I've got an addiction... to Vista Print!!!

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Real Estate Agent with john greene Realtor 475.137677

After doing some research about a month ago about the best place to go for printed materials, I stumbled upon Vista Print.  Ever since then, I feel like I'm feeding the "graphic design" beast within me.

 I daydream about postcard design and layouts for my direct mail marketing.  I check my mailbox to see if my newest order of printed materials has arrived.  I've created "blog" business cards to hand-out to everyone I meet.  I've ordered magnets and calendar magnets, "Just Listed" postcards, "Why you should buy now" postcards... and I don't see an end in sight to my insatiable desire to upload my latest design to Vista Print!!!

I keep getting FREE offers sent to me via e-mail and I simply can't refuse. I only pay for shipping. I don't know that any of it will all be that profitable, but I seem to be unable to stop myself.  I'm just paying shipping on most of my orders, which makes it an incredible opportunity to get my name out there in my community.

So, while I'm actually having a lot of fun, my question is this: 

How many of you out there still use direct mail as a form of advertising?  Do you think it's just as important for clients to physically have your information in their hands periodically throughout the year, or is the Internet your main source of leads?  Will my direct mail marketing campaign simply cost me money in the end?

 

 

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Rainmaker
474,619
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

Julie, I've used Vista Print for several years and have been really happy. I like the creativity of modifying their products.

Colleen

Jan 26, 2008 04:45 PM #15
Rainer
100,676
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene

I';m a long time user of Vista Print. I getsome business cards from them and some "fancier" ones from Victorian Trading Co.

I don't do mail outs to strangers. Just my SOI because I never had any luck at all with mail outs. Who knows though...it may work for you.

Jan 28, 2008 05:45 PM #16
Rainer
38,971
Amy Jones
Amy Jones Photo - Mandeville, LA
(licensed in LA)
I designed a business card through Vista a while ago, but ended up using another provider. I think I will revisit their site and check them out again. Thank You.
Jan 30, 2008 03:19 AM #17
Rainmaker
211,082
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

Hi there Julie -

When we set up marketing campaigns for our clients, we include the priority three - telephone calls, e-mail, and postal mail.  Direct mail marketing is extremely valuable for many reasons.  People get so much e-mail that, as someone else here already said, they either just glance over it or it gets caught in spam filters or sits in a inbox forever.  That's where direct mail comes into play.  Even if a postcard gets tossed, they will at least look at it (back and front) before they toss it.  Also, when planning your direct mail campaign, be sure to include unique marketing activities - not just sending stuff just to send it.  And be consistent!  It won't give you huge results right away but, over the long haul, you will make a bigger impact.

~Renae - Market 4 Real!

Feb 02, 2008 11:43 AM #18
Rainmaker
181,151
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick
I like the  listing card with the plain yellow For Sale sign 26 cent card size- I send them to fsbo off the local fsbo sites and tell them.  Putting a sign in the yard and hoping someone will call is not the way to sell their home- not exact phrase, then I mention my website and marketing info.  I have gotten more calls from doing this............  Keep back Black and add more verbage, its very inexpensive to mail 20-50 a month, and they send you 100 for free plus shipping.
Feb 02, 2008 01:24 PM #19
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Julie,

I loved your Vista Print blog.

I was addicted to "sticky notes"  often using them to make long chains and then running out when I really needed them.

Creativity is true fuel for life. You reflect that quality.

 

John Hurbon    Benson , Az               google BENSON HORSE PROPERTY

 

Feb 08, 2008 07:53 PM #20
Rainer
10,540
Holli Boyd
Keller Williams Realty Capital District - Averill Park, NY

LOL - I will join the vista print addiction club - order from them way too much - however - I find their quality is awesome for the money and I like having a nice selection of cards around. Also their other stuff is great - just got notepads, a tshirt and pens for a 12 year daughter of a friend of mine.

I like sending postcards from there the most - and the flyers for info boxes are always highly recevied. 

Mar 25, 2008 10:50 AM #21
Rainer
336,470
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC
Thanks for the info.  I'm always looking for new marketing ideas.
Mar 25, 2008 11:46 AM #22
Rainmaker
35,709
Ravinder Pilson
Intero Real Estate Services - Santa Clarita, CA
Intero Real Estate in Santa Clarita, CA
Yes, I always get those Visat Print "free" offers too. They're always there, so I try to only get them if I'm buying something else from them anyway. Then they're truly free for me, as I'm not paying any additional postage to have them!
Mar 28, 2008 04:03 AM #23
Rainmaker
261,480
Erin Newington
(916) 585-3858 - Elk Grove, CA
Elk Grove Realtor

Once a month we send our database a e-newsletter, direct mail piece, and offer a FREE educational webinar.  I highly encourage you to keep up the mailing.  I find that only 30% of our database is opening our emails so hitting them again with a direct mail piece is important.  I often times use postcards or hand write the envelope so it looks like a greeting card to make sure it gets opened!

