Is Direct Marketing Dead?

How often do you go to check your mail at some point during the day only to be greeted with a mailbox full of junk mail? We have all been there. The stigma related to direct marketing campaigns is that consumers and businesses alike are becoming increasingly desensitized to this advertising channel, and instead of moving to digital platforms may be a more effective method in capturing new business. However, recent evidence shows that direct marketing might be more powerful than companies believe.

Data from the United States Postal Service indicates that recipients of direct mail marketing content purchase and spend 28% more than those who do not see the same direct advertisement1. Additionally, the Data and Marketing Association cite that 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails1.

Clearly, direct marketing is still an effective form of advertisement, as well as an alternative segment to incorporate into your marketing plan. But for many agents, it boils down to how you structure a direct marketing campaign that makes it successful. Let’s take a look at how you can effectively incorporate direct marketing into your real estate practice.

Do This, Not That

When incorporating a direct marketing campaign into your overall marketing plan, consider the number of advertisements that consumers receive on a daily basis. Your mailer may be the one in several that a lead may receive, so it needs to stand out in a big way.

One way to increase your response rate is by strengthening your call-to-action. Passive statements will generally go overlooked. Instead, try to incorporate a message that instills a sense of urgency.

Another way to differentiate yourself between the competition, as well as other advertisements, is by enticing a response through special treatment. Provide a teaser or amenity to motivate action. Many agents use discounts, coupons, or special offers to generate a similar effect, but adding little tokens or gifts can also go a long way.

Size Does Matter

Studies by the Association of National Advertisers in partnership with the Data and Marketing Association have found that direct mail response rates increased to 15.01% overall when a business-sized envelope was used2. Similarly, evidence suggests that 50.9% of recipients find postcards usefully1.

Oversized postcards, fliers, or other marketing materials are a great eye-catching tool that may make your direct marketing efforts more effective and fruitful. Utilizing large numbers and statistics regarding local market trends or personal achievements can be equally impactful.

Personalize the Content

One of the best ways to make your direct marketing more effective is to personalize your content. Real estate can be a cut-throat industry so you should always be looking to get that competitive edge over the competition.

Sending out hand-addressed fliers or mailers can make your content appear more genuine, trustworthy, and thoughtful. Your ad will certainly stand out over the mass mailings that most consumers ultimately trash. Thank you notes are also a great touch!

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1 24 Direct Mail Statistics to Write Home About – 2019 Edition. (2020, January 14). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from

2 O’Brien, S. (2019, March 30). Real Estate Mailers: Using Direct Mail to Stand Out. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from

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