• One effective strategy for getting your prospects to open your marketing letters or emails involves appealing to their sense of curiosity.
  • Enclosing something of value, such as relevant news, timely advice or a calendar, can help increase engagement and response rates.
  • A series of real estate prospecting letters sent to your farming area helps build name recognition, credibility and top-of-mind awareness.

Sending prospecting letters, in the form of direct mail or an email campaign, to people in your farming area can be an effective way to increase name recognition, produce inquiries and attract new clients.

As is the case with any marketing, though, your degree of success can depend on a lot of variables.

Prompt them to open the envelope

Let’s face it: People do not like to receive anything that bears a resemblance to so-called junk mail or any kind of sales pitch. If the return address on your envelope identifies it as coming from a real estate company or agent, then many of your prospecting letters will never see the light of day.

What triggers people’s interest is being offered something of value, such as a free gift or a service that directly addresses their needs or problems.

However, if they don’t even open the envelope or read the first few lines of your letter, then your direct mail campaign will have fallen flat.

As a side note: If you’re distributing your message via email, then the main hurdle is writing an enticing subject line — one that either arouses curiosity or speaks directly to the needs and desires of your target group.

There are a variety of methods that can help you increase the open rate of your real estate direct mail or emails and turn prospects into clients. Here are a few strategies:

1. Don’t give too much information

Some agencies, businesses and organizations make it a point to print a return address on the envelope that does not include the name of the business. That’s one way to avoid being immediately screened out.

Individual agents might sometimes put their name and mailing address in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope without making reference to their agency or their real estate credentials.

Although all that information would be included in the prospecting letter itself, having it emblazoned on the outside of the envelope can cause people to prejudge and dismiss the contents before they even look at it.

2. Make them want to see inside

Give people a specific reason to open the envelope. Enclosing a free calendar, a packet of garden seeds, a special-edition newsletter or an invitation to a free workshop for first-time homebuyers are a few cost-effective ideas to prompt more potential clients to look inside.

Printing or stamping a blurb on the envelope about the enclosure could also serve as an attention-catching device.

3. Engage the reader

There are a lot of ways to use your marketing letters to engage your prospects, such as starting out with a question, a thought-proving statement or a compelling statistic.

Letters that contain one or more calls to action, a P.S. at the end and a well-organized series of selling points will tend to produce a greater response than generic, cluttered-looking form letters.

In real estate marketing, credibility, top-of-mind awareness and developing a reputation for outstanding service are among the factors that separate top producers from the rest of the competition.

Although no single tactic is likely to have a transformative effect on your sales success, a series of distinctive real estate prospecting letters via direct mail can be a key element in a well-executed marketing plan.

Joel Sussman is a marketing strategist with Optimal Marketing Communications. Learn about the company on its blog or on Twitter.

Email Joel Sussman.

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