name. Enough for a simple mailing to pre-foreclosures. (If i’m wrong about Lis Penden’s = pre-foreclosures please let me know :slight_smile: )

I’m not going to try to whittle down the targetting more as of now. I’ll mail to them, learn what most of the leads offer, and take proper steps to further target my list next time if i get alot of dead leads.

So you were able to gain the list from going to the county courthouse? What department did you seek and what did you ask for? I would pay to have access of this online if that is the case here.

Sounds like you are going with the FREE process since it gives you what you need. Did you decide not to do the .35/ea and get the loan and lien info too? I thought you were going to weed some out with that info?

Also, is the lis pendens list people that are in the process of foreclosure but a auction date has not been set yet? I am still trying to figure out that one. I have two states to know here because I like close to a county line. Missouri is non-judicial and a no redemption state whereas Kansas is judicial and a 90-120 days redemption state. I have time to work with KS residents but getting a pre-foreclosure in Missouri is tricky. Once they hit the paper, they have 3 weeks before the are gone.

I went to the circuit clerk, and the recorder of deeds.

They all seemed to have information if you were willing to look for it. I went to my county’s recorder of deeds site, and if you go to search records, you’ll see how i’m doing it. It’s free unless you want ‘full’ info, and i’ve decided to keep things as ‘free’ as possible until i close my first deal.

Have my yellow letters written up, yellow envelopes came today, will buy my stamps, hand address them, and OUT THEY GO!

Lis Pendens mean a file has been suited. I’m assuming this means for foreclosure, but i’m a noob myself and have only been at this for ~3 months. There’s no learning like the doing though.


I’ve been doing my mailing for 8 days now. I’ve had one call, but granted, i’m ONLY targeting one town, and only lis penden’s recorded (pre-foreclosures).

My start date was Oct. 15th for when the Lis Penden’s were filed. So far, Oct. 30th, 42 have been filed.

Thus, it’s taken 42 mailings to get 1 call so far. My follow up approach is the same mailing, once a week, for 4 weeks. Honestly, i don’t know how long homeowners have here (Illinois) from the time the suit is filed, till the time they foreclose. So 4 weeks may not be the optimal number. I’m going to keep it fixed for now though as a control.

I’m using a yellow mail campaign. Hand written everything, you know the scoop. The lady who did call me actually thanks me, said bless me, etc. She seemed very appreciative of the fact that i put in the time to handwrite it.

I’ll keep everyone posted on how it goes. The one thing i like about mailing as opposed to my bandit signs out there, is i already know their name and address. That way before i return their voicemail, i can research the property, have a ballpark price range (zillow, local comp’s, etc), research title, etc. I really like the ‘control’ of direct mailing.

Then again, my bandit signs are cheap, easy, and not time demanding (put them out and let them work), as opposed to constantly writing letters, keeping up with follow up plan’s, etc.

I’m looking forward to closing my first deal, and then letting an answering service take my calls so i can concentrate on marketing and closing deals.

Right now i have 2 jobs, i’m a college student, and every inch of time and money i can put into this business, i am. Being able to outsource taking calls, prescreening the leads, and calling those who i can actually help would be a great advantage.

I’ve never heard the trem “Yellow Letter”. Can someone tell me what thay are so I don’t sound like an idiot? Thnx!

Yellow Letter Campaign is a mailing campaign where you send a handwritten letter on yellow legal pad, in a handwritten envelope with a live stamp. It’s supposed to look odd, but personal. It’s uniqueness has sellers AT LEAST opening it, although your copy is going to depict whether they call or not.

New update on my mailings. First 50 mailings, 3 calls.

I recently cut down my amount of mailings after the 3rd call. I took the 55 leads i have, and now only use the ones with a mortgage origination date of 5+ years. So my 55 leads turned into 8 leads.

My question is, what does the mortgage origination date being 5+ years tell me?

From what i can see, they atleast have 5+ years of principal being paid on their house, thus SOME equity. But what if someone got their mortgage a year ago, but had a 30% down payment? They would have enough equity for me to work with as well.

This is my dilemma due to lack of experience, how do i effectively whittle down a full pre-foreclosure list into those who i should be talking to?

I do direct mail campaigns for many investors and I provide the list based on my client’s criteria (which is usually by zip , along lenght of ownership, etc…Since I subscribe to various list services, I can pass along my savings to my clients. And it’s a lot less than .35/name!

Investors should be spending their time doing what they do best: Investing!!! Hiring out a marketing/direct mail caampaign makes economical sense, and it is so much more successful when you have a professionally written letter! (And I mean by a marketing professional, not some investor that has decided to claim to be a “marketing expert”.) Remember, cost of the letter is the same, whether the content is effective or if it’s junk!

One thing that I have heard people experiment with as an alternative to a Yellow Letter Campaign is using postcards. From the sound of it, people have been using postcards for direct marketing campaigns with good success. In case it helps at all, I stumbled into an article that talks more about it in detail. Have a look at: