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DIRECT MAIL TIPS : FOLLOW THESE SIX WAYS

Six Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Postcards
by Brandon Cornett

As an agent or broker, you probably already know the benefits of using postcards to market yourself. Postcard marketing — a.k.a. direct mail marketing — is quick, affordable, versatile, and easy to target and test.

What you may not know is that you can often improve your postcard marketing results just by making minor adjustments to your approach. Here are seven such adjustments.

1. Increase the Value of Your Offer

If you're relying on the "free consultation" to motivate your prospects, you need to rethink your approach. The free consultation fails as an offer because it's not really an offer. Your prospects view the consultation as part of your job, not any kind of bonus.

The same goes for the comparative market analysis, or CMA. There may have been a time when the consultation and CMA got people excited, but that time has passed.

So what do you do?

Simple. You offer something unique and valuable in exchange for their response. (Keep in mind "valuable" does not have to mean "expensive.") What you offer is limited only by your imagination and the law. You might offer a local entertainment guide, a home-buying seminar, a seller's guide, a no-cost landscaping assessment ... the possibilities are nearly endless.

2. Segment Your Audience

A segmented mailing list lets you get more specific and relevant with your postcard message. If your audience includes both homeowners and renters, split them into separate lists. This will free you up to say exactly what you want to exactly who you want. For example, you could speak directly to renters by offering them a first-time buyer's seminar.

That's just one of many ways to segment your list. You can also break it up by age, neighborhood, buyer vs. seller, prospect vs. customer, home value, etc. Sure, it takes more effort on your part. But in this age of information overload, you have to make your message specific and relevant in order to make a connection.

3. Analyze Your List

Your list connects you with your audience, and your audience determines your direct mail success. So give your list the attention it deserves. Ask all the hard questions: Is my list up to date? Is this the best possible list for me to be using, given my objectives? Is my list too general? Should I segment it into groups?

Optimize your list(s) every chance you get. And make sure you protect it by saving it in various places — on your computer, on a disc, on the Internet somewhere. Can you imagine how devastating it would be to lose a list of past clients?

4. Simplify Your Message

Postcards are small and direct. That's an advantage they have over a direct mail letter. With no envelope to get between you and your recipient, the message can make an immediate connection.

"Immediate" is the key word here. Limit your postcard to one main idea, and keep your language clear and simple. That doesn't mean you should talk down to your audience. It just means you should make your message and your offer so clear that readers "get it" upon first glance.

When you confuse a reader, you lose a reader. So make your message clear.

5. Clarify Your Call-to-action

First off, make sure you have a call-to-action. Without one, your postcard is just a piece of paper in a mailbox. It doesn't give anyone a reason to do anything. So make sure to include a call-to-action on your postcard. Just as important, make your call-to-action clearly visible. Put it in a colored box where it can't be missed. Or put it in a bigger, bolder font than the rest of the copy. Make it impossible to miss.

6. Offer Multiple Ways to Respond

Give your recipients as many ways to respond as possible. Some people don't like to call strangers right off the bat, so cater to this by pointing them toward your website. Other people are more direct, so cater to them by listing your phone number and email address. If you're marketing to relocation prospects (who might not live in the area), give them an 800 number to call.

 

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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