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Handwritten Direct Mail for Real Estate Investors
Real estate has become a crowded field. The days where investors were lightly peppered in among conventional homebuyers are long gone. Today, institutional investors, flippers, real estate agents, and even hedge funds are piling into a market that seems ill-suited to such a swell of investor money.
But here’s the rub. It’s not the market that’s oversaturated. The problem is the marketing tactics most real estate investors use. The standard communication channels — MLS, email, social, and standard printed direct mail — are stretched beyond capacity. Too many investors are using the same strategies to find a limited number of motivated buyers. This translates to a glut of “me too” messages in prospects’ inboxes and mailboxes.
If the channels investors are using to reach prospects are crowding out your messages, the solution to the problem of finding properties can’t be more of the same. New thinking is required, looking for unexplored strategies that perform better than standard tactics and don’t suffer from chronic overcrowding.
Handwritten direct mail is the answer. It takes advantage of the novelty of handwritten cards to dramatically increase open and response rates. And very few of your peers are using the tactic, which means you can avoid the competition and land your message directly in front of your prospects’ eyeballs.
How does it work? Let’s dig in.
SEE ALSO: Real Estate Marketing Tips in 2021
WHY IS HANDWRITTEN DIRECT MAIL SO EFFECTIVE?
You can answer this question for yourself. Consider how many emails, “junk” or otherwise, you completely ignore in a given day. Now think about all the generic, printed mailers you chuck straight into the trash. Both categories are pretty full.
Now consider what you do when a hand-addressed envelope shows up in your mailbox. Do you ignore it or drop it unopened in the bin? Probably not. If you’re like most people, you pull the handwritten envelope to the top of the pile and open it immediately.
Why? Because it feels special. Handwritten cards and letters, once a mainstay of the daily mail, have become extremely rare. So when one shows up, it piques your interest. Is it from a friend or loved one? Is it some other special message? The answer’s unclear so…you open the letter.
Handwritten direct mail enjoys a 99% open rate. Compare that to the 42% of people that read or scan standard printed direct mailers, or the pitiful 20% open rate available with email, and you can appreciate the difference.
But why should real estate investors specifically utilize handwritten direct mail? Because motivated sellers prefer to work with someone they feel they can trust. They know they’re in a desperate situation, leading them to interface with some unsavory characters. If you can present a warm, solid, human experience that demonstrates you know where your prospects are coming from, you’ll land more deals.
It also helps that handwritten cards feel premium to your recipients. They take time and effort to create (unless you use Simply Noted and you should), so readers assign them a higher value than other tactics. The personalization and emotional immediacy available with handwritten cards and letters connect with your prospects far more effectively than emails or generic printed mailers.
THE ECONOMICS OF HANDWRITTEN DIRECT MAIL
Let's look at some concrete examples to understand how powerful handwritten direct mail is for real estate investors.
At the low end of the response rate curve, we have email campaigns. On average, you’ll find a meager 2.7% response rate. Standard direct mail improves this somewhat, providing a 5% response on average. Handwritten is the highest performing of the three with a 10% average response.
Let’s say you send out 1,000 mailers of each variety. With your email campaign, you’ll get 27 responses on average. That number almost doubles to 50 replies with standard direct mail. With handwritten direct mail, that figure doubles again! You’ll enjoy 100 responses, on average, for every 1,000 handwritten cards or letters you mail.
What are 100 responses worth to you? A lot! If even 10% of them turn into deals, that’s ten new properties that you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Consider your profit on ten properties and then decide whether there’s a place for handwritten direct mail in your real estate investing activities (the answer is almost certainly “yes.”)
Handwritten direct mail offers the highest open and response rates of any marketing tactic, as well as some of the best ROI. Some might claim they can’t afford to engage in direct mail marketing, but the truth is if you’re serious about real estate investing, you can’t afford not to!
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF HANDWRITTEN DIRECT MAIL FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS
If you only remember one thing, remember this:
Handwritten direct mail works best when you don’t handwrite it.
This is probably a confusing statement, so allow us to explain. Handwritten direct mail works for real estate investors because it humanizes their business. The prospect isn’t provided yet another generic email or sterile print mailer. They receive a card or letter, handwritten (they assume) by the investor looking to buy their house. The transaction becomes personal — one real person looking to buy another real person’s house.
We’ve all used the yellow letter technique, and it works fine. However, handwriting hundreds or thousands of cards is unrealistic. The time it would take and the lost manhours that represents far outweighs any benefit you might receive. This is why Simply Noted has automated the entire process. Our custom handwriting machines are the best in the industry. They use real ballpoint pens and advanced smart fonts to create stunningly realistic pen-written cards and letters. When we say that recipients can’t distinguish between a real handwritten card and one of ours, we mean it!
Using Simply Noted, you can send thousands of warm, inviting, handwritten mailers in the same amount of time it might take to create an email campaign. That means more deals, more flips, and more money in your pocket.
Simply Noted marries the best of all possible worlds; you get the ease of an email campaign, the physicality of a direct mail campaign, and the potent results of handwritten cards. And it’s affordable. The ROI alone will make you smile from ear to ear!