Why Your Yellow Letters Are Not Working

Beginning investors carry so many assumptions as to why this or that isn’t working. The direct mail silver bullet, “the yellow letter,” is not immune from such assumptions. It’s a wonder any new person ever finds success with the yellow letter, or any marketing piece for that matter, but so many do.

You know who these successful people are? The ones who run analytics on their operations. Now that may sound dry and boring, but if you want a profitable business, be it real estate or otherwise, you must inspect the results of your efforts.

There are three assumptions that I want to remove from your thinking right from the start. These are…

  1. My market is saturated with yellow letters
  2. Yellow letters don’t work in my area
  3. There aren’t enough deals (really?)

These excuses are just that, EXCUSES (and invalid ones).

There are investors using the yellow letter, making money and doing deals in every market. If you want to be one of them, you have to ditch the excuses and LOOK at the data.

Successful Real Estate InvestorBrad Donley of St. Louis, MO is one of those investors. As you can see by his photo, his yellow letter marketing strategy paid very well this month.

Okay, let’s assume you’re not making those excuses, you’re sending out letters, and still aren’t getting the response you want.

I hear this all the time, Matt! My yellow letters aren’t working. I’m spending all this money on marketing and not getting any deals. What’s going on?

Well let’s inspect.

What IS going on?

I’m going to give you a list of all the steps you MUST track for your campaign. If you’re not doing deals, pinpoint the step that’s failing and tweak it.

Here they are:

  • How many letters are you sending out?  You need to send out at least 20 letters per day, but keep in mind that the more you send out the better your results will be.
  • How often do you send them? Answer: If you’re not consistently sending them out 4-5 days per week, you’ll get less than desirable results.
  • How long have you been consistently mailing your letters? You must send your letters for 3-6 months (3 minimum), so budget accordingly.
  • How many phone calls are you receiving? If you’re not receiving any calls, it’s time to look at what you’re writing on the letters and who you’re sending them to. However, if you’re doing the first three steps, your phone is going to ring, I guarantee it. I receive about a 13% response rate over a year’s worth of tracking. A YEAR. Some months it’s 5% and some it’s 25%. Results vary from month to month, which is why you can’t do it for only a month or two.
  • How many people are you actually talking to? I see so many newbies not answering the phone or returning messages. Now THAT is wasted marketing money! Come on guys, you’ve got to answer the phone and/or return their messages and talk to them. In fact, you should make a 90-day commitment to pick up that phone whenever it rings. You’ll see better success if you talk to the sellers on their time, and their time is when they are calling you. Answer the phone.
  • What are you saying to the people when you pick up the phone? If you’re answering the phone and still no deals, you need to examine what you’re saying. Anyone can send letters, but this part of the game is where skill comes in to play. You’ve got to practice your rapport building and communication skills. On the first call you need three (3) pieces of intel. Why they’re selling, what the seller wants from you, and how fast they will sell if you can give them what they want. (I give you these exact scripts in my free course here) The rest of the conversation is about building rapport.
  • How many appointments are you running? Are you talking to motivated sellers and NOT setting appointments? First, don’t do that. Are you setting appointments and people aren’t showing? If no-shows are becoming a pattern, you need to examine what you’re saying to set the appointment. You’ve got to make them want to come.
  • How many offers are you writing? If you’re not writing offers and leaving them with the seller, then you’re not doing deals. You write your offer and you leave it, whether the seller wants it or not. If they won’t take it from you, mail it to them when you get home.

Do yourself a favor and be honest here. Nobody is judging, nobody is even watching except you. So fess up!

If your letters aren’t working, the culprit can be found in one of those steps. Guaranteed. In the last three years of my young coaching career, I’ve yet to find an exception. Not one.

You know what else I get a lot of? “Matt, my phone is ringing but NONE of them are deals, and on top of that these people be crazy!”

Let me share my numbers with you. I get about one deal for every 35 calls I take. That means I’m talking to 34 crazy people and dud deals before the gem shows up. And those are my results over time, with practice. So EXPECT to talk to at least 34 people before you have a deal. Don’t worry about the loonies and people you can’t help. Just thank them for calling and move on.

Yellow letters are only a tool to get your phone ringing. They’re ONE piece of the great real estate lead generating machine. So before you blame failure on them, you have to look at how you’re running your business. You’ve got to analyze it under a microscope. That’s what successful business people do. That’s what you’re going to do.

I have a heap of free resources that will make this process much easier. You can download an excel spreadsheet to track your activities and scripts to follow for your seller calls. I’ve packaged them up and handed them to you – USE THEM. If you don’t know how, I show you in my free course here.

It feels great to have tangible data, I promise. Now, go forth and track your awesomeness.


  1. Thats right I fully agree I’m sending out about 10 to 15 daily but I havent hit my first deal from a yellow letter yet looks like I need to step it up. I do have something Im trying to figure out Do you resend to your list after a few weeks and if so do you send them the same kind of yellow letter?

  2. Hey matt great stuff question Do you resend to your list of sellers after a few weeks if so do you resend the same exact yellow letter mail? this would really help me out I have lists Ive bought a couple months ago but I’m eager to buy a new list as I need to increase the volume of calls I get thanks!

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