Absentee Marketing Campaign, Take 2

I’ve finished 100 handwritten yellow letters.  You can read all about it here.  I have a 10% response rate so far, but since many of the letters went out just a few days ago, it’s too soon to know what the final count will be.

10% is a great response rate for direct mail.  But of the ten calls I’ve gotten, only one seems truly motivated enough and in the right circumstances to go anywhere.  I appreciate all the information out there for investors on marketing materials and response rates, but what about actual conversion rates?  Which materials most often convert to sales, and does it always correlate to response rate?  That’s an article that would be worth reading!

As Shae pointed out in this article on BiggerPockets, in her own experience the yellow letter got responses, but failed to deliver the conversions she was hoping for.  So since my hands are so cramped from writing, and since I’m disappointed with the motivation level of my callers, I’m going to do my next 100 letters differently.

I was torn between sending postcards and letters.  Postcards would be so easy, and I’m craving easy at this stage.  But I know that the message is all-important.  What you say is just as important as how you say it and to whom you say it.  I don’t have a reliable postcard, nor am I tech-savvy.  So coming up with a postcard would be more risky for me.  (Although yesterday I watched an interview with Sharon Vornholt who said that she has gotten postcards to work for her absentee owners.  Something to look into…)

I got a 15% response rate from my probate letters in 2010, and I’ve always been curious about why that was.  I tweaked Vena’s probate letter, so I couldn’t chalk it up to her letter alone.  The more I think about it, I think it was the tone of my letter: I was respectful, professional, but also personal.

I got confirmation of that last night watching Sharon’s interview.  She described the type of letter she sends to probate leads and it sounds very similar to my own.  That was so nice to hear (I’m doing something right!  I have good instincts!).

By the way, the interview was fantastic, so follow the link and have a listen.  It especially resonated with me, because, although I’ve dabbled with lots of different types of sellers, I feel most comfortable and have done best with probates and absentee owners, which is what Sharon does as well.

I’ve been working on an absentee letter that is the equivalent of my probate letter.   Something that sounds professional and respectful (no screaming, gimicky, all caps, one-liners), but also very personal.  I’ll post my finished product when it’s ready.  I’m curious to see how much faster the process goes, and obviously excited to track the marketing stats for it.

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