In commercial real estate agency marketing the process of sending postcards to prospects and clients can be highly effective. It is not however the only prospecting system you should use but will complement a few others quite well. It is also an expensive marketing process stand-alone given the cost of printing and sending the cards, so every card should be optimised for the contact value it can bring you.
Every so often I come across an agent that tells me that they have sent out several thousand cards over a week or so, and then they had just two or three telephone calls from that card drop. That is regrettably a typical conversion factor if you do not do a few other things to help your card contact conversions and results.
So what is your postcard marketing system now and how can you improve that? As we are about to enter a new cycle of business and listing activity the questions are very important.
The trick to making the postcard marketing system work for you is to follow some rules like these:
- Most conversions and enquiries occur when you send a series of cards to the same people over a period of time. Sending a card once a month or once every 2 months will help you establish that consistency. On that basis you can put together a series of cards to send over twelve months.
- Follow up the cards with a telephone call whenever you can. If you can call the people that you send the cards to then do so. The simple telephone call will lift your conversions to meetings; you can also start some valuable conversations.
- Make the cards relevant. Generic marketing in our industry doesn’t work. This means that your cards should be crafted and written for current market conditions and your location. Tell a story or two, have a few well selected dot points, and use locally based photographs. In this way you will be lifting the ‘read factor’ of your cards when sent.
- Personalise them so that your name, face, and specialisation are well displayed. Clients like to deal with ‘property specialists’ so ensure that your card gives that unique message ‘loud and clear’.
- Use words that attract and sell your services to the target audience. It is good practice to use a professional copywriter to put your message together in final form. Professional writers understand the way people like to read and they can use words to attract greater interest and readability.
- Simplify your card layout. It has been well proven that marketing materials should err on the side of simplicity if you want them to be read by adults. The ‘white space’ principle is a good rule to follow; that is to have plenty of ‘white space’ on the layout of your card.
- Dot points are far more effective than lengthy sentences and lots of words. Choose dot points that are relevant to the local property market; that will increase the readability factor.
- The days of the week that you choose to send the cards are really important to the readership conversion factor. It has been shown that marketing mail of this type has a better readership if the cards arrive between a Wednesday and Friday. You can then follow-up the cards with telephone calls from the next Monday onwards.
- Have some bonus value offered within the cards that you send. Sending cards without a bonus offer or property information report is a waste of time. Have a special report that can be downloaded from your website; that report can be referred to in the card copy. On your website make sure that the download page for the special report is structured with an auto-responder and database capture point. When the person signs up for the report, you then get their email details and name. The auto-responder can take care of sending out the link to your special report.
- Your call to action should be simple and direct on all of your cards. Include your mobile telephone, website, blog, and social media portals.
So from these points you can see that plenty can be done with ‘postcard’ based marketing in commercial real estate brokerage. Follow the rules and you will get better call responses and business conversions.