You already know that direct mail marketing is an effective way to find more motivated sellers and close more deals. But with so many companies vying for your attention, how do you know who to trust?

By following the proper steps and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to find a direct mail partner that will have your best interests at heart and deliver the results you need to grow your real estate business.

Today, we’ll talk about the first three steps you should take when looking for a direct mail partner, as well as some of the questions you should ask them on your first call to ensure they’re the right fit.

Step #1: Do Your Research

Before signing on with any direct mail marketing company, it’s essential to do your research. There are a lot of fly-by-night companies out there that will take your money and run, so you need to make sure you’re working with a reputable company.

Start by asking for referrals from other real estate investors in your area. If someone you trust has had a good experience with a direct mail company, they’re more likely to be reputable. You can also search for online reviews and case studies. 

Another way to do your research is to look at the company’s website and see how long they’ve been in business. A company that’s been around for a while is more likely to be reputable than a company that just popped up overnight.

Finally, you can give the company a call and get a feel for their customer service. If they’re rude or unprofessional on the phone, or if they take a long time to call you back, those are red flags that you should look elsewhere.

Step #2: Figure Out Your Goals

Before you start talking to direct mail companies, you need to figure out your goals. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine your goals: Are you looking to find more motivated sellers? Or are you trying to increase your response rate? Are you hoping to find buyers? Or are you looking for a complete service solution to help you save time on all the above?

Knowing your goals will help you find a direct mail partner that fits your business well. 

Step 3: Make a List of Potential Companies

Now that you’ve done your research and figured out your goals, it’s time to make a list of potential companies. You can start by reading online reviews, talking to other real estate investors who have used direct mail in their businesses, and getting a feel for each company’s customer service. It’s also a good idea to ask each company you’re considering for references from past clients.

Questions You Should Ask Your Prospective Direct Mail Partner

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential partners, you’ll want to start scheduling calls with them. But remember, asking the right questions is key to helping you find the best possible direct mail marketing partner.

Here are some of the questions we recommend real estate investors ask their direct mail marketing partners.

What results have you been able to achieve for other real estate investors?

Any reputable direct mail marketing company should be able to provide examples of the results they’ve been able to achieve for other clients. If a company cannot provide specific examples, that’s a red flag. 

You should also ask them how they measure their results. This will give you a better idea of what to expect when tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns if you decide to go with them. 

What is your experience in the real estate industry?

You should also ask whether the company has experience working with real estate investors specifically. While direct mail can be effective for a wide range of businesses, you’ll want your partner to understand the many nuances involved in marketing for off-market deals.

How does your company differ from other direct mail marketing partners?

When talking to different companies, it’s important to understand what sets them apart from the competition. What do they bring to the table? It’s okay to be upfront with them and let them know you’re shopping around. After all, a little friendly competition shouldn’t make them shake in their boots. If it does, that’s a red flag.

What’s your pricing structure?

Pricing is always essential when making any business decision, and direct mail marketing is no different. Make sure you understand what you’ll be paying for and whether any hidden costs are involved. It’s also important to ask about discounts or loyalty programs that could help you save money in the long run.

Is there a minimum commitment required?

Another question worth asking is whether there’s a minimum commitment required. This will help you understand what kind of commitment you’ll be expected to make and whether it’s feasible for your business.

What’s the turnaround time for results?

You’ll also want to ask about the company’s timeline for results. While response rates alone don’t measure the effectiveness of a campaign, since many different factors can impact overall response rates, you should still see how they answer this question. It might help you better understand what they’ll bring to the table to help you get the results you want. And you’ll also find out what they expect you to bring to the table.

What kind of data do you use?

Any good direct mail campaign starts with targeted lists of homeowners who are likely to be interested in selling their property. The best way to generate these lists is through robust data sources that include public records, deed transfers, and demographic information. This allows you to target homeowners who fit your ideal buyer profile and are more likely to be receptive to your offer.

How often do you refresh your data?

It’s also important to ask how often the company updates its data. Contact information and data constantly change, and you want to ensure you’re working with a company with the most up-to-date information possible. After all, you don’t want to waste money on a direct mail campaign that’s based on out-of-date data. 

Finding a company that updates its data once per month is decent, but finding a company that updates its data weekly is infinitely better.

What is your process for designing direct mail pieces?

Once you’ve targeted the right homeowners, you need to craft a direct mail piece that will get their attention and generate results. The best way to do this is to work with a company that has a team of experienced designers who understand how to craft an effective direct mail piece. You’ll also want to ask them if you’ll be responsible for writing your own copy and call to action for the campaign or if they’ll help you with the wording. 

Can I see some samples of your work?

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few companies, ask each one to provide samples of their previous work. This will give you a good sense of their design sensibility and whether they’re capable of crafting eye-catching mailers that will grab attention and get results.

What are your printing and mailing capabilities?

Printing and mailing can be time-consuming and expensive, so you’ll want to ensure you work with a company with its own in-house printing and mailing capabilities. This will save you time and money in the long run.

What are your customer service policies?

Finally, you’ll want to find out what kind of customer service policies the company has in place. Are they responsive to phone calls and emails? What type of support do they provide if you’re not happy with the results of your campaign?

The Bottom Line

Direct mail marketing can be one of the most effective ways to generate motivated seller leads, but only if it’s done correctly. Be sure to do your own research first and ask questions before you commit to working with a direct mail marketing company. Asking the right questions will help you find a company that’s a good fit for your business and will help you achieve the results you’re looking for.

When it comes to finding a direct mail marketing partner, experience matters. At REIPrintMail, we’ve more than 18 years of experience delivering direct mail results for real estate investors across the nation. We invite you to check out the 167 FIVE-STAR reviews we have on Google so you can read about real member experiences with us. Then book a FREE coaching call with one of our marketing experts to learn how we’re different from other direct mail houses.

Do you ever wish you could just outsource all your lead generation, marketing, and inside sales work to someone you can trust so you can focus on the tasks you love the most, like going on appointments with motivated sellers and closing deals? With REIComplete, now you can! Book a discovery call with us to learn more!