When it comes to real estate marketing, sooner or later you will come across the marketing channel or method of sending real estate postcards as part of a direct mailing campaign.
It can get you good results when it comes to acquiring new clients, but also to follow-up and do past client marketing to generate further referrals.
There are different approaches to go about it.
You can do it manually and create a lot of time-wasting overhead for your business, or you can go with a direct mailing provider that offers a certain level of automation.
In this article, I will analyze several providers for automated real estate postcards and try to find the cheapest one.
What Are Automated Real Estate Postcards and Where Are They Applied?
In basic terms, automated real estate postcards are a marketing method that belongs to direct mailing.
Instead of letters, you send postcards that you can schedule throughout the year.
A common method is to take advantage of seasons, individual special days of past clients, and different holidays for scheduling them.
For example, you can schedule postcards throughout the year that are sent for the New Year, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and more.
The automation part can save you a lot of time, so you can focus on other business activities.
Where it makes sense to use them is either for past clients (be it sellers or buyers), to follow-up with potential clients, or to acquire new seller clients in a specific geographic area.
The first one is also called past client marketing and the latter “geographic farming”.
Marketing to past clients can result in them doing business with you again or them referring you to someone they know that could need your services.
There are many benefits of getting referrals, when we look at the statistics.
The costs of acquiring a new client are often 5 times higher than retaining an existing customer (source).
Another fact is that your chances of success in selling to a past customer or one you already have are 60-70%.
In contrast, the chances of selling to a new one are 5-20% (source).
In terms of past clients referring you to their friends will also have a benefit in terms of higher conversion rates and your sales success rate.
Why not also take a look at two more statistics about referrals:
7 General Performance-Based Marketing Statistics about Direct Mailing
Some say direct mailing and thus sending automated postcards is dead. But that’s not true at all.
At least, the statistics tell us otherwise.
Below, you will find 7 general performance-based marketing statistics about direct mailing which automated postcards are a subgroup of:
- In this article of mine, I already analyzed that you can expect a lead conversion rate or response rate of 6.6% and a cost per acquisition of $24.46.
- According to 70% of consumers, direct mail (hence also postcards) is more personal than online interactions (source).
- From direct mail recipients, 42.2% read or scan the mail piece they get (source).
- The open rates of direct mail can reach up to 90% (not necessary with postcards, since they are usually already open) (source).
- A piece of direct mail is kept 17 days on average in a household (source).
- When it comes to doing business for the first time, 39% of consumers do this because of direct mail (source).
- It requires 21% less cognitive effort to process direct mail than emails (source).
6 Providers for Automated Real Estate Postcards and What They Offer
For this analysis, I only included providers that had their pricing disclosed on their official websites.
That was the first filter.
Unless they are really companies that provide exclusive high-end or luxury products and services or highly individualized ones, I can’t see why hiding prices behind a wall of sales representatives is justified.
So, where I found providers for “automated postcards” that didn’t provide pricing, they got tossed out without looking any further right from the get-go.
Sharperagent has a rather old-school appearing website.
Besides automated direct mailing campaigns including postcards, they also offer email marketing, printing services, contact management, and pre-made marketing materials.
This provider doesn’t have much of a unique feature or a special focus. It is rather a general direct mailing provider.
In their automated direct mailing campaign services they include:
- Pre-made marketing materials
- Intervals and delivery methods you can pre-configure
- Full-color digital printing and mailing services from Shutterfly
- Campaign reports
- Mailing lists that you can purchase
The premade direct mail templates are tailored to the following different target groups:
- Move up buyers
- First time homebuyers
- Distressed properties
- Real estate investors
- Green living
- Home and garden
- Holiday greetings
- Birthday cards
- Food and Entertainment
- Mature Market
- Single female homebuyers
There is no special feature I could identify with this provider.
What about the costs?
You pay for the product or software to generate the campaign on a monthly basis.
When you subscribe annually, you pay $39 per month and for a monthly subscription, you pay $49.
The print pricing for 500 postcards is $0.15 per piece for the cover printing and no coating, and $0.16 per piece for cover printing and UV coating.
Additionally, you pay a postage charge of $0.45 for each.
This means the total cost is between $0.60 and $0.61 per piece in these quantities.
You can learn more about this provider here.
Resurge’s website looks a bit more up to date and what jumps out at you quite soon is their unique feature or service to send past clients a handwritten card 5-8 times a year.
They make it also quite clear that their focus is on past client marketing with direct mailing.
In terms of conversion rates, these types of cards usually will get better response rates because of a truly personal touch.
It is also well and easily explained how their process works.
What about the costs?
Resurges offers three different pricing plans:
- The pay as you go plan for up to 10 clients for $16,99 per month
- The Premium plan for up to 40 clients for $59.99 per month
- The Enterprise plan for up to 100 clients for $119.99 per month
In all plans, 8 postcards per client per year are sent.
You can learn more about Resurge here.
Pulse is the automated postcard service from Expresscopy for real estate agents.
Their special focus is not on past client marketing, like with the prior provider but rather just listed and just sold postcard campaigns that are created by pulling data from your MLS.
The service automatically sends postcards to a 2-mile radius around the respective property that just got listed or sold.
What about the costs?
For 500 standard postcards, you pay $0.81 per piece including postage.
You can learn more about Express Copy here.
StayInTouch claims to be the choice of thousands of real estate professionals.
Their automated postcard service is part of their service product called “Stay in Touch Follow-Up System”.
Their Stay in Touch 12-month real estate postcard package includes:
Automatic once-a-month postcard sends
Pre-made designs and content
What about the costs?
The company leaves you with two options.
