What are they and can you use them in your real estate investing business? If you are an investor, then you may already be familiar with yellow letters. In a nutshell, a yellow letter is just a handwritten letter used for marketing purposes that is composed on a yellow lined piece of notebook paper (aka a legal pad) and mailed to prospective sellers.
If you frequent many on-line investor resources such as forum threads, blog posts or coaches, you will probably find mention of yellow letters. You can even find businesses that specialize in providing these letters. Basically, the letter is much like a solicitation letter showing interest in the property and having a call-to-action (CTA) for a seller.
Direct Mail And Frequency
Direct mail can be an extremely effective medium for marketing. Despite rising postage costs, direct mail continues to be a top method that marketers utilize to get in front of the customer. There is no real magic secret to mailing out. Some marketers will say that repetition is key while others may suggest spacing out the mailings and sending them out every six months or so. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) 2015 Statistical Fact Book, the average household receives 19.1 mail pieces each week. Additionally, the DMA Statistical Fact Book noted that 42 percent of recipients either read or scanned the direct mail pieces that they received.
To Whom To Mail To
There are several targets groups for real estate investors. Estates which need to sell assets, pre-foreclosures, delinquent property taxes, couples getting divorced, out of state owners, condemned houses and many more. And, there are companies which pile these lists and will sell them for a fee. Simply determine your target group and geographic area and purchase the list from the company of your choosing. Alternatively, you can prepare these lists yourself but this approach is usually time prohibited for most people. These companies also usually provide a service of preparing the letters and mailing them for you. A soup to nuts approach.
Stand Out From Junk Mail
It doesn’t just end with the letter. Pay attention to the envelope as well. Hand-written addresses on the envelope will garner more attention. Other advice from successful yellow letter marketers includes utilizing a first class postage stamp or multiple stamps that add up to the current going postage rate. Many yellow letter marketers recommend that the letter should be handwritten and simple. Some suggest using only red or blue ink for the font color. Some recipients of this type of letter will be thankful that you took the time out to personally write it while others may be turned off by the yellow letter idea.
Why Yellow Letters?
Not only are yellow letters unique, but the yellow lined paper can usually be seen through most envelopes. The personalized and handwritten approach that yellow letters offer provide for a more personalized approach as opposed to mass printing of typed form-like letters. While the yellow letter marketing technique may take more time to complete, it can pay off in a higher response rate as opposed to traditional ‘impersonalized’ mailings. Because of the time to complete a yellow letter, it does usually cost more than a typical postcard or typed letter mailing.
If you don’t have time to handwrite each letter yourself, then you can hire the job out. The average going rate is anywhere between $0.15 to $0.50 per letter to hire someone or, alternatively, marketing companies charge on average $0.75 to $0.80 per letter. Putting together a yellow letter campaign and actually writing the letters yourself can be a time-consuming and tedious process. If busy work isn’t your thing and you feel that you can make more money doing another task then, by all means, hire this job out. Yellow letter campaigns can result in not only a higher open rate, but also an increased rate of response as well.