Real estate mailers: The ultimate guide for 2024


Real estate mailers aren’t dead — far from it. With so many agents focused on digital marketing, mailers can help you stand out from the crowd to attract new leads, increase brand awareness, generate more referrals, and ultimately close more deals.

To get you started on the path to dominating your farm area with direct mail, I used my experience as an agent and coach to put together this guide. I’ll share my favorite providers for real estate mailers in 2024, nine innovative direct mail marketing strategies you can start using today, and wrap up with best practices to make the most of your real estate mailer campaigns.

Summary

Our Favorite Providers for Real Estate Mailers in 2024

With direct mail marketing on the upswing, there are a lot of new providers to choose from. To help narrow your choices, here are the five companies that I think offer the best ROI for agents.

Logo-Market-Leader

Wise Pelican provides high-quality postcards, brochures, and letters with no minimum order. Brand-conscious agents will love Wise Pelican’s designs. Their templates look far more professional than competitors such as ProspectsPlus. You can also create custom mailing lists by importing your listing information directly from your MLS or use the draw tool to create a custom area for $0.10 per address.

Additional services to level up your direct mail efforts include automated home valuations, customized QR codes for tracking, and full direct mail campaigns that include brochures and branded real estate letters for new listings, open houses, FSBO marketing and more.


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Logo Boomerang DM

Boomerang DM also sends high-quality postcards but with a twist. Instead of traditional real estate mailers, Boomerang sends coupons from local businesses with your personal branding on them printed on thick full-color card stock. Examples include a free appetizer at Outback Steakhouse or a BOGO frozen yogurt deal from a local chain. The goal is to offer homeowners something of value that also helps you build brand awareness in your farm area.

It’s also an excellent way to generate referrals from your sphere. According to Comperemedia (PDF), over half of all consumers share direct mail coupons with friends and family.


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  • Best Features

    • Straightforward program with minimal setup
    • Serves 76 market areas in 23 states
    • $15 average offer value
    • Offers bi-monthly services for budget-conscious agents
    • You can order additional postcards to hand out at open houses and events
    • Additional marketing services like automated home valuations
  • Pricing

    • Starts at $2 per card with no minimum order
    • When you participate in the monthly program with at least 50 contacts, mailed postcards are $0.99 each and unmailed postcards are $0.79 each. Bi-monthly mailers are an extra $0.10 per card.
    • Offers a generous 3-month free trial (ten cards each month)
    • Monthly billing with no contract.
  • Examples

    Sample Boomerang DM offer from Yogurtology for a free frozen yogurt
    Sample Offer Postcard from Boomerang DM
    Back of the sample card from Boomerang, with agent branding and a place for a headshot and logo.
    Each card is customized with your information

Logo Postcardmania

PostcardMania is a staple for real estate mailers, and for good reason. It offers high-quality postcards and digital marketing campaigns with discounts for new users. They have dozens of useful, real estate-focused templates available, and I like that the designs include a call-to-action (or CTA). PostcardMania also offers a campaign called Everywhere Real Estate that automatically targets prospective sellers through multiple channels. Once your mailers are sent, your recipients are retargeted with digital ads on Google, Meta, YouTube and Gmail. If you’re looking to integrate digital marketing into your mailers, Postcardmania could be a useful tool.


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Logo Corefact-svg

Here’s what I love about Corefact: In addition to standard mailers, they also provide branded swag and templates for creative mailers such as newsletters, calendar magnets, baseball schedules, and more.

Branded swag is one of those items that can really make an impact and augment your direct mail campaigns. If you’re looking for one of those big branded “Just Sold” signs for closing-day social media posts or some creative pop-up cards to stand out from the competition, you should consider Corefact.

With Corefact campaigns, you can also automate your mailers right from your MLS. For example, you can send postcards automatically when you change a property’s status.


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Logo Handwrytten

Handwrytten creates personalized mailers using robots that write with ballpoint pens to mimic handwriting — including yours if you send them a sample. Make a memorable impression and stand out with outreach that feels personal. Who doesn’t love getting handwritten letters in the mail?

Handwrytten also offers dozens of templates tailor-made for holidays and unique life events, such as congratulating your client on their new baby. To personalize your mailers even more, you can add gift cards for brands like Home Depot and even packets of coffee from Starbucks to the envelopes.


