Viewpoints: Russell Taylor, Lob.com

by Alonzo Turner

Russell Taylor

Russell Taylor

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in real estate. 

This week, we talked with Russell Taylor from Lob.com, which provides APIs for print and mail documents, postcards and photos, among others. 

Boston Agent (BA): What does direct mail offering real estate professionals that other market mediums don’t?

Russell Taylor (RT): Direct mail is often seen as an antiquated marketing technique, but as digital marketing becomes saturated, direct mail is fast becoming the go-to lead acquisition technique for the real estate professionals. On average, direct mail produces a 13 to one ROI, providing you with a cost-effective way of obtaining new business.

There are three main advantages direct mail provides over other digital marketing techniques:

  • Geographical Targeting: With direct mail, you have complete flexibility to target a city, ZIP code or street, right down to an individual address. It is significantly more specific and accurate than the IP-based geographies of many online marketing channels.
  • Target Unreachable People: Some people just aren’t online. Direct mail reaches everyone, especially those less tech-savvy or the elderly.
  • Lower cost of Acquisition: The price of a piece of mail is fixed, based only on printing and postage. Unlike competitive auctions for online ad impressions, those costs don’t fluctuate based on demand for that physical mailbox space.

BA: Can direct mail be targeted, or is it limited to mass mailers?

RT: The short answer is both. Direct mail can come in the form mass mailers were you target entire zip codes, also know as Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). EDDM will be easier to get started with, but directly targeting individual addresses will produce better results.

Across the board we see increased response rates for tech savvy real estate individuals that personalize their direct mail creative. This is something that was not possible with traditional print vendors in the past. With Lob’s on-demand print technology, each direct mail postcard that is mailed can include personalized content targeted at each recipient.

For example, we have a real estate client that sends out lead acquisition postcards, and on each postcard they include a picture of the house, information about the neighborhood and an accurate offer on the house. This type of personalization has increased their response rate significantly.

BA: What is a good way for real estate professionals to start building their direct mail mailing list?

RT: Building an accurate direct mail list is one of the most important parts of your campaign. You want to make sure you are targeting the right audience and then providing them with a strong call to action. There are free options to start building your list like eviction records, tax records and probate records. These will get you started, but if you really want a quality list you will need to work with a list broker.

List broker services will deliver you with real estate leads based on predefined criteria, such as addresses within a specific ZIP code, families within an age or income range, home values and other data points useful for filtering to an interested audience. This is the type of targeting you will need if you want to create a successful direct mail campaign.

For more information on building a direct mail campaign for your real estate business, check out our latest blog post How to Build a Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing List.

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