Yellow Letter marketing is one of my favorite ways of marketing for good deals.
Here’s why: They have an incredibly high open-rate, and their “cost-per-call” is amazingly low.
I haven’t found anything yet that quite compares to the power of the Yellow Letter marketing.
A Yellow Letter is a type of direct mail marketing piece that you can send out to prospective sellers. It’s literally a yellow-lined sheet of notepad paper, with a handwritten message, that is delivered in an invitation-style envelope.
The response rate is so high because of the personal feeling the seller feels when they get it in the mail from you. The initial impact is from the envelope itself actually. The envelope looks like one that a birthday party invitation might come in, or perhaps a wedding invitation – something that the seller would receive from someone they know closely. The envelope even has the seller’s address personalized and handwritten across the front. I even take my envelopes a step further by using a stamp that is as big as possible, and as bright as possible. I’ve got some stamps right now that I’m using that has a bunch if Disney characters – Wally, Cars, Buzz Lightyear, etc. Really grabs their attention when they go to the mailbox and they see the invitation envelope, handwritten address, and a big ole bright children’s stamp on the corner.
So the envelope is responsible to getting the mail-piece opened, but the real magic is the Yellow Letter that is inside. Once they open up the envelope, they find a message that “seemingly” has been hand-written, specifically to them, specifically about their house, with a very important message requesting a response right away. It really hits hard. The urgency, the personal touch, the time-sensitive matter – it’s all just an incredible combination that really works well. Yellow Letter marketing is simple, but super-effective in getting the phone to ring.
As far as response rates go, the Yellow Letter marketing tends to give me about a 10-15% response rate on average. Postcards, on the other hand, tend to only give me a 5% response, at best… often times only 2-3%. So, as you can tell, it’s just a really powerful tool to get your message in front of the right people. The envelope and the letter combo just work so well together.
Concerning cost, Yellow Letter marketing tend to run about $1.00 a piece. That cost can be brought down a good bit by buying higher volumes of letters though. Postcards are a good bit cheaper at around $.50 a piece, but again – you really get what you pay for here. Consider, for instance, that you were figuring on doing a mailing of 1000 pieces. The Yellow Letter marketing would cost you $1000 for the mailing, but the postcard would only cost you $500. The postcard campaign would generate roughly 50 calls at a 5% response rate… the cost per call would be $20.00 a piece. The Yellow Letter Marketing Campaign, on the other hand, would generate roughly 150 calls at a response rate of 15%… the cost per call would only be $6.67 a piece. So even though the Yellow Letter marketing campaign costs more initially, your “cost-per-call” is significantly reduced. Overall, we find the Yellow Letter marketing to be highly cost effective against other forms of directmail marketing pieces.
There are 2 ways that you can send out Yellow Letters – you can do it yourself, or you can outsource them by ordering through a mailhouse. If you want to do it yourself, you’ll need to buy Yellow Notepads, Red Ink Pens, Stamps, and Invitation Envelopes. The cost will be a bit less if you opt to do everything manually, but you have to think about the time you are investing. Does it makes sense for you to handle writing, stamping, stuffing, and mailing all those letters? Does it make more sense to pay a tad more so that your time can be free’d up and invested in other activities that will yield a better return? It completely up to you. I’ve certainly done both methods before. Especially for those just getting started, it may make sense to save some money by using the do-it-yourself method. That’s how I started out – it didn’t take long though for me to realize that the time I was spending writing Yellow Letters myself, was time that I wasn’t able to invest into activities that were of a higher importance to our business. That’s why at this point, we opt to order everything and let the mailhouse handle all the work for us.
One mailhouse that does great work is Yellow Letters Complete. There’s a load of good information on their site, and they really go above and beyond by supplying plenty of relevant information – which is especially beneficial for people who are new to using this particular marketing piece. While you are there, be sure to take a look at their “ROI Calculator” tool – it basically let’s you get a forecast of the results you can expect from a particular marketing campaign. Again, the best thing about outsourcing your Yellow Letter Marketing Campaign is that you can focus your efforts on activities that tend to add the most revenue to your bottom line such as making offers, following-up, planning your next campaign, building your business, etc.
So there you have it. Far and away, the Yellow Letter is our favorite piece to use when we are doing a mailing campaign. The response is always high and predictable – so much that you can really plan within a few percentage points what the response rate is going to be for each mailing.
For us, Yellow Letter marketing is the piece to use when we want to get our direct mail message read by as many people as possible. There’s just no arguing with the numbers – it’s the highest converting piece of mail that we use.