EDDM Real Estate Farming Postcards Explained


If you are not already taking advantage of a relatively new service (first implemented in the spring of 2011) offered by USPS, you are missing the wagon. But it is never too late! In case you are farming a certain geographical area, you can’t beat the price of USPS EDDM – for 16 cents a piece, your large real estate farming postcards are delivered to every mailbox on the postal carrier route.

What is EDDM and how can it be used for real estate farming? EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is USPS door to door direct mail delivery that enables you extend your customer reach via saturation mail without the need for mailing lists, permits and fees and expenses associated with them. It is direct mail marketing that doesn’t require you to apply individual names and addresses on each mail piece. By using an online tool, you pick an area of delivery by ZIP code, city, or targeted area around your JUST LISTED house. After identifying a number of active households, the tool will estimate your postage, allowing you to extend or minimize the area to meet your budget (you have to use or drop the whole route though), and prepare and print all necessary documentation to take your mailing to the post office.

Most real estate agents will choose EDDM retail for their door to door direct mail. First step would be to register using Business Customer Gateway to access the online tool. The process is quick and easy and you will have instant access to step 2 allowing you to select delivery route in addition to approximating mailing costs. Online tool displays the number of residential and business households in selected routes (you can select business and residential or residential only) and approximate cost of mailing. By checking and unchecking certain routes you can reach your targeted budget. Sometimes, even if you choose neighboring routes, it may require you to drop off your mail in different locations, as these routes will be serviced by different USPS branches. It that case, you’ll get an alert message that your selected area requires multiple drop off locations. It is possible to continue with your order or remove that route from your selection.

Remember, that as with any direct mail advertising, consistency is the key to success. You are better off mailing once a month for six consecutive months to the same area than targeting six-times bigger geographical area only once with your EDDM postcards and expecting results. But real estate gurus will tell you that if you pick an area with great turnover rates (using MLS) and then target it for at least six months with clear message, your brand and a call to action you are guaranteed a listing windfall for your efforts.

There are a few restrictions for EDDM real estate farming postcards:

• They must qualify as USPS flats
• Each mail piece must be at least .007” thick (approx. 3 sheets of copy paper)
• They cannot exceed 3.3 oz. in weight

Many of real estate postcard printing companies that specialize in EDDM postcards offer a variety of every door direct mail templates to choose from. Most popular sizes are: 5”x11”; 6.5”x9”; and 6”x11”. Some of the EDDM services will even provide bundling and paperwork preparation for you. All you have to do is to take your box to the Post Office and pay the postage fees. If it is out of state printing house, they can’t do it for you as it has to be dropped off at the local USPS branch.

Before using USPS online tool to pick your routes, you may find beneficial to register for free and use www.melissadata.com for your first research state. After you register for your free account, you’ll be able to pull carrier routes by ZIP code and in addition to data that USPS provides, see also the average household income and estimated property values, which will give you greater insight into picking the right area for your real estate farming.

Another advantage of USPS door to door direct mail is its timing.
Let’s say you just took the listing in the neighborhood and it is imperative that you announce it to your farm as soon as possible. If you print a regular size postcard and mail it using Bulk Mail, it may take up to 2 weeks (10 business days according to USPS estimations) for it to reach your prospective clients. In today’s fast-paced market, in 2 weeks the listing may be pending sale and clients calling you on it will be very disappointed. With EDDM, after you drop off your real estate farming postcards, they are ready to be delivered next day and it usually takes 2 days for them to be placed in the hands of your prospects. The meaning of “JUST listed” will not be lost in the mail.

Another advantage of sending oversized EDDM real estate farming postcards is obvious when you look at them in comparison with other mail pieces – it is size that matters. There is no sliding scale for mailing qualified every door direct mail postcards – no matter what size you pick it is a fixed rate of 16 cents. So, why not pick the biggest size? Printing may not cost you much more and you have enough space to deliver your message clearly and with a bang.

It is almost like sticking a small billboard in the mail – it overpowers all the competition. EDDM is also the only type of mail which allows UV coating on both sides which makes your card even more attractive. As there are no addresses or mailing labels to imprint on the pieces (they all have the same label “LOCAL POSTAL CUSTOMER”) both sides can be glossy and the whole mail piece will win in the eyes of your clients.

Use your advertising real estate space wisely! Both sides of the postcard (minus small area for label and EDDM indicia) allow plenty of space for your message, “JUST LISTED” or “JUST SOLD” ads and possibly even space to team up with some local restaurants or businesses to split up the costs. While picking up partners in advertising, choose businesses that your average family will most likely use on a regular basis: pizzeria, family style Italian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, dry cleaning, coffee shop, pet grooming, pet sitting, etc. Clients getting your card with a valuable coupon on the back will most likely put on their fridge to use later vs tossing it in the recycling bin if it only contains the message how good you are in selling homes and how many awards you got last year. You can also team up with businesses in the related fields such as roofing companies, window replacement services, cleaning and landscaping services.

Keep in mind that your goal is to retain your existing clients and find new ones and the best way of doing it is to provide something valuable in exchange for looking at your advertisement. Delivering valuable coupons from local businesses that everyone can use, does just that.  When time comes to sell their home or answer a real estate related question, your card with phone number and unused coupon will be within your clients reach instead of your competition utilizing advertising space just for boasting their achievements and sales awards.


Your real estate postcards ideas should not be limited to only Just Listed or Just Sold postcards!

Become an expert in your neighborhood! Your real estate prospecting postcards must have QR code and links to the pages of your website with information on affordable and reliable local babysitters, handy men, dog sitters or anything else that would be of interest to that particular community. Many of top realtors use similar creative real estate farming postcards ideas, plus, some of them even developed cartoon characters for their newsletters and farming postcards.

