Direct mail postcards are one of the most popular tools available to marketers in the real estate industry. Unfortunately, innovation in real estate postcards has largely stagnated, even in today’s app-driven age. And while printed postcards continue to be as effective as they’ve ever been, a lot of them tend to look alike and follow standards from decades ago, before the internet and social media marketing became a serious factor. Here are 14 ideas to help update your real estate postcards.
14.) Know your brand.
Every real estate postcard should be consistent within the brand of the sender. Inconsistency can lead to mixed messages or lead to situations where the recipient misreads what your brand is all about. Ideally, all of your promotional materials, both online and print should be consistent and aligned in terms of aesthetics, color, and copy. Any inconsistencies are likely to confuse your recipients.
13.) Include social media links
It’s incredible how few real estate firms take social media as seriously as other enterprises. Make sure recipients are given every opportunity to follow your brand online. Make sure that your Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook pages are easy to distinguish and read so that your potential customers can follow your presence on social media.
12.) Keep content short
You don’t want to overwhelm recipients with information on a postcard. Other print materials like catalogs and brochures might be more suited for a detailed exposition of the properties you have on offer. Postcard content should be quick and to the point. Many of the principles of crafting a good newspaper headline or Tweet apply.
11.) Keep visuals streamlined
You don’t have to go completely minimalist, but you should keep images as concise as your content. You only have a limited amount of space, even on a large postcard. You definitely want to make every square inch count, but not at the expense of the core message. Most of the time, this means knowing where to leave things blank and to maintain the focus on your main promotion.
10.) Keep contact details easy to find
You can’t convert customers if they can’t reach you. The number of postcards with contact details on an inappropriate background color or pixelated beyond legibility that I’ve seen is way too many. Make sure to review designs before you send them out for printing. Choose a printer that manually proofs designs so you can be sure this critical detail stands out.
9.) Take time to craft your call-to-action
Ideally, a call to action should match everything else on your print design, as well as on your direct mail campaign and your brand. This isn’t always easy, and we often fall back on old cliches. Cliches can work, but if your recipients have seen it before, it becomes easier for them to tune it out.
8.) Don’t offer a property — offer an experience.
A simple picture of a ranch might be good, but a picture of that same ranch with horses and livestock might be better — even if they aren’t included in the sale. The key is to help the recipients visualize what is possible with the properties you have on offer. Try these ideas for building your own customer experience strategy!
7.) Follow current photography trends
Postcards are not normally intended for extended use, so following popular visual trends and motifs makes sense to help your postcard feel contemporary. This might not be applicable for all real estate direct mail campaigns, but in any case, it pays to know what is popular among your potential buyers.
6.) Use humor when appropriate
Real estate can be a dry, unexciting field. At least that’s how many people outside the industry see it. Appropriate, clean, light-hearted humor can help you defy this boring expectation and sit in your recipients’ consciousness a little bit longer.
5.) Combine your postcards with exclusive content
Postcards are an economical way to provide free content to your customers, which in turn, helps them develop a relationship with your brand. While the postcards themselves might not have enough space, you can still lead customers to a website or with signup forms for more information.
4.) Integrate coupons
This classic direct mail combo works. If you need responses on your postcards, coupons with an appropriate reward are a tried-and-tested method for getting them.
3.) Try a larger size
If you can afford the extra print and postage expenses, a larger card might help your direct mail conversion rates. Larger-than-standard postcards stand out better, and the larger surface area is perfect for showcasing images and gives you more options as to the type of content you can use.
2.) Don’t forget to use the back
As a general rule, the back part of a postcard contains the addresses, spaces for replies, contact details, coupons, and all the other stuff that can’t necessarily be expressed on the front. It does not always have to be that way. Be creative with the backside and your real estate postcard can stand out against the rest of your competition.
1.) Don’t use glossy finishes by default
Conventional wisdom might tell you that glossy finishes are the classiest, brightest, and most durable choices for a postcard. But your coating choice depends on the intent of your design. Glossy finishes can reflect too much light, show off every fingerprint and dust speck, and can look cheap when not well executed. They also tend to be harder to write on with a ballpoint pen, which is a consideration when you have a response form on your postcard.
Uncoated cards have fewer of these issues and may actually fit your brand better. Request for stock samples to see which coating works best and take your observations into account before you send a design in for printing.
Arthur Piccio is a feature writer and subject matter expert for the PrintPlace Blog. In his spare time he studies guitar and writes about goats.