Why Real Estate Agents Should Use Personalized Direct Mail Marketing

You can call it physical mail, print mail, snail mail, or ad mail. But whatever you do, don’t call it obsolete.

Real estate direct mail can still be an effective lead generation method. It’s true. Even if it’s slow, “old school,” and relatively costly (compared to email), it can still be worth your while.

If you do it the right way, it’s well worth the time, money, and effort it takes to implement a direct mail campaign as part of your real estate marketing plan.

The real estate marketing industry is constantly evolving and shifting with the current market and the advancement of technology. Although marketing and technology have made significant inroads into the marketing world, many leading real estate marketing professionals have remained with the tried and true way of reaching target audiences: direct mail marketing. You’ve seen real estate postcards, magnets, and newsletters. Traditional mail remains an effective way of communication in the marketing world.

In this blog, we’ll dive into our best tips and strategies for direct mail for real estate agents and how to execute these campaigns effectively.

Photo credit: unblast.com

Why Is Direct Mail Important in Real Estate?

Direct mail is important to real estate agents for several reasons. First, it allows agents to reach potential customers in a targeted and personalized way. By carefully selecting the recipients on the mailing list, real estate agents can ensure that their promotion materials are being sent to individuals who are likely to be interested in buying or selling property.

Direct mail also allows real estate agents to showcase their properties in ways that other forms of advertising do not. For example, postcards or brochures can include high-quality images of a property, as well as detailed information about the features and amenities. This type of information can be particularly useful for potential buyers who are looking for a specific type of property or who are interested in a specific neighborhood.

Finally, direct mail can be an effective way for real estate agents to generate leads. By including a call-to-action in their promotional materials, such as asking recipients to schedule a showing or to contact the agent for more information, agents can encourage potential buyers and sellers to take action.

The Success Rate of Direct Mail in Real Estate

Direct Mail has a proven track record of success in the real estate industry. According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail has a response rate of 4.4% compared to just 0.12% for email. Additionally, a study by the Data & Marketing Association found that direct mail campaigns have a higher return on investment than other types of marketing, including email and social media.

There are several reasons why direct mail has such a high success rate in real estate. First, direct mail allows real estate agents to reach potential customers in a way that is tangible and memorable. Unlike digital advertising, which can be easily ignored or deleted, direct mail is a physical object that recipients are likely to interact with and remember.

Also, direct mail can be an effective way for real estate agents to establish themselves as experts in their field. By providing useful information about the local real estate market or offering advice on buying or selling properties, agents can build trust with potential customers and position themselves as go-to resources for all things real estate.

Benefits of Direct Mail for Real Estate Agents

  • Targeted – Direct mail allows real estate agents to target specific groups of people with their marketing message. They can use data to identify individuals who may be interested in buying or selling a property based on location, age, income, and other factors.
  • Tangible – Direct mail is a physical piece of mail that recipients can hold in their hands. This makes it a tangible and memorable form of advertising that can make a lasting impression.
  • Personalized – Direct mail can be personalized to the recipient with the name and other details included in the message. This can help to create a more personal connection with the recipient and increase the likelihood that they will respond to the marketing message.
  • Measurable – Direct mail campaigns can be tracked and measured, allowing real estate agents to see how effective their marketing efforts are. They can track response rates, conversion rates, and other key metrics to determine the success of their campaign.

Tips for Direct Marketing Campaigns

Know Your Target Audience

It is important to consider who will receive this direct mail and curate a targeted direct mail list. Making an effective direct mail campaign is an investment, so you will need to be strategic in order to find possible clients.

The target audience for real estate agents can include property owners who have a different mailing address from their property address, people with inherited land, landlords dealing with property evictions, property tax delinquents, probate records, expired listings, property owners going through a divorce, and homeowners managing pre-foreclosures. Determining your target market audience may require you to select between house buyers and sellers and target either high or low income housing.

Build a Direct Mailing List

There are a few approaches to effectively designing your mailing list after narrowing down what your ideal recipient looks like. These methods can help increase your response rates for possible prospects.

County and public records are great sources for information, and most records can be accessed through the county clerk’s office.

Real estate agents also use a process called “driving for dollars,” which refers to real estate agents physically driving through neighborhoods and sifting through properties that exhibit issues like long grass and damaged windows. Agents can use the address listed to narrow down potential property sellers.

