America's average 30-year fixed mortgage rate stood at 6.9 percent as of May 31. According to a top financial analyst, housing demand will be lukewarm this year, posing a challenge for real estate professionals to rev up their game plan. One way to do that is with personalized cards.
Personalized cards are customized for the recipient and sent during special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or holidays. Marketers can also use them to welcome new clients, thank them for referrals, or touch base with old clients.
There are many reasons to send customized cards, and the rewards can be significant. Beyond reaching out to potential clients, these cards make a powerful marketing strategy for real estate professionals banking on personalization.
In this article, we delve into personalized cards as part of a marketing campaign for real estate professionals, focusing on the power of data-driven customization, its advantages over traditional mailed letters, and its overall benefits.
Learn more about how our handwritten mailers can be customized to fit each recipient via a variety of unique merge tags!
Real estate properties involve significant amounts of money, so consumers seek more than usual proof of trustworthiness before working with an agent. It's all about building a relationship that erases their doubts and boosts their confidence — a job very well suited to personalized cards.
Personalized cards match the specific needs and preferences of the potential client. The more personalized the card is, the stronger the connection it builds between sender and receiver. This fact is well-evidenced by research into the real estate industry, including a recent Salesforce study where 56 percent of respondents said they expected personalization when receiving offers.
All forms of personalized marketing center around the target recipient's needs and preferences. However, the approach can vary according to who's marketing what, to whom, and using which mediums.
Except when sending personal greetings, an agent can consider the following when personalizing cards:
Card personalization significantly impacts how involved or interactive a recipient may be. When the card jives with where they are at a particular point, they will find more reasons to engage. For example, when they receive a discount card while starting a family and looking for a home, they may be more inclined to contact you.
In any case, a real estate professional can increase engagement rates by creating a user-centric visual design. Fonts, for instance, should be no smaller than 7 pt, with the text-to-background contrast high enough to ensure readability. For visually impaired recipients, it is advisable to use larger font sizes and more distinct colors to enhance legibility.
Marketers can also customize fonts to create a more personal vibe. Robotic technology that prints text in handwritten typefaces can give these cards a more intimate feel and make them more memorable. They also usually come with design templates, making the job easier for marketers.
Additionally, enjoyable content can encourage a recipient to engage with the marketer. For example, a card offering residential properties might be more engaging with interesting trivia, such as celebrities living in the area or yearly festivals.
Personalized cards must focus on the message instead of crowding them with unnecessary design elements. Most importantly, they must be specifically relevant to the target recipient.
While personalization is a mighty tool for marketers, it requires certain elements to deliver the right results. Besides the visual aspect of personalizing cards, as discussed earlier, other critical factors come into play, including the following:
Gone are the days of machine-gun marketing that led to wasted resources and less-than-optimal results. Nowadays, real estate pros can pinpoint their target audience with laser-focused prospecting, allowing them to reach out to specific customers with a particular message when conversion is highly possible. At the core of this is customer data obtained through various methods, such as:
The overarching benefit of data-driven targeting is increased campaign relevance and relatability. The more realtors understand their future recipients — particularly their current financial position, property ownership journey, and the direction they are heading — the more they can drive conversions and return on investment (ROI).
If data-driven targeting leads the right cards to the proper recipients, sincerity ensures the message is well-received. It becomes exceptionally crucial when sending out greeting cards and thank you or welcome cards.
In fact, there's only one rule in this department: forget selling. These cards express thoughtfulness, so any hint of a sales pitch can erode their value, which, in turn, becomes counterproductive to the entire campaign.
When sending out other cards, sincerity can come across through purposeful language. It means cutting out all rhetoric and focusing on the main message.
There are many ways to deliver a message, but conversion copywriting is always the ultimate goal for marketers. Conversion copywriting is the skillful, persuasive use of words to generate conversions or sales. For the AI company Lately, it meant a 240 percent monthly recurring revenue growth in 2022.
Both human and AI copywriters have their unique styles, whether in writing high-quality property descriptions, irresistible offers, or plain company profiles. However, most of them aim for four crucial elements in their final output:
Good timing is a life skill that works well with personalized card campaigns. Bad timing can damage response rates, but agents can avoid issues by knowing their busiest seasons and planning accordingly. This approach is important for time-sensitive cards, such as those offering promos or coupons with expiration dates or featuring sports schedules or maintenance alerts.
Even seemingly small concerns with the mailing company can cause significant delays, so it's wise to ask them about any anticipated problems, such as backlogs or outsourced jobs that could present issues.
