Who says print is dead? Fifty-six percent of customers say they find print collateral to be the most trustworthy type of marketing, according to research by Compu-Mail, a national direct-mail and digital marketing firm. Print marketing also outperforms all digital channels by 700 percent in terms of customer response rates, the research shows.
That’s good news for real estate professionals, who have always relied on mailers as a tried and true method of marketing their services. But obviously, print isn’t the only form of marketing you should invest in. We all know how much more often consumers are turning to the internet to begin their home search. So if you meld your print and digital advertising, you could stand to reach many more prospects.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but given the strong success rate direct-mail marketing can have, it may be the perfect vehicle to advertise your digital presence as well. Whether you’re reaching out to current clients or looking for new leads, the following tips can help you increase website traffic through direct mail.
Show Them There’s More Online
Treat your mailers as a means of introducing yourself to prospects, giving them a taste of who you are and how your real estate services can help them. But don’t give away too much information. Tease them with something more meaningful or impactful that they can find on your website.
“The goal of any direct-mail marketing campaign is to create awareness of that agent in a given territory or ‘farm,’” says Brendan Rabadi, a sales associate at Keller Williams Capital District Homes in Latham, N.Y. But you can impress customers even more by telling them to go to your website, where, for example, they could enter their home address and get a quick market analysis and approximate home value based on recent comparable sales, Rabadi suggests. “This can be a very effective way to build a relationship online through direct mail.”
Of course, what you have to offer online depends on the resources available to you, but consider what your prospects need the most and tell them where they can find it at your website. “If you start including a strong website focused on a call to action on your direct mailers that leads to something your prospects want or need, you can start funneling more of your local target audience to your website, blog, or online tools and capture more valuable information,” Rabadi says.
Your prospects’ time is valuable, so your mailer should make it clear that at least one of their needs will be met if they take the time to visit your website. Use verbs that demonstrate the value of visiting your site, and write it in a way that instills a sense of urgency. Make it clear they will miss out on a valuable opportunity if they don’t seek you out online. Statements like, “Find your dream home today!” or “Find out how much your home is worth,” followed by your URL can make for compelling calls to action.
Add Incentive to Your Call to Action
You need to make it clear that there is a benefit to prospects following your directions to go to your website. A strong incentive, such as a giveaway, can give you a big boost. David Tile, founder of Writtn For Realtors, a marketing service providing specialized blog and social media content for real estate professionals, says simply slapping your website’s URL and social media icons on your mailers isn’t enough to drive consumers to your online channels. “No matter what your marketing initiative, you have to understand the base truth that people respond to incentives,” Tile says. “Put up a prize — simple as that. Something like, ‘We do a monthly draw for $200 Amazon gift cards for members of our email list. Make sure to visit my website for your chance at our awesome monthly draw!’”
A plain call to action usually will get fewer recipients of your direct-mail marketing to visit your website — maybe five out of every 1,000, Tile explains. “If you incentivize an email-list subscription with a giveaway, the numbers will jump — maybe 10 or 30 in every 1,000. People respond to incentives.”
Cater to Prospect Preferences
To further encourage more website visitors through your direct-mail campaign, offer several options for how they can reach you online. Some people prefer to engage in social media chats, while others would rather watch video tutorials or webinars. Host an online event, and send out a mailer asking prospects to visit your website or social media channels for more details and to sign up.
These events could include:
- Webinars about the best ways to stage a home for the market.
- Twitter chats for young families looking for information on local schools.
- Facebook Live presentations on the attractions in the area for relocation buyers.
- A Q&A session on Periscope with first-time buyers.
All of these add relevance by taking into account prospects’ needs (such as finding a good school) and giving them added reason to visit your online channels.
When you’re sending prospects online, have a unique landing page for them to visit instead of your home page. Home pages have too many options and can be confusing, since there are multiple tabs and clickable links on a home page. A unique landing page is easier to set up with just a single call-to-action and compelling website copy. There is also the added benefit of it being easier to track your response rates from a unique landing page, as well as to collect information for follow-up with each prospect.
Source: “Use Direct Mail to Get Clients to Your Website” REALTORmag (July 2016)