“Geo farming” is the process of flooding a neighborhood or neighborhoods with direct mail campaigns to help generate leads and referrals. Despite what some people may think, direct mail marketing is not dead; it’s actually a great way to drive traffic to your website and boost the effectiveness of your online marketing in addition to generating leads on its own.
The U.S. Postal Service offers a resource called Every Door Direct Mail®, or EDDM®, that is an excellent tool for geo farming. It helps provide small businesses like real estate agents with bulk mailing services that are less expensive than using a commercial printer. Instead of relying on a commercial mail house, you can buy postage online and drop your mailers off at your nearest post office.
Using this service, you can mail up to 5,000 pieces. A double-sided 8.5-inch x11-inch sheet of paper can be printed for about half the price of a postcard stamp. This gives you plenty of room to share testimonials and personal data to introduce yourself as a friendly and dependable local agent, but also to showcase multiple listings to potential buyers.
Additionally, you can reference free demographics about your chosen mailing route on the postal service website, which will help you tailor your content to a specific age or income bracket and put your featured listings in the hands of those most likely to buy.
The service is an excellent choice for urban or suburban neighborhoods, but because it has a maximum mailing radius of five miles from a specified address, it’s not ideal for selling in rural settings or larger geographical areas where homes tend to be more spread out. It’s also not a good option for commercial agents because business addresses cannot be targeted exclusively.
Here are some great ways to use the service to drive website traffic and improve your email and social media marketing.
1. Build your email list.
Create an eye-catching landing page that requires users to enter their email address and opt in to your email marketing campaign in exchange for a free information product (a detailed guide to home staging or a packing guide, for example). Then, add the link or a QR code to your mailer so people can access it easily.
2. Create a contest.
People love the chance to win something, so advertise a contest on your website and social media with a prize like “dinner and a movie” for newly moved-in couples or 40 free large packing boxes for people who are getting ready to move. Add it to your direct mailing campaign with a link or QR code that leads to a landing page where contestants must enter their email address and opt in to your email campaign to sign up. Do a contest or giveaway every month and mention past winners in your marketing to strengthen your credibility.
3. Build your brand.
Use catchy wording and pleasing graphics to make you and your brand stand out. Showcase your value by including pictures of your happy clients standing in front of their “sold” signs or in front of their new homes, and add testimonials that speak to your personality and professionalism. Focus your content on goings-on within the neighborhood you are farming and relevant real estate news or trends. List your social media information and ask readers to follow you to stay up-to-date. People will be more likely to follow you if they see evidence of your strengths and successes.
Expert real estate agents use every tool at their disposal to build their brand, expand their reach, and impress their clients. EDDM® is a tool that should be in every agent’s toolbox.