Remember: Anything in orange are recent notes years after we have started to give you a better direction on how to make it big, avoiding mistakes we have made as this blog is a diary mistake, bad decisions, and things I shouldn’t have done and all!
Direct mail is the bread and butter of many investors. Especially beginning investors.
- You do not need to have the best site on Google.
- Don’t even need to rank on the top 3 spots on the internet to be successful.
- And, you don’t even need to have a website at all to be successful (however you will have a hard time out doing competitors that do have a website).
How so? In a later post, I will make it clear what you need to have a successful website and to be extremely successful. From that post, you can take the following away. You need the traffic to your site, and you need conversion. Well with Direct mail you can have both traffic and conversion without having to apply it to a site.
When talking about direct mail instead of people finding you (which honestly is ideal) you can also find people. Force your presence onto them (in this case your mailer).
As for conversion, just write something.. something, anything, that will have people taking the “bait” so they want to sell their house to you. But let’s turn back time… all the way back to when I first started. As promised this blog is but a diary right or wrong, good or bad, what I did to get where I am right now… running a successful real estate investing business currently flipping 2 houses. Actually… we JUST closed on the second house:
Yellow Letters Part I
When we first started our investing journey, we did a lot of research on direct mail marketing. And not surprisingly so! Direct mail marketing is expensive. Really expensive. Yes, we have heard it too “marketing is not an expense, it is an investment”. We totally agree, however, it is expensive. Really expensive!
- How do I write a good yellow letter?
- How do I get my yellow letters opened?
Marketing Is An Investment, Not An Expense
Indeed marketing is an investment, and yes the more you market the more deals you make, IF you have the right list to market to and the right marketing piece. This entry will be a 3-piece installment that I will cover this week. I will show you the pieces that we used and will go over how successful they are. As we did our own research when we started, we found out that writing yellow letters was one of the more successful strategies.
OMG Do not do Yellow Letters. Boy, we learned our mistake listening to the “Gurus”!!
I should clarify. Before making such outrageous statements we should define “successful”.
We have noticed that to most when you try to quantify success when it comes to marketing pieces, one looks at a response rate.
If you sent out 100 mailers and you got all 100 people to contact you, according to that definition, it is a highly successful marketing campaign.
But consider this. Write a yellow letter. Make sure you put your contact information in that letter. Then tie it on a brick and throw that brick through the windows of people’s houses you want to target. I am sure all of the people you have targeted will call you back. Heck, most will even track you down to have a little visit!
I assume you can see where I am going with this. A return response from a mailer does not make it a successful mailer.
What Is A Successful Marketing Campaign?
Not even the amount of leads you converge into a deal from said mailer should be an indication of a successful mailer.
Don’t you agree?
Wondering why not?
Glad you asked. Let’s expand on the previous example. You throw a brick through a window and someone calls you up yelling at you. You are such a wonderful talker and managed to turn the situation around and manage to seduce the angry brick recipient into selling their house to you.
Was it the mailer? No. It simply was your talking skills. The mailer actually caused you to start from low ground. You first had to pacify them, and then start to convert them into a lead.
So now that we have a clear understanding of what is involved when you quantify the success of a marketing campaign we will leave it up to you to figure out what comprises success when it comes to marketing. So let’s now move on to marketing with yellow letters.
Before I get into it, here is a disclaimer. I am about to share with you a marketing strategy that works, but we strongly advise you not to use it. At the end of this article, I will explain why so that it will be the last thing you read and hopefully a lasting impression.
I will first share with you our very high rate of response (note I didn’t say “successful”) marketing piece; (remember I have already discussed why yellow letters suck monkey ass)
The Famed Yellow Letter.
1. Get a yellow letter
This is just a yellow, lined piece of paper from Walmart. You can buy a pack of 3 bundles for 5 dollars I believe.
2. Write your message.
All this is very standard and everyone does it that way. The trick is not in the letter itself. It is about getting people to open the envelope. So you need to do whatever it takes to have the person you are directing the mailer to, to open the envelope.
3. Get The Envelope Opened
So next is the important part. How do we ensure the envelope gets opened?
This is the secret weapon that has brought us deals!
Get an invitation envelope, get some personal stamps (nothing with an American flag on it as that looks too official). You want it to look like a friendly letter.
Make the envelope personable.
This is what we did:
When you are done writing the letter, do not fold it. Just bend it in half and then bend it over in quarter. Remember do not fold it flat, do not fold it period!
Bend (not fold) it in half like so
Then bend it again like so:
Now the letter will look bulky and with volume, like so:
Now the letter will look bulky and with volume, like so:
Then place it in the colorful invitation envelope, and seal it. This is what we call “Lumpy Mail”. Chances are the mailman (should be “mail person right”? ) will flatten the envelope, but we just tell him/her that it is a wax-sealed letter if you please could try not to flatten it.
Often they will be careful with it.. but not always. Now the envelope itself stands out.
“What the heck is inside? So curious to see what I received oh jolly good joy“
4. Put On Your Finishing Touches
The final touches are what is most important. A handwritten address a little sticker to seal the envelope and a little handwritten note with warm wishes. So you go through your mail and you notice a colorful invitation envelope that seems to have volume. Did someone send me something? Curiosity sets in. Would you be able to resist opening the letter? Not likely.
This is what the final package looks like:
Imagine you receiving this letter in the mail. Would you seriously NOT open this? I think not!!
5. Repeat 5000 times… every month.
And there you have it. Your one of a kind stands out a super tempting super original yellow letter!
Do Not Use This Technique!
Here is why we have stopped this and no longer use this piece.
Several reasons. We didn’t like how the letter represented us and our business.
You claim to buy someone’s house in cash. You promise to be legit, and credible. How will you fork over money to buy a house in cash when you can’t even afford a printer, a nice letterhead, decent white paper, and a professional-looking letter?
If your marketing piece is sloppy, you are telling your potential sellers you are sloppy. I wouldn’t put trust in someone that walks up to me dirty in slippers unbuttoned t-shirt claiming he will buy my house in cash. But there is a more important reason we don’t use this method, even if it brought us deals. If we are claiming to be an honest transparent and straightforward company, how can we allow “tricking” people into opening our letters? Yes, this IS dishonest. You tricked them into opening your letter by making the letter look like it was an invitation from a close personal friend. It is dishonest.
This is why we simply do not do this type of marketing.
This article is merely written to take you along on our journey of learning. Learning from someone’s mistakes is very valuable.
So now you have learned from our mistakes!
We are doing this to network, to teach and to learn. If you find this article helpful, please comment and let us know. If you found this to be bad or wrong, also let us know. We are not here to merely teach, we want to learn as well. Furthermore, we welcome guest posts, so let us know if you like to contribute an article. We will post a link to your site with your article as well.
For more information, you can find more of us on our Seller website