Direct Mail Best Practices
Here is some valuable insight I have learned over the years from our real estate postcard marketers that is relevant for any small business. Realtors like to use postcard marketing for two reasons. The first is to drive inquiries and leads (short-term). The second is drive more business and referrals (long-term).
Before you tackle this question there is one higher-level question you might want to consider. That is, are you sending your postcard marketing to the right mailing list or audience?
My marketing team is not perfect, but we sure try hard. Over the years we have sent countless direct mail business postcards to both prospects and customers. For the ones that have worked well I have noticed a pattern (or set of principles) for what works well and what does not. I have outlined seven of the basic principles that we tend to follow when we are designing our own direct mail postcard campaigns.
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Direct mail is a meaningful, interactive, and crucial part of a real estate or other small business marketing campaign. Postcards and other forms of direct mail can be used to direct qualified leads online to interact with a business via its website and / or social media profile. Direct marketing efforts can also be used to gather additional consumer data with which to further qualify them as a prospect. Also, because technology has evolved to allow direct mail and postcard marketing to be more targeted than ever before, sending postcards on a consistent basis is one of the most affordable and cost-effective consumer marketing tactics.
Direct mail is an affordable real estate and small business marketing tool that garners excellent results. By following some direct mail and postcard marketing best practices, you can increase customer response, brand visibility, and overall return on investment. First, refine your mailing list to reach your perfect customer. Second, tailor the content of your direct mail piece to your intended recipients. Third, draw attention to only one call-to-action, and be specific in the action you want the recipient to take. Fourth, track and measure your response to see which messages or offers work best. Fifth and finally, set measurable goals, learn from your successes and challenges, and be consistent.
Motivate real estate and small business customer direct mail response with a great call-to-action statement. Use a message on your direct mail postcard that either appeals to your prospect’s emotions or creates a sense of urgency. Start your call-to-action statement with a verb and use language that is direct, simple, and easy to understand. Use effective postcard direct mail design to visually separate the statement from the rest of the postcard message.
Making your brand consistently and easily recognizable makes it easier for your real estate or other small business organization to stand out and be noticed. Follow these five best practices to make it easier for customers to recognize and approach your brand: 1) make your brand unique and simple, 2) use a bold logo that is easily seen by customers and prospects, 3) select and stick with consistent colors that represent your brand, 4) use the same one to two fonts on all branded marketing items, and 5) once established, consistently apply your branding guidelines for all outbound marketing communications efforts.
Placing focus on customer retention and loyalty can not only help you maintain your business, but also increase revenue. Communicating with your real estate or small business customer base on a consistent basis using direct mail postcard marketing is a great way to make your business top of mind and keep customers coming back. Maintain an up-to-date customer database, create a mailing schedule, and set reminders for yourself to make it easy to remember to stay in touch. Real estate agents and brokers, for example, can use postcards to inform customers of just sold and just listed property success as a way to capture attention and obtain additional listing opportunities or referrals.
The layout and design of your postcard direct mail piece plays an important role in getting the desired response from real estate and small business customers and prospects. We’ve put together three tips that will help you design a great call-to-action that gets your postcard’s recipients to take action. You don’t have to be a designer to utilize these tips as they can also help you to provide constructive criticism to a graphic designer or agency you’ve hired. First, emphasize only the action you want the recipient to take, de-emphasizing everything else on the postcard. Second, make your design simple so your call-to-action is easily found. And third, don’t feel the need to fill every inch of your postcard with words or images. White space can be an excellent way to showcase your product or special offer.