As you’re getting ready to start sending out direct mail, there are some decisions you need to consider. To put it simply, direct mail is a marathon and not a sprint. If done right, you’ll have a direct mail campaign that is targeted to motivated sellers and set to go out over the coming months.
We’ve heard from multiple investors that they had a set budget for marketing and used the entire budget the first month!
Sure, it was exciting to send out so many letters but it became difficult for them to respond to all of the phone calls (the hot leads) and go out on appointments in a timely manner. It is important that you have the ability to meet with your seller ASAP.
We’re going to break down a few important considerations to figure out before sending out your first wave of direct mail.
Determine Your Monthly Marketing Budget
#Everyone’s monthly budget is going to be different.
You ideally want to have a budget to last 3-6 months so that you have time to secure your first deal.
In addition to considering what you’re able to set aside each month for marketing, you want to also consider how far that will go in your market.
In larger markets that have a heavy investor presence, your dollar might not go as far. If this is the case, you have to be smarter with your marketing dollars so that it’s being used most effectively.
In a smaller market, your dollar can go further as there isn’t as much competition, but keep in mind that there will be less qualified leads in the area.
What List Are You Going to Send to?
The more popular lists out there to buy are probate, tax delinquencies, high equity, and absentee owners, but there are other lists that you can try out as well. (We have a blog over the 3 Types of Motivated Sellers that covers this topic)
The cost will vary depending on which list you purchase but getting a good, solid list that you can mail to for months can be the difference in 1 deal every now and then to consistently bringing in a deal or two a month.
Your goal with buying a list is to have a good conversion rate when you consider how many letters are sent out compared to how many leads you receive and ultimately, how many deals you close from them. It is very important that you track your results so you know where you’re generating results.
Create a Drop Schedule
Like we mentioned before, you don’t want to send out mail to your entire list and then sit by the phone waiting for it to ring. Doing this will flood your phones for days as the mail hits and unless you have virtual assistants to help field calls, you’re likely going to be missing opportunities for deals.
Not only that, but direct mail is most effective when you’re sending out multiple letters over time so that when the seller is ready to talk to someone, your information is readily in front of them.
Depending on the frequency you want to send out to, it can be a good idea to divide the list up so you’re sending it over multiple weeks. An example would be if you had a list of 5,000 leads and you want to mail to them 1 time each month. You can send out 1,250 letters the 1st week, another 1,250 letters the 2nd week, and so on.
You’re still sending out the same amount of letters but this helps with capacity on your part and keeps leads flowing in each week.
If you were to mail out every 2 months, you could easily adjust this example to have 1,250 letters sent out every 2 weeks instead of every week. You can also send a smaller amount of letters each week if that works better.
Set up a schedule that works for your business!
As your business grows, you can always increase the number of leads you’re sending out to.
Be Ready for the Phone
A good trick is to always send a letter to yourself for each direct mail drop. This way, you know when others are starting to receive theirs and you can expect the phone to start ringing from that particular batch.
When you’re just getting started, it’s likely that the person answering the phone will be you… and just you.
You need to consider when you’ll be able to take calls and what your plan is for your “off-hours”.
- Will you let it go to voicemail?
- How soon do you plan to call back?
- For those working a “normal” job, will you be able to answer during work hours?
It’s a catch-22 here.
If you don’t answer the phone, it’s likely that the lead will be talking to another investor within the half hour. On the other hand, if you are answering calls 24/7, it can easily create chaos for your home life.
There’s definitely a balance to be made here.
Set specific times that you’ll be able to answer the phone. Make it so that you’re available as much as you’re able to without drastically interfering with family or other commitments like your “normal” job.
During the times that you aren’t taking calls, consider if you’d rather have a call center or virtual assistant answer the calls, or if you’d simply like them to go to your voicemail.
Virtual assistants will be the most qualified option but there will be cost involved that you may not have a budget for just yet.
After you’ve sent your first round of letters out, make sure they’re on a schedule to be sent out on a consistent basis. For you, this might be monthly, bi-monthly, or on your own custom schedule you’ve set.
When sending follow ups, you can choose whether or not you want to send the exact same letter each month or if you’d like to change up the wording each round.
All of the above can be customized to fit your schedule, your budget, and your business in general. As your business grows, you’ll see what’s working and what isn’t.
Direct mail is one of the most important action-oriented steps for you to take to start doing deals.
Make a plan.
Send out your letters.
And never forget to follow up!