Are real estate recipe postcards a "delicious dish" for postcard marketing success, or are they a waste of time and money?
Only the individual marketer can answer that question with any finality. The answer will come from experimentation and testing with various postcard marketing tactics, comparing one strategy against another, etc. But I'd be happy to give my take on the subject, based on the time I spent working in the postcard marketing industry.
What's a Real Estate Recipe Postcard?
Let's start with a quick definition, just so we're on the same page. A real estate recipe postcard is a marketing postcard sent from a real estate agent to their audience (usually homeowners and potential home buyers). On one side of the postcard, there's a picture of a tasty dish with the recipe listed out. You know, chili con carne, bananas foster ... that sort of thing.
On the other side of the recipe postcard, the agent will list his or her contact info with some form of "Call me when you need help" message. The basic premise is that the recipient likes the recipe so much -- or finds the postcard so thoughtful -- that they dial up the agent and say, "Will you help me buy / sell a home?"
I know, it's a bit of a stretch. But that's how real estate recipe postcards are supposed to work. The question is, do they work that way? An even better question is, how do the response rates from a real estate recipe postcard stack up against a postcard that makes a powerful offer and employs proven strategies of direct mail marketing?
To my knowledge, there has never been any study on the effectiveness of real estate recipe postcards (when compared to a different form of real estate postcard). Sure, you'll find a handful of testimonials here and there, and perhaps some "Use real estate recipe postcards!" promotional copy on a postcard company's website ... but that's probably it.
So here's my take on the subject, based on my professional experience with both postcard marketing in general and real estate marketing in particular.
Me personally, I wouldn't spend a dime on real estate recipe postcards. And do you want to know why? Because while a real estate recipe postcard might produce one response out of a thousands mailers, there are ways to get much better response rates. You know ... those tried-and-true postcard marketing techniques, like making an offer of some kind.
There are also ways to combine the real estate postcard with an informational website, thereby creating a "super card" that can improve the success of both marketing channels. In short, I believe there are much stronger approaches to real estate postcard marketing than simply slapping on a recipe and waiting for the phone to ring. But that's just me.
* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2007, Brandon Cornett.