Marketing Monday: How many postcards did I get?

Scott Costello All, Blog, Featured 31 Comments

I’m taking my Sharon Vornholt’s advice and ordered some postcards from Postcardmania.com. 5000 postcards to be exact!!  That is basically a years worth of marketing for us.  They are going to help design the postcard and base it off my friends postcard that has worked really well for her in Louisiana.  All I have to do is upload the mailings lists and buy postage and they will do all the work of sending them out.

  • Printing the recipients’ address
  • making sure the addresses are valid
  • putting the return address on them
  • putting the postage on them
  • Dropping them in the mail
I used my Affiliate profits from my blog to pay for it all so that is good.  I should be getting the proof today or tomorrow so I can look it over and make any changes before sending them out.  If this works out as good or better then the yellow letters it would be great!   I’m going to continue to do the yellow letters and also put these out for testing.  The cost breakdown is as follows..
  • 5000 postcards cost $780
  • That equates to 416 postcards per month costing ~$65 /mo
  • Postage for 5000 postcards costs $1250 or ~$105 /mo
  • Total cost per month is $170 or $0.35 per postcard
I currently send out about 600 letters a month at roughly $300 or $0.50 per letter.  So hopefully this works just as well, but we will see.
My plan is to use these postcards for the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th mailers and also do some split testing with mailers 1, 2 and 3.
What do you think?
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Comments 31

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  1. Hi Scott,

    I have been in the RE investing biz only a few months and I send 1000 postcards each month to the same out-of-state owners list (Listsource). The first mailer was standard yellow postcard through Click2mail and I received about 8 calls – mostly tire kickers. But I did get a real great deal from one of those leads.

    In an effort to look more professional and stand out from the rest, I went with Postcardmania. I have sent 1000 to the same list for 3 mailings and have had 2 calls – rather disappointing. Sharon Vornholt posted a great blog showing the spike in response rate following 4,5,6 etc. mailings. So I’m going to continue with my 1000 monthly campaign with Postcardmania. If the response continues to be low I will evaluate whether to change message, postcard, or revamp the list.

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      I’m having a similar experience so far after my first batch of 500 mailers. I’m planning on sending 7 more postcards to this list so we will see how it all works out. If I get just one deal from it, it will be worth it!

      Keep me updated on how your experience ends up Kelly

      1. Scott –

        My recent mailing of 1000 has netted me two calls so far. One was a tire kicker, the other resulted in my signing a contract today. I’m pleased to get a deal (still have to sell it though) however still not happy with a response rate of .002 percent.

        Other investors have advised to use a yellow letter campaign – one was honest and said he gets a high response rate but low deal rate.

        Have you tried yellow letters?

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          Hi Kelly,

          My main marketing technique is “yellow letters”. I’m running concurrent campaigns with yellow letters and postcards right now to test them out. Yellow letters are definitely winning when it comes to response rate. To be honest it makes perfect sense because yellow letters come across as personal and not junk mail. While postcards are junk mail at its core.

          Now if at the end of the day I get just as many deals from postcards even though it yields a lower response rate that is actually a win in my book. Less time wasted dealing with unmotivated leads and less money spent on mailings.

          What do you think?

          1. Scott –

            I agree – a deal is the measuring stick of a successful campaign but at the same time you can’t close a deal until you get responses, obviously. I have been mailing since June and have around 12 calls. I have 3 signed contracts from those calls – 25% conversion. But still not happy. I may try yellow letters as well. Do you send YL and PC to same list???

          2. Scott –

            Update. My last postcard mailing netted two calls and I signed a contract with one of the calls; now have to sell it. Still very low response rate. What is your response rate with yellow letters? Do you use a company or do you so them yourself?

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            Kelly,

            I put the yellow letters together myself. I use a specific hand written font and I have a certain way to make the envelopes stand out and get opened. If I use a service there are certain limitations that I think will negatively affect my results.

