Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing Strategies (with Examples)

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Written By Tommy

DealBloom aims to share the latest tips and strategies to help realtors, brokers, loan officers, and investors navigate the world of real estate.

Before diving into this real estate direct mail marketing topic, be sure to save our guides on cold emailing, cold calling, text message marketing, social media marketing, and using ringless voicemails.

Additionally, here are 25 lead generation ideas for real estate.

Now, let’s dive in to direct mail marketing for real estate.

What is real estate direct mail marketing?

Real estate direct mail marketing is a type of direct marketing that involves sending printed promotional materials to prospective real estate clients via postal mail.

The goal of direct mail marketing is to gain a prospective client’s business or develop a business relationship with them.

Direct mail marketing consists of three main components:

  • List – A mailing list for a direct mail marketing campaign will consist ofindividuals that are a good fit for your real estate services. The moretargeted your list is, the greater the chance that your direct mail campaignwill be a success.
  • Offer – The offer you present to prospects is the second most crucial part of yourdirect mail campaign. For best results, your offer needs to be both enticingand relevant.
  • Creative – The way your promotional material looks and readsplays a great part in how your offer will be perceived, as well as if it willbe noticed or read at all. You should put in significant effort into makingthe creative visually compelling and easy to comprehend.

Benefits of real estate directmail marketing

There are plenty of advantages that come with using direct mail to advertise your real estate business.

Real estate direct mail marketing is:

  • Memorable – People are used to seeing hundreds of online offers every day. This makes any online ad easy to forget. Physical promotional offers, on the other hand, are rarer and thus have a greater chance of being remembered and interacted with by prospects. In fact, as much as 75% of people state that they are able to recall a brand after seeing information about it in print.
  • Effective – Real estate direct mail marketing generates a 5.3% response rate, higher than email and other forms of digital communication. It’s especially effective when used to market to millennials, since as much as 36% of them look forward to checking their mailbox, while 27% state that they respond to receiving advertising cards and fliers positively.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


  • Trustworthy – More than 50% of Americans prefer receiving marketing messages via direct mail instead of through email. Additionally, 25% of them consider direct mail marketing to be more trustworthy.
  • Highly profitable – The average cost-per-acquisition for direct mail is $19, which is competitive with paid search ($21-$30) and social media ($16-$18). It offers a strong ROI of up to 17%, which is on par with social media.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Real estate direct mail marketing costs

Real estate direct mail marketing costs can be broken up into the following categories:

Printing costs

How much you’re going to pay to get your promotional materials printed will depend on the paper you decide to use. 14-point card stock is the industry standard for promotional postcards.

You’ll also have the option of choosing between a matte and gloss finish. Opting for a glossy finish will increase your printing costs as well.

Design costs

You can design your promotional materials yourself, or pay a direct mail company or a graphic designer to design them for you.

While going the DIY route will be the most affordable option, you might want to hire a professional to create a great looking design that will be able to grab your prospects’ attention.

Mailing list costs

If you don’t have a mailing list already, you’ll need to purchase one. How much you’re going to pay for it will, in most part, depend on its size.

Addressing costs

A direct mail company will charge you a fee for addressing all your mailers. This will usually be a fixed per-piece fee.

You’ll need to take this into account when calculating the cost for your campaign since addressing fees can add up, especially if you’re mailing to a large list.

Postage costs

Postage is going to be your campaign’s biggest expense. The bigger your promotional mailer is, the more you’re going to be paying in postage.

Using 4.25”x6” postcards will usually be the most affordable option.

How to get started with real estate direct mail marketing

You’ve learned what direct mail is, why you should use it, and how much it costs.

Now, we’re going to show you how to get started with real estate direct mail marketing.

Find your audience

The first step to starting your direct mail marketing campaign is identifying your target audience.

Think about the types of people you’d like to target.

Are you looking to reach buyers or sellers? Are you targeting low-income or high-income housing?

Finally, what is your goal for the campaign? Would you like to generate leads straight away, or are you looking to start with building brand awareness?

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll need to determine the right area for your campaign. For example, if you’re selling luxury properties, you’ll want to target high-income areas.

If you don’t have a way to build your own list, you can always purchase one from the numerous list sellers out there. A quality data company will be able to provide you with targeted lists such as lists for FSBO’s, absentee owners, and expired listings.

Purchasing a targeted list will ensure that your direct mail campaign will be reaching only those people that fit your ideal client persona. This will prevent you from wasting money on mailing unqualified leads.

Send at the right time

The real estate market has clear seasonal trends which look as follows:

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


As you can see from the image above, November through February are the slowest months for the market. Sales start ramping up with the beginning of March and then peak in June, after which they start decreasing until next spring.

