DIRECT MAIL help needed... - Posted by Dmitry_pa

Posted by Richard Roop on June 16, 2001 at 16:48:04:

I helped market free seminars, training course, books, tapes, financial newsletters, memberships, etc.

You are right, response rate depends on if you are selling or just trying to get someone to respond for more info.

DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Dmitry_pa

Posted by Dmitry_pa on June 15, 2001 at 10:14:32:


I am playing with the idea of sending thousands of postcards to homeowners in my area. Please help me figure out how the process works…

Where do you get your mailing lists for direct mailings? Can anybody recommend any sources? What are your list criteria? ZIP code? Neighborhood (street name, school disctict, etc.)? Income? Anything else?
How much do these lists cost?
What is the average response rate? Is it worth it?
What do you normally send out? Just a postcard with some general “we buy houses” info?

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Everybody, thank you for your help! (nt) - Posted by Dmitry_PA

Posted by Dmitry_PA on June 16, 2001 at 22:34:12:

Post cards net $38,000 in a few months - Posted by Richard Roop

Posted by Richard Roop on June 16, 2001 at 14:29:20:

I mailed 6,000 post cards in February to my metro area of 500,000 people. I targeted only homeowners with VA loans 1 to 4 years old. We have a lot of military.

(Next I may test any homeowner who has owned there home less 4 years. I heard that about 87% of people in foreclosure have owned their home for less than 4 years.)

I like buying houses will little equity. I buy them “subject to” existing loans with good terms, usually no money down. I resell at a premium by offering terms.

We called several sources for lists and bought ours from our phone company for 6 cents a piece on labels. Easy list. Probably free on the net.

My post card read:

Local company wants to buy your house!
Sell your house in 9 days or less at no cost to you…

If you want to sell your house in the fastest, easiest, and most convenient manner, get this FREE special report. You may discover the perfect solution…

? Looking for debt relief?
? Transfer or new job opportunity?
? Making payments you can?t afford?
? Is your house too big or too small?
? Bad tenants?
? House need repairs?
? Do you have little or no equity?
? Divorce?
? Liens?
? Foreclosure?

Call the FREE 24 hour real estate hotline toll free at 1-888-499-1051, then enter:
Box 6051 to hear a FREE recorded message on how we might buy your house quickly, or
Box 6053 to order a FREE Special Report "Sell Your House in 9 Days or Less at No Cost"
Or you can call our office directly for personal assistance at (719) 687-4472.

“I can pay all cash with no contingencies…and if you want, we can close in just a few days.”

Only 8 people ordered the report but I spoke to about 30 sellers (1/2% response) who called my office. Of course most were unmotivated and inflexible. Many were being transferred early summer.

I’ve already bought and sold one house for $17,000 cash profit, and another with a equity spread of $21,000. Plus some other good fall out…at my open house I found a tenant/buyer for one of my other properties priced at $169,500 who gave me a non-refundbale $8,000 purchase deposit plus $6,000 in advance rent!

That was my first direct mail campaign as an investor. I already have several other low cost marketing legs keeping me busy.

I’m still getting occasional calls from that one mailing campaign (mailed out 1500 a week for 4 weeks) and I am sure I will buy one more deal by following up.

Total cost of this campaign was about $1,800. Now that I write this I guess I should do it again!

Hope that is helpful.

  • Richard Roop

Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Clare Z

Posted by Clare Z on June 15, 2001 at 22:05:31:

I spoke with a title person last night. They said they would do free targeted lists (eg. out-of-state owner who bought more than 5 years ago in zip code xxxxx).

All they ask is that you do your title work through them should you make a deal.

Attended a real estate club meeting and found many valuable resources from lenders to this title person to people looking for partners. Very interesting.

Clare Z

Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Houserookie

Posted by Houserookie on June 15, 2001 at 17:32:54:

Hi Dmitry,

As with any direct marketing compaign, your response will be around 3-5%.

If you mailed out 800, u will likely get around 30 calls. But remember these will includ regular sellers and UNMOTIVATED sellers.

Out of your 30 calls, you can expect about 2-5 quality leads.

I live in Minneapolis and at any given moment there are 3500-5000 homes listed in the local MLS for surrounding area.

