Why Isn’t My Direct Mail Farming Campaign Working?
Real estate marketing is not an overnight initiative. Consistency, relevancy, repetition and time are needed to complete a successful direct mail farming campaign. But what do you do when you’re concerned your investment is no longer fruitful? And how do you know when it's time to make a change? A few key details should be evaluated to know where to make adjustments before you launch a new round of direct mail marketing materials.
Reflecting on the Campaign and Your Brand
To make a definitive determination that your campaign isn't working, you must first look back to know what your original goal was and if you’ve allowed enough repetition to accomplish your objective. Also, understanding where your real estate brand stands competitively can be a major factor in how quickly your audience responds and views you as the local expert. Are you new to the area? Are there a lot of well-established competing agents that are sending out direct mail, too? Do an analysis on your brand and on all your local neighborhood real estate marketing efforts to help you identify where you stand in the competitive market.
Marketing campaign responses tend to trend similarly to a bell curve that tapers off at the end. By tracking the response rate, you can see when it’s time to ramp up your efforts in a new way.
To know if your campaign is still effectively capturing your farming area’s attention, track call to action responses. Begin by asking how people heard of you when they call or email. This is a great way to gain insight, but don’t use it as the only method to determine how people found your agency. When you’re marketing across multiple channels, your new lead may only recall one or two of the places they saw you or your advertising.
One way to capture a marketing response without relying on your client's memory is through unique URLs. For example, you can send out a direct mail postcard that directs the recipient online, and by entering a code they can see a virtual tour of a property for sale for or get a personalized home value report. By entering the code, mailing farming programs automatically capture contact information, making response tracking and timely follow up easy.
Calls to action that focus on home value and recent sales information are effective at grabbing the attention of your audience and also captures valuable data for you. Always look for opportunities to request a prospect’s contact information by offering an incentive, like a giveaway or contest. Not only do you then have a direct way to track the success of your campaign, but you also have a warm lead to follow-up with.
Appealing to the Audience
If you’ve seen your real estate marketing campaign success taper off, one area to evaluate is the relevance of the content to your audience. For your message to really resonate, it needs to speak to what we like to call in marketing “the pain point.” People are busy and in most instances will only act on things that are keeping them up at night. In real estate, home values and recent sales trends seem to do the trick. Understanding your target audience will help you tap into the key messages that will most pique their interest.
If you’re struggling to gather specific details on your clients and prospects, online surveys can be a useful and inexpensive method to gain valuable insight. You can feature a short, one or two question quiz on your website or agency Facebook page, or email out a ten question survey to your list of contacts. Once you evaluate their feedback, incorporate key insights into your messaging to connect on a personal level.
Testing Future Campaigns
Now that you’ve seen that real estate marketing is a fluid process, you may find it challenging to commit to one channel or one message. Luckily, you don’t have to! To understand what’s working best, marketers use A/B testing. For direct mail postcards, this can mean creating two slightly different cards and comparing the resulting lead captures from each. Even something as subtle as a font or image alteration can impact the overall look and feel of a design, and ultimately, the card’s success.
Understanding your campaign’s objective and results as well as your audience is essential to confidently determining if a campaign is no longer effective and what’s needed to turn the results around. If you find that a campaign has gone stale, a few simple tweaks can really freshen it up.
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