You can use this to your advantage by sending your direct mail campaign during spring and fall, and avoiding the winter months. During the winter, you might want to opt for sending holiday mail to increase brand awareness, though.

Decide on the frequency

Choosing the right frequency for your direct mail campaign is crucial. While you don’t want to annoy your prospects with too many mailers, you also don’t want them to completely forget about you in between each letter or postcard.

There are a lot of factors that come into play when choosing the right mailing frequency, such as your specific audience, the offer, and the time of the year. Testing is the only true way to find the right frequency.

However, in most cases, you won’t go wrong with sending a mailer to your prospects oncea month. This will ensure that your business stays top-of-mind without risking annoying your audience.

You might also want to experiment with increasing the frequency during selling season (March to June) and lowering it during the winter.

Create your real estate mailer

Once you’ve acquired a mailing list and decided on the right mailing frequency, it’s time to create your real estate mailer.

Decide on the format

The first step to creating your mailer is deciding on a format. You’ll need to decide between the following formats:


A traditional direct mail format that allows retailers to include a large amount of information, as well as a number of photographs in their mailer.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies



Smaller than fliers, these serve as a teaser for your offering. They’re best used to direct people to your other channels, such as your website or social media pages.

Since there’s no envelope or box to open, information presented on postcards is more likely to be reviewed by prospects. Postcards are also less expensive to produce compared to flyers.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Yellow letter

These involve a handwritten note and are designed to look as if sent from a person rather than a business. Due to their look, they are more likely to be opened and read by curious prospects.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Remember that there’s no format that’s universally better than others. You’ll need to test and find out which format works best for your specific audience.

Craft an amazing offer

Once you’ve decided on the format for your mailer, you’ll need to craft an amazing offer that will intrigue your prospects and get their attention.

Your offer should center on solving a problem for your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting absentee owners or divorcees, you should let your audience know that you can buy their house straight away, in cash, without commissions.

You’ll also want to clearly state what action you want interested parties to take. Do you want them to call or email you? Or do you want them to visit your website?

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Make sure to let them know in the mailer.

Keep it short and to the point

No one likes reading long advertising messages. Your mailer copy should be short and to the point.

Include only the most important information, such as who you are, what you do, and whataction you want prospects to take.

Start by grabbing your audience’s attention with a question or a compelling benefit of working with you. Ideally, this should be stated in the headline and not be cluttered up with the rest of your message.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Try to make your main point quickly and end with a strong call-to-action.

Make sure only to include a single call-to-action. Otherwise, you risk confusing your audience or losing their attention.

You should also include an attention-grabbing image that supports your main message. Try to use contrasting colors throughout your mailer to have an easier time getting prospects’ attention.

Finally, remember to include your name, phone number, and website on the mailer to giveprospects a way to reach you, as well as increase trust and show that you’re a legitimate business.

Remember to follow up

Your work doesn’t stop after you’ve sent out your mailers. You should also put in the effort to follow up with prospects who never responded to your messaging.

Remember – just because someone hasn’t responded to your mailer doesn’t mean they’re not interested. They might be busy or not ready to buy or sell yet.

You need to keep reaching out to these people until they tell you to stop.

There are a number of ways you can follow up with prospects, including via:

  • Phone call – The best way to follow up with prospects is by callingthem on the phone. This will give you a good chance of converting them rightthen and there. You can use dialer software to help you make more calls in ashorter amount of time.
  • Voicemail – Prospects that don’t answer your phone call can beleft a voicemail message. You can use an automated voicemail service to sendyour pre-recorded voicemail message to a large number of prospects quickly.
  • Text message – A lot of younger people don’t like talking on thephone, and prefer communicating through text messages instead. Cater to them byfollowing up via SMS.
  • Facebook ads – Retargeting prospects through Facebook ads is a greatway to keep your business top of mind and remind prospects about your offer.Since these people have already interacted with your business by visiting yourwebsite, they’re obviously interested in what you have to offer, which makesthem more likely to convert.

For best results, you’ll want to combine multiple methods of follow-up. Here’s an example follow-up schedule you can use:

  • Week 1: Send direct mail
  • Week 2: Call prospects
  • Week 3: Leave voicemail
  • Week 4: Text prospects

Real estate postcard ideas

In this section, we’re going to look at some postcard ideas that you can use as inspiration for creating your own real estate mailers.

FSBO postcard

If you’re targeting FSBO listings, try reaching out to the sellers with a postcard. Use the postcard to let sellers know why you’re the right agent to help them sell their home.

