Andy Detwiler with GoBig Printing and PRINTgenie share direct mail marketing secrets and trends for real estate professionals and small business.

The Data Driven Real Estate Podcast #30 – Direct Mail Marketing with Andy Detwiler GoBig Printing and PRINTgenie #DDRE30

Written by:
Aaron Norris
Written on:
January 14, 2021

Andy Detwiler, CEO of GoBig Printing and PRINTgenie, brings 30 years of design and technological expertise in both print advertising and web mediums. He was part of the team that built the very first on-demand, variable printing system. More recently, his team launched one-off mail capabilities. Don't miss this week as we explore trends in the direct mail space, the importance of great data, how better data leads to empathetic messaging, and new ways hyperlocal pros are dynamic data to create personalized and powerful campaigns that work.

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Show Topics

00:00​ The Data Driven Real Estate Podcast Welcomes Andy Detwiler from GoBig Printing and PRINTgenie

00:06​ What is PRINTgenie's ideal customer?

04:25​ How does direct mail changed over time?

06:34​ What percentage of total revenue should I be spending on marketing?

07:54​ What rate of return should my direct mail marketing produce?

13:15​ The list, the mailer, or the message? What's the most critical piece in direct mail campaign?

19:59​ Do small businesses require lots of data therapy?

27:18​ It's possible to trigger a single mail piece from dynamic data?

31:55​ What is variable printing?

45:28​ What makes up a good message?

54:04​ What are direct mail marketing trends we should watch in 2021?

Show Transcript

Aaron Norris  0:06  

Welcome back to the Data Driven Real Estate podcast, the podcast for real estate professionals dedicated to driving business using data. I'm Aaron Norris, along with Sean O'Toole with PropertyRadar and today in Episode 30, we have Andy Detwiler with GoBig printing and PRINTgenie. The direct mail game has completely changed over the last decade. In this week's show, we talk about trends in the direct mail space, including your minimum return rate you should be looking for, what's more important, your list or your message, and most importantly, how dynamic data and one-off printing completely changes the marketing game that much more. Don't miss this week. Hey, Andy, welcome to the show. So, nice to have you. Direct mail and technology don't always seem to go hand in hand. So, I've been very excited about this show for a while. What is your most, what is the best customer look like for you?

Andy Detwiler  0:56  

The best customer I think has a forward-thinking ideology on how to communicate with people, I think the best customer is independent of the market they're in or the type of vertical they're in. Has to know that you know, the certain basic elementary idea, idea, ideas behind. Static mail isn't so successful, but to know that if you do things in a multiple or sequential or you start to better understand the idea behind touching people many times I think that's the type of customer and client that I think is the ideal client, the one that says, 'Oh, yeah? oh, we can do that? I didn't know that's available, is that something that's available today? I didn't know that." And that's the ideal client. Of course, it's the ideal client that comes in and says this is specifically what we want. Like, the client yesterday knows exactly what he wants to do. But he doesn't know how to get there. He didn't know what data tools are available. He doesn't know what automation functions are available. His ask was, his ask at the beginning of this year is give me quotes on 125-250 and 500,000 direct mailers, letters, and I'm like, "Great, okay, that we can do." But then what, right? What's your plan is it just to, you know, to do that one hit wonder and, and hope that it works. And obviously, those types of that's my favorite client is the one that's receptive to, you know, to technology, to automation. So, and it doesn't have to be real estate. I mean, we work with agents, we work with investors. Maybe 18, 18 years ago, we started working with small businesses, that's how we kind of got started. And a lot of it was through the Dan Kennedy guys and Joe Polish, and these guys are marketers, they're good at it. And their communication tools are so necessary in the environment. And people don't get it. And they don't do that they don't follow those philosophies of authentic relationship building. You know, they're, you know, people come at it with hope marketing, and one hit wonders.

Aaron Norris  3:02  

I like that 'hope marketing'.

Andy Detwiler  3:04  

It is and, you know, and we're the, the work that, you know, the first level of defense when people come in and say, you know, you know, "what's your, your best marketing piece?" and it's like, you know, there's a side of me that has to have that empathy for. But you got to understand me too, my empathy and compassion for assisting someone who's trying to make a life out of whatever they're doing, and my compassion to assist them with my knowledge. Right? So, when they ask that question, it's like, there's a part of me that says, Oh, my God, you know, and then it's at the other time, it's like, well, they don't know. And most people don't. And it's like, any. And I actually, I did this conversation yesterday with someone, and he spoke a lot about the 80-20 rule and firing yourself. And just, it's a, it's a, not necessarily on coaching in the environment of real estate or investor or agent or small business, but just in general, as a business sense, as a CEO, or as an entrepreneurial person, you know, how you get yourself out of the way. He calls it, like the Fire Yourself Challenge, because you're just consumed with so many things. So, when, you know, when someone asks, what's your most favorite piece, or what's your most successful piece, it's like that just opens up a, you know, a lot of opportunity to have a conversation.

