Please help diagnose this failing marketing campaign?

I launched my first product two weeks ago. It's B2C where I'm targeting specific real estate owners that I've identified as likely to save money with my service. I'm able to make an offer like "I think I can save you $n/year. Visit this personal URL to see how." Where n is somewhere between $500-$5000 and I'm asking $20-$80 for the service.

Sent 200 direct mail postcards to the property owners. 0.5% made it to the website. Zero conversions.

I'm in the process of gathering emails for these prospects and cold emailing to see if I can salvage anything but having trouble finding reliable email addresses by mailing address. So far these have had low click through, zero conversions, and one reply with request for more info.

I'm kind of shocked by the lack of conversions because this seems like a compelling offer to me. Most of these prospects really could save a good chunk of money but nobody is clicking through.

Any suggestions appreciated.


  1. 5

    When you're just starting out, it's a good rule of thumb to focus less on pushing your offer onto customers, and more on pulling information from your customers.

    You obviously think you have a compelling offer for these property owners.

    But you're doing something wrong...

    And by pushing your marketing onto them, you've learnt pretty much nothing about why they aren't buying, or what you can do to change that.

    So, my advice is to go old school.

    Pick up the phone. Go door to door. Meet these people and understand their pain (and the way they talk/think about it).

    When you really, really understand that, it'll be super obvious to you how to market your product. Because they'll have told you how to!

    Good luck :)

    1. 2

      I would 100% double down on this statement. Great advice 🙌

      As someone who has read "The Lean Startup", has heard the "Build something people want", "MVP, MVP, MVP", and "You got to be at Product Market Fit before marketing and growth" over a thousands times, and STILL did it wrong many a times before...

      This ☝☝☝

  2. 1

    The conversion from paper mail to url is generally much harder than digital t url. So that might be one issue. have you try facebook ads? even if it's not the same people if you find a similar segment of users you can use Facebook ads to test messaging.

    2- People are willing to do more not to lose something than to gain it. try inverting the message to "You are losing N money every year and you don't even know it. go here {url} to know why.

    3- if you can make it educational even better, try something like. "Learn the 3 ways your house is draining money from your pocket and how to stop it. {URL}"

    Again, is cheaper and more effective to test this kind of messaging on facebook ads and then turn the winner into a post campaing.

    Hope that helps

  3. 1

    Innovative idea. I wouldn't have been surprised if the title was, "How I sent 200 postcards and made $20,000 in a week... "

    I'd have done 4 thing a bit differently:

    1. The most obvious mistake you made was sending 200 all in one go. Don't put all your eggs in one bag, until you know it's the right bag. You could have sent 40 and analysed the results.

    2. With any cold email / call / postcard it's easy to miss the mark. The messaging in the postcard might have come across as too impersonal and "salsey". Sincerity is key. For example, I'd have started with something like, "Firstly, I know it's a bit odd to send a postcard to a stranger out of the blue ... "

    Calling out the "elephant in the room" (the fact that your sending postcards to strangers) is the best way to get rid of it.

    1. I'd also change the CTA from website link (impersonal) to phone call (personal). They're going to be thinking, "fuck this stranger who wants my money." So getting them on the phone softens them up. People buy from people they like. Whenever doing anything cold you need to do a bit of extra personal work to compensate.

    2. Before writing 200 from the same template. You really should have tested this template. I'd have done several drafts, got lots of feedback, iterated etc ...

    To be fair, you might have done some of these, so sorry if I sound patronising. It's a bold campaign, and in the long run the risk takers are rewarded :)

    From a broader perspective @louisswiss feedback is spot on. Before any kind of ambitious campaign like this you really need to know how to communicate well with your type of customer.

  4. 1

    Will be hard to cost effectively pull personal emails for targeted b2c customers. Can you run Facebook ads towards content that talks about how your service could save them money?

  5. 1

    I own real estate, and I get so, so many spam fliers in the mail. I toss all of them as soon as it says something about saving money or refinancing or Trump's new government program. If the call to action you mentioned is what you wrote on your postcards, I promise I would have tossed it without giving it a second thought.

  6. 1

    We've had a similar issue (apparently even when our service is free, you can't give away the prospect of saving thousands of dollars a month). I like @louisswiss's answer a lot, and that's something that we're moving towards with our outreach now -- figure out WHY they don't care about all the money they're wasting, etc. I also know that for a lot of our folks, the money they could save isn't necessarily worth the effort it would take, esp if there's not social proof there that it was worth someone else's while. I don't know what the content of the postcards was, but that might be worth looking into.

  7. 1

    So you are saying you only had 1 visitor from your 200 postcards? I am familiar with real estate marketing, and by googling it sounds like 0.5% isn't too abnormal, but your sample size is so small, that it's hard to say.

    You might need to increase the top of your funnel first.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Why does every SaaS website on Indie Hackers look exactly the same? 33 comments I'm a non-technical founder who built a fully automated, AI powered patient tracking platform with nocode tools (Mobius). AMA! 20 comments From K8s to Serverless and Back Again 14 comments How to find billion $ statup idea 10 comments Which startups started as a spreadsheet? 6 comments Why every founder should learn cold email (and some fundamentals) 3 comments