Five Steps To Conducting A Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Services for Real Estate Pros with

Conducting a direct mail postcard campaign may appear simple on the surface. After all, all you do is slap your contact information on a postcard with a stamp, mail it to everyone in the neighborhood and wait for the cash to come in, right? Wrong! The truth is successful direct mail campaigns are conducted very strategically and consistently over long periods of time. Before stamping and sending, agents must first take into account different variables and decide how to best maximize resources. Covering bases ahead of time will not only save time and money, but future headaches. Trust us!


Below are five steps to conducting a successful direct mail campaign.


1. Start With Your List

Before beginning a direct mail campaign, you must first determine your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Identifying your target audience beforehand will not only streamline the direct mail campaign process, but provide a foundation to begin designing your postcard and tailor your message. Agents typically segment their lists between clients and prospects.


2. Craft Your Message

A clear understanding of your audience will help shape your message. Tie in specific marketing and sales objectives and you will have a well-constructed direct mail campaign. You may, for example, want to sell Product A because it has a great profit margin. However, if you determine 90% of your customers prefer Product B, you should craft your message accordingly. Simply illustrate the benefits of Product A over Product B and offer a strong incentive to buy Product A.


3. Design Your Print Piece

After you prepare your list and hone your message, begin designing your postcard. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure your postcard is interesting and stands out from the crowd. That doesn’t mean, however, your postcard should be unprofessional. Nab the attention of potential clients, but don’t shock or offend them. For fresh tips on how to design a compelling postcard, visit us at our blog here. 


4. Measure Response Rates and Calculate ROI

The Direct Mail Association reports that the average direct mail response rate is 1-2%. That means you could send out 100 postcards and not get a single response! This is because a 1% response rate does not guarantee you will get 1 response every 100 postcards. Rather, response rates represent averages calculated over hundreds of mailings. This is why consistency is the single most important principle in planning a direct mail campaign. To achieve an average or better response rate, you must either mail repeatedly to the same list and/or significantly increase the number of pieces you send.


5. Be Consistent

If you sit down to watch TV one night, you’re bound to see the same car commercial five or six times. Ad agencies have spent billions of dollars studying consumer behavior and have found that it takes multiple impressions to generate response to a marketing message. The same is true with direct mail: sending one mailer simply won’t get the results you want. You must mail to the same person repeatedly and consistently to get their attention, reinforce your message and ultimately drive a conversion. Can Help understands managing a campaign can be very time-consuming. For this reason we allow agents to pre-schedule mailers up to a year in advance. Simply load your address lists, postcard design and select the dates you want to begin. Once the scheduled date arrives, will automatically print, address and mail your postcards. For more information, visit us at or sign up here to receive a special 40% ActiveRain discount on postcards. specializes in online design, print and mail postcards with same day mailing. For a limited time ActiveRain members receive a 40% discount on their first mailing! Simply create a free account and begin designing your postcards today!

Comments (10)

Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

We're starting a mail campaign this week and your suggestions couldn't be more well timed :)

Jun 14, 2016 07:10 AM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Thank you for your comments Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl!

Don't forget to take advantage of our limited time 40% postcard discount for ActiveRain members!

Jun 14, 2016 07:23 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

These are very good tips to conduct a successful direct mail campaign.

Jun 14, 2016 10:35 AM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Thanks John Pusa!

Jun 15, 2016 04:05 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I started a mailing campaign last quarter and haven't had any results yet, but I'm sticking with it. thanks for the tips!

Jun 14, 2016 11:24 AM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

That's great Nathan Gesner! Consistency is key! 

Jun 15, 2016 04:07 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks for the great info. It is obvious from your comments that you must look at direct mail as long term. For those who have little capital they will do one mailing and then stop for lack of funds. This needs to be determined up front.

Thanks for sharing.

Jun 14, 2016 12:41 PM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Thanks for your feedback John Wiley! You make a great point. Agents need to think long term. However, for agents working on a tight budget, there are almost always special offers to take advantage of! 

At, we offer a 40% postcard discount for ActiveRain members. So before embarking on your next campaign, make sure to explore your options!

Jun 15, 2016 04:13 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Got a call last week. Sam please remove me from your mailing list. When I need to sell I can call someone.   Hey you are not the only one.  I asked and he told me other competitors are.  So I will remove his name from my mailing fair game.

Jun 14, 2016 02:03 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (design, print, and mail postcards!) - Consistency leads to good results - and that is true with any campaign.

Jun 14, 2016 03:09 PM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Exactly Praful Thakkar. Thank you for your comments!

Jun 15, 2016 04:15 AM
Mark Robinson
Geneva Financial, LLC - Beachwood, NJ
Honesty, Integrity, Service

Great suggestions. Item 5 (Be consistent) was something I needed to hear.

Jun 14, 2016 10:53 PM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Thank you for your comments Mark Robinson! You aren't alone. Consistency is perhaps the most difficult part of conducting a mail campaign. But just remember: all it takes is one great lead to make it all worth it!

Jun 15, 2016 04:20 AM
Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County

Mail campaign's work great if they are done correctly!

Jun 15, 2016 01:20 AM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Agreed Donna & Larry Johnson!

Jun 15, 2016 04:21 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Excellent list of To Do's to have a successful mailing campaign.  Consistency is the key  to anything we do in life and business!  I have bookmarked this so that I can refer to it again when I start my next campaign.  Thanks!

Jun 15, 2016 05:01 AM (design, print, and mail postcards!)

Thanks Diana Dahlberg! Before you start your next campaign, make sure to take advantage of our limited time 40% postcard discount for ActiveRain members!

Jun 15, 2016 05:56 AM