If you are a Realtor trying to market to a “farm area” marketing with postcards is both an art and a science. With the volume of direct mail people receive how are you going to stand out? Regardless of your business the basic principles are the same.
First, you need to be in it for the long haul and plan a series of a minimum of 12 touches because it takes time for you to develop trust and rapport with people. I also recommend you focus on bringing value to the reader and provide information they will keep. I call this refrigerator marketing. (see below for ideas) The acid test is how long will they keep it on their fridge (or in a drawer)? The longer they keep the postcard and the more often they refer to it the closer you are to the top of their mind awareness when they list their home.
The other thing to remember is not to follow the herd. You need to stand out in your prospect’s mind.
How much of the market can I expect to get?
Keep in mind that if 7% of homeowners move each year and your farm is 2,000 homes your target market is only 140 listings. While it sounds great to get 10% of them, if the stats are true and people stay with the Realtor that sold them into the house 65% of the time then your market shrinks to a theoretical potential of 49 homes. Now 10% becomes 5 listings, but what did it cost to acquire them?
What does it cost to market with postcards?
Typically a direct mail piece will cost $ 0.30 delivered. If you send 2,000 pieces 12 times a year your direct investment will be $7200 so you have to ask yourself “if I spent $ 7,200 on people in my sphere of influence who already know me, like me and trust me and are more likely to refer someone, would I be better off?”
Examples of postcards that are usually well received and retained are:
- Local emergency numbers
- Hours and phone numbers of stores in a local mall
- List of local restaurants with phone numbers
- Market update for area
- List of emergency contact numbers for a babysitter to use
- List of movie theaters
Bottom line. Farming takes time, ingenuity, patience and money while marketing to your database only takes time and ingenuity.