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  • Best Features

    • Postcards are handwritten by robots and personalized to your recipient
    • Transparent pricing
    • Prospecting tool to help filter down your list by relevant criteria like home value, household income, net worth and more.
    • Can include gift cards and small gifts with your mailers
    • Zapier integration allows you to send handwritten cards right from your CRM
  • Pricing

    • Cards typically range from $3.25 – $3.75 delivered
    • Subscriptions start at $97 per month for 24 cards
  • Examples

    Handwritten postcard with text offering to purchase the seller's home for the right price.
    Handwritten Personalized Postcard from Handwrytten

     

    Open House Thank You Handwritten real estate mailer
    Open House Thank You Handwritten Card

9 Innovative real estate direct mail marketing Ideas 

To help you get more closed deals from your campaigns, here are my ten proven tips for sending mailers that make your phone ring. 

1. Send mailers to neighborhoods with high turnover rates

Turnover rate — the percentage of homes sold in a given area over a specific period of time — is one of the most important data points to consider when choosing an area to send mailers to. Focusing on areas with a 5% or higher turnover rate will dramatically increase your response rate and chances of generating a sale. Here’s how to find the turnover rate in an area to see if it’s worth targeting in your campaign:

  • Sketch the neighborhood you’d like to target with mailers in your MLS using the draw tool 
  • Next, go back and look at the sales data for the last six months
  • To get the turnover rate, divide the number of homes sold by the total number of homes in the area
Map section of a small farm area in a neighborhood, with a square overlaid to illustrate eight homes sold in the last six months.
Example screenshot of sketching out your farm area in Matrix MLS

For example, in the screenshot above, we have eight sold listings in a farm area of roughly 150 homes. This would make our turnover rate roughly 5.3% — making this area a prime target for real estate mailers.

2. Pair your direct mail campaigns with local events

Is there a neighborhood event coming up that you can piggyback on after you’ve sent out your mailers? If so, bring a stack of branded coupon postcards from Boomerang DM or some just-listed flyers and hand them out at the event. This gives you the perfect opportunity to meet some of the people you sent mailers to and will also help keep you top of mind in the community.

You can find local events to hand out your mailers in person on Facebook or Nextdoor and add them to your calendar. Smaller events are sometimes better than big ones when it comes to making personal connections. People will be far more receptive to a chat at a neighborhood garage sale or back-to-school event than a giant fair or baseball game. 

3. Create a monthly direct mail drip campaign

Another way to increase your response rate from your mailers is to create a series of mailers you send out regularly. Think of this as an email drip campaign sent via snail mail.

For example, you could create a monthly educational series helping renters buy a home. To build anticipation for the next mailer in your series, end your mailers with a teaser for the next one: “Next month, we’ll talk about how you can save up to $30,000 on your down payment.” 

4. Co-brand your mailers with preferred lenders or title representatives

While direct mail may not be as expensive as other lead generation strategies, costs can add up quickly — especially in slow markets with low turnover. To offset some of those costs, partner with your preferred lender or title representative on your next campaign. They may even be able to pay for custom designs and mail them out on your behalf.

As with any postcard campaign, you’ll get a better response rate by offering something of value to homeowners in your farm area. Two excellent options are postcards that highlight special down payment assistance programs or provide your lender’s outlook on local rates. 

5. Only send hyper-local, useful market data in your mailers

People don’t need market statistics for the entire metro area. That doesn’t help inform them or provide them with valuable insights that convince them to pick up the phone and call you. So when you’re deciding what to send, focus on hyper-local data that’s useful to your real estate mailer recipients.

You can easily grab up-to-date hyper-local market information to include in your mailers using a tool like NeighborhoodScout. If you want to get more granular, sketch out the area using the draw tool in your MLS and crunch the numbers yourself. This helps you understand the local market comps so you’re prepared for a conversation when someone calls.

6. Make your mailers memorable by providing value and adding a personal touch

When you check the mail, how much of what’s inside your mailbox actually makes it inside your home? To increase the likelihood of getting your real estate mailers into someone’s house (and hopefully onto their fridge), make sure they’re personal and memorable. There are two tried and true ways to make your mailers more impactful:

  1. Provide something of actual value
  2. Include something personal about yourself

I still remember a two-page monthly newsletter I received from a local agent in a neighborhood we only lived in briefly. The agent’s monthly newsletter featured a photo of her with her Chihuahua, set against a red background. The market data she included was very relevant to us. Remember, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. Adding personal touches to your mailers will help you get more and better responses. 

