How I Find Motivated Sellers (And Get Them Calling Me). Step 3: Sending The Mail


After you've pulled your list and sorted it, the next step is to send the mail.

If you've ever put together a bulk mail campaign in-house before, you probably know that it isn't fun.

After trying to mail my letters and postcards the “old-fashioned way,” which included the menacing tasks of:

  • Printing hundreds of letters on my inkjet printer.
  • Signing each letter by hand.
  • Stuffing envelopes until my fingers bled.
  • Licking stamps until my tongue almost fell off.

I was mentally exhausted.

I kept thinking to myself,

“There MUST be a better way.”

It wasn't until I heard about an online service called Click2Mail that things started to get much easier.

Outsourcing and Automation

Click2Mail turned out to be a total game-changer.

This service allowed me to upload my pre-sorted list, upload my postcard template and send my bulk mail campaigns with ZERO production work required.

Once I realized how much easier this would make my life – I almost had to pinch myself.

Not only did it print, stamp and mail everything for me (which literally saved me DAYS worth of time), but it charged postage rates and production costs that were significantly less expensive than if I were to print, stamp and mail all of these postcards in-house!

At the time of this writing, the cost of postage for one postcard on Click2Mail is $0.278(meaning, you'll save 6.2¢ compared to the $0.34 cost of a postcard stamp).

This may not sound like a big deal for one postcard – but when you're mailing hundreds or thousands of postcards in one shot, this kind of savings is HUGE.

Here's a quick overview of how it all works…

Understanding The Process

The first time I placed an order on Click2Mail, I had no idea what I was doing. It took me about an hour to stumble through each of the steps mentioned above because I wanted to double and triple check everything before I submitted my order. As you can see, I fly through the process in this video above – but just know that it's okay to go slow. This isn't a race.

Once you have your list sorted and your mail piece written, it's just a matter of getting familiar with the site and learning the step-by-step process.

With most of my mailings, my recipients receive their mail about 1 week after I place the order. The time can be faster or slower depending on how large your order is and where your recipients are geographically located.

As I mentioned in the video above, I typically use 4.25 x 6 postcards with yellow paper. Judging by what I've heard from other direct mail marketers in this business, this particular size and color have a proven track record. I know others who use over-sized (5 x 8 and 6 x 11) postcards and others who will actually go for letters-in-envelopes. Obviously, you can do whatever you want – but I like to use what has been proven to work.

There isn't any right or wrong way to do this, but personally – I've tried to weigh my cost-to-response ratio very carefully. As hard as we try to make these postcards stand out and look special, the fact remains that many of them will be viewed as “junk mail” and thrown away immediately upon arrival. Given this, I try not to dump too much money into any single postcard.

The goal is to reach as many recipients as possible. The cheaper each piece of mail is, the more people I can reach and at the end of the day – if a property owner needs what I'm trying to help them with, they'll call me. If not, they won't. End of story.

Getting the Best Response Rate

I occasionally hear from people who complain about getting a 2% response rate from one of these mailing campaigns (as if that's a bad thing).

I'll admit, I wouldn't necessarily consider 2% to be “great”, but it does happen from time to time and you should be aware that a weak response is always a possibilityResults are never guaranteed.

While this can certainly be discouraging to think about, the occasional poor response rate shouldn't cause you to give up. Sometimes a campaign will do poorly, but that doesn't mean this strategy doesn't work. This is just what happens in a real-world business. Get up. Get out. Try again.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why some campaigns do better than others. But here are some of the most common problem areas I encounter:

  • The quality of the list (what kinds of recipients are you mailing to?)
  • The age of the list (are you're working with old information?)
  • Failing to target the most appropriate recipients (are you narrowing your list down enough?)
  • A weak postcard message (what exactly are you saying to your recipients?)
  • No immediate call to action (are you telling your recipients what to do? who to call? which website to visit? and WHY?)
  • Failing to give recipients multiple ways of contacting you (phone, website, email, etc.)

The most effective direct mail marketers understand how to target their recipients effectively and write the best sales copy for their mail pieces. When both of these things are done well, it can make a night and day difference in the end result.

Of course, it's not always a slam dunk process, but there are definitely some easy steps you can take to ensure that you covered every angle of this process sufficiently.

RELATED: How I Find Motivated Sellers (and Get Them Calling Me). Step 1: Getting the List

RELATED: How I Find Motivated Sellers (and Get Them Calling Me). Step 2: Sorting the List

About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor and residential income property owner, with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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  1. Deen says:

    Hey Seth, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I learned more in these how I find motivated sellers – 3 steps series than most of the courses out there costing $495.00 and above. The name of the game is building a simple, yet solid marketing systems and you have showed me how to do it for free. I have subscribed to your newsletter and will be on the lookout for more great stuff from you. Thanks a million.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for your comment Deen – that’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear that these steps were able to help you out. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help!

  2. Daniel says:

    Done! Just sent my first batch of postcards through Click2Mail. I made sure to click on your link to get to their site.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Awesome – thanks for the support Daniel! Let me know if I can help you out with anything further.