Remember, Real Estate Marketing Postcards do NOT have to be Boring!

*Don’t forget other ways to use EDDM mailers for collecting emails addresses for you email marketing and generating traffic to your website. Read more about  postcard marketing, real estate farming and combining online and offline marketing methods.

Top Reasons Why Marketing with Real Estate Postcards Fails For Some…


In our 20+ years in real estate marketing we often come across real estate agents who claim that marketing doesn’t work for them. Often it is not just particular kind of marketing, such as real estate newsletters or postcards – usually they will come of with a blanket statement such as “None of the usual marketing techniques work for my market niche.” Though it can be true for some luxury real estate in 10 million+ price range which requires a whole new approach to marketing, the statement that “real estate postcards don’t work for me” can’t be true because of the nature of farming postcards. It can only be true if you don’t use them right. Marketing postcards work fine for millions of small business owners, professionals, and real estate agents. If you realized that they don’t work for you, stop and analyze what are you doing wrong.

Marketing may not bring results you are hoping for because of many reasons. To summarize all kinds of objections and pitfalls on the way, the main categories will be “not now”, “no money”, “no trust”. When on a first glance all these obstacles have nothing to do with you, an agent, as they reflect the circumstances of your potential clients. Though if you look closer, you’ll see that they are under your control.

If you are sending your postcards to people who just purchased a new home or dealt with foreclosure, your rate of response will be low and you’ll probably hear “not now” if you contact these clients directly.

So, why are you targeting the segments of population that have no need in your services? Be careful when you are choosing an area to mail to: analyze how often people move, don’t target areas that are too new, or retirement communities were people plan to stay for the rest of their lives. If you mail to a regular neighborhood with an average turn around time, you’ll probably hear a lot of “not now” too, but it will be “not now … yet” if you listen closely. Your task will be to educate, form and strengthen trust, explain and stay in touch, provide service such as special offers from local lawn moving and pest control companies, so you can turn that “not now” into “probably, in 3 months” and then “now we are ready.” Be patient and persistent and you will see results.

Many agents mail postcards once into an area and when they don’t see immediate results, say, “Real estate farming postcard marketing doesn’t work.” In reality, YOUR postcard marketing didn’t work because you gave up instead of repeating your mailing many times on a regular basis. It is a proven truth in marketing that targeted repeated mailings are the cost-effective way to create big results. If you do regular mailings of your real estate postcards every 30 days you will increase your business dramatically through gaining listings in that area and referrals through new and past clients. We’ve seen agents turning their business around completely by just sending JUST LISTED and JUST SOLD postcards in the area every month. You’ll most likely start seeing results in 3-4 months. More business you get, more money you’ll be able to invest in your marketing which will bring even more results. It doesn’t take a CPA certification to see that with volume pricing for real estate farming postcards it makes sense to print 2,000-3,000 postcards for repeated mailings instead of 10 orders of 200-300.

You’ve probably heard an objection “we can’t afford to move” from your clients when in reality they can’t afford to stay. It is your job to analyze their particular situation and come up with solutions. The best real estate agents are educators at heart and very patient ones. If you concentrate all your marketing efforts on pushy sales tactics and boasting your achievements, you’ll see less results than an agent who puts his clients needs first and it is reflected in his/her marketing. Try to be a problem solver rather than a bragger, and you will slowly earns your clients’ trust. Volunteer in your community and advertise community events through your postcards. Offer free maintenance tips and staging consultations. Print coupons for local coffee shop instead of promoting your latest sales award. Show your clients that a small increase in interest rates may price them out of the market for good if they don’t act now. Basically, “show them the money” when they don’t even know where to look and be their best advocate.

One of the other common causes that your marketing with real estate postcards doesn’t work is that you loose your clients’ trust when you don’t communicate clearly. While a guide to creating postcard advertising that works is a whole new topic in itself, we should mention that it all starts with a clear message. You only have a fraction of a second to grasp and keep your prospect’s attention. If your farming postcard is cluttered with multiple competing messages, images and information, you will most likely loose them without delivering your main idea or offer. Examine your postcard closely. Ideally, there should be only one clear message that should occupy 20% of the space and be short and bold. Anything that slows down your reader, clutters the postcard with unnecessary details should be taken out. You are better providing these details on your website through the QR code printed on the postcard – it will serve dual purpose of keeping your message clear and bringing additional traffic to your website.


Buyer’s remorse or seller’s cold feet is more than buzz-word – it is a reality that you, as a real estate agent, have to deal with on day-to-day basis. People are afraid of loosing (money or family home that holds so many memories of happy days) and that feeling may be stronger then desire to buy a new home that will benefit them in the years to come. You’ve been in their shoes too, even when it involves a much lesser purchase than real estate. Your job is to understand and help them overcome their fears by clearly communicating the process and all its pitfalls without sugar-coating the truth. Trust is strengthened when you help them avoid and solve the problems, not mask them and pretend that they don’t exist. You can’t build trust out of thin air.

Your postcard marketing should be those drops of earned trust that fill the ocean over the years, with one good advice and deed after another. Your community involvement and volunteer work, help when its needed, and desire to answer questions are the building blocks of trust that make you “their friend in real estate” over the years. You can’t achieve that with just 1-2 mailings in the neighborhood, but only with significant presence in the farm over a long period of time. So the agents that try to persuade you that “postcard marketing doesn’t work” during the break near the company’s cooler or coffee maker, haven’t tried it long enough.
They gave up too soon.
You shouldn’t.