Have you thought about commercial real estate postcards lately? That's right, the time tested real estate direct mail marketing technique. While definitely not as mainstream today as inbound marketing, social media or search engine optimization, this simple marketing tactic may be just the right complement to more modern approaches. Now, before you think this blog has taken a trip back to 1985 in the Hot Tub Time Machine, there’s some good reasons why commercial real estate postcards have endured the test of time.First, they work. Many firms that employ postcards report that they average an inquiry rate between 0.5% and 1%. In absolute numbers, those returns may seem small, but imagine generating at least five new contacts by mailing just 500 targeted businesses. Those would be acceptable results by most marketing standards.
Speaking of targeted, the next thing that's nice about postcards is that they can really enable you to zero-in on just those businesses that you think are best prospects. Chances are, your contact management system holds a house list of people that you want to build or maintain relationships with, postcards allow you to engage in one-to-many relationship building quickly and easily.
Finally, the targeting that commercial real estate postcards can afford, holds real financial efficiencies as well. To be effective, you should plan on sending postcards to your highest-value market on a quarterly basis. Sound like a lot? Perhaps, but remember, this is a highly targeted mailing, so you're sending to just your best prospects, not blanketing the county. At an average cost of less than $1 per piece to create and mail, this kind of relationship building is probably easily within-reach of most commercial real estate firms. For a little extra brand awareness, you might also consider regular mailings to your tier-two prospects on a less frequent basis.
You’re probably already familiar with the key components of a postcard campaign such as having a great picture, a clear call to action, pitching the incentive and employing your brand elements. In the past, using postcards may have become somewhat formulaic, but take a moment to re-think your approach and consider these uses as well.
Celebrate Recent Wins
Regardless of whether you operate locally, regionally or nationally, your business is an important part of your market's economy. Let prospective customers know how you're supporting that economy in partnering with a new client. Recent wins and closed sales create jobs both directly and indirectly; that says something big to the market. It says, that you’re a leader in your industry and a valuable resource. Be sure to highlight the experience of your new customer or satisfied buyer with a well-crafted testimonial quote. By the way, this is a great time to include a call-to-action like a free consultation or free property evaluation – particularly if your recent transaction was with a recognizable brand as this adds to your company's leadership positioning.
Keep Your Pipeline Filled
All businesses go through ups and downs and your commercial real estate marketing strategy likely plans for that. A postcard can be a great tool for keeping your pipeline filled. You'll need to be a little more aggressive in this mailing, so let your salesmanship come through. Differentiate your company from the competition with a clear value proposition about why you’re great, but make sure the primary message is focused on driving conversations.
Similar to the way you might use content marketing online, use a postcard to attract prospects to you. You might even direct the recipient to an online landing page to receive their “free offering”. You’re not giving away property or points here, but you're providing something of value that's going to help the person become more knowledgeable, do their job better or make better decisions. Give away a market report, free comps or a how-to-guide for re-locating in your region. All you're going to ask in return is their name, email address and phone number.
Understand Self Promotion
Re-enforcing your brand is not a bad thing if it's done tastefully and is an absolute necessity if you're rolling out a new service or opening the doors on a new firm. Self-promotion is typically followed up with other offerings and is primarily used as an awareness opportunity.