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Case Study – Direct Mail Postcard Printing for the Real Estate Market

By: Shelby

Direct Mail Postcard Printing

If you’re in the Real Estate game, as an agent or broker, the name of the game when it comes to marketing your properties is Direct Mail Postcard Printing.  Whether you’re announcing a recent sale, a new open house or a hot property that is your pocket listing, postcards are a quick and easy form of getting the word out.  The only question you want answered from your direct mail print provider is how do I get the most bang for my buck. Sounds pretty straight forward, but with so many options and methods to print and mail, the answer is more elusive than you would think.

Options to consider that will help solve the “bang for my buck” question.

Since the size of a postcard can be as large as 6.125″ x 11.5″, there are many standard size options to choose from. Take a look at how much information you have or how big you want to make your message.  Obviously, if you just have 1 picture, you can mail a small postcard and qualify for the First Class 6″ x 9″ postcard rate.  But not so obvious is the fact that this smaller card is going to get lost in the stack of other mail being delivered to an address. So, as you know, bigger is better.

I tell all my clients to make the card as large as you can afford.  The postage for a 5″ x 7″ 1st class postcard is going to be just slightly less than the postage for a 6″ x 11″ marketing mail card and our mail preparation fee is he same. By now you should see the advantage to go big for your next Direct Mail Postcard Printing project and let your card stand out from the rest. Especially since the only price difference is the printing cost for a larger card.

Postcard Printing Completion times differ from vendor to vendor.

The next discussion we have is regarding how long it takes from receipt of your artwork to the day we drop the mail at the post office.  From discussions I’ve had with several agents, there usually is a strong desire to have this completed ASAP.  However, is paying for a digital job done in 2 days going to give you the best bang for your buck?  I say NO it’s not. Even though we group jobs together to run on the 40″ offset press, we can still complete an offset press printed postcard job in as little as 3 to 5 work days. The mail preparation process is usually only 1 more day to inkjet the addresses, sort, tray and get the job over to the presort post office.

So the final decision is up to you, but my opinion is that any direct mail postcard mailing for the Real Estate market can be handled in 5 to 7 work days more cost effectively than running it digitally. If you feel it’s absolutely necessary to have your postcards printed and mailed faster, we have the digital equipment for that too.  But just like the other 2 day vendor that is producing digital postcards instead of conventional offset printing, there is a cost associated with that speed of service.

Case Study: How we helped a real estate agent get to maximum bang for the buck on a postcard printing and mailing job.

After considering all the options, one of our Real Estate agent clients decided that 4.25″ x 6″ was too small but didn’t want to pay for the jumbo 6″ x 11″ card either.  So, a 5″ x 7″ postcard was what he felt would be the appropriate size for his twice a month direct mail postcard printing campaign.  But he was struggling with our stated 5 day production time.  Another vendor his office used was claiming to mail in 2 days from proof approval, but the cost was “astronomical”.  5 work days for SLB to complete the printing for his “JUST SOLD” postcard seemed excruciatingly too long to get the word out. But once approved, the job was printed in only 3 work days with 1 day in mail prep and then off to the post office.

We’re now mailing his “JUST SOLD” announcement postcards at least twice a month and at a much lower overall cost.  Even the postage is less than he was previously paying. How is this possible you ask? Postage is postage, right?  WRONG!  Using Automation Certified Presort Software we are able to provide the lowest postage rates to our clients.  The competition insisted on charging a fixed postage rate, never discussing how postage rates are determined. No mention of what the actual postage for his job was.  “This is really upsetting” said the agent upon seeing how much more the “experts” were gouging him on postage on top of the higher rate for digital printing. So just like in any real estate transaction, the cost you pay for a service or a great deal may really have hidden costs buried that you can’t see.

Just the Statistics Please

From the NPF website:

  • $0.332 is the 5 digit rate for USPS Marketing Mail Letters as of Aug 29, 2021
  • Response Rates: Display advertising .2%, Social Media Advertising 1%, Email Advertising 1%, Mobile Advertising 2%, DIRECT MAIL PIECES 3.7%
  • Less than 30% of email gets opened but over 80% of direct mail will be opened and looked at
  • People preferred the mail 70% more for receiving unsolicited offers from sellers
  • When Millennials were asked “Which is more effective at getting you to take action?”, direct mail 30% and only 24% for email.

Contact SLB Printing with our Contact Page!

Or, just give SLB Printing a call at 310-558-4752 or email to to discuss our direct mail services for your next Direct Mail Postcard Printing project. We mail for the fashion industry, furniture manufactures, non-profits and a host of other industries, in addition to the Real Estate industry, that know how beneficial Direct Mail Marketing is.   More information is available on our web site under Mailing Services.

Need to find a postage rate?  Here’s a quick link to the USPS Notice 123 for July 9, 2023

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