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Direct Mail Marketing [10 Ways to Benefit Home Builders & Developers]

direct mail marketing - Lifestyle...This is a close up shot of a home owner, taking several envelopes from a front door, residential, letterbox.
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The risks and benefits of incorporating direct mail marketing in your business strategy.

How do you feel when you receive a letter with your name on it? If you’re like most people, then you probably feel extra special and get excited about what’s inside. Running a direct mail marketing campaign can open many doors home builders as well as increase exposure, credibility, and engagement.


Before I explain the many benefits of what direct mail marketing can bring to your business, you need to understand the process to do it right:

  • Quantity– always print a higher quantity than you think. In fact, a generally good response rate for direct mail is approximately 12% or higher, but the average is approximately 2-5%, take note of this during the printing process.
  • Schedule– timing is everything and finding the perfect window for your direct mail marketing campaign can make the world’s difference in results.
  • Be up-to-date with subscribers– always double check your mailing list before sending out the direct mail piece.
  • Integrate direct mail with digital– ensure the direct mail marketing efforts correlates with your business goals as well as the digital marketing material you already have in place, so they work hand in hand.

These are just a few of the many things that come with direct mail marketing. However, like with any marketing technique, the benefits outweigh the risks if done properly.


Here are 10 benefits home builders can experience while using direct mail marketing:


1. Direct mail is physical

Direct mail has the unique aspect of being tactile and can be very impactful. People can hold the direct mail piece in their hands. It is a tangible form of media, where your target market interacts directly with your company and message. If no action is taken by the consumer, they have at least recognized your brand and helped increase your exposure.


2. A way to get personal

People love to receive mail, especially if it is customized to them. Some ways to make direct mail less salesy and more personalized to your audience is to include your receiver’s name or nickname, send reminders, and to customize their experience from existing data. Who doesn’t feel special when you create a unique engagement that is highly personalized?


3. Direct mail marketing is cost-effective

The price of a direct mail campaign can be far more cost effective when compared to the price of other marketing efforts such as a billboard. Direct mail can range anywhere from 30 cents to more than $10 per individual. The price depends on the quality of the piece, printing material, size, quantity ordered, postage, etc. Determine what is the best strategy for home builders and run with it.


4. Direct mail marketing is classic  

Direct mail has been around since 1000 B.C. when an Egyptian landowner wrote an advertisement on a piece of papyrus offering gold for the return of a slave. It then took major advancements with Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440. Direct mail is a proven tactic for marketing that is still very effective today.


5. Increases customer engagement

People are more engaged when they receive a physical letter or piece of collateral in the mail than they are viewing it online. In fact, more than half of consumers prefer getting mail directly from the company they like. It strengthens the relationship your firm has with your consumers.


6. Builds brand’s credibility

With so many brands moving towards only utilizing online marketing, there are fewer who also transfer their marketing efforts using a multichannel experience for their target market. Don’t just advertise online, also use direct mail, campaigns, and personal letters. The more platforms you use, the higher the exposure you are earning from your market.


7. Direct mail marketing is easily trackable

Did you know you can track direct mail just as easy as you can track digital marketing? The key is to make sure any point of contact is listed in the direct mail campaign such as a phone number, URL, or QR code. For instance, creating a unique phone number specific to a campaign can make it easy for you to track how many calls are coming through and to track your ROI.


8. Show your creative edge

Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is not dead nor boring. It can actually give your company an avenue to express its creative side. Not all direct mail campaigns lack substance. Take it up a notch and include captivating imagery of your homes or community. Bright colors stand out, and easy to read messages are most effective. Make sure the campaign you run is on brand too!

Pro tip: Be honest when creating the artwork for your direct mail efforts. Stay clear of using the wording such as “URGENT NOTICE”. While you want your audience to pay attention to your campaign, you can never want to deceive them. If your audience feels tricked by your firm, it will do more harm than good in the long run.


9. Take note of the timing

Everyone knows how often the real estate market can fluctuate. Understanding the key seasons can help make your direct mail marketing more effective. According Nationwide, the autumn and winter months are prime for real estate sales. While April, however, is the slowest month when it comes to the number of sales. These times may vary slightly in your area, but keep in mind the best times to utilize direct mail to improve your chances for success.


10. Frequency equals success

The key to any marketing strategy is frequency. Studies have proven that the audience consumer does not act until at least the third time they see a specific message. So, your direct mail campaign should consist of at least three pieces sent over time. It can be a series of postcards or three completely different pieces, but the key is repetition.

There should be nothing stopping home builders from participating in direct mail marketing. One important thing to note about incorporating a direct mail campaign into your business strategy is to be patient. Don’t expect an immediate jump in sales at the start of the campaign. Instead, expect an eventual growth in your business.


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Terry Zelen

About Terry Zelen

Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications

Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.

He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.


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