Sean O'Toole  4:25  

Y'all know everybody, everybody wants the easy button, right? They want to come in, they want to spend $100 on a 200 piece mailing and buy a house with $100,000 a profit or get a listing or get five listings, right? They think one 200 piece mailing, you know, they spend 50 cents a piece or whatever it's $100, that's a big thing and it's it's not close. So, walk us through, right. Set, set everybody's realistic expectations on you know using direct mail What is kind of, you know, reasonable response rates? How many pieces? Do you need to send the same person? Like, big picture? What is... what does that look like today?

Andy Detwiler  5:10  

Sure. And just, just to be fair, and transparent, and I can't be anything other than that I am what I am, you know, you get to this stage or otherwise, and you are what you are, right, no matter how you paint it. I've discovered that in the, in the two decades that we've been doing this, and the half a billion pieces of mail, we, we found that people don't generally come back to us, as we're not an agency, they don't come back to us and say, this work, this didn't. They do, they complain about it. But they didn't come to us and complain, but they go to a lot of people come in through us through coaching companies, right. So, they're learning from someone else. That's telling them what and how to do things, and they come in through us. And then that sets up the expectation, right, so we we define ourselves not as an agency level product, we're a DIY tool that was, that's what we've always done. But we are there to assist, and then to pass on the knowledge that we've learned across, you know, these, a lot of mail. And so, what I've done is in conversation with, with coaches, and pros and consultants, you learn a lot. And I, I try to paint this picture for those people that I do have conversation with. And if I do some coaching, it's not to coach as far as other than passing on my knowledge of what I've learned, but you're not paying me for coaching. That's not what we do. But if I were to paint that vision board, for people that were looking at direct mail as a, as a tool for communication and marketing, I would set the expectation that there's no one hit wonder, generally speaking, at the end of the year, nevermind pieces and count things like that, you're gonna spend roughly 30, 35% on your marketing, that's what it's gonna cost you at the end. So, back to the conversation about.

Sean O'Toole  6:59  

35% of your total revenue?

Andy Detwiler  7:01  

35% of your total revenue is going to be spent on marketing and the numbers, it's changed. So, I'm gonna start at a big, you know, at a 10,000 foot mark, and then I can bring it back into a guy who just wants to do direct mail. So, at the 10,000 foot mark, through conversations with coaches and consultants, and people that make a living, where people do call them back and say the response rates, because they don't call GoBig, or PRINTgenie or otherwise to say, this worked, and this is how many and then we don't track it and say, well, then this guy did the same card here, we don't do that. But in the, in the years of doing this, what we've find is that 35% of their gross or their dollars are spent on marketing, you can summarize it as in a more of a granular level that if I send out 1000, you know, pieces of mail, postcards, or other letters or otherwise, gonna hopefully get around that 1% that's what your goal is that 1%. So, if you kind of use that as your, your, you know, stake in the ground. Now, I'll tell you the variants on that too, but ...

Sean O'Toole  7:56  

10 calls. 10 calls on 1000 pieces. One percent.

Andy Detwiler  7:59  

That's what you do. There you go. So, then you can do the basic, you know, you create your, your, your vision, board of success and opportunity as a new entrepreneurial kind of guy. And remember, we see a lot of new investors and otherwise and seasoned people and they know better but, but if you do your 1000 postcards, you get that, like you said 10, 12, 14 calls. Now remember, of the 10 or 10 calls, or eight to 12 calls or otherwise, there's probably five or six that just are saying, you know, in a fast action want to get you know, in the investor space, what do you give me from my house, and there's no, there's no feel good moment, it's a quick call, it's cold and callous, there's not that, you know, that connection, that authentic relationship, it's just a quick thing. So,   that's, that's gonna wipe out just, you know, six people right there. But then after all that, and the hits and misses and the conversations, you're going to get to the two or three. And so, if you get that two or three out of 1000, that are like, 'Wait a second, I've got something going on here'. Now you can start to go and look at your numbers. And then what will happen is after you and you should send another 1000, it could go to the same people because a different percentage is going to open. And then because of time and circumstances a different set of those people will open, right? And then whatever at the end of that day, you're going to get another 10, 12 calls and of those two or three maybe that are serious, then so, now you end up with this, you know you do that third time your 3000 postcards or maybe 30 calls you've honed in on your conversation, and you're left with like a pool of six, you know, golden tickets, right? So, of the six in your hand, what can you do to them to retain them to continue the conversation with them, you know, to sell something, to flip something and in our space primarily, it's a flip and if you look at the average it's somewhere eight grand or something on a flip or something and in on an average national average, and you go 'Okay, cool. I spent what 1500 bucks on 3000 postcards', I, you know, I did do a deal, I did whatever you're doing in the investor space, I did make my seven to 8000 bucks. And so, you started to think of it, okay? That in a long-winded fashion will allow you to understand, you know, the vision board that we try to set up for you. So, now, then you get on the variance of the one, right? Then you can break down to Well, why wasn't it one and a half? Why was it, yesterday, this guy, he did 15,000 letters he was telling me, they had .03, so a third of a percent.

Sean O'Toole  10:26  

Right.

Andy Detwiler  10:27  

And so, then that led us to other conversations, which was okay. Let's take a look at your audience. Was it, you know, in the investor space, was it high equity absentee owners? Or what was their distress level? Was there anything in there that would have been at that, that would increase the response mechanism of that person receiving that thing that they got in the mail, right? And so.

