The Secrets to Direct MarketingPosted by Chris Pollinger
|The Secrets to Direct Marketing|
Consistency is absolutely key. Consistency will trump all other factors. Rule of thumb is 1 x week for the first 10 weeks then every 10 days until you have 35% market share or more. Only then can you go to 2 x a month. With that said, I will tell you that in our media planning with clients we stack the mail to reflect the coming trends in production. For example, we do less mailing in November and December (1 piece each) and save the extra pieces for February and March which is 6-8 weeks before the busy listing season. It’s a game of impressions a year and keeping top of mind. Anything less is a waste of money.
Branding will save you money. If you are going to take on a direct mail campaign to a geographic farm or target market it will save you thousands of dollars to pay someone to help brand yourself well. Every piece should fit together and be easily recognizable as yours. Every message should have a consistent thread that ties back into your brand and tagline. Good marketing campaigns don’t start from scratch every time you send something out, they build on the previous messages and tie into the future ones.
Budget before you get started. Budget for a year at a time. We encourage clients to take 15-20% of their gross commissions and put them into their marketing budgets if they are wanting to grow (10% if they want to maintain). Out of the money that comes in, we allocate and take on mail campaigns is 12 month intervals. Only take on the amount of houses that you can dedicate and be consistent for a 12 month period. It is better to have a smaller number of homes and do it right than run out of marketing funds or cut corners.
Purpose is essential. Ask yourself what it is you are trying to accomplish with each piece. Every piece should have a reason and clear and distinguishable benefit to the recipient. Every card needs to be written from the “what’s in it for them” perspective. If you are sending out cards to try and get the phone to ring, every card should have a reason and call to action to do so. Plan your campaigns a year at a time, not only will they make more sense and tie together with your branding better, but you will see a much better return on investment with a focused campaign.
Automate everything. Once you have your year planned out, send the camera ready files to the printer with your schedule and credit card. Let them handle the printing, addressing and mailing and charge your card as they go. The less interaction you have with the process the less opportunity for unnecessary delays and to mess it up.
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