It is a common belief among real estate agents that postcard marketing takes a long time to work, but our experience proves that this promotional method is one of the most efficient strategies for this industry.
Effective postcards work immediately and, over time, create an increased flow of business.
To ensure your postcard marketing generates positive results, follow our five tips to foolproof postcard marketing.
1. Have your postcards designed for results
Effective postcards are designed with the following elements:
- Pictures of homes for sale
- Branding created with consistency of colour, layout, design and fonts
- A message tailored to the targeted market
- Calls to action
2. Maintain consistency in frequency and branding.
Effective postcard frequency is 9 to 12 times annually to your highest-value market, and 4 to 12 times annually to other targeted markets. The goal of any marketing campaign is to create top-of-mind awareness as well as interest. That means when the targeted market thinks of real estate, your name should come to mind. And when your name comes to mind, the targeted market associates it with a successful real estate experience.
3. Target high-value markets
High-value markets are the ones that will bring the largest return on investment and effort. You want to send your postcards to the groups of people most likely to generate the results.
Here is a hierarchy of high-value markets:
- Your sphere of influence, including past clients
- The neighborhood where you live and /or work
- Other geographic or demographic markets that you have a high level of name or face recognition
Just-listed and just-sold campaigns violate this rule. The returns on these campaigns bring much higher returns when they are sent repeatedly to the same markets, even though the just-listed or just-sold property is not in the immediate area.
4. Measure your results
You should measure immediate results, as well as results over time of your postcard campaign. Within days of receiving an effective postcard, some people will respond. You may get e-mails, registrations on your website, requests for information, or an offered service, depending on what call to action you use. You may simply get a personal acknowledgement. Best of all, you may get requests to discuss selling or buying.
Each week and month, effective postcards can generate additional initial appointments. Each quarter and each year, they create additional listings and sales.
So every morning, take five minutes to record results, initial appointments, listings, and sales—noting the sources of each. Notice what postcard and what specific part of the postcard generated the results. Then, repeat postcard elements that generate the best responses; eliminate the elements that don’t.
Also, measure return on your investment. Effective postcard campaigns return a minimum of four times the cost. More often, the return is 8 to 12 times the cost.
5. Don’t forget the WIIFT
As you put together any postcard marketing campaign, consider the mindset of your audience. The most crucial question is: What’s in it for them (WIIFT)? What is going through the minds of people in your target market? Are they curious about what is happening to property values? Are they wondering whether to sell or buy? Are they concerned about how unemployment is affecting their neighborhood? Do they completely trust that you’ll do the best job serving their needs and bring them the best value for their home?
At first, many real estate professionals don’t believe they can create a relevant or effective message, especially when it comes to selling themselves. But most practitioners can develop terrific messages if they apply themselves. Brainstorm with colleagues, clients and friends and the right message and tone of voice will become apparent.