I recently received a great direct mail piece that I thought I would share with hopes you might experiment with something similar for your business. The marketing piece is from the auto industry, but I believe it could be modified to attract targeted listings. This came in a white business size envelope with my name and address in handwriting font. The return address didn’t include a name, just a street address, city and state. The stamp is regular stamp, not a postage meter stamp. It was designed to look as if a friend sent me something.

Here is the cover letter inside the envelope:

autocoverletter(click to enlarge!)

I drive a 2008 Jeep Wrangler. The cover letter is from the Sales Manager and starts out by letting me know they are in need of 2007-2008 Jeep Wranglers!  It goes on to to give me an offer for my Jeep of $22,155! The letter goes on to explain that this offer is being made to a select group of customers and neighbors and that it expires on July 6th, 2013. This deadline is to create urgency and is an extremely important part of the offer.

Okay, here’s the second piece included with the cover letter:


(click to enlarge!)

This piece simulates the check I would receive for selling my Jeep along with a invoice for the sale. You can see the handwritten font in the middle with the phone number and expiration date of the offer!

My wife is instructed to never throw out our junk mail and the reason is because I like to study pieces sent to my home. This is probably one of the best direct mail marketing pieces I’ve ever received. The reason why is because it is extremely relevant and compelling at the same time. I do drive a Jeep Wrangler and the blue book value is probably around $23,000. So the offer is close to what I believe my car is worth. Now I do realize they probably wouldn’t offer the full $22,155 if I actually responded to this.

However, if I had the slightest interest in changing cars, I would probably call the Sales Manager.

The reason why I am sharing this is because I think it can easily be tweaked and used to attract sellers of specific homes. As an example, lets say you want to get listings in a specific sub-division and you have a pretty good idea on the current market values in the neighborhood. You could put together a similar direct mail offer. Your direct mail letter would include:

1. Handwritten envelope with live stamp. Only include the street address, city, and state for the return address. Don’t put your name, or your company’s name in the return address on the envelope!

2. A cover letter in handwritten font personalized with the seller’s name letting them know that you’re in need of listings exactly like their home because you’re working with pre-approved buyers looking for a home just like theirs. The cover letter would indicate that you believe you could sell their home within a specific time frame for the current market value. You must be specific with the market value, just like they were with my Jeep offer. The language must be…”I believe I can sell your home for $227,355 within 4 weeks depending on the interior condition.” You would also share that the letter is being mailed to other homes in the neighborhood and that you must hear back from them by a specific date to be considered.

3. The first page of a purchase agreement for their home. This would be a sample agreement, but it would have their home’s address and the price you included in the cover letter. You should be able to design a page like this quickly in Word.  Put a handwritten note on this sample first page just like they did. “Name, please call me before DATE and your NUMBER.”

Basically copy their approach for real estate. I am a broken record about studying businesses outside of real estate and copying what they do inside real estate. This is a great example of what I mean. Please understand I’m not suggesting you copy this exactly. I’m simply suggesting you use the idea and redo the entire package to attract home listings.

Important Reminders:
1. Include any and all required licensing disclosures and conditions.
2. Get your broker, manager, or attorney’s approval before sending.
3. Test on a small basis before spending a lot of money. Don’t’ go spend thousands of dollars until you know your letter works. Mail 50 to 100 of them inexpensively first and track responses. Maybe, do them yourself for the first 50 to 100. If it works, take it to a printer and consider mailing more. See this post for more information about testing.