Is Direct Mail a Good Method to Find Notes Today?

direct mailing to note holdersDirect mail is and always has been a highly effective channel for reaching bona fide note holders, even more so now in the digital age– for a multitude of reasons. Because you’re on this page, I know you must have questions as to why that is and how/why/if you should implement your own Direct Mail campaign, so I’ve put together an outline below that will quickly get you up to speed on key points that should enter into your decision-making process. Here is an informal “Cliff’s Notes” version of my findings and observations:

Direct Mail is relatively cheap with much less competition for quality notes

  1. Note creation is up 28% since 2010, “mom and pop” now make up 85% of the market and these are the notes your investors are looking for.
  2. Direct Mail is cheaper then the website/SEO approach, especially when it comes to good notes.
    1. With Direct Mail you can target specific notes your investors want:
      1. By area, seasoning
      2. By LTV, property type and many other variables
    2. Search engines will not lead your prospect away
  3. You can build your brand and credibility directly with known note holders
  4. There is much less competition with Direct Mail for notes your investors want
  5. Cost for quality response with Direct Mail is $40-$70 with 1% response rate
    1. Cost for SEO for same quality leads is higher
  6. Mailing gets cheaper with economies of scale

What are the basics of a Direct Mail program aimed at note holders?

  1. Develop a post card or letter to
    1. Inform note holders about how you can solve their problem
    2. Inspire the prospect to act with urgency
    3. Build a brand for trust and credibility
  2. Buy a list from a trusted vendor like NoteInvestors who
    1. Guarantees all names provided actually carried an owner financed note
      1. Private lender lists have hard money lenders, family members etc. which dilute the list.
    2. Provides the most current mailing address for the note holder
      1. 15% of population moves every year, 15% of list goes bad if not updated
    3. Eliminates any known records of paid off notes and no forwarding address
      1. You save money in postage and printing not used mailing to these records
    4. Removes duplicate names so every note holder in every delivery is unique
    5. Tracks your order so you never receive the same record twice
    6. Has actual hands-on experience in the note industry and mailing to note holders
  3. Print and mail the mailers
    1. Use office printer- saves money on small jobs only
      1. Must use first class stamp (make it slightly crooked– it piques curiosity so they open/read it)
    2. Use a fulfillment or mail house
      1. Saves time and money on most mailings
        1. Allows the use of bulk mail
        2. Paper and ink costs lower but you may incur a set up fee
        3. Google “mailing companies” or “print and mail services” to find more than you need
      2. Customer Service
        1. Toll free number will generate 3x more calls
          1. Don’t assume someone needing cash and is willing to sell their note has an unlimited calling plan or can afford a long distance call
          2. Google “toll free numbers”
        2. Phone system
          1. Professionally-sounding voice mail
          2. Calls go to voice mail if you are on phone
        3. Be prepared- know what information your investors want to take it from the note holder the first time

What are the best states to market to note holders?

  1. The states your investor feels they are safest in
    1. Talk to your investors before mailing
  2. Your state and those around you
    1. Some people will only work with companies within driving distance. These are prospects few of your competitors can get
    2. You can empathize with caller, let them know you are familiar with the town/area the note is in. You can talk about weather and other more local events.

How many calls can I expect from my mailing?

  1. Will depend on
    1. Your brand/ message/ trustworthiness (like every marketing method)
      1. Must convey you will solve the note holder’s problem
      2. Must be believable
    2. How many times they see your message
      1. First time-
        1. only those who need to sell and don’t feel the need to build trust or credibility (or your message is so great you get that in first mailing)
      2. Second and third mailing-
        1. Response rate goes up
        2. Tells prospects you are a legitimate company, gives you more credibility.
        3. Expect those who need cash without needing trust to call like #1
        4. Those who need to build a level of confidence now feel you are more credible
  • Fourth and possible fifth and sixth mailing
    1. Response rate still profitable for TARGETED note holders
    2. Continue mailing until you find cost to mail a note holder approaches your mailing costs
  1. Time of year
    1. Best-
      1. January when Christmas bills are due and consumers start planning major purchases for the year (RV, boat, vacations)
      2. Late March and April to pay tax bill
      3. Late May, early June – need cash for travel, a new house
      4. September- Cash for school, car for kids/grandkids
    2. Worst-
      1. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas- too much focus on holidays
        1. Specially mailing early November- last chance to sell note before end of year
      2. Between July 4th and Labor Day- too many people traveling
    3. 1% should be a minimum standard, if not:
      1. Confirm your list has been
        1. Updated with the latest note holder’s mailing addresses
        2. As many bad records are eliminated from the list by the provider
          1. Moved note holders with no forwarding address
          2. Deceased note holders if no one picking up their mail
          3. Notes that have been paid off
        3. Is your message motivating or could it be putting some people off?
          1. Do you give the note holder a reason to call?
          2. Are you credible?
            1. No funny or cute stuff for financial mailings
  • Did your mailer stick out among the other mail the prospect likely received?
    1. Color can make a big difference.
  1. Did you use the best type of mailer for your target prospect?
    1. Small notes >$100,000 less sophisticated, want a simple message
      1. Post card most effective
    2. Notes $100,000 and $250,000 Educated, most need to trust company they are working with
      1. #10 envelopes and self mailer
        1. Explain in greater detail
      2. Often less responsive on first mailing
  • Notes over $250,000 and especially over $1 million – very sophisticated
    1. They need a well-written business proposal how they come out ahead. Give them the solution to problems they may have.
  1. Between 2% and 3% of note holders are seriously considering selling their note at any one time
    1. Varies by economic cycles and seasons
    2. No mailer will reach and connect with the 30 or so different marketing personality types.
      1. Don’t try to be something to everyone- be yourself and connect with those who are most similar personality-wise. They are the ones you will develop the greatest amount of trust.
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