Real Estate Postcard Ideas That Work
April 18, 2016
April 18, 2016
Real Estate Postcard Ideas That Work
Unless you have tested thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of postcards (like I have) you really do not understand what real estate postcard ideas work and what ideas do not. Let’s start with the premise that regardless of the purpose of your real estate postcard idea, whether you are just trying to brand yourself or whether you or trying to find buyers or sellers, there are a couple of different element that work and a couple that consistently bomb.
I want to share a series of tests that we have run over a period of time testing all kinds of elements in real estate postcards to find those ideas that work best. Some of the things we have found may actually surprise you. Let’s first consider how a postcard is designed. You simply have a piece of paper and on that piece of paper you probably have graphics (colors) and images (pictures of the home or the agent photograph) and you have words that articulate something going on. That’s basically the design, but within that design are ideas that get you much better readership and response rates than others. Here are the most dramatic ones:
Always Use Standard Print (Never Reverse Print)
The most dramatic idea that works that many real estate agents fail to recognize is called reverse print. The key to marketing is making your message very easy for your prospect to read and understand. It makes sense that you create your message in a way that is easy to read. There are two ways you can print words on a sheet a paper.
- Standard print has a light colored background and a dark colored text. The easiest example of this is a sheet of white paper with black print. Think about a newspaper or a book; that’s standard print.
- Reverse print occurs when you reverse the colors so you have a dark background with light colored print. Think about a black sheet of paper with white words.
We are accustomed and trained to see dark print on a light colored background. Here at ListingGrabber, we’ve tested using the exact same copy doing what we call a split A / B test. This test basically means you mail 1000s of postcards to homeowners and you alternate every other address to receive card A or card B. You then track the response rates between those two cards. This gives you a very accurate reading. Here is what we found. I was even astounded. When you send a message with standard print, you get an 850% increase in readership over reverse print.
One of the first postcard ideas that work is always use standard print, but here is where problems arise. When you go to a graphics design company, you must keep in mind that graphics people want to make the postcard pretty. This often means using lots of colors, lots of images and placing words on top of the colors and images. Usually the only way to accomplish this is to make the card reverse print. This is a problem. Never use revere print.
Use a Headline
Another postcard idea that works is using a headline. Most real estate postcards never use a headline. Do you realize that most magazines are bought off the shelf at the grocery store based off of the headline on the outside of the magazine, not the copy on the inside. Consumers buy the magazine because the headline is captivating. It creates curiosity; it makes you want to read. The same thing occurs with a newspaper. Most articles are read in a newspaper or on online news based on the headline that is given to that article. The same thing happens with real estate postcards. If you want homeowners to read your message, you need to have a headline that creates interest and curiosity so they want to read it.
We are very good at writing headlines. Since 1997, we’ve been writing consumer marketing copy that gets prospects responding. So from the very first, we send out great producing copy for our clients. In a study we conducted, we decided to test two different headlines. We discovered that one headline got a 25% increase in response rates. The first headline read, “If you are thinking about selling your home read this immediately!” Now that is starting with a headline that is most likely already 10 times better than the typical agent would think of using. We tested this headline against, “If you are thinking about selling your home, I may get it sold immediately because of special buyers I work with. Learn more…” The body copy on both of those cards was about the same. Here is the reason why we saw a 25% increase in response with the second headline. It is more descriptive of what is going on. Anytime you can be descriptive in your headline rather than general, you’ll get an increase in market space you are trying to dominate.
Identify What Gets Homeowners Responding
Most of us never thing consider what information homeowners will respond to. This fits in the category of what I call direct response marketing. If you want to get someone who is thinking about buying or selling to pick up the phone and call you or go to your website—anything that asks for a direct response, asks a homeowner to do something—then you have to offer them something. For example, offer a free report on “The 10 Fixups That Can Make You the Most Money When Selling Your Home.”
Type of Offer
Another big postcard idea that works is the type of offer you give. There are two types of offers. The first is a positive offer or something that you can give that offers more money to the homeowner. The second is a negative offer or something that saves the homeowner from losing money. We tested these offers and here is what we’ve found. A positive offer out performs a negative offer by offer 800%. Meaning, if I were to send a headline that says, “The 7 Most Shocking Mistakes Homeowners Make When Selling Their Home and What You Can Do to Avoid Them” I will get 8 times fewer people responding to that headline than if I were to rephrase it in the positive: “The 5 Things You Can Do That Will Help You Earn Thousands More When Selling Your Home.” The way you phrase your offer has a dramatic impact.
To recap, let’s look at three things. If you simply use a positive offer in standard print with a great headline, you are pushing at getting a 20% increase in response than using a negative offer with reverse print and a weak (or no) headline. That’s huge because your printing and postage cost remain the same. How you create the postcard makes all the difference.
Finally, you might ask, “Are there things I should NOT do when creating postcards?” Yes. If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur. A good question to ask yourself before you begin a postcard marketing campaign is, “Are you a professional or an amateur?”