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DIRECT MAIL TIPS : 75 WAYS FOR IMPROVEMENT

75 Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Postcards>
by Brandon Cornett

Real estate agents have used postcard marketing for decades. The reasons why are somewhat obvious. A real estate postcard campaign can be affordable, manageable and effective — all at the same time!

But before you begin a postcard campaign, you should educate yourself on the many ways to improve your response rates. Here are 75 ways to improve your response rates.

The Planning

1. Create an overall postcard plan to help you stay on track.

2. If at all possible, outsource the logistics to a real estate postcard vendor.

3. Make a list of postcard vendors and start comparing them.

4. Determine how you will write, design, print and mail your postcard.

5. Talk to colleagues who use postcards. Ask for their lessons learned.

6. Read at least five articles on the best practices of postcard marketing.

7. Make a postcard marketing budget that allows for at least five mailings.

The Objective

8. Clearly define the objective of each mailing you send out.

9. Be as specific as possible with your objective. Don't say, "I want to grow my business." Instead say, "I want to generate [x number] of direct responses from qualified prospects."

10. Make sure your objective is realistic (something a postcard can achieve).

11. Make sure your objective is based on some from of recipient response.

The Big Idea

12. Create a reason to mail postcards before you mail them.

13. Come up with a big idea that brings value to your postcards.

14. Find a way to be different from all the other real estate agent postcards.

15. Build value into your message and your offer.

16. Strive to make people say, "Wow, I'm glad I got this."

17. Read the "Super Card" chapter of the book mentioned at the end of this article.

The Mailing List

18. Obtain your mailing list from a reputable source.

19. Find out how often your list provider updates their data.

20. If using your in-house list, check it for accuracy, duplication, etc.

21. Make sure your list matches your message (and your message is relevant to your list).

22. Segment your list to allow for a more targeted message (e.g. buyers vs. sellers).

23. Make sure your list is as current as possible to increase deliverability.

The Audience Statement

24. Create an audience statement that defines the people you're mailing to.

25. Make a list of their wants, needs, fears and concerns.

26. Jot down notes on how you can deliver their needs and allay their fears.

27. Keep your audience statement nearby as you create your postcard's message.

The Message

28. Start with the message before the design.

29. Refer back to your audience statement and your objective.

30. Use the message to bridge the gap between your audience and your objective.

31. Infuse your message with your big idea from earlier.

32. Remember that a big idea is easy to write about, ever if you're not a writer.

33. Make sure your postcard message includes "layers" of value.

34. Create a message that solves a problem, presents a solution, and offers value.

The Headline

35. Write a headline that identifies your primary audience (directly or indirectly).

36. Offer a benefit with your headline. Suggest the value of what's to come.

37. Write your postcard's headline clearly.

38. Avoid the use of jokes, puns, complex language and the like.

39. Write an honest headline. Be able to back it up with the rest of your postcard.

40. Make your headline interesting. You can't bore people into contacting you.

41. Use strong, active words that move the reader forward.

42. Use the proven headline formulas in the postcard book mentioned below.

43. Use numbers and other specifics when possible. Avoid generalities.

The Design

44. Strive for professionalism in your postcard design.

45. Hire a designer, if necessary, or start with a professional postcard template.

46. Ask your postcard vendor how they can help you with design.

47. Strive for originality. Create a purple cow, not just another brown cow.

48. Use design to enhance your message. Don't let the design dominate the postcard.

49. Use design to improve the readability of your postcard.

50. Make sure your design supports the message you're trying to convey.

51. Create an eye-catching postcard that will "burst" out of the mailbox.

The Offer

52. Create a strong offer to improve your response rates.

53. The free consultation is not an offer. It's expected. Same goes for the CMA.

54. Offer something that's related to your services in some way.

55. Think of a way to create a high-value information report.

56. Base your report around a hot-button issue in your area (like urban expansion).

57. Think of a way to create a seminar people would love to attend.

58. Think of a way to combine the seminar with the high-value report.

59. Offer up a website that covers every aspect of your local real estate scene.

60. Make sure your offer is relevant, helpful and valuable to the reader.

61. Create a high perceived value of the thing you're offering. Position it.

62. Offer something better than what other agents are offering in your area.

63. Make sure the offer relates back to the headline. Make everything cohesive and united.

64. Follow your offer with a strong call-to-action (next item).

The Call-to-Action

65. Write a straightforward call-to-action that moves the reader forward.

66. Tell people how to respond in clear language. ("Visit www.mywebsite.com...")

67. Make your call-to-action stand out from the copy around it.

68. Make it easy for people to respond. Use as many response paths as possible.

69. Restate the reason they should respond. Restate the value of the offer.

The Tracking

70. Devise a way to track your response rates.

71. Google "measuring postcard success" and read a few articles.

72. Consider all the technical details of your tracking program.

73. Learn something from every postcard mailing you conduct.

74. Change one element at a time for pure comparison (list, offer, headline, etc.).

Education

75. Read "Real Estate Postcard Marketing" available at http://www.realestatepostcardbook.com.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brandon Cornett is the editor of PostcardSmart.com, the Internet’s largest website dedicated entirely to direct mail marketing with postcards. For more expert articles on postcard marketing, visit http://www.PostcardSmart.com

 

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