  3. Scotty says:

    Hi Seth, I will be trying out the the website you use. Click2mail is awesome, I think I got so caught up trying to do yellow letters I never really sent alot of postcards. I used Click2mail on follow ups but now I will try sending out yellow postcards. I dont want to even tell you how many yellow letters I have actually wrote. One question is how often do you update this list? Thanks…

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Scott, it usually depends on whether or not I am pulling a delinquent tax list. If delinquent taxes are a factor, then I’ll try to keep the list as current as possible (30 days or less). If it’s a more general list, then anything in the past few months is usually acceptable.

      Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  4. John Hoening says:

    Very good info here thanks for sharing, just wanted to ask a few questions, I listen to the podcast, and you mention you only do one mailing to a list is that correct? Or is that only the tax list you mail to only once? And what would you say over a 30 day period how many post cards do you send out? I do direct mailing to expired listing from the local MLS in my market which amounts to 200 per month, want to increase this to 500-1000 per month to generate more leads, I’m very interested in trying out agent247, and click to mail, my niche is L/O but I’m studying vacant Land and mobile homes ideas also, I want to create more passive income, I live here in the midwest, Thanks for taking time to help……..

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi John – thanks for stopping by the blog! Thanks for checking out the podcast as well. Yes, I only mail to the tax delinquent list once. I generally don’t hit it again until about 1 year later (though you could probably hit it as early as 6 months later if you had the capacity to do so).

      Most of my mailings are somewhere in the range of 300 – 700 postcards (on average). The most I’ve ever done in one month is about 1,500 (which kept me VERY busy). 750 per month is a bit more comfortable level of activity, but it also takes a bit longer to find deals this way (it’s just a matter of finding what you consider to be the “sweet spot”).

      Hope that helps – good luck!

  5. Hayya says:

    Great resources, Seth, thank you! I found your blog last night and based on what you shared I immediately signed up for AgentPro247 and Click2Mail. I set up my first postcard campaign (bought and used your copy) and it’s ready to go. Excited! Quick question for you: in your postcard message you talk about the special recorded message for sellers. What do you say in that message? Thanks and keep up the great work!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome Hayya – way to take action! You’re the kind of person who is actually going to take this info and do something great with it (which I think is VERY exciting to see).

      Regarding my voicemail message – you can actually hear the exact audio clip right here: https://retipster.com/screen-your-calls-like-a-ninja/

      Hope that helps!

  6. Trevor says:

    trying to get postcards sent, watching your tutorial. I’ve gotten as far as getting the postcard uploaded, the list uploaded, even put myself on like your were saying . Looking at your tutorial at about 5:39, it’s not giving me the, “next step select recipients,” option to click on. It’s not there I’m not sure what to do next.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Trevor,

      I’m not sure – it’s been a while since I made that video, so I’m not sure if Click2Mail has changed anything about this process. I’ll try to look into it if I can find the time – but you can also try to poke around yourself and try to figure it out (don’t be afraid to contact Click2Mail support if you need to).

  7. Trevor says:

    I got it, I think I had my list open in edit mode when find the select recipients button. When I ck on the list, I was able to proceed. Got the list Mailed.

    Thanks

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know you got it all figured out.

  8. Trevor says:

    Hey Seth, Is there a way to upload a list from google docs

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Trevor, I’m not sure – I’ve never tried that.

  9. Yevgeny says:

    Hi Seth ! When you send out direct mail do you enter the house’s address that you wanna buy manually or it’s done automatically ? or you don’t even mention that address in the postcard ?

  10. Ray says:

    Hey Seth,
    I’m curious how many postcards you’re sending out per month? About how many deals does that work out to for you?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Ray, direct mail is still a great way to find motivated sellers, but it’s not my primary method anymore. Back when I first started, I sent out anywhere from 300 – 1,000 per month. The response rate was anywhere from 5% – 18%, and then my acceptance rate was usually 1 in every 8 – 12 offers (and the deal sizes could vary widely).

      Now days, most of my leads are coming from my buying website for free. It takes a while to get to this point, and that’s part of why direct mail is much more ideal when you’re starting out (and it also allows you to target specific areas much more effectively). That being said – if you intend to stay in this business for the long haul, it’s not a bad idea to get your own website started at some point. It’s a great stream of prospects to have once your traffic gets built up.

  11. Cyrus says:

    Hi Seth,

    Thanks for the good info on the process to market to motivated sellers. I have tried various ways to do this and I am definitely going to try your way. The marketing I have done in the past has got some traction but the sellers don’t seem motivated enough to sell their property at much of a discount, let alone 10 – 40% below market value.

    Could you share more details on the actual criteria you are using to develop your lists where people are willing to sell their property at such deep discounts? I have sent to empty nesters and divorce lists; and have also done driving for dollars. Any advice you can provide to zone in on a more targeted list will help greatly.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Cyrus, definitely! There are a few other blog posts you’ll want to check out to learn more about how my process works:

      https://retipster.com/delinquent-tax-list/
      https://retipster.com/make-offer-30-seconds/
      https://retipster.com/million-dollar-postcard-templates-that-work/
      https://retipster.com/offerprice/
      https://retipster.com/ultimate-negotiation-technique/

      These will give you a lot more detail on my process.

