Will Direct Mail make a Comeback in CRE?

by CoyDavidson on August 15, 2010

Rethinking Direct Mail to Market Commercial Real Estate

One of my favorite bloggers to follow is Joe Pulizzi, a leading author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. Joe is the founder of content matching site Junta42. This blog looks at the trends in content marketing, and how marketers can learn to think and act like publishers.

Joe recently posted a blog titled “7 Reasons Print Will Make a Comeback in 2011”. In his post Joe asked the question: Have you noticed how many less magazines and print newsletters you are getting in the mail these days? This got me to thinking, yes that’s true, my office mailbox rarely has more than 3 or 4 pieces of mail in it every day.  As a result I tend to pay a lot more attention to what’s in there and I am much more likely to read it. Joe went on to say; “There’s just less mail, so more attention is paid to each piece. Opportunity?  Less traditional publishers are printing magazines today, which leaves opportunities for content marketers”.

On the other end of the spectrum, last Thursday I traveled to Austin to tour office buildings with a client who is opening an office in that city. As a result of spending the entire day focused on viewing office space with my client, I was paying little attention to the email coming through on my iPhone, other than an occasional glance to see if there was anything that required urgent attention. At the end of the day I had over 600 emails to wade through and the bottom line is that only 25-30 of those emails, less than 5% either required my attention or was interesting enough to read beyond the subject line.

Now back to the office mailbox, I remember how many office building flyers I used to receive in the mail from leasing agents that went immediately in the trash. Now, they all come electronically and I rarely read them unless it happens to be a flyer that catches my attention because I am representing a client with a space requirement in the submarket of the advertised building. There is one Landlord Representative in Houston that still sends out first class office building brochures for the properties he represents. You know where those brochures are?  They are stacked up neatly on one of the corners of my desk.

I am guessing I am not different than many brokers or tenants for that matter.  Are they reading the endless barrage of emails they get from the commercial real estate community? Are they reading the printed material that stands out and are they stacking it or filing it somewhere in their office for future reference. Research does show that e-mail marketing is effective. People today are accustomed to getting information electronically. However, maybe it is time to rethink direct mail for marketing commercial real estate, what do you think?

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