In this article, we will look at some of the advantages of this technique, as well as some tips for success.
Benefits of Using Letters
So why should a real estate agent bother with this approach in the first place. What are the advantages of this communication medium over other marketing channels? Here are some of the key benefits.
* Affordability -- When you send a direct mail letter (as opposed to a full-color postcard), you save money by avoiding graphic design work, high-gloss paper, etc.
* Directness -- They don't call it "direct mail" for nothing. When somebody pulls your letter out of their mailbox, there's a 99 percent chance they'll open it and give it a look. The same cannot be said about other marketing techniques.
* Simplicity -- You can purchase a mailing list online through one of the big data vendors. You can write a letter on your office computer, or pay a professional writer to do it for you. You can stuff the envelopes and place the stamps yourself, or pay a direct mail company to do it. It's a simple, low-tech strategy.
* Results -- Letters have been used as a marketing medium for decades. The reason they are still used today (even in the Internet age) is that they still work.
Of course, you have to work hard to develop a strong message before you start mailing those letters out. That's the most important step in this process. Here's where you will benefit from the time-tested techniques of professional copywriters:
1. Do the proper research.
Research and planning is 75 percent of the writing process. Shaping a message from that and putting words on paper is the other 25 percent. So if you skip the research, you're skipping a big part of the direct mail writing process.
For starters, you must know everything about your real estate services. You must identify the key benefits for people when they choose you over another agent. This must come from the consumer's point of view, not yours. So step out of your shoes and into theirs.
You also need to research the current housing market in your area, average home values in the area you are targeting, changes in the economy, and other information needed to write your message and make a compelling case for your services.
2. Determine your audience.
What do you know about the people who are going to receive your letters? Are the homeowners or potential home buyers? What type of neighborhood do they live in? What has been happening in their area lately, in terms of new development and sales activity? What do these people want? What do they fear? What do they expect from a real estate agent in this day and age? You are not ready to write your letter until you have solid answers to these questions.
3. Determine your objective.
So now you've identified some key factors about yourself, and about your audience. The next question is -- what do you want them to do? In other words, what is the primary objective of your letter? Do you want people to visit a specific landing page on your website that was designed to support your direct mail campaign? Do you want them to request additional information in some way? You can't write your message around a particular objective if you don't have one.
This might seem like a lot of work, but it's necessary. Professional writers have been going through this process for decades, and with good reason. Today, in the world of information overload, it's more important than ever to take these steps before mailing your letters. Consumers have seen and heard it all before, so you have to go the extra mile to set yourself -- and your message -- apart from what they've seen before.
About the author: Brandon Cornett is the publisher of Postcard Smart, a direct mail advice website with information on copywriting, design tips, postcard services and more. Learn more about this and similar topics by visiting http://www.postcardsmart.com
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