In an age where seemingly everyone has their head buried in a smartphone, it might be odd to hear that some information best travels the old fashioned way. The typical logic dictates that social media, email lists, and sophisticated websites are far superior marketing tools over newspaper ads, billboards, and snail mail. To be sure, technology opens many new avenues to communicate with prospective customers and to win them over. In some businesses, however, there are tried and true sales methods that not only worked successfully in pre-internet times but continue to effectively draw clients in an increasingly cyber-oriented economy.
The Kay-Grant Group Finds Direct Mail Success
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Kay-Grant Group is born of two founders, both with extensive corporate experience and knowledge of contracts. Bringing this expertise to the real estate realm, they built a strong team of agents combining professional excellence with a passion for serving their clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and the surrounding areas. Meticulous in its service to sellers, Kay-Grant neglects no detail in the evaluation, preparation, staging, and marketing of the high-end properties and condominiums it lists. With intimate knowledge of Scottsdale real estate and neighboring communities, these realtors aggressively promote the homes in their portfolio.
The team at Kay-Grant are Scottsdale realtors that understand the power of technology. With its own easily navigable website, the firm maintains a regular presence on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, among other social media outlets. Yet the reach of these tools is not unlimited. In addition to MLS listings and online promotion, the Kay-Grant group employs direct mail with significant success. Those who analyze business trends would not be surprised. Competent research demonstrates that direct mail response rates as much as triple those for digital communication avenues. Scottsdale realtors like Kay-Grant can testify to what the direct mail researchers already know: lead generation increased by 20 percent when the group incorporated mailings as part of its overall strategy.
Investors as well as realtors, the agents at Kay-Grant use direct mail optimally by targeting the most productive neighborhoods where interest and motivation are the highest. Statistics show how important this type of local penetration is. According to the National Association of Realtors, 63 percent of home sellers employ their last realtor or one referred to them. This leaves 37 percent who seek their agent through other means. It makes sense that those means should be many and varied.
That said, the 20 percent hike in leads–a full fifth over and above what Key-Grant was already achieving–is directly attributable to one device, i.e. direct mail. Even if the lead conversion rate was only one percent, for the sake of argument, the Scottsdale real estate firm would still enjoy substantially improved revenues. Since most home sellers are over the age of 50, postcards and other mailed materials still get their attention as opposed to that of millennials and Gen-Z owners. In fact, if the motivation is high, even these younger people will check their mail from time to time.
Major Direct Mail Companies
Scottsdale realtors and many other businesses nationwide credit direct mail with boosting sales. But what is the best one to go with? Let’s go over some in the industry that can help you choose what suits your needs.
United States Postal Service
Ever since Benjamin Franklin took charge as the first Postmaster General in 1775, the United States Postal Service (USPS, formerly the Post Office Department) has served as the premier courier operation in America. Less known is its Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service. Its online tool allows business owners to filter the target addresses by family size, income, and median age, for example. With this information, EDDM selects the mail routes where these criteria are most abundant. Parameters include a 200-piece daily minimum and 5,000-piece daily maximum.
Since 2003, Click2Mail.com affords its customers web-based applications to generate, customize and proof direct mail pieces in addition to growing and managing mailing lists. It boasts a staff of graphic designers to help create attractive and effective mailings. This organization mails a wide range of pieces, from postcards to multi-page sales letters. As an independent affiliate of USPS, Click2Mail maintains the quantitative floor and ceiling of 200 to 5,000 pieces per day.
Long known for its production of business cards, marketing literature, and promotional items and gifts, VistaPrint also operates a postcard mailing service. Customers use the online tool to design the postcard; supply the names and addresses of intended recipients–or purchase a list from VistaPrint, and let the company do the mailing. One drawback is that businesses must spend at least $1,000 on the order, not including postage costs.
Wise Pelican offers its consumers several hundred pre-designed postcard templates to choose from. Alternatively, like their competitors, they offer in-house custom design according to customer specifications. Heavy stock and high gloss, the postcards from Wise Pelican are hard to ignore and they can be modified from the business owner’s computer. With a basic tracking application that informs the sender of transmission and delivery, this company will also develop and build on the mailing lists uploaded to its site.
The very unique aspect of Wise Pelican’s service is that there is no minimum order, either by a dollar or by piece. Although larger orders benefit from favorable pricing, the basic rate is 70 cents per postcard, whether ten, 100 or 1,000. Modest orders are in no way discouraged. This is a draw for small businesses and start-ups where marketing budgets are strictly of the shoestring variety. No minimums are also advantageous when micro-targeting certain areas and populations.
Post Card Mania
This company runs just under the popularity of Vista print but one of the greatest assets you can get from Post Card Mania is their abundance of marketing training materials and examples that can help inspire your next design. Though they do occasionally have great promo offers, this usually requires a hefty upfront investment from you to redeem them and reap the benefits. A solid and reliable choice of a vendor but you will not get clear pricing upfront.
Traditional Methods 2.0
Postcards are surely old technology but their layouts, patterns, distributions, and management are in constant evolution. If an innovative direct mail firm can spur a 20 percent increase in leads for Scottsdale real estate professionals, other enterprises — Anchorage locksmiths or Tampa accountants e.g. — can achieve similarly profitable results.