According to ATTOM, a top curator of real estate data, May, June, and April are the best months to sell homes based on data from the last 12 years. During these months, property owners or sellers can get premiums as high as 10 percent above market value, with the best 16 days to sell falling within May. On the other hand, these are also the worst times for real estate investors and others to purchase homes because of the elevated prices and demand.
Considering these facts and each buyer's journey, agents determine the best times to send personalized cards.
Sending personalized cards is a good strategy, but it won't hold water when implemented alone. Converting a client with one greeting card or a discount offer is a shot in the dark, especially when eight is the generally agreed number of touchpoints necessary to make a sale.
It's crucial to follow up, with consistency being the key to a successful campaign. For one, it keeps the agent top of mind. If the prospect decides to convert, they will probably think of the devoted, consistent agent first. Consistency builds trust, which is even more critical than staying top of mind.
Aside from sending cards regularly, consistency means establishing a specific voice the marketer maintains across the entire campaign, including other marketing materials like brochures. If one card has a happy, exuberant tone, the other cards and the rest of the campaign should have it too.
Indeed, brand awareness is vital to any marketing campaign. It defines the agent, their caliber in the real estate business, and their style and quality of service. Like a personalized card campaign or any other marketing effort, branding must be consistent to be effective.
Real estate marketers relied on traditional letters for their mailbox campaigns before using personalized cards. There was a reason for the shift. While agents still use letters today, there are strong motivations behind the increasing popularity of customized cards, including the following:
According to a 2023 Business Research Company report, over 90 percent of unsolicited marketing mail gets tossed away unopened or unread.
Whether this concerns the human attention span shrinking to about 47 seconds has yet to be established. But common sense tells us personalized cards with concise messaging have a better chance of holding someone's interest than lengthy, traditional letters.
Humans naturally gravitate toward beautiful, eye-catching things, which is a well-known fact, and it's not even all about feelings. Science has always been involved. Personalized cards are more appealing because of this basic fact about human beings.
It also hints that a person who receives an attractive personalized card in the mail is more likely to attract the receiver's attention than a drab-looking letter. However, as mentioned earlier, aesthetics alone will not make a personalized card effective for real estate marketing.
Letters usually follow a classic format, no matter how engaging the content is. This format limits an agent's ability to customize it, especially when emphasizing a significant offer. It's also where another advantage of personalized cards comes in.
There's no prescribed system for designing cards, so the agent can have more room for creativity in ensuring the most crucial point gets across loud and clear. Using data points, they can even employ AI technologies to predict how to best design a card in a way that is most attractive to the recipient.
According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), bigger mail generally costs more. Since cards are smaller than traditional letters, sending them out will be cheaper too. The price difference seems minimal per unit, but the total savings can be significant considering marketers usually send cards in bulk and on an ongoing basis.
Marketers mailing advertising or promotional materials to potential customers have been earning around $10 billion yearly since 2009. This figure shows the immense influence of this method over the success of a comprehensive marketing campaign through the following general benefits:
Research has proven that consumers generally expect personalized marketing materials. In another study, 76 percent get frustrated when they don't get this special treatment. It's more than concrete proof of the strength behind personalized greeting cards for real estate marketing.
Independent technology research firm EarthWeb says the average person receives 100 to 120 emails daily. People normally get fewer physical mail. It means the competition with real estate personalized cards is drastically less when delivered straight to people's mailboxes than through email. Less competition means more chances of standing out.
Personalized cards delivered by physical mailing services may get less competition, but they can also work with emailed cards. Mailing personalized cards can blend seamlessly with digital marketing strategies like social media marketing, lead generation, or lead farming.
While emails speed up communication between marketers and prospective clients, physical cards help establish trust. As a result, marketing goals are achieved faster with much better outcomes.
Did you know? Despite less than encouraging economic conditions, 69 percent of businesses are putting more money into providing personalized services. This study shows their acknowledgment of the power of personalization, such as through personalized cards, in building customer trust, engagement, and loyalty.
That personalized cards are effective is a long-proven fact. However, the technique can still work with modern marketing tools and inventions. In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, some solutions have demonstrated great promise for improving results for real estate professionals. One of these solutions is robotics, which uses handwritten fonts for printing cards.
Addressable developed a proprietary technology that uses a ballpoint pen to "write" on a special material for personalized cards. The entire process has been polished to make recipients believe the cards were actually handwritten by the agents who sent them.
Handwritten cards look like humans wrote them by hand instead of machines printing them. This feature makes them more meaningful to recipients, who will feel the sender has given them more importance.
Third-party researchers conducted a blind study into how authentic personalized cards will look with the text "handwritten" by the Addressable robot. They found that the participants could not distinguish between the cards written by humans and the robot.