Working with list brokers can be an efficient and potentially inexpensive method of creating an effective mailing list. Many online public resources provide real estate agents with the ability to purchase these lists.

Although list providers might be one of the quick fixes for your direct mail campaign, you may often invest a lot of time filtering through the lists you need. This can be a time-consuming part of your marketing efforts, which is a factor you may consider before seeking a list provider.

Sample postcard template from Pinterest

Time Your Mail

Timing is everything, and that especially applies to property sale trends and real estate investors. Trends have been somewhat unpredictable to track in the most recent years, but the spring months are the time for sales to increase until peak sales in June. The arc of sales throughout the year is a vital part of strategizing timing.

For real estate agents, it is imperative to consider that houses are more popularly sold in warmer months than in winter. With that in mind, your direct mail campaign should anticipate this trend and have a scheduled send-out from mid-February until the fall season. Aligning with the sales trends and taking advantage of those patterns should increase your chances of landing leads.

Then the question arises: what can be sent out during the winter season?

Although leads are most likely to land in the spring and summer seasons, being persistent and proactive about brand awareness is a great direction to take in slow times of the sales market. Thoughtful notes and keepsakes like holiday cards and handwritten letters, bring a personized touch to your brand and ultimately establishes brand awareness. The holidays are an opportune time to remind your area that you are a friendly and thoughtful real estate agent.

Frequency is another vital factor in timing your direct mail campaign. You must consider how many times you’d like to connect with your prospects and what would be the most effective number of times. Sending direct mail to prospective clients about once a month is an excellent compromise between sending too often and too rarely.

What Is Your Message?

Describing your ideal recipient and creating a sense of connection is one helpful tip for creating your message. Phrases like “Need Help Selling Your House?” And “Get a Fair Offer On Your Home” engage with your intended audience and shift their eyes to the solutions you offer. Still, it’s crucial to include a copy that fits your brand and tone. Punchy and motivating copy is always compelling, but make sure that your copy points audiences to your brand’s fundamental messaging and values.

Additionally, a call-to-action is a powerful marketing strategy to incorporate into your messages because it is straight to the point and assertive. A call-to-action can express a sense of urgency and confidence in your services.

Image from: xara.com

Compelling Visuals

Your direct mail marketing advertisement will be just one of the 450 pieces of marketing mail the average consumer receives in a year. When the competition is so stiff, it’s important to make sure that your messages stand out. Above, we talked about how to engage your audience while they’re reading your message, but before you can focus on the message you’re imparting, you need to ensure that your audience is reading it.

Visuals are a crucial part of what you’re sending to possible prospects, especially since they are the most significant factor in capturing their attention to read your message. Your messages’ most important and visible parts need to be simple, concise, and compelling. Simplicity is key. Short and effective words can make a great, quick impact when you’re working with a short amount of time to catch your prospect’s attention. Especially in postcards that do not need an envelope, your marketing efforts need to be easy and eye-catching. A good way to do this is to use compelling graphic design elements and typography so that every word conveys a tone, your brand, and a call-to-action.

Direct Mail vs. Other Forms of Marketing

While direct mail has proven to be highly effective in the real estate industry, it is important to note that it is not the only marketing strategy available to real estate agents.

Here is a comparison of direct mail with other forms of marketing.

  1. Email Marketing – Email marketing is a digital form of marketing that involves sending promotional messages via email. While email marketing can be cost effective and efficient, it often has a lower response rate than direct mail.
  2. Social Media Marketing – Social media marketing involves promoting a business or product on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. While social media can be an effective way to reach a large audience, it may not be as targeted as direct mail and can be easily ignored by users because of the volume they receive each day.
  3. Search Engine Marketing – Search engine marketing involves promoting a business or product through search engines such as Google. While search engine marketing can be effective in generating leads, it can be more expensive.


Direct mail is a powerful tool for real estate agents, allowing them to reach potential customers in a targeted and personalized way. With a high success rate and a proven track record, direct mail can help real estate agents showcase their properties and generate leads to potential buyers and sellers.

By following these tips best practices, real estate agents can create successful direct mail campaigns that drive results and help them to grow their business.

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