Frequently Asked Questions About Creating Direct Mailing Lists
When obtaining a mailing list, it is important to know exactly who your audience is and how best to directly reach them. Because mailing can become quite expensive, it is necessary to be very targeted. The average cost per mailer tends to be well over $1 after postage is included. Therefore, targeting an interested audience rather than an uninterested audience is critical to the success of the mailer. In this article, we are going to cover some of the top items to think about when generating your mailing list.
What are the types of properties you want to acquire?
When deciding what properties you would like to acquire, it is crucial to decide exactly which properties will fit your management style and minimum profit margins. Are you better at managing condos than houses? Why mail to houses when you should be targeting condos? Evaluating these in advance can help you in creating the best list for your message and your sales pitch so you close more deals and have a lower client acquisition cost.
What information are you looking for when creating a mailing list, and where can you find it?
The information you are looking for when formulating a mailing list should include the property owner’s name and home mailing address, as well as the property address, type (condo/house), and if it is a primary or secondary (absentee) residence. If you can get a phone number or email, do it, but for this task you only need those few items. All of this info can be located in public records, which is usually available right online in your county or city. Try searching for “property appraiser in (your county),” or “property ownership public records.” If it isn’t available online or hard to find, you can call your city or county office and ask. Sometimes you may only be able to acquire the information by going to their office. Other sources to locate this kind of information can be obtained from marketing companies or even title companies that sell “farming lists” to REALTORS.
What are some suggestions or recommendations on how to successfully segment a mailing list?
When segmenting your mailing lists, begin with thinking about what kind of vacation home you are trying to target. Running some tests can be VERY beneficial —specifically, running AB tests. AB tests are especially useful when you have a new mailing list. An example of running a successful AB test could involve you taking 5-bedroom homes that are on the beach and 5-bedroom homes that are off the beach and sending out your message to see who replies. You can also try sending a different message to the same types of properties to see which message has more appeal.
Be cautious, though, because a big mistake that people make is when they have a very specific kind of vacation rental home in mind and overlook potential opportunities. You can set a goal for yourself to manage all the beachfront houses in an area, and unknowingly turn down profitable homes located right across the street from the beach. It can take years before you as a property manager can pick the market you want to create success in, so patience is key. Be very general when segmenting your lists and which properties you want, and let the market tell you what it wants from you.
How often should you refresh mailing lists?
In a seasonal market, like beach and mountain markets, you should update your mailing lists at least annually. In this type of market, sending your mailings out during your territory’s off-season can provide you with plenty of time to process follow-up calls or emails behind the mailings, and the properties are full of renters and can change managers easily. Since you may only be marketing to owners in the off-season, why refresh the list any more than once just right before your campaign? In a faster-moving market, like urban areas, your mailing lists should be refreshed at least semi-annually and maybe more often if your target properties sell more often. Finally, keep in mind that if you obtain an owner from your mailing list to make sure to remove them from your permanent mailing list. It would be a waste of time and money to market to a homeowner whose business you already have!
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