Sean O'Toole  10:52  

Below 1%, you want to start looking at other factors like your making mistake in your, in your execution?

Andy Detwiler  11:00  

That's what I did. And so, you start to point that out, and I said, you know, better that we, you understand that like back to your question, or on my favorite customer, this was him, right? This would be my favorite, where you can have an educated, articulate conversation about the and the realistic expectations about life, right, and receiving a letter. That's, you know, that resonates with you at the time of distress. So, get into that, you know, he did 15,000, no vanilla type of mailers it was maybe high equity, or maybe someone was absentee owner or something. But it wasn't anything that was speaking the language of their pain at that moment, there was no empathetic, compassionate perspective. The piece he wasn't it was relevant in the, in the, in the terminology that we use to someone that has a house. But it wasn't, it wasn't relative to the fact that, geez, he's in distress, or he's a tax lien situation or probate, or he's got some real pain going on that's real life. And he's, he's, he doesn't give a crap about the things that he got in his mail. He's just going, you know, but, but if something lands, at the time that he is willing to receive it, right has to happen, then it can't happen the day before, has to happen at that moment in time that he's interested in receiving it. He opens it up. And he reads a heartfelt compassionate, empathetic, empathetic perspective on how this person can help this house, homeowner or otherwise, where their situation, but that content has to be relative and specific and timely. And get past the gatekeeper to look not spammy. You know, and so now, you know, obviously, you hit a nerve, right? So, for me, this is me just saying, Okay, how do we, how do we engage into all those elements of opportunity into one piece of mail, that he gets it in a timely, you know, fashion that speaks his language that's relative to that person that's emotionally connected, and personal to that person, right? So, that's my challenge, right? And so, if you look at, yeah, sorry, Sean, I just.

Sean O'Toole  13:15  

Let's say out of all of them, right, like, so, you know, you get the, the quality of the piece itself, right. The, is it printed? Is it glossy? You know, like, we can get down to the mail stuff, right? There's the, the list that you use, right? And then there's the message that you send, and you know, I'm in the list business, right, you're in the printing business. Would you agree that really the most important of the three is the message, and probably the hardest? I mean, what we do is important, I'm not saying it isn't, but that message piece to your, what you're just talking about, is the one where I see more mistakes made than anywhere else.

Andy Detwiler  13:52  

The message is, is everything that I talked about in my, my authentic relationship, and empathetic perspective on human to human interaction, right. So, if it doesn't resonate with you at that moment, and you're not speaking the language of the challenges of that person, then it doesn't have to be in the challenges of that person in reference to real estate. But in anything that you're marketing or communicating, especially through, you know, direct mail marketing, right, and when you're direct response marketing, right, so that message has to be clear. And I, you know, going back to those guys, Dan Kennedy, I mentioned him a lot because, you know, 2020-ish years ago, I started listening to them, and they're, you know, they introduced me to that authentic relationship, you know, kind of conversation and they did yellow, you know, yellow letters on handwritten things. And, you know, and since then, of course, I think that's a bit saturated, and there's lots of reasons for that. You know, and it doesn't have to be yellow line paper. It just has to be authentic. I mean, you that's the thing I got over with people. I'm like I use this example a lot. I'm like, look, I get a lot of seeds, and I just get seeds all the time. So, I get these things, and I open them up, and I look at it, and I see how people are marketing. And I've never seen it before. And I just look at it. And I, I give them a rating, you know, because it's a DIY system, you know, we you get in and you can make your own stuff. What font did you use? What color did you use? And I looked at it, and it's like, so here's this one. Well, that's, I mean, pretty basic, right? So, it's pretty basic. So, here's the challenge, right? So, these people saying, I want a yellow line paper, it's like, wait, you don't even know it's yellow? Until you opened it? And if it doesn't look like it's openable, because it was sent from your Aunt Sue, and it you know, it looks like spam. How do you know it's a yellow line and then what, what's that differentiator that's going to make them open it versus this one, this guy gets his you know, as much of a good grade as the guy with the yellow line paper. So, that leads you to, you know, kind of like, you know, the leadership and the marketing, people that are speaking the language of, you know, you should say, you know, send out yellow line paper, you know, what the reality is a good coach or mentor or someone you work with, or an agency or something is going to teach you the values of authentic voice, like you said, right. So, but back to what you're saying, yes, the voice has to be, you know, resonate with them in a timely fashion. The data is so key, though, and you can't this regard the, you're in data, and I'm in mail, but your, it starts with data, right? And so, if you're picking data that's not, you know, not relative to the situation you're trying to go for, and it doesn't speak the same correspond with language or speaking, then it's going to be a mismatch, right? So, yes, data, data.

Sean O'Toole  16:41  

We launched a feature called Insights that so you build a list, you know, vacant absentee owner, foreclosure, whatever it is, right, you build your list, we give you dozens of data points about that list, like how old are they? On average, right? What education level do they have? What's their income level? What kind of house is it, right? Because what the key there is to use that data to, to come up with a message that's more relevant to the person. And, you know, I think that's, that's really key. And, you know, it's something you don't see very, very often in a lot of these pieces. And, you know, to your point, the guy sending the thing, and it just doesn't land.