7. Mix up the types of mailers you send every month

While only sending one type of real estate mailer might sometimes work, you’ll risk alienating the portion of your audience who is not interested in your offer. Instead, mix up the types of mailers you send each month until you find one that gets the best response rate.

For example, send market reports one month, followed by promotions or a special offer next month. You can also work in digital outreach to increase your response rate. Send an email or cold call, or drop a voicemail with an app like Slydial. 

Here’s the strategy I used in my local market: 

Month one: Hyper-local coupon mailer from Boomerang DM
Month two: Just sold postcard
Month three: List of upcoming local events 

8. Send branded calendars in January or February

This one may sound expensive, but you only have to do it once a year. The longevity of branded calendars is often overlooked — people actually use them and might even keep them up all year. That means your face could be on a homeowner’s refrigerator or kitchen wall for an entire year.

To remind them of the services you offer to stay top of mind, you can add real estate-related dates to the calendar, such as tax day, National Homeownership Month, or national home warranty day. 

9. Track engagement with QR codes

Including QR codes in your real estate mailers is an excellent way to track engagement and measure results from your campaigns. A QR code that links to your personal website, a home valuation landing page, or a landing page that offers something of value like an eBook will tell you exactly who is responding to your direct mail. Once you know how many people are responding to your campaign, you can use this data to determine whether or not to try a new strategy.

Best practices for real estate direct mail marketing

Once you decide on your real estate direct mail provider and budget, it’s time to start your campaign. As a real estate coach, I’ve helped agents set up successful campaigns that have netted them tens of thousands in listing commissions (and spent thousands of dollars on my own real estate direct mail campaigns). Here are my top direct mail marketing best practices for agents:

Segment your audience

Create lists for specific purposes: each listing, farm area, your sphere of influence, and events. Personalized content gets the highest engagement, so you must deliver the most relevant information to the right audience. Segmenting your audience will keep your marketing focused on them — not on you. 

Eye-catching design matters

Make your mailers stand out! If you received your own mailer, would you keep it and engage with it? First impressions matter, especially in marketing. Take the time to make your mailers pop. Personalized, well-designed content gets remembered. Check out our list of favorite providers, above.

Create a nurturing campaign to follow up after your mailers are sent

While sending real estate mailers, you should always consider your overall marketing approach. Through texting, calling and voicemails, you should reach each person you’ve sent mailers to at least once to connect, introduce yourself, and let them know you’re available to answer any questions.

Here’s an example of a nurturing plan you can use after your campaign is delivered. With this campaign, we’ll use QR codes to prompt visitors to your website. If you are going to be marketing on social media or Google, consider pivoting some of your budget to retargeting ads for maximum exposure:

  • Week 1: Begin Meta & Google Adwords retargeting
  • Week 2: Voicemail drop
  • Week 3: Cold call recipients 
  • Week 4: Text prospects 
  • Week 5: Another mailer (value-add)
  • Week 6: Cold call recipients
  • Week 7: New text message 
  • Week 8: Voicemail drop
  • Week 9: Email blast
  • Week 10: Another mailer

Recognize life moments 

Sending handwritten cards for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other special occasions helps strengthen your relationship with people in your sphere and past clients and can help you get more referrals. 

Include a call-to-action

Including a CTA on your mailers is crucial. If you don’t tell your audience how to engage with your mailer, the chances of them picking up the phone or visiting your website are slim. 

The easiest way to do this is by including a QR code that links to a landing page to learn more about your business and schedule an appointment. Brand awareness is great, but being able to track your marketing efforts is even better.

Pair your direct mail efforts with a simple voicemail drop

I strongly believe that direct mail should be partnered with another outreach strategy. Voicemail drops are easy, cheap, and can have excellent response rates. Not convinced? Consider that in many households, only one person picks up the mail and sorts through it. That means only one person will see your mailer, and they might not be the decision-maker in the household. A quick voicemail drop might put you in touch with someone who is more likely to respond. 

