When I started out as an agent, I was broke. Not Walmart broke, we’re talking Dollar Tree broke. My son learned to survive on delicious cereals like Frosted Fakes and Corporal Crunch. I bought everything from the dollar store. I mean everything. Even condoms. They were off brand too, I believe they were called Trobans. I turned the box over and they had a coupon for fifty cents off Pampers.
So when it came to my postcard budget there was virtually nothing. I was still working weekends as a stand-up comedian and using proceeds to fuel my legitimate career. Not to mention my wife was expecting our second child, possibly related to the Trobans, but not sure.
I realized, my postcards needed to reflect my brand and make an immediate impact. There simply wasn’t money for an elaborate campaign.
New agents hear all about postcard farming. You need to be patient, sending out cards for months and months. Be consistent. All of this is very true. But as a new agent, you have to start somewhere and it’s usually not with thousands of dollars in postcard marketing. This is where humor can boost your marketing attempts.
I think utilizing humor in your postcard marketing can increase your results even as an established agent. Too many agents are missing the mark and throwing dollars away with ineffective marketing. Standing out from the crowd is essential.
THREE THINGS YOU MUST DO FOR AN EFFECTIVE POSTCARD
Get their attention
Give them value - think long term!
Call to action - and the ultimate tip
MEMES, PUPPIES, and SEX (The triple play of attention-getting)
While scrolling through Facebook in a comatose state right before bed there are a few things that catch my attention. Memes, puppies, and sex seem to lock up my thumbs like nothing else. A few seconds of my attention and then on to the next thing.
Going through a mailbox full of junk mail is the old fashioned version of scrolling through social media. You only have one or two seconds of eyeball time to make a connection. Oil change coupon, credit card offers, Memorial Day sale. Trash, trash, trash. Puppies, pause. Can’t throw away puppies right away you may hurt their feelings.
Years ago, I had the pleasure of touring with Mitch Hedberg. A great comedic mind is known for his laid back style and one-liners.
One of my favorite jokes of his was when he referenced people who stood on the streets handing out flyers for businesses. They will stand out there day and night handing out hundreds of flyers as if this was the best advertising strategy the company could think of.
In response to being handed a flyer he joked, “It’s like them saying, ‘here, you throw this away.’”
The same thought goes through my head, every time I get a cookie cutter “just sold” or “just listed” postcard in the mail. Straight to the recycle bin.
Now that you have the consumers attention you have to give them value. This doesn’t just have to be a recent sale in the neighborhood. I have found that a creative, funny postcard often gets thrown into a drawer and saved for future use if you can give long term value.
What kind of long term value can you provide in a postcard, you ask? Once you start brainstorming the possibilities are endless.
Local contractors such as roofers, painters, and handymen (hint - get them to pitch in)
School calendar for the year with important dates
High School sports schedule
Landscapers and yard cleanup in the Springtime (hint - offer a coupon and get the business to pitch in on postage)
Sprinkler, winterization, pool companies (hint - you get the point!)
Market snapshots of the neighborhood
New business promotion and coupon
CALL TO ACTION
Lastly, you need to give people a reason to reach out that goes beyond “call for a free estimate of your home.” That’s not going to cut it if your Cinderella postcard is going to make it to the ball. You are going to need a non-sales approach to get people to call you. Here are a few I have used.
Thinking of moving? Buy/Sell without moving twice. Call me to find out how? - Works great for the moving up crowd neighborhoods 5-12 years old.
Thinking of moving? Get the most money for the least hassle with my preferred contractors. Call me today. - Works for all neighborhoods.
Downsizing? Sell your home and buy with cash without moving twice. - Works great in empty nester neighborhoods 15-25-year-old homes or ripe for turnover.
Stagers, handymen, and movers I have them all. Call me for a hassle free sale!
THE ULTIMATE TIP
Drumroll, please... The most profitable postcard campaign I run is to my sphere of influence. This helps me stay top of mind without spending big bucks or time with pop-bys, gifts, magazine subscriptions, etc. Sometimes I leave space for personal messages in my postcards for a note just to say “hello” or “congratulations” on a life event.
Year over year the postcard to my sphere has the largest return considering it only costs me 47 cents per postcard including postage. Look out for part 2 of my postcard marketing blog where I discuss my dollar store approach to creating postcards.
When marketing to your sphere you should always provide some value, personal message, and incentive for them to pass your name to family and friends.
Some great ideas for sphere postcard marketing…
Seasonal home improvement tips
Local business specials
Team party reminders and invitations
Park cleanup recruitment
Holiday cards with special messages
Don’t be afraid to ask for their referrals, thank them for their past business and let them know how much you appreciate each and every one!