Andy Detwiler  17:23  

I would say, you know, so, I've learned long ago, right? So, we started out printing at 20 years ago, we built this print on demand stuff. And so, it was not soon after that we realized how important the data data is. Right? So, and we realized that I mean, we used to license it out to title companies, and they give it out to agencies and stuff like that. Agents, agents, agents, moreover, was where we started out. We wanted anybody in a neighborhood or Every Door Direct Mail, and it was like, can I do email? I mean, then it gets off. But so, the point was, it's like, there was no understanding of the value of data, there wasn't, it didn't resonate with agents, specifically, because that's where we started out, it was really the investor world, what we started out with in 2005-ish, with Dean Graziosi, and their understanding of data and the importance of data. So, then when you get into... What's that?

Sean O'Toole  18:13  

I still get more Every Door Direct Mail than I get targeted mail from agents.

Andy Detwiler  18:19  

It isn't because of convenience, is it? Because I mean, I always say like, okay, ,I I'm telling you what, that guy there. And my neighbor, my neighbor here, and I are worlds apart, worlds apart. So, if you hit me with the same message as that guy, it's not gonna resonate with one of us depends on what you do. And it also comes down to was it handwritten? Or it was a graphic looking? Or was it typeset? Or was it red ink or blue ink? He's gonna read something. I know how he is differently than I am, right? We're just two different people. So, if you send that same message to the same people in that neighborhood, it's probably gonna fall short. But one of the powers, like you said with the insights is that if you could look at the, you know, the elements associated with the general populace from a data set, like you're suggesting on Insights, that gives you that extra ability to better understand the people that are receiving your mail. So, if you could speak to that more specifically, because look, we're all egotistic. You know, we all like to see our name, right. But then if it resonates with us specifically, that's just that, that's going to be that moment of, Oh, you know, you hear it in speeches. And you 'Yeah, he spoke to me', you know what I mean? And that's what you're trying to do. And you can do that with data. And then you, will and then you can make it you can automate it. And you can use dynamic data and the fun stuff, right. But how do you do that? That's the magic, you know, and that, listen, 20 years, I've been trying to get to a point of understanding data, telling agents that you need to do more than just sending out the next, everybody in the neighborhood because you think that we're all the same. We're not we're uniquely different.

Sean O'Toole  19:55  

Just sold.

Andy Detwiler  19:56  

Yes, exactly. Exactly that so.

Aaron Norris  19:59  

Which data therapy we're doing for people who call? Do they? Are you blowing their mind, because you're saying, Hey, you know, you don't have to send everybody? How about we just send the owner occupants in the neighborhood? Or absentee? Do they even know what's possible?

Andy Detwiler  20:15  

My conversation when, when I do have them with people that ask and then are willing to listen to me, it starts out in a same thing, you have to start out that big level, it's like, you know, generally speaking now, because about, you know, what we can do with automation and dynamic data, and really, you know, understanding the data and doing specific things at a smaller level, like one, it's a lot different than the conversations I've had in the past, right? So, think GoBig printing, GoBig, right? So, bulk mail, give me 10,000 give me 100,000, right. Just do absent, nevermind, absentee owners just do high equity, or don't even do total high equity, right. And I'm not saying I'm being I'm driving, I'm being facetious to drive a point. Point being in the days of, and even going back to you in foreclosure days, right. So you, you focused on that. And that was a very niche specific or a world that you could help and assist in that. But then through those years after, you know, you look at like the saturation level of investors, especially there, but they would come in and say what should I do, and it's like, well just get absentee owner high up when he lives. There you go, you know, hit 10,000 people split, you know, split mail and send it out once every, you know, once a month, at least whatever the same piece, but just divide it up and send it out. That's fine. That's a good budget, go for that use that 1% methodology that was saying, Yeah, but then it becomes a little bit more like my conscious is saying, wait a second. Don't, don't give me 20,000. Because then the responsibility, and all this is on me to have a performance, regardless of what you send, or the data you pick, I feel like God, this guy, he's trying to supply, you know, food and mortgage for his family, what can I possibly do to drive him the right direction, so, that he's not gonna, it's not gonna fall short, and then sell me short. And he's not gonna come back and say, 10 people open and it was like, and then I'm miserable. So, back to your back to your question, what do I do when now I say, look, take that list of whatever 1000. And give me a list of 200 I'd rather have 200 or 100, that are really focused on what you're trying to say, you know, Don't give me that, that 50,000. I'll take it and we'll do it through bulk mail. And we do have some, you know, cool stuff with Google streetview and stuff. And tons of people do it, they it's a good tire kicker, and people call up but but hone in on that list, you know, stack that list into a tight list, speak the language of the people. So, I kind of got off, I got off track here.

Sean O'Toole  22:42  

I would use the term segmenting, right? So, like, either you're gonna take that owner occupied list, right? So, rather than looking at now, look at that list and go, Oh, you know, what, we've got a big contingent of, you know, single female owners, right, the message we're probably going to send to them is maybe different than, you know, to the other group, or we've got some that have 100% equity and other just have a little equity, like, they have different needs.

Andy Detwiler  23:10  

Exactly.

