One way a lot of real estate investors use lumpy mail is when they are working the pre-foreclosure market. These people are getting stacks of mail and post cards every day from mortgage companies, attorneys and other investors. There is a lot of competition for these properties so you need to do something to make your mail stand out and look different from the others so it gets opened first. Since there are fewer foreclosures these days getting noticed is even more important to your success.
There are several ways to do this. One is to simply insert something into the envelope if you are mailing a letter. It might be a piece of candy or gum with information about your business with a tag line of "In a sticky situation? Call us first". Or, if you are using a piece of candy it might say, "Call us first, we can make you a sweet deal". It just needs to be something that makes your mail piece look different, and makes it stand out from everyone else’s.
You could also use a lumpy mail piece like a penny, then within the body of your letter; say something like “a penny for your thoughts on selling your home”. You just need to be using something that grabs the seller’s attention. Anything that feels different or makes noise will accomplish this for you. Be creative with your mailings and you will create more leads and do more deals.
There are also specialty boxes available that stand out because of their shape, dimension, and the fact that they look like priority mail or express mail. These generally will get opened 80% of the time according to our personal statistics. This greatly increases the chances of that motivated seller calling you first. In addition, when you send out these mailers, insert a penny into them. Anything that makes noise will arouse the seller's curiosity. Just one warning though, if you begin to implement these techniques, make sure you are ready to handle the responses since they will increase dramatically.
Since this technique is a little more expensive, make sure you are working with a qualified list that you are mailing to such as people who are in pre-foreclosure, vacant houses or quit claim deeds. You also want to be prepared to handle the leads coming in so you are not wasting your marketing dollars by not following up your leads.
There are many items that are lightweight and small that can be added to your mailings to increase the response rate. Let's face it; you have competition, especially in the pre-foreclosure market. You need something that will set you aside and get your offer opened and read. You can use a post it note pad as an envelope stuffer or a small magnetic calendar or perhaps a keychain. These are items the seller will hold onto and they will contact you first when their circumstances dictate that they do so as long as your contact information is on these items. There are many items like these available for you to choose from and I actually have a wonderful resource for all of these items that I use in my business everyday.
I also personally mail to a lot of out of state owners, folks who have transferred properties via a quit claim deed and people in specific zip code areas where I want to buy properties, and in my mailings I have a response mechanism that I want the seller to send back to me with all of the information about the property either by mail or by fax, so I include a flat pen in my mailings. This significantly increases the response rate in two ways. One is that they wonder what's in the envelope so they open it, and the other is that they have the pen immediately handy to fill out my response mechanism. It just takes away one more step for them. Anything that makes it easier for the seller to respond will cause them to do it sooner as opposed to later. Plus, they will keep the pen to stick in their purse or check book. Once again, they have my information immediately handy when they are ready to contact me. Make sure you always give your sellers multiple ways to contact you. The more ways they can contact you, the more of them will.
Don't send out more pieces than you can realistically respond to since your responses will increase significantly. And don't forget to tie the specific verbiage in with the market you are targeting with your mailings. For example, if you insert the penny into your pre-foreclosure mailings, use a headline on your piece that says something like "Tired of getting penny ante offers? Contact us for a fair offer" You will want to use different verbiage for lists containing divorces, military transfers, pre-foreclosures, job relocations, etc.
One of my specialties as a marketing expert is to help my students create the most effective lists and locate the best list brokers available; plus come up with even more ways to get more motivated sellers contacting you. In addition, I always want to be providing my students with many ways to increase their response rates with their mailings.
Using a direct mail letter campaign is one of the most efficient ways to niche market. It is also one of the most cost effective ways I know to get motivated sellers contacting you in droves so you can pick and choose the deals you want to do with absolutely no competition for the deals whatsoever.