It’s Never Just a Card: Powering Your Business With Custom Greeting Cards
By Chip Barkel
I had just sold a million dollar condo, and my pipeline was empty. I had heard about SendOutCards, but I was skeptical about using it for lead generation. After all it’s just a card, right? Since, my pipeline was empty, I figured what did I have to lose?
I may as well try it. Within three weeks I had sent a Happy Spring card to a woman in my farm area that loved gardening. That card led to a $2.5 million listing. I was convinced.
Then, about a month later, an acquaintance in my cottage neighbourhood did me a big favor, so I sent a very personal Thank You card with brownies. She thanked me and told me I didn’t have to do that. “I know”. Six months later, she called to ask what her neighbor’s house sold for, then invited me to come and have a talk about selling her home. They didn’t sell right away, but I continued to send 4 or 5 cards a year. Last Spring she called and said it was time to sell and buy a condo. The buy and the sell was $5.2 million in volume. Looking back in her history, I had sent her 12 cards. Not bad ROI.
Another Happy Spring card I sent led to a phone call with someone in my database and she invited me to dinner. During dinner, she asked if she could refer her niece to me to buy and sell. Within 18 hours of meeting I had her and her husband under contract on their new home and subsequently sold their previous house. $1.7 million in volume.
Using Send Out Cards, I can design, create, and send very personal greeting cards, either alone or with gifts. Sometimes they are heartfelt cards: cards that I have never sent before to a specific person with heartfelt message. I sent a heartfelt card to the girlfriend of someone in my database. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though I had never met her, she was so touched she referred me to her hairdresser who wanted to buy a $2million property. That is obviously not why I sent the card.
I also use the SendOutCards system to send birthday cards schedule to arrive close to their birthday. In addition, I send group send cards for specific holidays: New Years (I’m likely the only card in their mailbox the first week of January), St. Patrick’s, Happy Spring, Easter, Father’s Day, National Ice Cream Day in July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I send about 10 cards a day.
Bottom line: it works! I received 40 referrals in 2018 and another 40 in 2019, totaling $41,000,000 each year. I have already gotten my first 2020 referral for about $800,000. It’s lead generation. It is still up to me to close. Some prospects will go with another agent, and some will delay selling for another year, but it feeds my business.
If I go on a listing appointment, I can take a photo of their house and send a heartfelt Thank You card from my car before I even drive out of the driveway. And when you send them a card with their house or family on it, they will not throw it away.
I don’t ask for business but my contact info and branding is on the back of every card (except Christmas).
I did a pop-by the week before Christmas with my very first client. She volunteered that she loves my cards and then went on to articulate exactly when I sent them. People notice.
On another listing appointment for a $3.5 million listing in March, the prospect was raving about how beautiful my Christmas card was. I thought to myself, “that was three months ago. Do I remember even one card I received last Christmas?”
She then went to her piano bench, lifted the lid and retrieved the Christmas card I had sent her. I was then able to explain why I chose the photos I chose, which were personal to me.
I can send unlimited heartfelt cards (including postage) for $97 a month and I can reduce to price of group sends and scheduled cards to $1.31 + postage by pre-paying for 300 cards by purchasing the system package. Brownies, cookies, and other gifts are extra, but very convenient to add for special clients.
I still send newsletters, do social media ads, and pop-bys, but the majority of my business comes from relationships I have built and nurtured using SendOutCards.
Remember in the beginning when I said it is just a card. Well, I was wrong. It’s never just a card. If done well, you will reach your audience on an emotional level with your heartfelt message and carefully curated photographs. And when the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th card arrives, they know it is genuine and not just a computer generated card on autopilot.
There is a quote I like from Theodore Roosevelt:
“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
SendOutCards shows them that you care.
I welcome anyone who would like to introduce SendOutCards to their business.
As a sponsor, I train, mentor, coach, support, and run a private Facebook group community for my down line.
Chip is a Realtor in Toronto and has been using SendOutCards for four years and can also be reached at email@example.com
If you’re looking for a easy to use CRM to keep track of your send out cards try Pipeline for just $9/month!