Sean O'Toole  23:11  

And, and so, taking that big list, okay, we're gonna do absentee owners, but take a little bit extra time and break that into five lists, and with more targeted message, and you're gonna differentiate yourself a lot from the competition, who's sending that every own, you know, absentee owner.

Andy Detwiler  23:27  

Oh, absolutely. You know, anyway, and actually, when you say that segment or something, I do. It, obviously, it resonates with me, because if you, you know, in the evolution of an entrepreneurial type of company, and tech forward type of driver me, you go back into early days of direct mail, and it was like, just the fact that you could edit a document online in 1999 was fantastic.

Sean O'Toole  23:55  

Right.

Andy Detwiler  23:56  

The fact that you could send, you know, something

Sean O'Toole  23:58  

You have to type set it

Andy Detwiler  24:00  

Yeah. I mean, really, it was that when, for me, right. So, as a, as a creative, creative director at that moment, there's eight of us in a room, and they're like, Well, how do we visualize this tool, this print on demand tool that people can do? I'm like, Oh, my God, let's give them they can create text boxes, and they can create image boxes, and they can put it there and they can change what it says. And the evolution of, of understanding what people's demands are in technology. And so, you realize you soon realize that if you give them too many tools, or too many opportunities within that postcard or letter, even though you're prewriting it they're going to spend time, it should be blue, no, it should be red, should I make it green? Mary should underline this one. And it's like, Wait is that I got to get lunch, the kids, they got to pick them up. I'll finish later. And so, they spend more time trying to do it. Our evolution has been like Okay, okay, so we give them a great tool that they can customize and edit. Let's just, let's, let's now lock down some things. So, they can't change everything. But if you want to change what it says, don't change the font. We've already dictated that this should be bold, don't make it curlies. And then keep it bold, should be bold. And then you go, okay, lock that down. But if they want to change something they can. And then the evolution of time became, wait a second, let's get a guru, a coach, a guy who's really doing this that has to sell it to other people that make money living and living doing it. Let's take his, his copy, you know, written material, and then give it to his audience, Dean Graziosi, right. And it was one of the first guys that said, look, I've already got the copy, right? It's just it was word docs, something like that. But we're designers and tech forward thinking, it's like, oh, let's take your documents that were PowerPoints and word docs, and whatever, and convert them to an editable thing online, but locked down certain areas. And that led us to, okay, now, we've got knowledge, copyright, you know, copywriting and knowledge, what works and call to actions from this other company, or any other guru type of guy. And then we can put it into the confines of a document, a letter or a postcard that they can add and customize, if they felt like it, included the personalization and stuff, but then you'd be locked down. Now there's a win win, they're not going to spend a lot of time doing it, you're giving them pre created content that they can edit if they want to, but they're not going to change the substance of what it should look like or feel like. So, that was the evolution of time. And then it became and then as time grows, you know, I'm telling you, this is now and we'll kind of talk about the automation and data and then driving data to those, you know, specific audiences. But so, imagine the bulk mail and lots of customization to wait, tighten it up a little bit, give them something that's already done. So, they're not thinking about it, because they don't know. And then through time and evolution, people start to go, 'Wait a minute, I'm too busy. Can I push it, you know, I got to do it on my phone, I'm too busy'. It doesn't happen. You know, it's like, I knew or sensed it or felt it early on to print one, I wanted to do that forever. And so, only about two and a half years ago, we started building the ability to print that one. And then it was like during that course of evolution. Now, you know, we're the 15th 16th year of being in mail, it was like, well, we can print one now. Now, how can we drive that one, right? Are we gonna force a user to drive one? We can. There's lots of ways they can do it.

Sean O'Toole  27:18  

Hang on one second, I just want to like point out what a big deal this is, right? This is you're talking about how to print one, right? Like I...

Andy Detwiler  27:26  

Thank you, Sean.

Sean O'Toole  27:27  

By the way, but you know, like, I don't think people realize like, right, there really aren't any other services like yours, like, you know, I know, one or two. But, you know, 99.9% of the direct mail houses out there aren't going to do anything for you without a quantity of 100, 500, 1000, right?

Andy Detwiler  27:50  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  27:51  

And, you know, we've worked really hard to, like, have alerts and stuff to let people know about individual new opportunities. But what do you do to automate that, like, you gotta handwrite a letter, because there hasn't been services. And, you know, you guys recently launched that. And I think it's a really big deal. And so, when you're talking about print one, I just want to say like, I'm, I'm super excited about it. super glad you guys have brought that to market.

Aaron Norris  28:20  

I was gonna actually back up and say, can we can we define real quick, because I think people still don't know what variable printing is. And then what on demand means?

Andy Detwiler  28:28  

Oh, man, so. Well, first, I had to say thanks, Sean, for pausing me, my wife would do this. We learned it a long time ago. We she's like, someone said at a time. I mean, we did we ran another business long ago together. And someone suggested that when one person over talks the other person, they just do a gentle one of these and they hold it at their side, and that the other person should acknowledge this, pause and quit. So, thank you, that's, that's, you doing this for me, because what happens is this, like, you know, to, I've wanted to print one for ever, and we're talking, you know, how you can do in positioning back then, you know, we're talking 2001. And we couldn't do it tech wise, but we didn't do it. It was that what is what has to happen to make that happen? Is there enough called understanding and it you know, do people want to do it? So, yes.

