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The Problems With Mass Postcard Marketing

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Besides the occasional coupon booklet or greeting card, the majority of post that arrives in my mailbox each day can be categorized as either pointless junk or boring bills. Yet, every once in a while a piece catches my eye.

I was rifling through my mail seeking out anything significant. Per usual, out of the stack of letters I was holding, I found only one piece that had importance. Everything else was heading straight for the trash. Yet, as I was tossing the useless catalogs and marketing pieces away, one caused me to stop in my tracks. Below is what the postcard read: (details slightly altered for privacy reasons)

business consultants talk real estate

Sold In Your Neighborhood

555 State Street

   Considering a move in the future or thought about listing your home?

Now is the time!

I’m never too busy to help you with all your Real Estate Needs!


Tom Smith 317-123-4567

 If  your property is currently listed with another broker, please excuse my aggressive marketing.

To clarify, this flyer has nothing to offer me. I’m not moving nor am I planning to. So why then did I find this direct marketing mailer so intriguing? Truth be told, after scanning the information I stopped because of one sentiment on the very bottom of the postcard:

. . . please excuse my aggressive marketing.

To say the very least, I was struck by the disclaimer for several reasons. First, the use of aggressive felt a bit abrasive to me. Now, let me preface by saying, I know this word is not always negative in fashion. But, speaking as a representative of Tom Smith’s target audience, I felt the word choice could have been more strategic and upbeat in nature. By utilizing a descriptive adjective such as proactive or ambitious, my receptiveness to actually saving the mailer for future reference would have increased greatly.


© Flickr user Adam Mayer

Second, I was quite bothered by Smith’s blatant display of inefficient research. For instance, the catalog of properties that are currently assigned to real estate brokers is a matter of public record. This means that prior to conducting his mailing, Smith could have easily conjured a marketing list excluding properties already under alternate representation. Understanding this, I am left to formulate one of two conclusions: either he is deficient in the knowledge of the resource or he simply lacks effort in its regard. I’m not sure which aspect is more off-putting. There is good reason why professionals take advantage of industry resources to improve productivity growth. After all, doing so creates the opportunity to boost efficient and effective workflow and positive customer service.

Lastly, I was surprised by Smith’s carelessness. Here’s the deal: direct mail marketing can bring great opportunity, but it’s also a tough and expensive process, particularly since results and success vary greatly no matter how much money is spent. For real estate brokers, I can only assume it’s essential to utilize this marketing technique in a thoughtful, financially cognizant manner—not just because they front the cost of the venture, but because it reinforces the value in worthwhile spending. Unfortunately, it is clear that Smith got caught up in his own productivity paradox. Despite how reasonable and productive it seemed to send out postcards to every resident within a designated area, Smith’s attempt at mass marketing not only demonstrated the price of fruitless spending, but probably turned away a substantial amount of potential clients.

In the end, we may never know how much business Smith’s postcards generated, but I have to wonder whether or not others agree with my thoughts. Is Smith’s message effective? Take a moment to decipher your point of view on the matter and enlighten us with your opinion by posting a comment today!

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Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Ashley has been working with the AccelaWork team since 2008. She is a communications expert with a background in corporate work, and a graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Public Relations. She lives in the greater Indianapolis area with her husband and four children. Ashley enjoys jewelry, fashion, and coffee.
Ashley Lee

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