Don’t be afraid to make it personal. Adding something about yourself disqualifies you from a nobody.Todd Swaggerty
Direct Mail Masterclass #2 | Everything You Need To Start and Stand Out on Any Budget w/ Yellow Letter HQ Founder, Todd Swaggerty
Welcome to Part 2 of our awesome four-part series that will tell you everything you need to know about direct mail for real estate. We’re sitting down with some of the industry’s top marketing experts to demystify the direct mail process, to get tactical about your direct mail marketing, and to show you exactly how to get started on any budget.
We’ll let you know how to optimize, who to target, and what you should be paying attention to. We’ll teach you how to leverage your direct mail and walk you through how it relates to your marketing mix!
Today, we’re hanging out with Todd Swaggerty, founder of YellowLetter HQ. Todd got into direct mail while marketing his own business and realized he loved the strategy involved.
In 2015 he founded YellowLetter HQ which helps investors target the right clients with the right message. Today, we’re laying out everything you need to have success with direct mail on any budget. This is your game-plan. Ready? Let’s go!
Read the Full Show Notes Below…
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Cut Through The Clutter With Direct Mail
Direct mail should be a part of any successful marketing mix. Todd Swaggerty learned this first-hand when he began creating direct mail campaigns for his own business back in 2009.
For 15 years Todd was a firefighter/paramedic. He started flipping houses in 2009 and threw himself all into the sales and marketing side of things. He mastered direct mail and recognized that he could do something really big for people in the real estate industry. From there, YellowLetter HQ was born and Todd hasn’t looked back since.
To create a business that is predictable and stable, you’ll want to make sure you have a great marketing mix. Think of your business as a stool. With one marketing channel, your business will stand. However, the minute you get up, the stool falls over.
Once you master one channel, adding 1-2 more will give you the stability you need. You won’t be working on marketing as much as it will be working for you.
Getting Started With Direct Mail on Any Budget
Direct mail works no matter what business you are in, plain and simple. Someone with a smaller budget may take a different approach than someone mailing out 500,000 letters each month. For both clients, it all comes down to the numbers game. How can you best leverage your marketing dollars?
When you are first starting out, it will be more about the hussle than what you are spending. This is where you need to do the work. When you have the time, but not the money, driving for dollars is the best thing you can do.
Once you have done the work and gathered the data, you can use a budget of $500 or so to begin targeting them with your direct mail campaign. Spending your money blindly, without doing the work, will not get you the results you are after. Stay in your niche and be true to yourself.
Todd has clients mailing out 3,000 or fewer pieces and making over $1 million per year. With the right targeting, they are able to mail based on quality, not quantity. If they were to mail out 40,000 pieces, their leads would likely be lower and they may not have the manpower to answer the calls they are receiving.
When you have been in business for a while, you’ve likely built up some data and stacked some lists. You are able to touch on multiple pain-points your potential client may have. Now you can add more to your marketing stool by implementing other channels such as texting and SEO.
With a medium-sized budget, you will likely be mailing out somewhere between 3,000-10,000 mail pieces per campaign. These are the niche lists you have built from county records, probate lists, tax delinquent, water shut-offs, etc. Many of these lists are public information.
Once you find out how to get the data, you can have someone on Upwork go in and compile it for you. Your niche list will have a 1-2% response rate on average.
Once your marketing budget gets a bit larger, you’ll really be able to work that numbers game. You can add things like the Deal Machine app, a texting service, and email campaigns.
You can create direct mail marketing campaigns for leads that went dead who you’d like to reach out to again. With a larger budget, you will likely be sending out upwards of 20k mail pieces per campaign, with a sales team to back you on all the calls you will have coming in.
At this stage, you are leveraging the dollar more than the hustle. A broader list will have more volume, but a lower response rate – typically around .5%.
What To Mail, When To Mail, and What You Should Put On It
The first thing you need to focus on it how to get seen in your prospective client’s stack of mail. If your lead was found on a public list, you probably aren’t the only person mailing to them. While what you say matters, putting something on there to get them to stop and take notice, will give you the chance to get their attention.
Todd’s favorite mailpiece right now includes a street view of the person’s home right on the front of the postcard. This causes people to say “Hey, that’s my house!” On the back of the postcard, he has a picture of his family and a quick note about himself. While some people may ignore this part, for others it gives them a chance to feel like they already know something about him before they ever reach out and make contact.
One of the most popular pages on a website is the “About” page. People want to know who you are before they work with you. Todd has found that the postcards that appear to be personally handwritten do better than those that look formal and professional.
When sending out your direct mail campaign, 1st class mail is usually the way to go. Other methods may seem more cost-effective, but standard mail isn’t forwarded and it will take longer.
Postcards will cost somewhere between .36-.60 per piece, while letters are about .50-$1+. To add an even greater personal touch, Todd’s company uses actual stamps on the letter. It’s these subtle differences that make his mail pieces stand out.
I’m super excited about our next episode as we dive more into lists, how to scale, how to get better response rates, and how to best leverage your marketing dollars!
If you want all the details broken down step-by-step – what lists, where to find them, how much to mail, when to mail, what to track, EVERYTHING you need laid out in a path for you to follow, be sure to check out our extensive Free guide at Carrot.com/mail
Our Direct Mail Masterclass Series
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Mentioned In This Episode:
- Why Online Marketing Will Boost Your Offline ROI
- Yellow Letter HQ
- Postal Impact
- CarrotCast w/ Brian Rockwell