With fewer commercial real estate postcards and direct mail campaigns these days, your opportunity to stand out in your prospects mailbox is better than ever. In an industry that’s built on personal interactions and creating great customer experiences, direct mail is still a powerful marketing tool for commercial real estate lead generation.
Real estate postcards can be a great addition to your marketing plan and should incorporate a solid design, excellent photography and clear messaging. With those elements, and the fact that they are delivered right to your intended audience, you stand a better than average chance of getting your offering noticed. At ML Jordan, we specialize in the development and implementation of commercial real estate direct mail campaigns.
Having a plan for your direct mail campaign will accomplish several things. Most importantly, it will define what you want to achieve over what time and where you want to market your services. These are critical things to know because they will shape how you address each of the other tactics that go into your campaign.
There’s a long standing debate over form versus function in direct mail. The idea that a great design can’t co-exist with a great message is shortsighted. By giving adequate consideration to both, you can develop a piece that grabs a reader’s attention, is easily scanned and does what you intended the piece to do. The key is to go back and review what you wanted to accomplish with this postcard. If it’s to highlight the class A amenities of a newly remodeled building, then heavy-up the graphics and keep words to a minimum. Alternatively, you may want to have more copy points if you’re trying to detail the particulars of a new investment opportunity.
For ages, direct marketers have lived by the 40/40/20 rule. That is, 40% of the success of your campaign comes down to your mailing list, another 40% relies on your offer, and then 20% relies on every other factor, which would include design and copy. Having a clean mailing list isn’t the same as targeting, however. Targeting is where you really make that list work effectively against what you’re trying to achieve. Targeting identifies the prospects in your list that would most likely be interested in whatever it is you’re marketing. Now instead of sending postcards to a thousand recipients, you’re only sending to five hundred. The savings you’ve derived will help with your frequency equation, keeping your message out there longer.
Postcards should be sent out in a coordinated, staggered manner. Sometimes businesses think that by flooding the market all at once, they’ll create a surge of inbound leads. A better and more measurable way of launching a postcard campaign is to release the mailing over a period of time. Drop a few then review. This will provide opportunity to really understand your inbound traffic, ensure follow-up and also make minor adjustments as needed along the way.
Tracking the performance of your campaign is essential, so make sure you have a well defined process in place up-front to handle that. This can be as simple as having your phone attendants ask how the caller heard of the offering and then noting which postcard it came from. Alternatively, separate email addresses or phone numbers can be used to track the performance of a specific real estate postcard. Regardless of how you do it, just do it and make sure that the intelligence you gather finds its way back into your commercial real estate CRM.
You’re probably already familiar with the key components of a postcard campaign such as having a great picture, a clear call to action, pitching the incentive and employing your brand elements. In the past, using postcards may have become somewhat formulaic, but take a moment to re-think your approach and consider these uses as well.
Regardless of whether you operate locally, regionally or nationally, your business is an important part of your market’s economy. Let prospective customers know how you’re supporting that economy in partnering with a new client. Recent wins and closed sales create jobs both directly and indirectly; that says something big to the market. It says, that you’re a leader in your industry and a valuable resource. Be sure to highlight the experience of your new customer or satisfied buyer with a well-crafted testimonial quote. By the way, this is a great time to include a call-to-action like a free consultation or free property evaluation – particularly if your recent transaction was with a recognizable brand as this adds to your company’s leadership positioning.
All businesses go through ups and downs and your commercial real estate marketing strategy likely plans for that. A postcard can be a great tool for keeping your pipeline filled. You’ll need to be a little more aggressive in this mailing, so let your salesmanship come through. Differentiate your company from the competition with a clear value proposition about why you’re great, but make sure the primary message is focused on driving conversations.
Like the way, you might use content marketing online, use a postcard to attract prospects to you. You might even direct the recipient to an online landing page to receive their “free offering”. You’re not giving away property or points here, but you’re providing something of value that’s going to help the person become more knowledgeable, do their job better or make better decisions. Give away a market report, free comps or a how-to-guide for re-locating in your region. All you’re going to ask in return is their name, email address and phone number.
Re-enforcing your brand is not a bad thing if it’s done tastefully, and is an absolute necessity if you’re rolling out a new service or opening the doors on a new firm. Self-promotion through a postcard mailing is typically followed up with other offerings and is primarily used as an awareness opportunity.
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