In the age of Zillow, it’s easy to be a skeptic. When you’ve got social media, email, and a laundry list of digital marketing techniques, it’s easy to think that real estate postcards aren’t actually effective.
That’s where you’re wrong. The direct mail response rate is 5.1% (which is big compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .4% social media and .2% online display).
Here are ten reasons why you should be adding postcards to your list of marketing tools as a realtor.
1. Real Estate Postcards are Open Mail
There’s closed mail, and then there’s open mail. Postcards are open mail, which is great news for you as a postcard marketer.
Closed mail is all of the campaigns you do that rely on stuffed envelopes. Those envelopes are great for fitting in all the cool promotions you’re doing.
But unless you’re mailing it to a dedicated customer, it’s a gamble as to whether anyone will actually open the envelope and find out about those promotions.
Open mail, like postcards and brochures, doesn’t need any letter openers to show off the good stuff. The visuals and message do their job as soon as your prospective customer picks them up. And as soon as they see the picture, they’re going to be curious about what’s on the other side.
A word to the wise, though: resist the urge to stuff three promotions on the front of your postcard. Your customer doesn’t care, and they won’t bother to read if they feel like you’re pitching them before they’ve even started.
Call it the car dealership effect.
2. It’s Cost Effective
The beauty of postcards? You can print them in bulk.
And printing them in bulk means saving big bucks for other marketing endeavors. Gotta love a marketing push that saves you money.
The cost keeps creeping down per postcard the larger your order is. And printing can be done as fast as the same day you order, so you can stay on schedule.
Plus, you can mail real estate postcards cheaper than other direct mail marketing. A whole third less than other types of postage, actually.
First class postage for a postcard costs about 27 cents if you size them at either 3 1/2 by 5 inches or 4 1/4 by 6 inches. Which leaves you with plenty of wiggle room in your budget to keep knocking your marketing goals out of the park.
3. Real Estate Postcards are Easy to Make
So let’s say you’re looking at making Postcards Online through an online vendor like MyPostcard.
And you’re worried about the undertaking required to get the postcards made.
Don’t be worried. Making real estate postcards is a lot easier than you think.
You don’t need any special, top-secret knowledge or crazy software, even if you decide to DIY it and do everything on your computer.
All you really need is the right image and a template to get you started (if you’ve never done a postcard campaign before, this can be a lifesaver). If you’re not a design wizard, templates can save you a lot of time, letting you focus your attention on your target audience and message instead of just looks.
There are even companies that will design and mail out the postcards for you.
In the scheme of marketing campaigns, postcards are relatively straightforward.
4. Postcard Marketing is Easy to Do
Think of it this way.
You need an image. As a realtor, good ones are pretty easy to come by.
You need a template. Which is also easy to come by.
Then, you need a message. Pick a good promotion you’re running or a yearly offer.
You need your high-value market, which you definitely already know.
Then, you need to print the cards. Which we’ve already established is easy and relatively cheap.
Then you need to mail them eight to twelve times a year.
All told, it’s a simple marketing process with a high return on investment. No special skills, no special equipment, no fancy hat tricks.
So, why haven’t you already started doing this?
5. Use Visuals to Their Advantage
Want to know the great thing about real estate postcards?
They have pictures.
Which is great news for your business, because in the real estate business, pretty houses are the name of the game.
Your postcards should capitalize on the fact that real estate is a visual industry. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
So cut the text down to what you need and let the photos do the talking for you.
The key here is to use high-quality pictures. As in, taken with a real, good quality camera, not a cell phone. Your best bet is to hire a professional photographer so that you can make sure you don’t inadvertently steal protected images.
Some other real estate agent paid good money to get those great pictures. You would be rather unhappy if another agent did the same thing to you.
Don’t be that guy. Get your own photos.
From there, the standby rule applies: let the picture speak for itself. Stick with a layout that’s simple and uncluttered. That way, recipients will be drawn in by the image and focus directly on your message.
You should also make sure that you keep your design consistent so that when someone receives a postcard from you, they know it’s from you at first glance.
6. Consistency in Frequency and Branding
If they don’t remember you, they aren’t going to spend their money at your business.
It’s true of other marketing techniques, and it’s true of real estate postcards.
A good rule of thumb is nine to twelve times a year for your high-value markets and four to twelve times a year for other targeted markets. The goal here is front-of-mind urgency, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck by sending more in the direction of your high-value markets.
Remember: when your targeted market thinks of your name when they think of real estate, then your postcard has done its job.
7. It Works with Other Channels
Welcome to 2018, where multi-channel marketing is the name of the game.
Why spend time in multiple marketing avenues if one is known to work well? Because different demographics respond to different marketing tactics.
Grandparents, for example, are more likely to read mail than millennials, and millennials are more likely to be on social media than their parents.
As an easy, cost-effective marketing tactic with a quick turnaround, real estate postcards pair well with other marketing efforts, especially online marketing, which provides a wealth of data you can use to make your direct mail campaigns more targeted.
8. Easy Way to Target High-Value Markets
First, there’s a market – a group of people with a common interest. High-value markets are the ones that will bring the largest return on your effort and investment.
These include past and current clients, the neighborhood where you live or work, or other demographic and geographic markets where you have significant name recognition.
You’ll have the most success with your real estate postcards if you focus on high-value markets first – the low cost of investment plus the significant interest on the part of the customer means a high return on investment.
It’s worth noting, however, that just-sold and just-listed campaigns are exceptions to this rule.
9. Postcard Marketing is Trackable
In the era of heaps of lost or useless data, marketing efforts with trackable metrics are the golden ticket.
Good news that real estate postcards offer just that.
If a contact mentions receiving a postcard, you note it in your CRM, as well as the time it took to receive a response. If a customer uses links on your website provided in a postcard promotion, you should track that activity to see how much traffic the campaign is giving you.
But keep in mind – you could be tracking a single campaign for years, depending on the scope of the offer you sent out and how evergreen the cards are.
10. Real Estate Postcards are Personal
Who was the last person you got a postcard from?
Probably a friend or family member. So what comes to mind when you think of postcards?
Nostalgia, probably. And a fondness for when people took the time to send each other real mail.
Truly successful real estate postcards will look at first like a message from a friend. This isn’t done to deceive the recipient, but to capitalize on the psychological response of receiving a postcard from a friend.
People get bombarded with advertising 24/7. Receiving a message that feels personal to them is a great way to set yourself apart.
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