July 7


What Are the Benefits of Direct Mail Advertising?

By Jeff Coffman

July 7, 2021

What Are the Benefits of Direct Mail Advertising In Your Real Estate Investing Business?

Direct mail IS NOT dead. Not by a long shot. In fact, direct mail has been a fantastic source for motivated seller and buyer leads for decades. Quite frankly, the people that argue that direct "doesn't work" are the same people that rarely have a written marketing plan for implementing direct mail in their business. 

I'm going to give you 7 different reasons why direct mail has been the undisputed heavyweight champion of marketing for over 100 years.

1. Direct Mail has a High ROI

Would it surprise you if I told you that direct mail gives you more bang for your buck than paid search and online display ads?

It's true.

Direct mail has a median ROI of 29% , putting the ROI in third behind email and social media marketing in terms of ROI. Social media is ahead by only 1 percentage point, according to Neil Patel. (neilpatel.com)

That might not seem very high, but when you consider that paid search has an ROI of 23% and online display at 16%, that number looks a lot more attractive. 

2. Direct Mail Works Great When Combined with a Great Marketing Plan

Every great marketing strategy must have a multiple touchpoint plan for getting in front of prospective sellers. Generally speaking, your marketing campaigns should include no less than 6 touches across multiple marketing channels. 

For instance, when you're creating a new marketing campaign, you could first send a letter to your prospect that directs them to your website, then "pixel" or tag them on your website so you can retarget them on social media. Then follow up with a couple of postcards, then a phone call and finally a piece of "lumpy" mail.

The possibilities are endless with these campaigns. You just have to get creative.

Regardless, direct mail offers an inexpensive way to kick off and maintain your marketing campaigns.

3. Direct Mail is Easier to Target Than You Might Think

On social media, targeting your audience is dead simple. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all offer tons of targeting tools based on interests, demographics, even behavior.

You can use resources like ListSource, Listability, or even modern tools like PropStream to build highly targeted lists. Then use a mail house to fulfill your direct mail campaigns. I personally use REI PrintMail for all of my direct mail needs.

 4. Direct Mail is Trackable

There are several ways to track campaign response rates with direct mail. Here are just a few...

  • Acquire multiple phone numbers (through your favorite CRM) and list one phone number per campaign. This way you will know what mail piece you got the call from.
  • Send mail recipients to different landing pages directly from your mail piece and measure how many "hits" you got. Don't forget to "pixel" or tag them so you can retarget them online!
  • Have prospects text in a keyword and measure how many hits you get. If you have this technology available to you, you could then send an autoresponse message back the prospect with a link to your website (where you can "pixel" them as well!!)

These are just a few of many ways to measure direct mail response rates. 

By the way, the tool we use to accomplish every one of these strategies is REI Blackbook. We simply cannot live without REI Blackbook! It has made us A LOT of money.


5. Direct Mail Provides a "Personal Touch"

Think about it. When you receive a handwritten letter from someone, what do you do?

You get excited. Someone cares enough to write you a letter because it's not very often that you receive something like this.

But then what do you do?

I would be willing to bet that you sit down and read every single word in that letter. Regardless of what anyone tells you, the fact of the matter is that almost 75% of people say they prefer getting a piece of mail over other marketing strategies. 


6. Direct Mail Increases Brand Awareness

Direct mail is tangible. I can be held, touched, smelled and viewed over and over. People tend to hold onto direct mail if what the piece is offering is of importance to them. 

This provides the perfect opportunity for you to build brand awareness. And if you keep sending mail like the diligent marketer you are, the more a potential seller is going to remember your name.


7. Direct Mail is Memorable

Advertisements now flash before our eyes at blazing speeds. Each time we search, stream, watch, read, scroll, click, or swipe, we are bombarded by advertisements.

But direct mail is different. It stands out. All it takes is a simple, friendly, but poignant message and people will remember and ultimately respond to your message.


Direct Mail FAQs

Does direct mail still work?
In short, yes. In fact, studies from the last few years have shown responses to direct mail are increasing, not decreasing. 

What is the best day for direct mail to arrive?
Studies show Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days for direct mail to arrive.

What is the average response rate for direct mail?
The average response rate for direct mail is between 1-2%.

Don't let this seemingly low response rate fool you. There are a couple of things to remember. The first being that the lists that you're sending mail to are highly, highly targeted. This is going to drastically reduce the number of pieces you can send out at one time. The second thing to remember is that the ROI on direct mail is among the best across any marketing strategy.



The expansion of digital marketing has only enhanced the return on investment for direct mail campaigns.

If you're wondering why direct mail should take a place in your marketing tool belt, the above 7 reasons are answer enough.

Direct mail campaigns give a high ROI and even a higher ROI than paid ads. They can work effectively in a campaign by themselves or alongside a digital-marketing campaign.

You can use direct mail to target the right customers at the right time. And it's easy to track the results of each campaign you run.

Because direct mail is more likely to get read, it increases your brand awareness, even if the first letter is unsuccessful.

I get hundreds of emails every week. But I get a fraction of that number in the form of letters in my mailbox. To stand out in a world where everything has gone electronic, consider complementing your digital marketing strategy with a direct-mail campaign. It's a missing personal touch in a hectic world. And as every great marketer knows, being personal pays off.

What is the biggest reason you think that direct mail is still going strong?


Jeff Coffman

About the author

Jeff Coffman is a real estate investor, creative finance expert, coach and mentor to aspiring real estate entrepreneurs across the United States. Jeff provides a dynamic mix of traditional investing advice and creative real estate acquisitions strategies like "Subject-To" and Lease-Options to help investors like you build and grow your brands and businesses.

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