Often times, knowing what not to do is more valuable than knowing what to do when it comes to direct mail.

In order to create a successful direct marketing campaign, it is essential to avoid these common mistakes.

Constantly Changing Your Branding

By nature, humans are visual creatures, and successful brands understand the importance of using colors that their customers are familiar with.

Imagine if Pepsi switched to Green and Orange instead of Red, Blue and White. Even if the packaging, the logos, and the fonts stayed exactly the same, the look would confuse people, or make them think it was a knockoff.

This doesn’t mean you can’t split-test different brands in the very beginning of your campaign; however, once you have decided on a logo, the colors, and the fonts, do not stray from them.

Those who change their branding will lose their brand recognition, and may have to start the entire process from step one.

No Proofreading

Even the most skilled copywriters and designers make errors, and proofreading is the most effective solution to avoiding any spelling, grammatical, and factual mistakes.

As a general rule of thumb, a postcard should be examined by at least three sets of eyes. For best results, make sure the proofreader is not familiar with the content of the postcard, as familiarity may cause them to skip over a potential error.

A clean, polished message looks far more professional than if it looks like the only editing done was Spell Check.

No Compelling Offer

It’s not enough to just catch someone’s attention; you have to provide something they will value.

The most common direct mail (retail coupons) provide a compelling offer; discounts or rebates on products. However, as a real estate agent, coupons don’t have the same type of prowess.

If you want to produce excitement for your target audience, one of the best ways to do so is with a Free Home Valuation. Since real estate agents should be utilizing direct mail as a seller’s lead generator, a Free Home Valuation ties directly into what a potential buyer would want.

Lackluster Call-to-Action

The Call-to-Action is arguably the most important element of your direct mail campaign, because if no one wants to pick up the phone or visit your website, the postcard won’t do any good.

Some of the common mistakes we see with Call-to-Action include:

  • The CTA blends in with the rest of the postcard.
  • Font size is too small.
  • No Compelling Offer (see above)

If you can create a stellar, compelling Call-to-Action that draws attention, you stand a significantly better chance of getting them to call, text, or email you.

No Consistency in Mailing

Once you have your brand established, staying consistent is the number-one key of a successful direct mail strategy. It doesn’t matter if you mail twice a week, once a day, or once a month, it is essential that you are consistent.

Why is it so important? Aside from dedicating an entire blog post about why you need to be consistent, it’s also about your audience. The people who look forward to seeing your postcards are depending on you to keep them informed, and their attention is priceless.

Even if that audience is just a handful of people in a subdivision, showing that you can be consistent sends a signal to them that you’re a professional and organized.

No Follow-Up

Very few people are completely comfortable with replying to an email or picking up the phone and following up with their leads.

However, if you are going to maximize your ROI from your direct mail campaign, you must follow-up with every prospective lead/client. Those who fail to consistently follow-up aren’t utilizing their marketing budgets to its full potential.

Not Having High-Quality Photos

 Nothing can ruin the visual experience of looking at your postcard than grainy, pixelated photos of yourself or your real estate listings.

The easiest solution to using high-quality photos is to use photos that have not been web-optimized. A professional headshot on a website is a different file type (usually .png) than its original version. Since your postcards are being mailed, there’s no need to optimize your photos for maximum web functionality.

Ask your photographer for the original version(s) of your headshot and your listing. If you are using market update graphs, make sure they are at least 300 dpi.

Not Providing Information of Value

Postcards must include information or statistics that are relevant to your target audience’s wants and needs.

For example, letting them know that you just moved from a small office to a big office might seem impressive to your friends, but it doesn’t offer them any valuable insight about the real estate market in your neighborhood.

By providing your audience with statistics or status updates about real estate within their community, you demonstrate your reputation as an expert, which makes it more likely that they will contact you for information about selling their home at some point.

Share With Us!

What are the most important things you try to avoid with your direct mail campaign? What tactics do you use to ensure that you avoid them? Let us know in the comments below!

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