Putting together the mail pieces for out of state owners definitely takes up a decent amount of my time during the week. However it is a great thing to do late night when it’s to late to make phone calls and you want to wined down. After going through the process for 2 months now, i’ve tweaked and perfected what works best for me. Here is my routine…
1) Download the out of state owners list from the tax records. This is simple process in new jersey as the website allows me to download it to an excel file. I usually grab all owners who have owned the property for 5 or more years.
2) Scrub the list. The list comes with all types of owners, what we want are just the out of state owners. So I remove..
- All owners who’s mailing address is in New Jersey
- All owners who’s mailing address is in New York City, East Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
- Bank owned properties
- And properties with more then 2 owners (just gets to hectic)
3) Identify owners who have multiple properties. (don’t want to send them multiple letters)
4) Clean up the data for input into SI Lead Manager. The tax records are manually inputed by government workers and to say they are not always accurate is an understatement. It’s almost impossible to write a program to automatically clean up the data, so it must be done by hand. I end up just retyping all the names and addresses. Usually a list will produce about 50 to 100 leads when all is scrubbed.
5) Upload list into SI Lead Manager
6) Schedule 3 mailings, each 6 months after the previous. You should mail out of state owners every 6 months or so until they tell you to take them off the list or the house has sold.
7) Print out the letters using my custom font. It was recommended to me to handwrite all the letters, but I’m getting comparable response using the custom font so why bother?
8) Hand write all the addresses onto the envelope. I write these out in the order the addresses are in in SI Lead Manager. Doing so makes it really easy to stuff the envelopes later.
9) Fold the letters and stuff the envelopes. Because the letters were printed out in the same order I wrote out the envelopes, this process is fairly easy. I make 3 folds….1st I fold it in half from bottom to top. 2nd I fold it again in half from bottom to top. Last I fold over about 2 inches of the paper from the right to left. This last fold is to make sure I fits in the greeting card size envelope.
10) Seal the envelopes with a wet sponge. I lay out 10 envelopes out on a table, use the sponge to moisten the glue on each of the 10 envelopes and then go back and seal them. This gives the water some time to evaporate and the glue to get sticky. Other wise the envelope gets very wet and the glue doesn’t stick as well.
11) Put the stamps on the envelopes. I lay out all the envelopes on my kitchen table, facing the same direction. I then can quickly peal the stamps from their backing and place them on the envelopes. I put more then one stamp on each envelope so this makes it much more efficient.
12) Put return address on all the envelopes. I turn the envelopes over, mailing address facing down. Then I have a decorative stamp that has my return address on it that I use to quickly stamp each envelope. I can whip through this process and the stamp looks cool and very personable.
13) Decorate the envelopes with a rolling stamp. I want my letters to stand out and get opened so I have a rolling stamp and pad that I use to put a little design onto the envelope.
That’s it! All in all, it takes me about 2:30 hours to put together 100 mailers. The part that takes the longest is the retyping of the list. However the last time I created the list I discovered a new technique to really speed that process up, hopefully reducing my total time to under 2 hours.
In the beginning it was taking me well over 4 hours to put 100 letters together. This was when everything was new to me and I was experimenting with what technique worked the best. Now that I’ve got it down to 2 hours, I’ll be able to double my output and get more people calling!
How do you save time when putting mailers together? (out side of hiring someone to do it hahaha)
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