Pros and Cons of Postcard Marketing for Mortgage Professionals

By
Mortgage and Lending with The Allaso Group

I've put together a quick introduction to postcard marketing for mortgage professionals. This article will highlight the pros and con's of postcard marketing and will briefly touch on production, copywriting and mailing lists.

Pros: Low Cost, High Visibility, Easy to Do it Yourself, Targeted

Cons: Limited Space, Crowded Channel

Low Cost
First of all, postcards are a low cost way to get your message in front of prospects. It is also an excellent and affordable way to get started in direct mail. First class postage for a standard sized postcard (4.25 x 6 inches) is $0.24 vs. $0.39 for standard first class mail. That's a savings of 38% on postage alone. An added benefit of mailing a first class postcard to your mortgage prospects is that it will be returned to sender if it has a bad address. This will allow you to keep your mailing list clean and up to date.

High Visibility
Postcards put your mortgage marketing message front and center in the cluttered mail pile. In most cases, when dealing with letters, the bulk of your message is contained within the actual envelope. Put another way, envelopes can create another barrier between you and your prospect. You are almost guaranteed that someone in the household will at least read the headline on your postcard.

Do it Yourself or Outsource
And, possibly the best reason for postcards, they are easy to create and send. A postcard doesn't need licked envelopes, folding, assembling, or letter stuffing. A postcard can be as simple as designing, printing, and stamping if you choose the do it yourself route.

If you want to go the do it yourself route, you can use an 8 in by 11in, 110lb cardstock and a laser printer. This can produce four cards per sheet by cutting the cardstock in quarters. Cardstock comes in virtually any color. For small mortgage shops and individual loan officers and mortgage brokers, the simple do it yourself postcard can be a great, low cost addition to your marketing mix.

For just a few cents more per card, there are many services that will even do that for you. All you need to do is create/approve the design and message and they will print and mail the postcards for you. There are tons of full service shops out there. Simple postcards work. You don't necessarily need a full color front / back glossy UV coated masterpiece to get a good response. Printing charges can add up quickly. If your card "upgrades" are costing 25% more than a basic card, might it make sense to send out 25% more cards?

Targeted
A great postcard is useless if you aren't sending it to a good list. One of the greatest benefits of direct mail is the ability to craft and send a message to a targeted list. Self generated lists typically outperform rented lists. If you are buying/renting a list, be sure to call a number of providers or brokers.

Limited Space
Once you've subtracted the space necessary for postage and the mailing address, space becomes a premium on a postcard. However, this one "con" does force you to make sure your message is tight and on target.

Crowded Channel
Despite the time and effort put into any direct mail piece, it will still be considered "junk mail" by the overwhelming majority of recipients. As such, many of your prospects will proceed to file your correspondence in the circular file with barely a glance. Additionally, the odds are good that you will be competing with a number of other financial officers in the same day's mail as well as numerous other non financial direct mail pieces.

Crafting the Message
Whichever route you choose, you will still need to create or at the very least approve the message and design of your card. Don't be afraid to keep it brief. Give your prospects just information to take the next step and contact you. You are not trying to close the transaction with the postcard, you are simply to motivate the prospect to take an action that will convert them from prospect to a lead. Your headline is key as that is what will grab your prospect's attention. A good headline is arguably the most important part of your entire postcard. Use the valuable space on your postcard to give the reader an irresistible urge to take the next step. Make the website or phone number you are directing them to as clear and as big as possible.

Overall, marketing by postcards can be a relatively low cost method to reach a large number of targeted prospects.

Joe Ramirez is a Licensed California Mortgage Professional and the creator of Mortgage Marketing Ideas, a blog dedicated to providing marketing ideas and resources to mortgage professionals.

Comments (11)

Mario Levesque
Advantage Avenue Real Estate - Wesley Chapel, FL
Tampa Realtor

Hi Joe,

I agree with you about Postacards but a handwritten letter beats anything in response rate.

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Wesley Chapel Realtor , Broker Associate
People's Choice Realty Services,  Tampa, Florida

Mar 03, 2007 11:46 AM
Joe Ramirez
The Allaso Group - Lake Forest, CA

Thanks Mario!

I agree the more personalized the better. 

