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EP 198: Direct Mail Masterclass #3 | The Best Direct Mail Lists and Strategies (that you’ve never heard of) For Finding Motivated Sellers w/ Todd Swaggerty of Yellow Letter HQ

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Direct Mail Masterclass #3 Lists & Strategies For Finding Motivated Sellers  w/ Todd Swaggerty

There is nothing more important to a direct mail campaign than good sales skills and good follow-up.

Todd Swaggerty

Direct Mail Masterclass #3 | The Best Direct Mail Lists & Strategies (that you’ve never heard of) For Finding Motivated Sellers w/ Todd Swaggerty of Yellow Letter HQ

Welcome to part 3 of our 4-part series on direct mail for real estate. In the last episode, we sat down with Todd Swaggerty of Yellow Letter HQ and we talked about how to get started with direct mail for real estate no matter what sized budget you are working with. We discussed what you should be mailing, how often, and what should be on your mail piece. 

Today, we are sitting down with Todd again to dive into lists and strategies for finding your ideal clients. We will share with you direct mail strategies you’ve never heard of before. Ready? Let’s do this! 

Read the Full Show Notes Below…


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You might be wondering why we are doing a whole series on direct mail when we are web guys at heart. The easy answer to this is momentum. You’ll want to focus on consistency and predictability in order to gain momentum within your business. The more marketing channels you can add, the more consistency you will create as other things ebb and flow.

Direct mail marketing is proven to work.

There is nobody more qualified than Todd Swaggerty to share insight into direct mail marketing for real estate. 

Who Are You Sending To? Direct Mail Lists

The first thing you’ll need to do when starting your direct mail lists campaign is determining who you should be mailing to. As we mentioned in the last episode, when you are first starting out, knowing where to look can feel like a challenge. Your sales skills may suck and instead of seeing things through, many investors end up giving up. 

Knowing who to mail to is a progression that can take a little time. You may start by driving for dollars, then branch out into niche lists. A few niche lists to focus on include evictions, probate, inter-family transfers, divorce, and tax-delinquent homeowners. People in these situations are more likely to want to sell their homes. List Source and PropStream are two great sources for data. 

Many investors will hire someone on Fiver or Upwork to do data scraping on their behalf. They should be looking for a full name along with the property address and mailing address. You’ll often find missing contact info when pulling data but don’t let that frustrate you. Companies such as Melissa Data can help you append the correct information to your mailing list. Compiling this data, with niche lists acquired over time, can provide you with a mailing list with an incredibly high response rate. 

On the other hand, much of your competition may be taking the easier way out. Many investors find it easier to send out a broad mailing to a geographical area as opposed to the niche lists. This can be more cost-friendly upfront, but your response rate will be much lower.

How Often Do You Follow-up and When?

Not everyone is ready to sell the house the day they receive your first mail piece. However, several months down the road, they may be looking for a buyer. Keep in mind, some of your niche lists will have a shelf life.

You’ll need to be intuitive keeping in mind it isn’t practical to mail to people on a probate list or on a recently divorced list for more than a few months. On the other hand, you may find a list that works that you don’t change for years. You may end up sending them 6, 7, 8 mail pieces before they realize your solution is the answer they are looking for.

With direct mail being tangible – something they physically hold in their hand – it can be easier to keep your services right there where they will see them. 

Direct Mail Is A Numbers Game

You’ve likely heard me ask how much are you willing to trade for a deal? We really focus on ROI here at Carrot. To do that, I will ask investors and agents what is their average profit per deal. It could be $10k for a flip or $6k in commission for a successful house sale. Next, I will ask them how many leads it takes to get one of those deals. This will vary based on the marketing method. Your SEO will provide more qualified leads, but it isn’t as easy to scale. 

When determining how much you should be spending on direct mail for real estate, go in with the right expectations. You need to remove the emotion from the investment and really focus on math. Check this out… 

  • Your average profit per deal is $10k
  • It takes you 30 leads to close 1 deal
  • You send out 10k mail pieces, costing $3,600
  • .5% of your recipients reach out
  • 50 leads will end up costing you $72 per lead

So what would you trade to get that $10k deal? If you are only willing to trade $3k for a $10k profit, a list like this may not be sustainable for you. However, this is where you can tweak the numbers, find better niche lists, and do what it takes to make the math add up for you. 

The Biggest Mistakes People Make With Direct Mail for Real Estate

When doing direct mail for real estate, it’s important to stay in your lane. Avoid absentee lists when you have no business mailing to them. The rule says you need to put time and energy into this process. It is no longer a spray and pray business. A truly great mailing list is calculated and done on purpose. Set the right expectations for yourself and your direct mail marketing. 

A big problem Todd sees when investors and agents use direct mail for real estate is poor follow-up, untrained people answering the phones, and people thinking they can leverage a dollar when they should have spent $3. 

In our next and final episode of this series, we will sit down with Christina Krause of Postal Impact to dive more into follow-up, scaling, and the best ways of training the people who are answering your phones. 

Our Direct Mail Masterclass Series

Direct Mail Masterclass #1 | Intro: Your First Step to Successful Direct Mail | How to Amplify Your Offline Marketing w/ Trevor Mauch

Direct Mail Masterclass #2 | Everything You Need To Start and Stand Out on Any Budget w/ Yellow Letter HQ Founder, Todd Swaggerty

Direct Mail Masterclass #3 | The Best Direct Mail Lists and Strategies (that you’ve never heard of) For Finding Motivated Sellers w/ Todd Swaggerty of Yellow Letter HQ

Direct Mail Masterclass #4 | The One Missing Piece To Your Direct Mail Marketing w/ Christina Krause

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Trevor Mauch

Trevor is the CEO of Carrot and knows a thing or two about inbound marketing and generating leads online in the real estate industry. As an investor himself, he's generated tens of thousands of real estate leads and is a leading expert in inbound marketing for investors and agents. In addition, his true passion is helping entrepreneurs grow businesses that truly help you live a life of purpose.

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