Who says print is dead?

The printing industry has been in steady decline for a number of years, with some newspapers now adopting a digital-first strategy, illustrating the rising popularity of digital printing which is rapidly increasing its share of the total print market.

Many businesses, including estate agents, have devoted a significant portion of their budgets to digital marketing, reflecting market changes, driven by the way consumers behave, contributing to the enormous success achieved by the major property portals.

Given that estate agents now receive the vast majority of their sales leads online, some companies believe that print publishing advertising is wasteful and the money would be better spent on increasing visibility of a property online.

However, there are those who still prefer to read in print – and that is why there is still a place for direct mail marketing, as part of a wider marketing mix, in a world of remote working and virtual meetings, according to the head of brand at The Guild of Property Professionals, Emilie Despois.

She said: “While digital channels are essential to an agent’s marketing strategy, print and direct mail marketing is still very much alive and well and should be a part of their overall marketing plan. In fact, because people are on some form of digital platform all day, direct mail marketing has becoming even more relevant and potent than before.

“People are bombarded with electronic communication constantly and there is more competition in the digital marketing space than ever before. This proliferation of electronic communication could lead to a form of digital fatigue, and the message not breaking through the noise.”

Emilie Despois

Despois believes that combined with digital elements as part of a cohesive marketing strategy, direct mail can be an effective method of reaching people.

She added: “The physical mailbox is a less saturated marketing space, and many people actually look forward to receiving mail through their door. Another benefit is that direct mail stays around longer, with the possibility of more people within the household seeing it. Digital and email marketing is very targeted, perhaps in some instances too targeted.

“A magazine through the door could be picked up and read by a few people within the household and could be the differentiator that gets the agent the listing. Recent research carried out by the Joint Industry of Committee for Mail revealed that since lockdown, the frequency of exposure of mail is a record breaking 4.5 interactions, with 56% of all items still in the home after 28 days.

“An omnichannel approach to marketing will result in more people seeing the message and remembering your brand’s name when it comes time to sell or buy a home. On average is takes around 12 engagements with a brand before someone uses them, so direct mail marketing is another touch point that will help agents build relationships and connections within their local market.”

Despois provides the following tips for putting together a successful direct mail campaign:

Build your audience

There are several tools you can use to build a targeted audience. At The Guild, we offer a direct mail system which allows our Members to target households by location, house price, length of ownership, council tax band, household income and more. This allows you to define your customer profile and will help you develop the right message for the audience.

Create your message

Your message needs to be adapted to your chosen audience – it has to be relevant to them and generate some interest. The message is all the more important nowadays and the current situation should not be overlooked. At the Guild, we created messages during lockdown which agents could adapt, offering households some help and support. Your message does not have to be always overtly sellsy, sometimes an offer of support goes a long way. Make sure that you keep your brand’s tone of voice, whilst being mindful of the audience you are addressing. The same message can be used in your targeted digital advertising to re-enforce it and increase the chances of your customers remembering you when the time comes to move.

Grab people’s attention with your designs

They can be funny, they can be beautiful, they can be impactful, but whatever design you choose, ensure that it generates the right emotion for your audience whilst staying on brand. Always use your brand’s font, colours and logo where appropriate. Keeping consistency across all forms of marketing will help your customers remember and recognise you.

Don’t forget your call to action

Make sure that you have a call to action. In the end, you are sending a direct mail to encourage people to contact you. You can track your direct mail by creating landing pages on your website for your campaign and tracking phone numbers.


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One Comment

  1. Commentator91

    Yes! Totally agree. Print is not dead.

    Digital communications are great, and are valuable to any business, whether it is for prospecting or as touch points to existing customers.

    However, hard copy printed leaflets, post cards and the like still have value as excellent prospecting tools for estate and letting agents.

    Strong messages, with relevant content, targeted to your customer Avatar can make an awesome addition to your marketing mix, and should not be ignored.


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