  2. Scott,

    Have you had good results with your method? How many do you send out per month? What limitations have you found by outsourcing.

    I am very disappointed with my postcard response and have looked at yellow letters. It is rather pricey to have a company produce them for you but I sent out 1000 postcard per month and will not be able to do that without outsourcing.

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      With yellow letters I’ve gotten about a 12% response rate on first mailings, 5% on second mailings and 3% on third mailings. I send out roughly 750 a month.

      The limitations I have with outsourcing to places like click2mail or other automated centers like that is the look of the envelope. They tend to look very junk mailish. To get the look I want, I’d have to hire someone myself to put the envelopes together and that would cost me even more money. My budget doesn’t allow for that.

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          Conversion rate is another story Kelly, that is where I’m currently struggling with. My partner and I need to do a better job because it’s been terrible. Don’t know if it’s the call quality coming in, the way we are dealing with those callers or what ever else. This year we will figure it out for sure.

          1. Scott – sent out my first batch of yellow letter to 400 absentee owners. I received 18 calls so far of which I would classify 17 as tire kickers, “if the price is right I would sell”, while one does want to sell but I question his motivation. I will make an offer on that and see what happens.

            Response rate is 4.5% as of today, which is a far cry from 10% that I continually read about. But it is light years ahead of my meager .8 rate I got with postcards.

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            4.5 percent is not bad. I would continue sending that letter and envelope for a few more months to get a good sample size. December is a tough month to go on because of all the holidays. After you get a few months worth of data, change up your envelope or letter and see if that makes a difference.

            Thanks for giving me an update, I’m always interested to see how other people are doing.

  3. Scott – since my initial yellow letter mailer my response rate climbed to 5.5 percent, but no motivated sellers. Of the 400 I mailed, 51 were returned undeliverable. I’m going to mail a follow-up to the list. How is your YL campaign going?

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      Hey Kelly,

      Our yellow letter campaign is in a bit of transition because we’ve moved our focus to probate more then to out of state owners. So our first letter is more formal in style. Letters 2 and 3 are yellow letter however, but it’s to early to see how they work.

      If you had 51 returned mailings, you might need to scrub your list better and compare the addresses to the tax records. Another idea might be to send out postcards first that would help you scrub your list for a bit cheaper and still reach the home owners. Then follow that up with your yellow letter. I haven’t done that yet, but have heard other people use this technique.

      1. Scott –

        Mailed my yellow letters follow-up recently and had a few calls, but much less than the first batch of mailers. All calls were like the first responses: not selling or would sell if the price was high enough. I made a few offers but was told, ” I would never sell for that”.

        Not sure if I’m going to do a third mailing to the same list. I am sending out 1000 postcards as well.

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          1. Got my list from Listsource. Criteria was SFR that have 51% or greater equity and last sold in 2004 or earlier.

            Got one call from postcard drop. She has a set dollar number she wants. Was listed but recently.

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          3. Ebb and flow. Yellow letter campaign came to a halt with very little response following recent mailing. Decided to do another postcard mailing and received several qualified calls. Negotiating two deals from the postcards.

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            excellent Kelly! Thanks for keeping me updated on how your campaigns are doing. Interesting that you are doing better with postcards then yellow letters. I guess it’s very area specific. Or maybe your postcard message is better then your letters. Tough to say

          5. Scott,

            Long time, no chat. Since my last post I signed a probate deal that I’m fixing and flipping; wholesaled a property which came via website lead; closing next week on a wholesale deal via postcards; and waiting on contract for a buy/hold via postcard.

            How are things with you?

            Kelly

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            It’s interesting to hear that you as well have not had any success with postcardmania postcards. They are so nice! Seems like Sharon hit on something when she said that they may be TOO NICE for our industry. Are your Click2mail postcards more plain?

  4. Update: signed a contract from a Craigslist ad response. Still negotiating with a postcard response. Have two probate leads I’m working on as well. Still no deals from yellow letters – all want retail price.

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