Joy Gendusa

REI Absentee Marketing Campaign that Generated $162k Without Handwritten Letters
by Joy Gendusa

If there is one thing your marketing MUST do, it’s pump tangible revenue back into your bottom line.

That’s why today, I’m sharing this real case study of one investor whose marketing campaign created a return on investment of 11,658%.

Yup, you read right! 11,658% ROI.

Plus, the strategy they used isn’t some fancy new marketing trend — in fact, you probably know it quite well...

Direct mail!

The Strategy: This investor is located in the Greater Detroit Metro area. They wanted to target absentee homeowners, so compiled a list of homeowners whose property taxes were filed out of state.

The campaign focused on repetition — getting their message in front of these absentee homeowners several times.

It's true that direct mail doesn’t seem like the flashiest marketing option in today’s digital age, but for real estate investors it flat-out WORKS.

The investor acquired and merged two mailing lists:

  1. Single family dwelling unit (you might have seen this abbreviated to “SFDU”) individuals who owned a home in the Metro Detroit area
  2. And those whose property taxes were not in Michigan.

When all was said and done, the mailing list was comprised of 1,000 individuals, and each of those individuals were exactly whom this investor wanted to target.

Next, let's look at their message and postcard design. 

The Design: You might think that personalized letters and "handwritten" postcards are the only way to get a response in real estate investing, but that isn't always the case.

This investor eschewed the normal handwritten approach and instead went with a crystal-clear postcard design that focuses on clarity over list information. 

The advantage of this design — over a more complicated handwritten design chock full of variable data points — is that it's more affordable to print. And the more you print, the more you can mail, and the more your recipients are exposed to and will recall your message. BOTH tactics can be successful. 

Here is their simple, straightforward design:

The blurred-out portion of the postcard is their contact information (these are call tracking numbers, so I don't want to throw off their tracking). 

If you aren't yet utilizing call tracking numbers on your direct mail pieces, I advise you start asap! Call tracking is dirt cheap and provides invaluable insight into which marketing pieces are performing best. That way, you can focus your resources on what works and maximize your budget.

The Results: By repeatedly mailing to 1,000 absentee homeowners 3 times over the course of 4 months, their prospects saw their buy-your-house message enough times to realize:

  • This business was legit
  • They REALLY wanted to buy houses
  • And they were reputable enough to send a professionally designed print marketing piece.

Seventy-six percent1 of consumers trust direct mail more than digital advertising when they’re considering making a purchasing decision.

Anyone can throw up an ad online these days (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that), but because 75%2 of American households read, scan, or at least read some of the direct mail advertising materials they receive, it’s smart to market your business there. 

The results for this campaign speak for themselves:

  • 62 responses
  • 1 home bought and sold with a 2nd recently acquired
  • A 3rd home in the pipeline
  • Plus, $162,000 in revenue
  • And $37,500 in profit.

All of which boiled down to a cool return on investment of 11,658%.

If you ask me, the keys to this campaign's success were the precise mailing list and the consistency of the mailings — every single absentee homeowner saw their message and offer 3 times in as many months.

Consistently marketing your business is key, and so is getting a mailing list that 100% consists of your ideal prospects.

Any mailing list company you go with should promise at least 90% deliverability of your postcards. And when you mail to that list repeatedly, your prospects gain the impression that your business is both dependable and there to be contacted.




Joy Gendusa
Joy Gendusa is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, keynote speaker and philanthropist. With only a phone, a computer and postcards (no funding of any kind!), Joy grew PostcardMania from a small startup into an industry leader that generated $59 million in 2018 and currently employs over 250 people in Clearwater, FL. Her company, PostcardMania, has been featured on the Inc. 500 and 5000 lists, and has helped 86,000 small businesses and counting with their marketing.

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