Comprehensive Guide On Mortgage Direct Mail Marketing

Comprehensive Guide On Mortgage Direct Mail Marketing
12 April, 2024 • ... • 35 views
Varvara Potekhina
by Varvara Potekhina

Direct mail still rules. High open and response rates make it an attractive marketing channel for different companies, including real estate. Using property addresses and creating comprehensive mailing lists also open new opportunities for real estate agents. 

This article is about crafting effective direct mail mortgage campaigns — keep reading to learn the tips on using direct mail to generate more leads.

What is mortgage direct mail?

Mortgage direct mail campaigns involve sending printed letters to recipients’ home addresses. You can send different types of printed items from short and sweet postcards to catalogs. Here’s an example of what it may look like:

A letter with a description of the mortgage program at Union Bank
Source: The Addressers

Long story short, mortgage direct mail is like a personal door-to-door sales team that costs you much less than the real one. Even better, it is also laser-targeted and trackable.

Benefits of direct mail for mortgage companies

Why direct mail marketing when you can do all the stuff online? Why print materials, why pay for distribution? Let’s explore the benefits of the channel for mortgage companies to find the answers.


In 2022, the average ROI of direct mail campaigns was 43%. As a comparison, the ROI for email marketing campaigns was only 32%. That means you get more profit for every dollar you invest in your direct mail campaign.

Graph showing that direct mail has the highest ROI compared to email, social media ads, paid search, SMS, and digital display
Note how drastically direct mail outperforms all other ad media like paid search and SMS. Source: Statista

Increased open and response rates

Direct mail overcomes email marketing in terms of open rate. It varies for different industries, but the range is between 57.5 and 85%. At the same time, the average open rate for emails is only 34.2 to 40.55%. Direct mail also gets more responses. The average response rate for direct mail falls between 2.7 and 4.4%. For emails, it is only 0.6%.

That means, the chances for your mortgage offer to be noticed and responded to are relatively high, which is a sound advantage.

Customization opportunities

Direct mail lets you find your customers in the exact area or even the exact building. Real estate email marketing campaigns can’t help you with that — people rarely provide their home addresses online. If you are interested in those who live in a certain district or near certain objects, direct mail is the best choice for you.

Direct mail also creates unique “mail moments”. People still love touching postcards and opening the envelopes, emptying the mailbox, and checking what’s in there. So, printed letters feel more personal and evoke more emotion than digital messages.

Types of direct mail for mortgage companies

There are several types of direct mail pieces to choose from based on your goals, budget, and audience. You can test different pieces to see which formats promote your services more effectively. The most popular mortgage direct mail types are postcards, catalogs, flyers, and brochures.

Direct mail and email marketing are different in terms of implementation but they’re not that different when it comes to content. Browse our real estate newsletter ideas for inspiration on your direct mail campaigns.


Postcards are small printed items with bright illustrations and a short copy on one side, and space for handwriting on the other.

Postcards are the most affordable type of direct mail, both in terms of production and distribution. Apart from the standard format, there are also enlarged layouts of postcards aimed to make them more noticeable in the mailbox.

A postcard with a mortgage offer
Source: MyCreativeShop


Catalogs are books with a list of positions and brief descriptions.

Designing, printing, and distributing catalogs can cost you a penny so one edition per quarter or even a year is enough. The format of the catalog allows for providing loads of useful information. It can become a table-top book for a mortgage seeker, a textbook including everything a novice needs to know about mortgage offers.

You can give a full description of mortgage products, tips on accessing them, a glossary with general terms, and tables comparing different products and services in terms of key features and underwriting requirements.

The cover of the Detroit mortgage catalog
Source: Detroit Future City
Key terms of the Detroit mortgage catalog
Source: Detroit Future City
Tips on accessing the mortgage products in the Detroit mortgage catalog
Source: Detroit Future City
The table showcasing the government-sponsored mortgage programs in the Detroit mortgage catalog
Source: Detroit Future City


Similar to postcards, flyers are small printed items but they’re usually printed on thinner paper and contain more text.

Flyers are great for spreading the latest news and special offers or just to make a bright reminder. They are quite cheap to design and print and can be a stand-alone item in the mailbox. Here’s a template you can use for inspiration.

A flyer on mortgage services
Source: Template Net


Brochures are small magazines that can be folded. They are dense but contain much more text than postcards or flyers. They let you include more detailed information in your marketing material. For example, you can give a solid description of the offer and possible services, show the real estate in detail, and provide customer reviews. 

Brochures are more expensive to design and print so it is not a solution for weekly distribution. It might be a good idea to produce brochures monthly to bring the freshest updates on mortgage programs, offer new properties, and spread other news.

A brochure on the mortgage services
Source: MyCreativeShop

How to optimize your mortgage direct mail marketing strategy

Each direct mail campaign is a unique field for experimentation — it’s always best to test different formats and analyze results to learn what fits you best. However, several universal tips will open valuable brand-building and lead-generating opportunities.

Set your goals

The final goal of any marketing campaign is closing more sales. But you need to specify the tasks that will lead you to that big goal for each campaign. For example, if your business is new to the area, the task for the first campaign can be introducing your services to potential customers and making a great first impression. Forcing sales without further ado at this stage can make you look unpleasantly pushy.