Sean O'Toole  29:18  

It's really difficult. None of the pre-press systems, none of the systems that they sell out there to printers, none of them do this by default. Because you got to take one piece from this customer, one piece from this customer, because you're still running a printer that 1000s of pieces at a time you're not going and running one piece. So, to make that work is is technically difficult.

Andy Detwiler  29:40  

It's, it's, it's exceptionally difficult also, right exactly like you said. So, there is one thing to be able to drive that type of product or a postcard to a printer that can print one that the printer can remain in business, right.

Sean O'Toole  29:54  

Right.

Andy Detwiler  29:55  

Then there is the pre sorting and the costs associated with it and then the everything you can imagine But that's exactly what it is. And it is that that that positioning or impositioning of these things to get as many as you can on a sheet of paper, because in the digital world, right, so, you're printing on well it depends on the Rico's or otherwise, but 25 by 12 inch pieces of paper. So, how many can you get up so that at the end of that, you know, at your cost to print one, you know, can you stay in business? That's, it is magical, right? And so, one thing that I've kind of figured out, though, is that so far, I mean, even stemming back to the early, early days, when, you know, a programmer would walk in, and it was just 24 something and you'd start saying, well, we needed to be able to do these kinds of things. And they, they do a mock up or something and they come back, and then they accomplish the goal that you asked him for. It was like, I've been teased with the super talented talents of people from the get go that now I am so enamored by it, I mean, it still blows me away. But the fact is, there's almost anything we asked to do, they're doing. And it's like, you can say things and, and they knock it out, the ability to print one is huge. And it's opened up a wide, wide world for us as a company. And back to do case in point, printing postcards is one thing, printing letters, and then double sided letters, and then letters with, you know, writing on the front of the envelope to one person, you know, even first class for 76 cents. I mean, that's, that's the one part that really gets the agent side of our company gets really they're like you kidding, with this new API and one offs, it's like, that's how you can do it, because you're saving on quality checks and controls, and you're saving on job tickets and, you know, QC and things like that. It's an API as soon as you hit it, it's like an email. It just goes, it's it's goes. And it's mess with everything. But so, thanks for the pause there. But having surpassed that, right, so, now we have the ability to print one. And then back to what you said here. And two, would you asked about variable printing? Is that what you said?

Aaron Norris  31:55  

Because I know you were at the forefront of that. And some people don't know what that term means. Even so,

Andy Detwiler  31:59  

I see, you know, that's just knowing too much, right? So actually, honestly, when we we merged with a company called Impact, in 2011, we came with with lots of variables. So we could map out variables is a mail merge, you know, or term. So, data, data from your profile and or the person receiving the information is data, that data through mail merge can be applied to that document that you send to the printer, such as dear Mark you're married...

Sean O'Toole  32:26  

Personalization, personalization, right? Each, each piece has things that are personal to that person, their address, their name, you know, their lender, whatever it is that it's personalized to, to be more relevant.