Actually, while we're on the topic, just today I received a piece from a local realtor with a pencil eraser stuck in the envelope.  It was a great way to get me to actually open the envelope and find out what was inside!  

 -Joe

 

Mar 03, 2007 03:34 PM
Dan Hawk
On Demand Press - Dallas, TX

Joe,

I send out postcards for Agents, Mortgage Professionals, Insurance agents and all service areas. It is an online solutions that allows you to create your message, personalize it, and send it out.

I can even generate the list (for no extra cost) that will tell the mortgage professional what type of mortgage, when the mortgage was initially closed, and search by credit. I do all this for only $54.00.

Visit www.ondemandpress.com.

Please let me know what you think of the site, and its functionalily. It has been a thriving company for over 2 years. I am the owner, and I would appreciate your feedback.

 

Thanks!

Dan Hawk
Owner, On Demand Press
www.ondemandpress.com

214.837.3304

Mar 25, 2007 10:17 AM
Chris Hendricks
Walnut Creek, CA
You might find several of the mortgage-related templates on our site, www.psprint.com, helpful.  They were professionally designed by Wells Fargo to support their network of brokers and are generic-- making them easy to use for any mortgage professional.  You might also find the 'list' tool we offer interesting since it gets very granular with demographic data before you purchase the list to supplement your own farming efforts.  Imagine being able to identify and target homeowners who have lived in their homes for a certain numbers of years and be able to deliver them a unique offer-- like a special equity offer.  Lots of possibilities!
Jul 11, 2007 05:41 AM
John Thomas
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. - Newark, DE
First Time Home Buyer Expert

Hi Joe,

 Great first post and welcome to the community.

John

Sep 05, 2007 02:44 PM
Anonymous
Velma

I also agree, the more personal the better!  BUT, most Realtors and Mortgage Loan Officers are horrible at actually sending out hand written notes.  I am a full time marketing assistant for several Loan Officers and Realtors.  By scanning their signatures and using personalized font programs I can send out their marketing for them in a consistant manner that looks like it is personalized.  Touch your database with a personal note from time to time, a regular newsletter, and a couple of birthday cards and your customers will never go to anybody again.  It's proven, I do it every day.  I am thrilled to share ideas how everybody can do this type of marketing and keep it affordable.  The market is tough right now, find a way to market consistantly and enjoy the $2 trillion in refis that are coming in 2008.  If you're a Realtor, out last the competition, grow your business in a tough market! 

velma@velma.com

Sep 14, 2007 04:33 AM
#6
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

I've actually started farming neighborhoods by walking and handing out fliers.  I get my daily exercise and meet people at the same time.

I've been debating postcards thanks for the knowledge.  I like the idea of hand written notes.  Velma great idea.  What a wealth of information the comments are too.

Awesome first post.

Sep 14, 2007 05:56 AM
John Thomas
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. - Newark, DE
First Time Home Buyer Expert

Kate,  How is the farming going, especially door to do0r.  I have never done it and always wondered how a mortgage person would be recieved.

John Thomas - Citizens Lending Group - http://www.DelawareMortgageLoans.net

Sep 16, 2007 11:20 PM
Richard Sweum
1st Security Bank - Everett, WA
Post card marketing is all about the target list, it is worth paying for a good list.  Microsoft has a service that parameter selections/limitations for purchasing lists that is really outstanding for mortgage folks.  Not sure how it would work for R's.
Sep 17, 2007 01:59 AM
Julie Escobar
Tampa, FL
President, Darryl Davis Seminars

I agree that matching your message to your marketing list is key.  That's the power of direct mail marketing - especially when you can order in short-run numbers.  While I do see the benefit of hand-written, personalized notes, and you can't beat that for the perfect "touch" - we all know that as real estate, mortgage and sales professionals - it's WAY too easy to get caught up in the "busy" of each day and allow the process of "continuous" impressions to fall by the way side. 

That said, you can't beat the power of click, choose and send for ACTUALLY getting your marketing out the door!  Try www.postcardsplus.com -- you'll find a wide variety to choose from, scheduling features, cost-effectiveness and 48 hour turn around!

If you have questions -- feel free to contact me!

Aug 21, 2008 10:39 PM
Anonymous
ashly

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Jun 07, 2009 10:31 PM
#11