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By Heather Staff

Co-founder, Spectre


Why direct mail should be at the forefront of your marketing mix…

Tangible, tactile, and tested. Those are the three words that Royal Mail used to describe direct mail marketing campaigns.

Despite living in an increasingly digital world, direct mail is still proving to consistently perform and be an extremely effective aspect of any business’s marketing strategy… estate agency included.

In a time where it has become second nature to scroll over or skip past adverts on digital channels, direct mail marketing manages to cut through the noise and capture the attention of its audience.


In fact, Royal Mail’s recent performance analysis found that consumers engage with a mind-blowing 95% of direct mail, with 87% of consumers agreeing that mail is ‘believable’ and reliable. Not only that, but marketing campaigns that include mail are 52% more likely to deliver a higher return on investment.

Direct mail is a highly trusted and effective communication tool that has only become more powerful with the rise in digital marketing. But how can you be sure your direct mail is going to hit the mark?

How to send direct mail that works every time…

Any agent who is serious about winning instructions and growing market share should have direct mail leading their prospecting strategy. 

Even in tough markets, the best agents never compromise on their printed marketing as it has proved time and time again to be so effective. So, here are my top tips for ensuring maximum returns from every single campaign send.

Inspire your audience to take action.

A strong piece of direct mail includes a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA). If your marketing message is watery or ambitious, the recipient won’t be clear on the action they need to take - meaning your direct mail could lose its effect. 

The action could be anything from picking up the phone to visiting your website - just as long as the overall action aligns with your business goals. However, the best CTAs are usually ones that come with an immediate benefit for the recipient. 

For example, adding a QR code onto your direct mail, which allows recipients to instantly generate a bespoke property report or get an online valuation, means homeowners can get instant information with minimal effort. These are a proven way to increase campaign interactivity, brand engagement and success rates.

Promote an offer to capture attention.

According to The 2023 State of Direct Mail report, 65% of people who engaged with direct mail did so because it included an offer - affirming just how powerful promotions can be in motivating recipients. 

Utilising brand awareness postcard campaigns that include offers or promotions is the key to getting your agency in front of new audiences to generate new custom.

On top of this, offers that are time pressured or exclusive tend to put a sense of urgency on your collateral and encourage homeowners who are more ‘on the fence’ about buying, selling, or letting their property to get in touch.

This tactic is actually the foundation of a lot of e-commerce marketing strategies which hass proved to be extremely effective. The ecommerce industry is expert at creating a sense of urgency and scarcity, something which could easily be translated into agents’ marketing.

For example, you could promote a lower-than-usual sales or lettings fee and limit it to the first 50 instructions to evoke that same feeling of urgency or you could send an offer promoting a free digital property report to off-market prospects.

Personalise the content as much as possible.

In the same State of Direct Mail report, it was found that nearly 70% of consumers said they’d be more likely to engage with a message or communication from a brand when it is more personalised.

And this held up in Spectre’s own research. After analysing the success rates of direct mail, we discovered that directly addressing the homeowner by name, instead of using a generic greeting, increased campaign effectiveness by 59%.

Alongside this, we found that adding a personal picture of the agent into prospecting collateral increases success rates by nearly 50%. Why does this have an impact? Because it inputs a human element into your marketing, increasing trust and engagement from potential clients.

Lastly, using merge fields through your prospecting tool is a great way to take your personalisation to the next level. For example, you may add in listed price, current agent, reduction percentage, or something else into every letter, meaning they’re hyper-personalised to the recipient with no additional effort.

Send the right amount of direct mail.

When you receive too many emails from a brand, what’s the first thing you do? Usually, I unsubscribe… 

Despite being proved to be effective, there should be a limit on how much direct mail you send to any one property, so use smart prospecting tools with in-built anti-embarrassment features to ensure you’re not sending to the same property twice or sending too many letters or postcards.

Royal Mail’s latest performance report has offered more transparency on the positive impact of direct mail. It has shown that direct mail doesn’t just spread the word about your business, but it actually generates fresh custom and can even increase the likelihood of seeing ROI benefits by as much as 52%. 

Even in an age of digital convenience, the power and impact of direct mail is unwavering. The resilience of this method of marketing can be attributed to its unique ability to cut through the noise of other collateral, providing a tangible and attention-grabbing communication method that enhances digital marketing efforts.

So, whether you’re a fan of postal marketing or not, it appears direct mail is here to stay both now, and in the future.


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