Andy Detwiler  32:41  

That's exactly it. Ed McMahon, right, you know, Publishers Clearing House giveaway you, you know, Sean, you may have won $500,000. S,o that, you know, but here's the thing. So that that stuff is that variable data personalization has been going on for so long. But then how do you give it to just a guy off the street that wants to order something online, right now you can go in and go big, and you can move the variables around, and you can personalize it any way you want. You can throw in the property, you want to buy the city, you want to buy all that good stuff, right? It's all it's all there now, right? So, anyway, the variable data, the mail merge, the personalization is all on a piece of paper, you know, whether it's a letter or a postcard or otherwise, yes. So, then it becomes like, well, how can we take this ability to print one, add the personalization, give the user the ability to customize it, keep it cost effective. And then like, back to the kind of what I was talking about where you try, I try to do all I can to assist people with having successful marketing. So, the, the, you know, the onus is on me, or it's like, I don't want to say just send me 50,000, I want to say, Wait, let's send 50, let's send 50, but hit them five times, let's send 50 and hit them five times, because we know response rates go up exponentially, the more you hit them, and then we know time and circumstances change all things. So, it has to be relevant, timely, and get there when they want to receive it. And then how can that data speak exactly the language that you're trying to communicate on that piece of paper? You know, so they open it at the time they want it to? So, so, all the magic starts to happen, then you start to go, Well, what are the additional functions that we can provide to have that home run? Right? Is it graphic? Is it handwritten? Is it authentic and real? Is it spammy? All those things, right? And then you start thinking about the dynamics of people and how uniquely different we all are. And so, how can I, how can I do a mailer? Let's say we're similar in our home value, we're similar in our equity, we're similar in our age, you know, and it's like, all those things. So, that probably he might get the same mailer as I would. But then it becomes if he got something that's might be handwritten or something. He's probably maybe it's gonna resonate with him, but I don't know maybe he's just not going to be receptive to it. His sensory emotions are not going to be connected to what I'm saying. Because of what it looks like because we're judgmental, right. We are And it's like he picks it up. He's like, this is trash. Like why do yellow bandit signs work in the sound? Right? Why do you know handwritten letters work here? Why doesn't it work there? So then you start to go Wait a second. I got that yellow letter at the same time he did. But I'm responsive to it. That's great. Oh, wow, this guy can help me this sound this guy sounds like you speak from the heart. He's sharing with me. What's in his tool belt about his ability to assist me. He's got a, you know, hammer, I need a hammer at that time. You know, whatever it is. I'm just using, you know, I mean, yeah. So, but then, then a week, a month passes, right? That guy never looked at that letter. Because Yeah, he's that guy. And then month passed, I was already responding to that letter, because I was responsive to it. But maybe I didn't do anything. And a month passes and I can get something else. I don't know if it's graphic now, or it has a different? I mean, I don't know, like, who knows people, right. But it might be that we have this really cool, you know, smooth, silky Apple finish on our cardstocks. Maybe that's what got them. That almost seems like a sales plug right there, right? Full color, full bleed, personalization. Right? That wasn't a, that wasn't a senseless blog. But the fact is, is it's true. It's super true. I'm not I'll share with you an example in a second. But so a month passes, he didn't respond to the first one, he got the second one. And he held it for that second, maybe it was the texture of the paper, maybe that it was looked like it was written from Aunt Sue. And maybe it was graphic, I don't know. But now what you've done is you've increased your ability to get him to respond just for the same effort of doing bulk mail. Now, you've hit him, you know, with two things. Now, let's just, I mean, I get labor on this thing. And I don't want to bore you, but just say, you know, whatever, he didn't respond to it. But the third time, something happened in his life that made that difference, that he respond to that third touch, right. And that was just because in the same sequence of events of me pushing that one button, he received those three to five to seven things. And it happened to be on the third one, he answered on it, right. So, that leads us into like, you know, data and automation, the evolution of direct mail and direct response marketing, right. So, you know, I told you how we started, and it was like bulk mail, and then personalization and customizing it, making it tighter and tighter and tighter. And I think eventually, now, it's all the way down to one, one letter that really resonates with that person, you know, and so even to like, and just actually Sean to, to, to benefit, both of us, actually, for being forward thinking in this. I think we sense that coming. I think we tried so hard to get it to wrap into, into, you know, PropertyRadar with a time, you know, but however we got there where we're at now, and you can accomplish the goals, I think that, you know, with automation and dynamic data, and we can talk more specifically about that. Now, I think it's a good segway to do that. Not to take over Aaron as.

Aaron Norris  37:56  

Oh, no please, that's where I wanted to go.

Andy Detwiler  37:59  

I can't stop, can't stop me, you gave me the podium. So, it's my passion, you know, so.

Sean O'Toole  38:07  

But we've done a unique, unique thing there, right? Because we've, we've I, you know, 100% online with you, and we kind of found each other after and we're like, like, I'm doing this and you're like, Oh, my God, I want to do this. And it was last, yeah, there's a chocolate and peanut butter moment.

Andy Detwiler  38:23  

Exactly that.

Sean O'Toole  38:25  

Because, you know, I've long felt these kind of triggered events, I mean, back to the foreclosures, right. You know, there's new notices every day, but it's one or it's five, or it's 10. And you want to get that, that piece off and start that campaign. And then there's five more tomorrow. And there's, you know, rather than waiting for a whole month, you have 500, right? It's nice to like, just have this and have it automatically go in the back end. So, you don't have to go run an export, you know, put all the things together, send it over, get break, get your piece back for approval. And then you know, it's like two weeks later, you finally sent your piece and, you know, just like this is terrible. And so, we built on our side, we we built this system where we can send out these new things as soon as they happen right one at a time through an interface called Zapier, and you guys fortunately, also said, Hey, we're building a system where we can print things one at a time through an interface called Zapier, and you know, pretty cool, pretty cool marriage, so.

Andy Detwiler  39:32  

I agree. I mean, you know, like my wife would always say, it's like, it's all it's all timing. It's all meant to happen when it's supposed to happen. When we, I mean, through the process of me trying to figure out the best thing I can do for my customers. And really, at the end of the day, I'm solving the challenges that people are bringing to me, and I'm, I'm trying to make it in a way that's going to be have the good results that we want to have happen, but also get them off my back, right? So, don't don't ask me those questions twice, because I'm giving you a solution that answers it for you, right. And if I get enough people saying, I want to make my own postcard, I want to make my own letter. I like what you wrote, I can write it better. I can solve that challenge now with them being able to build whatever they want in our builder. And then they say, wait a minute, what's your minimum? Look, I got 85. Can I print it? Now? You got to do 100. Go to I mean, I sound like I'm downplaying GoBig. But it's like, No, you got to do 100 over here, which is perfectly fine. Do your 100, right. People do right. But now it's like, Wait a second, the challenges of what's your best mailer? How often should I send it? Should I do text? I heard emails a good thing, what's ringless voicemail, right? This guy selling this system? This guy does everything. This is the best data. I've heard this data. And I've seen it all. And I've been around probably longer than most, right? So, you know, right? So, 20 years in the space, at least in marketing 25 or almost 30. So, then you start to go away. How can I solve these challenges in an automation function? And so, it was like I always, while at one point, I realized once I realized, you can't just be a printing island, I need data, right? And so, then you start to think about, okay, how to incorporate data and then speak the language of data that people would like, and then you and then it was you and actually wasn't really you as much as it was a couple other friends of mine that used you guys, right?

