Direct mail still has an important part to play in commercial real estate marketing. When you have a quality listing exclusively listed with your brokerage, a direct mail campaign can be implemented to successfully complement your newspaper and email based marketing.
In saying that direct mail marketing is a good strategy in commercial real estate sales and leasing, it should be said that the database of people that you send letters to should be ‘up to date’ and accurate from a business and contact perspective. If you have been keeping your prospecting program active, then that should not be a problem. There is no point in sending out lots of property brochures or letters to hundreds of people if you have not already connected with them in a regular way.
Here are some ideas to help improve your direct mail marketing approach to prospective buyers or tenants:
- The letter you send should always be simple in layout and content. Most people will not read a lengthy letter. Try to keep your message on a single page letter and on the front page. To achieve that you really cannot go over 3 or 4 paragraphs.
- Use dot points to catch the reader’s eye and draw them into your message. Every marketing letter should feature 4 or 5 dot points that are focused on the topic. Feed the ‘local’ components into those points using town and city references.
- Have a headline that is specific and attractive to a target audience. You can get plenty of ideas about headlines from newspapers. There are also some good books available on advertising layout.
- Pose questions in your letter that are realistic for the target marketing and thought provoking to the reader. If your direct mail is specific to a property type or listing, it is quite easy to draft questions that will make the reader think and focus on your message. Use ‘words that sell’ to help your message connect. There are lots of good books available on that very topic to give you word and phrase ideas.
- Plan the day to send your letters. Most mail systems take 2 or 3 days to deliver a letter. That being the case, work out from the send date to understand when your letters are likely to be received. It is a known fact that most letters arriving later in the week (Wednesday and beyond) are more likely to be read.
- Enclose a business card with your letter. Simplification of the letter is important, and a business card should be the only other item in the envelope. Every letter you send should always enclose a business card.
- Follow up as many letters as possible. If you send your letters in smaller groups, you can easily follow up the letters with a telephone call. The process of calling will radically improve your conversions.
- Send success letters. With every successful marketing campaign on a quality property, take the time to send ‘success letters’ into the local community. Tell the story of the property that you have sold or leased. Invite business owners and investors to call you to talk about it further or to tell you about their property needs.
So the direct mail approach system really does work in commercial real estate. It is just a matter of following the rules and being diligent in the process.