You can either pay monthly or you can purchase a one-year supply and mail on your own schedule. Technically, the latter one wouldn’t be automatic anymore.
For 500 cards, you pay $0.76 per piece sent out per month including all mail services.
They also have another service product called just sold and just listed postcards.
For this service, I couldn’t identify an automation element, such as ExpressCopy is offering that automatically pulls just sold or just listed data from your MLS and sends out a certain number of postcards.
So, I didn’t include further information about its features or pricing.
Postalytics takes the direct mailing automation to the next level by supporting the integration of HubSpot’s CRM software where it works together with the workflows you can create there.
Their software is not specifically for the real estate industry, but they have a large selection of postcards for all kinds of industries including real estate.
Postalytics offers the following features:
- Mailing list imports to send mail in minutes
- Automatic checks of bad addresses with USPS databases
- Personalized postcards and pre-made design template library
- Advanced tracking and mailing campaign analytics features to check delivery, response rates and return rates
- Automatic synchronization with your CRM or marketing automation platform
- First class and standard mail options
- Free pURLs (exclusive landing pages for single campaigns) and personalized QR codes to be able to track better single campaigns
- Conversion notifications, and status change notifications
- Free high resolution images
- Multi-user access rights
- Segmentation by behavior
- Unlimited contact lists
- Live mode/test mode
What about the costs?
Postalytics has three pricing plans to use the software and then you pay per piece according to the plan you select.
The free plan is, well, free. The marketer plan costs $199 per month, and the Pro & Agency Plan is $399 per month.
To send 500 standard postcards, you pay between $0.58 and $0.80 per piece.
The difference between the free and the marketer plans is that you get additional phone support and the mail pieces are about 15 cents cheaper on average.
The difference between the marketer plan and the Pro & Agency one is that you additionally get a dedicated account manager, unlimited user logins with access controls, white label options, a complete Salesforce integration, and the mail pieces are again 15 cents cheaper on average than in the marketer plan.
You can learn more about Postalytics here.
Click2Mail might be one of the providers you are already familiar with, at least if you are into real estate investing and follow some of the thought leaders that mention this provider from time to time.
Besides postcards, they can send out notecards, rack cards, booklets, letters, secure mailers, reply mail, certified mail, priority mail plus, priority mail express, flyers, brochures, every door direct mail, and card stock.
Click2Mail’s features include:
- Online interface with dashboard and designer
- Easy letter sender
- Automation with the help of more than 1500 app workflows from Zapier
- Email attachments can be converted to postal mail
- Click2Mail add-in for word (you can send postal mail directly from a word document)
- Postal mail from any application that saves a PDF document
- Postal mail from Gmail
- Mailing lists that you can buy
As you can see from the features, Click2Mail’s specialty is to bring digital documents to the physical postal mail world and reduce the steps between the creation of a written or designed digital document and sending it out as a mailer.
Where you can see that they also have the real estate industry in mind is when you check what kind of mailing lists can be purchased.
Among many different ways you can filter their mailing list database, you can find resident occupants, new homeowners, new movers, tax delinquents, real estate investors, and more.
When it comes to automated real estate postcards, the company doesn’t mention explicitly if, for example, automatic past client marketing or real estate farming is possible.
But when you look at the more than 1500 app workflows from Zapier, you will see that it is more than possible.
Just to name a few, it works with many different CRMs and eMail Marketing automation applications from which you will be able to schedule the sending of automatic postcards.
These are some of the many CRMs and eMail marketing automation apps it works with:
- Zoho CRM
- Credit Repair Cloud
- FollowUp Boss
- Agile CRM
- Zillow Tech Connect
- Active Campaign
What about the costs?
Click2Mail has no monthly plans you need to pay, I assume that their business model is to focus on the printing and delivering part.
That’s likely the reason why they are also so strong in integrating their functionality in other software products, so that you can send postal mailings from applications that didn’t have this functionality before.
For a standard 3.5 x 5 postcard and a minimum quantity of 500, you pay 43.8 cents per piece including printing and postage.
Pricing and Special Feature Overview
|Service Provider||Special Features/ Focus||Cost per Piece (500 pieces)||Monthly Costs|
|Click2Mail||Automatic Worflow Integration with more than 1500 apps||$0.438||None|
|Sharperagent||None||$0.60 to $0.61||$49,00|
|Postalytics||Tracking and bad address checks||$0.58 to $0.80||$0 to $399|
|ExpressCopy||Just listed and just sold postcard campaigns||$0.81||None|
|StayInTouch||General follow up campaigns, and just sold and just listed campaigns.||$0.76||None|
|Resurge||Past client marketing with handwritten cards.||$2.54-$1.80 (calculated from monthly plans)||$16.99 for 10 clients, $59.99 for 40 clients, and $119.99 per month for 100 clients|
It was a bit tricky to find the cheapest provider for automatic real estate postcards that also offers a high enough degree of automation as well as individualization options to make the postcards more personal (important for response or conversion rates).
While I am not a fan of the website design, only based on the costs and the features, Click2Mail is the winner with a price per piece starting at 43 cents and no monthly costs.
Other providers such as Postalytics will charge you a premium monthly fee to also integrate Salesforce.
In Click2Mail you get this for free, since it integrates via Zapier with more than 1500 app workflows.
The automation functionality is not available per se in Click2Mail, but it’s done by being integrated with the above-mentioned app workflows via Zapier.
Although it’s the most expensive of the listed providers and by definition the loser of this article at least in terms of “cheapest”, I would nevertheless give Resurge a try.
The company offers a highly individualized and handwritten automatic postcard service, which quite likely will increase the response rate significantly.
You may want to do it with a selection of past clients who you think are worthwhile including in a past client marketing campaign.