The 5 Essential Ingredients To A Pipeline Growing Letter Campaign

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We always say, when you have a lead source that works at a high level, stick with it. For Western North Carolina agent, Tim Johnson, one of his top lead sources is the letter campaigns he conducts to expired listings. When he first started lead generating in this capacity, he wanted to set himself apart from other agents who, like him, were making daily phone calls. Tim wanted to give people a reason to call him. And in the three years since he first initiated this campaign, he attributes roughly $500,000 in GCI to it. That’s a lead source worth continuing to be sure!

So what sets Tim’s letter campaign apart and makes it so beneficial to his pipeline?

1. He did research to select his target.

Tim targets expired listings because he knows that these are people who were once interested in selling their land or home and that they were okay with using an agent. He knew he didn’t want to target only current expireds, so he researches those listings that expired anywhere from six months to two years prior.

2. Selects the parameters.

When running reports on the expired listings, Tim sets a price point and geographic location he is comfortable with. For him, this is either homes or land that did not sell in a radius of up to about an hour and a half away. While at first he didn’t pinpoint particular price points, he’s increased his price point currently to focus on more luxury home and land listings.

3. Uses a consistent letter format.

Tim doesn’t differentiate between homes or land when sending letters – everyone receives the same one. The consistent parts of his letter include a standard opening paragraph explaining who he is, what his accomplishments are, why he’s reaching out, and what his team can do for the owner. It also includes his logo and contact information. And key to his letter writing campaigns is the large blank space at the bottom of the letter where he writes notes to the owner by hand.

4. Sets himself apart with key handwritten areas.

As Tim shared, the handwritten notes are the vital ingredient in his letter writing campaigns. Through his research, he finds two things that are either unique to the property or pull at the heartstrings and mentions them. Whether it’s something special about a room (“I love the golf room. I would love to tell you a story about playing golf with Tiger Woods.”), the view (“I can imagine drinking a cup of coffee overlooking this view you have.”) or a unique object visible in pictures (“I’d love to hear the story about the piano above the stove range.”), he shows he’s paying attention to what makes their property special to them. He also handwrites the envelope with his name and address, keeping any reference to his business off the envelope.

5. Determines three key goals for the letter campaign.

Tim has three main goals for each letter he sends. The first is to simply get the recipient to open the envelope. The second is to get them to read the letter. And the third is to get them to reach out to him via the contact information he includes. Tim believes that the reader’s eye travels down to the handwritten portion of the letter. And if they read this part, they’re more likely to read the rest of the letter. Therefore, it’s essential to make the handwritten notes stand out and be unique!

And his results speak for themselves. He currently sends about 100 letters every two weeks. Each letter costs him approximately $2 to send including postage. And for every 100 letters he sends, 12-15 of them reach back out to him. And each person that reaches back out to him gets added into his database for future touches.

Tim has learned a couple of key lessons from his experiences with letter writing as a lead generation pillar. First, it’s important to keep doing what works. He admits he’s moved away from sending the letters when his plate has gotten too full. And when he does that, his pipeline takes a hit a couple months down the road. Lesson learned! Having experienced first-hand what a big difference they make to his business, he keeps this lead generation source running no matter how busy his team gets. Second, he has learned that having a follow-up plan is essential to make sure that business doesn’t fall through the cracks. Instituting a follow-up plan (that of course, follows the Do Not Call regulations) has enabled him to add an additional 20-25 people from each campaign that he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to add to his database. That’s adds up over time to big numbers.

Have letter writing campaigns helped you to grow your pipeline? Let us know what tactics have worked for you!

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