I estimate this to be 3-10% of the total homes in coverage area.

In which case, if you were to send untargetted mailing to homeowners, you should reach similar result.

Let us know how it turns out.

Are you shooting for 30% profit per deal? Or 7%?


Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Alex Gurevich, TX

Posted by Alex Gurevich, TX on June 15, 2001 at 16:43:52:

General rule is targeted mail always outperforms generic. You are better off doing both: 1) selecting a more targeted group of receipients and 2) designing your message to appeal only to that targeted group.

Your job is to figure out which group(s) of homeowners you want to reach (people with a lot of equity, without equity, people in bankruptcy, people who refinanced recently, etc.) and create a message that appeals to that group.

If you just drop your “I buy houses” p-card to everybody in the zip code, I’d expect an extremely low response rate, below .1%, that’s 1/10 of 1%. I may be wrong. If you have the money to spend, go ahead and let us know.

Consider getting Dan Kennedy’s “Magnetic Marketing” course. It’s the best i’ve seen on this subject.

Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Duane

Posted by Duane on June 15, 2001 at 11:19:27:

I just started with the postcards about a month ago. This is the break down of what I have done and in what order:

  1. Designed postcard to fit 4 to a sheet. My message was more than generic, but not real complicated.

  2. Had Kinko’s generate 1000 copies and cut (4000 postcards). Cost about $50 I think.

  3. Talked to a mailing list company to get prices. This is interesting, they charge for a variety of things, base fee for 5000 names (or whatever number), number of criteria, commercial list vs. residential, etc. Look in your phone book or try, they do the same thing. Also ask them if the list is reusable or not. They have plants in the mailing list that monitor the number of mailings they recieve. If you only paid for a ‘one time only’ list, this is how they track it!

  4. My list criteria was the two zip codes that I want to work, mainly for familiarity reasons, a home value range that I feel comfortable with and an age range of home. Cost $450 because of multiple criteria. I also worked the filters to just fill my 5000 names (I was already getting charged for it, so might as well).

  5. Response rate is only supposed to be 1-2%, but I figure I only need one sale to pay for it all.

  6. Buy postage! A whole bunch of 20 cent stamps at the post office. (Warning, post card postage is going up to 21 cents on July 1st) I looked into a postage account, cost is about $125 year, post office needs to know how many mailings you’ll do, yada, yada, then you can mail at 18 cents per card. Not worth it right now.

  7. Start stickin!

I also bought a stamp kit at Office Max to stamp a return address on my cards. Any undeliverables are sent back to my PO Box. I want to know how many bad addresses I’m buying!

The calls are starting to trickel in. I’ve sent about 800 out so far. It takes a while to stick all those things, especially with putting on return address and stamps. Maybe a meter would be better!

Good luck and please don’t flood my area now! :wink:

Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Richard Roop

Posted by Richard Roop on June 16, 2001 at 13:48:14:

3 to 5% response! On a cold mailing? Wow. If you have done that then I want to see one of those campaigns. That is incredible if true.

As direct marketer for many years I am happy with 1/4% to 1%, but depends on the list, the message and the offer.

  • Richard

Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Alex Gurevich, TX

Posted by Alex Gurevich, TX on June 15, 2001 at 16:35:52:

  1. You should print your return address on the cards instead of stamping it manually.

  2. you should consider getting a 1st class mailing permit, one time $80 and print it on your cards, instead of licking stamps. You’ll have to drop 200+ pieces (at the bulk mail office) if you use permits.
    You can still glue stamps over them when you mail smaller quantities.

the less routine you do, the more you make.

  1. you should consider alternative (free or or much cheaper) sources of mailing labels: MLS or private providers. It’s going to be very expensive to keep buying your lists.

For example, I use a local service at $10/month subscription fee plus 5cent/minute which allows me to download mailing labels from county tax assessor’s office. There are some basic limited filtering capabilities too.

Check around, see who does something like that in your area.

Re: DIRECT MAIL help needed… - Posted by Houserookie

Posted by Houserookie on June 16, 2001 at 15:58:49:

What were u selling? Money making opps? vitamins?

I say 3-5 percent only because that seems to the ratio of homes listed in MLS vs. total single family homes in the area.

I guess it depends on what u sell.