Focus on explaining how you can eliminate all their pain points and help them get what they want as soon as possible.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Expired listing postcard

Sending postcards to people whose listing has just expired is a great way to generate seller leads. Let these frustrated sellers know that you can solve their problem and get their property sold.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Just listed postcard

This type of postcard is best for generating buyer leads for your property.

You can send a Just listed postcard any time you create a new listing. By doing so, you’ll be alerting buyers of a new property, as well as getting on the radar of seller leads from the area that might decide to work with you as well.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Use this postcard to showcase the listing by including a photo of the property, the address, and the price.

For best results, you’ll want to send out this postcard before an open house event in order to build interest in the event itself.

Just sold postcard

You should send a Just sold postcard every time you sell a property. This will help you build brand awareness as well as generate new seller leads in the area by showing them that you’re capable of selling their home.

Give the Just sold postcard a personal feel by not only mentioning the sold home, but also the new neighbors that come with it.

You can also include a free appraisal offer with this postcard to help you generate even more interest from sellers.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Open house postcard

If you’re hosting an open house event for one of your clients, you can let people in the area know about it by sending them an open house postcard. Make sure to include a photo of the property, as well as the time and date of the event on the postcard.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


New agent postcard

Say you’ve just moved into a new area. Why not let the local buyers and sellers know about it?

A new agent postcard will help to introduce you to the community and build awareness for your business.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


You don’t have to strictly focus on your professional side when creating the copy for this postcard. Make it a bit more personal by mentioning your hobbies or interests.

This will help to make you seem more human and approachable.

List of homes postcard

A great way to target renters and first-time buyers is to offer them a free list of homes that fit their criteria. Put this offer on a postcard and send it to rental communities in your area.

Find out the average cost of rent in the area and let renters know what kind of home they could afford with a mortgage payment that equals the size of their rent. This is guaranteed to grab their attention and get them thinking about purchasing a home of their own.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Free home market analysis postcard

If you offer free home market analysis to your leads, use a postcard to let as many people as possible know about it. Most people looking to sell their property won’t say no to a free analysis.

Once you get your foot in the door, so to speak, you’ll have an easier time converting them into clients.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Home purchase anniversary postcard

The relationship you have with your clients isn’t over once you sell to them.

You should strive to keep in touch with each and every one of your former clients. This will provide you with the opportunity of potentially working with them again or getting a valuable referral.

Send former clients a postcard on the anniversary of buying their home to keep your business top-of-mind.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Holiday postcard

Wish your prospects happy holidays with a holiday postcard. This will help to keep your business top-of-mind and increase the chances of prospects remembering you when they’re ready to buy or sell.

Make sure to keep this postcard festive and try to avoid mentioning business altogether.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Event calendar postcard

A great way to earn a permanent place in your prospects’ homes is to create an event calendar for your local area. You can include everything from local festivals, major sporting events, and concerts on the calendar.

This will be a valuable resource that your audience will appreciate. It will also serve as a permanent reminder of you and your business.

real estate direct mail marketing strategies


Start your real estate direct mail marketing campaign today

Real estate direct mail marketing involves sending printed materials such as postcards and flyers to real estate prospects with the goal of gaining their business. Every direct mail campaign consists of three main elements: the list, the offer, and the creative.

Direct mail marketing is an excellent way for real estate professionals to generate more leads and clients. Physical promotional materials are highly memorable and have a great chance of being interacted with. They also generate higher response rates compared to digital forms of marketing, including email and social media. Finally, direct mail marketing messages are considered to be more trustworthy by consumers.

When it comes to determining costs for a direct mail marketing campaign, real estateprofessionals need to take into account printing, design, addressing, postage, and mailing list costs.

The first step to getting started with real estate direct mail marketing is identifying your target audience and deciding on a goal for the campaign. The next move involves creating or purchasing a list of prospective clients.

Once you have your mailing list ready, you’ll need to decide on the right frequency and sending time for your direct mail campaign before finally creating your real estate mailer. Creating the mailer itself will involve choosing a format (flyer, postcard, or yellow letter), crafting a compelling offer, and writing effective copy. When creating the copy for your mailer, you’ll want to keep it fairly short and include important information only, such as your main offer and your contact details.

Sending out your mailers shouldn’t mark the end of a campaign. You should also takethe time to follow up with prospects through a variety of different means, including phone calls, voicemail, text messages, and Facebook ads.

If you decide to send postcards to your prospects, you can opt for a variety of different approaches, including reaching out to people with FSBO or expired listings, promoting your listed or sold properties, announcing open house events, offering free market analysis or home lists, as well as sending home purchase anniversary and holiday postcards.


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