  12. Sony says:

    Hey Seth, thanks for constantly delivery amazing content & inspiring us all to be the entrepreneurial bad asses that we envision ourselves to be… mazel tov! Quick question, does your methods work just as effectively on commercial real estate?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Sony (I got your email too). I think it could work on commercial real estate, but you’d have to tailor a few things to make sure you’re specifically targeting the right kinds of properties. You’d also have to have more cash on hand (if you’re following my business model) and your closing costs would get more expensive and a tad more complicated, but sure – I think you could make a go of it.

  13. Melissa says:

    How do you make the post card? Do you make it yourself or have someone else to make it? If you do it yourself how do you do it and how do you put it onto the computer as a document?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Melissa, these are the postcard templates I use: https://retipster.com/million-dollar-postcard-templates-that-work/

      It’s just a matter of getting a word document that’s sized right, and then uploading it to Click2Mail (like the video above explains). My templates are pre-formatted to go right into Click2Mail seamlessly (which makes them kind of nice), and not to mention – the copy is proven to work pretty well from the get go.

  14. Donald Davidson says:

    If I am trying to buy a property for the amount of back taxes owed before tax foreclosure, but the property has an active mortgage too….should my offer include the amount of back taxes owed plus the mortgage amount as well? Do I have to negotiate a short sale on top of paying the back taxes? What happens to the mortgage? Thanks.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Yes, your offer would include paying off ALL of the outstanding liens against the property. However, when there’s a mortgage involved like this, it’s almost always going to kill the deal (because it’ll eat up all if your potential profit margin – even if you do negotiate a short sale).

      In most cases, your best prospect is going to be one who owns their property free and clear.

  15. DANIEL LIU says:

    Hi, Seth,
    I clicked the click2mail link in this page, but display following error:
    ————————————————————-
    Whoops, our bad…
    The page you requested was not found, and we have a fine guess why.
    If you clicked on a link to get here, the link is outdated.
    ————————————————————-
    anyway, I placed an order tonight to mail my postcard via click2mail.
    I will use click2mail to mail postcards regularly, please let me know what I need to do to enable you to receive commision from click2mail.
    thanks for your sharing.
    daniel liu

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Daniel, thanks for letting me know! Click2Mail’s affiliate program is in flux right now, so to the best of my knowledge, I won’t get anything from your orders – but that’s okay! I’m still glad you found it helpful, and I appreciate you letting me know it contributed some value to you (I think they’re one of those “must use” services for direct mail marketers).

      All the best!

      1. DANIEL LIU says:

        I also subscribed to agentpro247 with your code, hope it will benefit you a little bit.
        Thanks a lot for your great sharing. really appreciate!
        Daniel Liu

  16. Oscar says:

    How do you add a personal handwritten touch if you are uploading a postcard and using click2mail?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Oscar, great question! Check out https://www.vletter.com (this is the service I used). You can create a font from your own handwriting (or download other handwriting fonts) and incorporate these into your mail pieces. This is how I insert my “signature” into all of my postcards and it works great!

      Thanks for asking!

  17. Raymond Ebbeler says:

    I use ePostcards eBrochures eNewsletter and eMagazines to promoto, promote, promote. Highly effective and free — through your email signature etc. as a supplement to paper direct mail. win/win

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Great ideas Raymond – thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  18. Emily says:

    Hi Seth-

    I just started reading your blog this weekend- what a great resource! Since you started doing this part time with a full time job, I’m curious at what point you dove in with an LLC/website/other business services? Was this all something you did before your first purchase of land, or did you phase it in as you went?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for checking out the blog Emily! I’m glad you’re getting some good value out of it.

      Personally, I formed my LLC immediately when I got started (because I was familiar with how to do it in my state and I knew I’d put my LLC to good use at some point – even if my original plans didn’t work out). However, not everyone does it this way – and I don’t think it’s worthwhile to put everything on hold JUST because you don’t have an LLC. Some people wait until after they’ve done their first deal (once they’ve proven the business model to themselves) and then they go through these motions… and others frankly never do it – they just operate as a sole proprietorship and leave their personal finances open to business liability.

      It’s not terribly difficult to form a new business entity, and in most states (though not all) it’s not terribly expensive either, so I wouldn’t feel intimidated by the process. Whenever you’re ready to pull this trigger, be sure to check out this blog post – it explains one way to get the job done.

      Good luck!

  19. Dominic says:

    Hey Seth,

    Quick question: what is the process when mailing to vacant land? Will the mail automatically be sent to the owner’s current residence? Because obviously mailing to vacant land wouldn’t accomplish much.

    Thanks

    1. Yes. You would have to get a list of land owners and their mailing addresses (you wouldn’t be sending mail to a bunch of vacant properties… that obviously wouldn’t accomplish much). 🙂

      Here are a couple of ways to get those lists:

      http://retipster.com/delinquent-tax-list
      https://retipster.com/findingmotivatedsellers1

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