Good Luck!

Erin

Mar 28, 2008 11:52 AM #24
Ambassador
448,648
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Julie,I started Real Estate in 2003 and I have never used it. It's much less expensive and much more impactful to knock on a door. Good Luck to you and Later in the rain~Deb

Mar 29, 2008 05:17 PM #25
Rainmaker
103,599
Julie Ferenzi
john greene Realtor - Plainfield, IL
Julie Ferenzi

Wow guys, this is one blog that still ges tons and tons of traffic.  Let's just say that I've been busy and that's a good thing!!! 

Thanks everyone for coming by and adding to the discussion! I found that the biggest impact that my postcards had were after I did the bridal expo and used them as a follow up to meeting all of the brides to be. 

Thanks everyone for giving this post value by commenting with your experience!

 

Apr 03, 2008 03:09 PM #26
Rainer
2,893
DELETE! Account
Issaquah, WA

I send out postcards, mailings and do a lot of farming. I have asked several of my clients to give me the "junk" mail that they get from other agents so I know what my compition is doing. I have used vista print several times, but the quality did not stand out. I realized that I needed to step up my game. I hired a graphic designer to give me a branding, and now I just send him the info that I want on the postcards/mailings etc and he plugs it in. WELL worth the money. His cost to do the work is actually cheap and his prices for printing are comparable, but he offers free shipping. The quality is amazing and my mailings stand out from the others. I have gotten business off of these. The information may not be what the recipient of the mailing is looking for, but if you send out quality it stands out and you are giving the impression that you put that much time, effort and quality into your job.

Apr 03, 2008 06:24 PM #27
Rainmaker
212,749
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
And then when they have us hooked and in their system, we'll come to them for the higher priced pieces.  They are a responsible and entrepeneurial and they get our business.
Apr 03, 2008 06:28 PM #28
Rainmaker
69,165
Freddy Delgadillo
Judah Realty Group - Bellevue, WA
Real Estate Broker specializing Greater Eastside
thats great, i like to see websites that other realtors use and are getting great success. thank you again.
Apr 03, 2008 06:38 PM #29
Rainmaker
276,901
Eric Egeland
RE/MAX SUBURBAN - Libertyville, IL
SFR, e-PRO, CDPE
I've used them, they're very inexpensive.  I don't think the quality is there for most of my business needs, but for personal things & business post its, etc.  its great
Apr 06, 2008 03:26 PM #30
Ambassador
1,495,762
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Thanks I never used them, but their prices look great!
Apr 06, 2008 03:29 PM #31
Rainmaker
103,599
Julie Ferenzi
john greene Realtor - Plainfield, IL
Julie Ferenzi

Dacia: I know what you mean.  I'm well versed in graphic design so I do a lot of my own designs and upload them myself using Photoshop.  I think if you do that, AND use Vista Print for your printing needs you will come out ahead!

Terrylynn: Now that I am on their mailing list, I don't think I will ever have to pay full price!

Freddy: That's why I love Active Rain!!!

Eric: I value your opinion!  I'm surprised though... I've never been disappointed!

Jim: Give them a try and take them up on one of their FREE offers.  I think you'll be very pleased with the service AND their products!!! 

Apr 06, 2008 03:58 PM #32
Rainmaker
4,433,283
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
I will give them a try. I get my post cards from Color for Real Estate and make some on publisher.
Apr 06, 2008 11:32 PM #33
Anonymous
Kathryn

I thought I was a fairly saavy business person when I happened upon Vista Print who does an excellent job of printing business documents. I was astounded when received an email this morning warning me of their deceptive practice of enrolling you in a wide variety of programs, all costing $14.95 per month. I was enrolled in three via one email address and two more on another email.

When you call them, they are very cordial and tell you that they'll release you from your membership and refund the last charge. YOU MUST ALSO ASK THEM TO TELL YOU HOW LONG YOU'VE BEEN ENROLLED IN EACH PROGRAM AND INSIST THAT THEY REFUND ALL MONTHLY FEES, WHICH THEY WILL DO, BUT ONLY IF YOU ASK! Don't click on any special offers on the website when you order. That's how they get your information and enroll you in these programs. I'm appalled that they would risk their business relationships this way, but frankly, they are probably making more money on the monthly fees than they are in the low-cost printing.

Personally, as a business owner since 1990, I don't have an hour to sit on the phone trying to get refunds for ridiculous reasons such as these scam programs. I'm sure that raising by blood pressure isn't a 'physical damage', nor is the headache that ensued, but this was a real exercise in frustration. If it happens to me, I'd believe it's happening to thousands of people who don't have enough information or clout to insist on refunds for the duration of membership in these programs.

Aug 09, 2008 10:42 PM #34
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