With email marketing that can be sent with the click of a button, lightning-fast social media tools, and the myriad other ways to generate leads online, is print marketing a thing of the past? Not so fast. Although print marketing is undoubtedly more expensive than digital campaigns, it should still be part of your overall lead generation strategy.

“A lot of people in real estate ask, ‘what’s the best way to generate leads?’” says Scott Irvin, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. “There’s not really one way. You’ve got to hit every different avenue available to you in order to be successful.”

And, Scott practices what he preaches. Since becoming a Market Leader customer in August of 2012, he’s used the Marketing Center to put together an arsenal of print marketing pieces that he uses to reach potential clients as part of his overall marketing strategy. His creations include ‘just listed’ and ‘just sold’ postcards, a door hanger for expired listings, a monthly newsletter full of local area statistics, tips for buyers and sellers, and listing spotlights that he produces independently.

He believes that there are three key best practices for creating successful print campaigns.

1. Testing your marketing messages

Print marketing costs money, and for that reason alone, it’s important to start by doing small print runs to test your messaging. Based on the response rate you receive, you’ll know what’s working and what’s not. That way, you can allocate the bulk of your marketing budget to the messaging that’s most effective, giving you the most bang for your buck.

“I do a lot of testing to see what works,” says Scott. “Whatever is working is what I’m going to continue on with and fine-tune.”

2. Maintaining consistency and patience

Second, consistency is key. And patience. Sending a prospect one single postcard is rarely enough to convert them into a client.

“The key is communicating over the course of six months, or maybe even longer,” says Scott. “For example, I got a lead from Market Leader back in September of 2012 and it just now turned into $20,000 in commission, between the new home the buyer purchased and selling their old house. It took eight months to develop the relationship. You’ve got to reach out and touch with consistency.”

3. Using a clear, concise call to action

Another important strategy is knowing what potential clients are looking for and providing a powerful call-to-action. For example, the number one thing that buyers are looking for is access to listings. And, sellers are always in search of the value of their current home as well as recent comps for their neighborhood. Your print marketing pieces should always speak to these needs.

And, your call-to-action should always be clear and concise and direct potential clients to your website, where you’ll be able to collect more information about their wants, needs, and potential timeline for buying or selling.

Print marketing can be an effective strategy, even for agents working with limited marketing budgets. “Yes, print marketing is an investment,” admits Scott. “But, it’s another way of getting yourself in front of prospective clients. I would suggest that, at the very least, everyone do at least ‘just listed’ and ‘just sold’ postcards. They’re a must for everyone.”

Check out additional resources on using print marketing: