Success Stories: Using Direct Mail to Sell New Homes


It often helps to see how others are doing it, especially the ones who’re doing it with panache and a high degree of success. But it’s not quite enough to look at what they’re doing, it’s necessary to understand exactly what in their direct mail campaigns is hitting the spot amongst buyers, so you can apply similar strategies.

Story Telling

Despite the world population growing at a staggering rate, cities getting ever bigger and people living closer to each other than in previous generations, loneliness remains a problem as people grow older.

No wonder, then, that promising community, close neighbours and shared activities is a powerful motivator. Touchmark used just such an approach, playing on concerns and promising rescue from future isolation, with great success in a recent campaign.

People connect to people, so featuring community resident’s own stories as the lead marketing copy spoke directly to the target customer, creating an instant connection.

The company went one step further, creating four different versions to feature people with diverse interests. They sent out a different one each month, knowing that one of the residents hobbies or activities would strike the right chord. The main purpose was to invite recipients to two events, and with attendance rising by 25%, the strategy worked.


Whether your printed marketing materials goes out to 50 people or 50,000, making each recipient feel as though they received something just for them opens their hearts and minds like little else. We all like to be included, after all.

That’s what Traditions of America did when they sent out personal invitation postcards with a larger than standard format, inviting recipients to a grand opening of several new model community homes. They also used these winning tactics to make the mailer seem even more personal:

  • Photos of people similar to them
  • Interior and exterior photos so people could imagine themselves living there
  • Activity based shots showing the ‘fun’ in the community
  • An old-fashioned RSVP designed to appeal to the age group targeted
  • A dedicated Landing page to capture and record respondents details

The more ‘inside your customer’s head’ you can get, to make them feel personally invited and welcome, the more response you’ll have from direct mail.

Community Triggers

The Palace used community triggers along with a story telling strategy when they sent out direct mail featuring previous residents of the recipient’s towns and neighbourhoods.

Knowing that an invitation from someone you know is more powerful than one from a stranger, making the ‘local’ connection created a unique slant. It invited a closer look inside the mailer, which went on to describe how life had changed for the previous residents since they moved, and closed with a ‘friendly lunch invitation’.

The thing all these campaigns have in common is their relaxed approach, their informal copy, and the use of real people in the photographic illustrations. They all add up to highly personal campaigns that speak deeply to the common concerns, hopes and future aspirations of the target market.

Direct Mail Best Practices