Next task can be becoming top-of-mind when it comes to mortgages. You may gather professional events for that, so the goal of your direct mail campaign will be to get more people to visit them. Next, you can start collecting leads.

You can come up with different on-the-fly tasks like informing about new mortgage regulations and programs or presenting new properties. Keep your goal in mind to make your message clear. 

Define your target audience

The more relevant your message to the exact recipient, the higher your chances to get a response. The key to success is sending a perfect offer to every member of your target audience. 

There are different techniques to narrow down your target audience. The general approach is imagining you want to buy a certain house and trying to figure out what interests you most. Having a clear vision of your target audience will also help to create perfect mailing lists. It can also help to choose the right time for a contact.

For example, families with babies may have less time and focus than others: they may benefit from your visit much more than from a huge catalog of programs. It might be a good idea to offer them one and underline that you understand how busy and tired they are now and that you want to help. Families having a second or third kid can be extremely interested in buying a larger house, so that should be the focus of your message. Singles with proper jobs and high income can take comfort and prestige into account — make it the bottom line. 

Find out what interests your potential customers before you start crafting your direct mail campaign. That will make your messages more relevant and engaging. Many mailing list companies offer lists with lots of intel on your future recipients, some of which are:

  • Estimated household income
  • The age of a recipient
  • The number of children and their age
  • Birth month
  • The unit type
  • The length of residency

For example, you can create a unique list of families with an elder child who starts school and a newborn baby, who live in a two-bedroom apartment and have an income large enough to qualify for a mortgage.

Decide on the content

When you have certainty about your goals and the target audience, it’s time to decide on the content and type of direct mail piece. If you’re going for a presentation of housing, you will need high-quality pictures and the property description. If it is some kind of educational material on mortgage rules, you need a clear and detailed guide on the topic. If you are presenting your services as an agent, you’ll need customer reviews and a nice picture of you.

Here’s an example of an agent’s self-presentation. It only has a customer review, but it covers it all. It works much better than a long list of achievements and a boring professional biography.

A postcard with a real estate agent’s customer review quote
Source: Who’s Mailing What!

Personalize your content

Personalization is not just calling people by their names. It is also about sending a perfect offer to every member of your target audience, which gives you higher chances to get responses and close sales. It is not only about being nice and making a good impression — it is about sending the right message to the right person. The more detailed your personalization, the higher your chances of collecting new leads. 

In mortgage direct mail, you can tailor a perfect offer for each recipient. You can use such data as the number of inhabitants, the floor area, the number of bedrooms, and so on. You can craft a proposal taking these numbers into account to make it as useful as possible.

In the example below, the sender analyzes the recipient’s current loan and makes a better offer with a lower rate. The company provides certain numbers for each householder to highlight the offer’s money-saving value. 

This direct mail campaign also uses Google Street View, which is a relatively new personalization trend. The program matches addresses from your mailing list to Google Maps locations. Then it takes real street view images and places these on your direct mail piece.

A personalized direct mail mortgage offer to make a reloan on a better rate
Source: The Addressers

Test and analyze the results

While you can’t run an automated A/B test with direct mail, you can still test campaigns before sending. In this case, the solution is a smaller pre-launch marketing campaign to test different formats and see what receives the best response. This will let you find out what works for your business before exhausting the budget. 

Testing or not, you should track the success of every campaign to use the insights for improving future results. The most common tool for tracking direct mail engagement, aside from counting responses, is QR or coupon codes. When the recipient scans the QR code or uses the coupon code, it becomes possible to track the customer’s path in detail. To make this trick work, include a clear call to action to let the recipient know what to do with the tracking code.

Best examples of mortgage direct mail

Now, let’s browse some great examples of mortgage direct mail for inspiration.

The following postcard has a very clear offer and a direct call to action. The question catches the eye immediately. The solution is provided right on, followed by the contact details. A short copy and a balanced layout make it easy to read.

A postcard with a mortgage offer targeted to families with children
Source: PostcardMania

The following brochure is another great example of mortgage direct mail. The chosen format assumes including more detailed information for thoughtful reading. The headlines promise the value of reading. The brochure includes a clear call to action.

A brochure on mortgage and loan services
Source: Venngage Inc.
A brochure on mortgage and loan services
Source: Venngage Inc.

Final thoughts

When you keep your goal in mind and have a clear and detailed understanding of your target audience, direct mail can become an amazing lead generation tool. High open and response rates give you great chances to make more sales.

Keep in mind these key takeaways to make your mortgage direct mail campaign work:

  • Define and segment your target audience
  • Set up clear goals for each direct mail campaign
  • Pay attention to your mailing lists
  • Use the customization opportunities
  • Try different direct mail formats from postcards to lengthy catalogs
  • Test and analyze the results
  • Learn from the best by browsing direct mail ideas
Article by
Varvara Potekhina
A marketer keen on writing. Experienced in PR, marketing and editing. Writing for Selzy I practice both my editing and marketing skills. I managed email marketing in almost all the projects I worked with for the last 10 years. My interests lie in IT, education and traveling.
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