I love using a tool like Slybroadcast to do a ringless voicemail drop to reach everyone in your farm area with relevant statistics like a recent sale in their neighborhood. Their ears will perk up when they hear a street name near them or a similar unit in their building just sold for much more than they thought it would. 

Stay consistent

Direct mail may take a while to ramp up and see a return. Each piece of mail can be considered a “touchpoint.” We’ve all heard that it takes roughly six to eight touches and repeated exposure for a brand to stick, and your real estate brand is no different. In fact, it’s usually not until around 8-12 months after starting your campaign that you’ll really see traction. So make sure you do it well, do it right, and don’t give up after three months. 

Audit your real estate mailer campaign results twice per year

While direct mail marketing can be a long game, if you’re not seeing engagement after a few months, it’s time to tweak your process by objectively evaluating your mailers and who you’re sending them to. As a rough starting point, you should see roughly one in ten of your recipients consistently engage with your mailers after sending them for six months.

You don’t want to burn through your marketing budget on direct mail if things aren’t working. As a small business owner, testing and evaluating your marketing channels to see what works and why it’s effective is important.

Real estate mailers: FAQs

  • Are real estate mailers still effective?

    Of course! A study from the Association of National Advisers, or ANA (formerly the Direct Marketing Association), has shown that when done effectively, direct mail delivers the best ROI in any marketing mix, with the real estate industry seeing an ROI of roughly 15%.

  • How many real estate mailers should I be sending?

    This all comes down to how much you want to lean into direct mail marketing for your real estate business. What’s nice is that direct mail is scalable, so as you see success and learn from your efforts, you can invest more into your next campaign. I suggest starting with around 400-500 mailers per month. Here are some guidelines for you to get an idea of what this could look like:

    • ~125-150 to your farm area
    • ~50 for each “Just Listed/Just Sold”
    • ~30-50 for each open house
    • ~200 to your sphere of influence
  • Do “Just Sold” postcards work?

    This question doesn’t have a straightforward answer. As with so much in real estate, it’s about execution. “Just Sold” postcards are about leveraging your listings for more leads. This direct mail marketing tactic can capture buyer and seller leads by helping you stand out with repeated exposure. A single “Just Sold” postcard may not work wonders, but after they see two or three in a short period of time, your name can start to stick. Pair that exposure with a retargeting campaign and watch the leads flow in!

  • What is Every Door Direct Mail and why is it useful for agents?

    An offering of the United States Postal Service, Every Door Direct Mail® (or EDDM®) lets you deliver marketing mailers to every single home in a defined territory. The main benefit for agents is price. At an average cost of $0.20 per mailer, it can be a cost-effective way to build brand awareness in a community. You can also use EDDM to filter by age, income or household size using U.S. Census data to build more granular mailing lists. There is a catch though. The minimum send for an EDDM campaign is 200 mailers.

  • What should I write on my real estate postcards?

    Over half (52%) of consumers expect their direct mail to be personalized — so the more personalized your postcards are, the better. Your card could say something like, “Your neighbor’s home at 28 Maple Street just sold for $__________.  To see just how much your home’s value has changed as a result, scan this QR code.” It’s short enough to capture attention, and is personalized enough to be relevant to their lives.

    You also need to remember to make the copy on your postcards about your prospects, not you. Focus your copy on their needs as consumers, and you will see results. Here is a short reminder of a homeowner’s needs you can use to help write better copy for your postcards:

    1. How much money can I get for my house?
    2. How quickly can I sell my house?
    3. How much money will I have to pay an agent to do it?
  • How often should I be sending real estate mailers?

    Sending one monthly postcard is enough to make an impact, but remember that direct mail marketing is about consistency. Don’t get your hopes up after sending out your first “Just Sold” mailer. Direct mail provides exposure, and repeated exposure takes time. You may not see results for a few months or even longer.

Real estate mailers: The full picture

When done correctly, real estate mailers are a powerful tool in a real estate agent’s arsenal. You can generate consistent leads, enhance the awareness of your real estate brand and grow your referral base. By choosing the right provider, targeting a high-turnover area and implementing a campaign with a strong call-to-action, real estate mailers can help you create marketing campaigns that lead to more closed deals.

To get the best results, remember to personalize your mailers, integrate them with your digital marketing efforts follow up with a nurturing campaign, and above all else, stay consistent. Happy mailing!




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