Sean O'Toole  41:30  

So many customers, mutual customers.

Andy Detwiler  41:32  

Mutual customers, and they're like, Okay, so here's the scenario, they understood data. They were they did agency stuff, agent stuff, residential stuff, flipping, buying, selling. And then what they do is they would get, they would put in their, they create their lists, PropertyRadar, they, they create their specific lists. And in this case, it was, I don't know if it was divorce, it was or was, but getting to it. It was I think it was women, he could he's isolated that that had a certain whatever it was, now I'm forgetting the filter set. But here's what would happen. He would get a text message from you guys, or it was an email. And he had set it up, and he's getting these things. Oh, here's another one. Oh, you know, he bragged about it. He like 'I got another one, ding! ding!' And he's like, hey, got another one. And throughout the day, I'll get three more. And I'm thinking, Okay, so we're at a conference, actually, when this originally kind of started, and it was, it was a little bit like, it's great. And then what, but time time pass anyway, so, he gathered these 10 or 11, dings that he gotten today, give it to his acquisition, acquisitions gal, she put it together and then do some manual efforts to get in touch with that person in his, you know, to export it as fast as possible, then won't happen is he set up different things. So, now he has several different farm lists, or otherwise, he's getting 10 from here, and six from there, and nine from there. So, eventually, he was hitting his 100 mark. So, he gathered them in the week, submit his mailing, and then do a mailing through us. And it was like, that was that aha moment. That was like.

Sean O'Toole  43:01  

So much work for him to do that.

Andy Detwiler  43:03  

So much work. But he was so happy about it. So, that you can do. You handed him what he asked to receive. And it was like, so, he was getting exactly what he asked. And you gave him that through, you know, through your through automation and through notice, it was an email and it said, Hey, here's this person that fell into the situation you're in. So, then it became like, Okay, so how can we take that, that, that that information that he's captured at that moment, and then automatically send him whatever correspondence he wants to send them? You know, and so that was, I mean, it was really, I mean, we're, you know, 20 years in the making, but really is it was really, when we started the ability to print one that was like, the wheels are like, What now? What now? And never mind just printing one yeah, I'm past that I'm moving on. Yeah, you can customize your own letter and postcard. I'm way past that. Now, I'm, like, create a semblance of data of direct mail components specific to your office, or whatever it is, whether you're an agent or you're a bunch of investors, admin, create your own assets within this environment, that speak the language of what you as a company want to communicate, put that to, you know, make it available now your people can have access to that, now that those people have access to that direct, those marketing materials, tied in with PropertyRadar, set up your filter sets for each person so that it goes out automatically for that person on behalf of that agent within that office. And that becomes like, okay, now I'm hands free.

Sean O'Toole  44:35  

It's machines. Automated.

Andy Detwiler  44:37  

Right? And it really took the data, it takes, you know, this Zapier thing it's like a bridge between this and now if you don't know what it is, you have to look it up but eventually you'll see that it's it's connecting this thing with this thing and then our world we're talking, you know, PropertyRadar's talking to PRINTgenie, and you're saying look when when you know your date, I love that you say it, but are my data is listening At night When this happens, and this person fell in this situation, Zapier is listening. And it says, okay, cool, I got that. I'm sending it to PRINTgenie, and PRINTgenie says, got it, and sends it out, magically happens, just like that.

Sean O'Toole  45:15  

You can just sleep and wait for the phone call.

Andy Detwiler  45:18  

I love it. It is like.

Sean O'Toole  45:22  

I wanted to talk you know, we're getting close to the end here. And I think one of the things...

I haven't even look up, Sean, Sorry,

Yeah. I know one of the things that's you know, that you've put a lot of time and energy over the years into, into building templates, you've worked with the Dan Kennedy's and, and a lot of these different folks out there, in creating good pieces and creating good messages. And he touched a little bit on that earlier, but I'd like to just dive into that you talked a lot about empathy. You know, one of the things that I always tell people is like, you know, they got a postcard and what they want to do is they want to like, Okay, I'm going to send, I'm going to spend 50 cents, right? I'm going to send 1000 of these, it's $500 I'm going to get every thought I ever had on to this card. Because you know, if I've got to pay for this to deliver this, I'm going to get everything on there, right, right. Um, let's just talk about, like, you know, what you've learned from those guys, what you've learned over the business, like, what makes up a good message is less more is more or less, like, you know, whatever, right? Like.

Andy Detwiler  46:30  

Sure. Sure.

Sean O'Toole  46:31  

I suppose we can dive on that before we wrap up.

Andy Detwiler  46:34  

Sure. And I didn't even look at the time. You know, I think this is my passion. I can I know it's yours, but it's.

Sean O'Toole  46:41  

You and I can talk about this all day every day.

Andy Detwiler  46:43  

I know. And it's like, you know, it's like, oh, man, I didn't know we had just a few minutes left. But so let me. So, speaking of that, right, and so, what I've discovered what I've discovered, and Dan Kennedy and Joe Polish Joe polish is a student of Dan Kennedy, and these guys speak the language and they sincerely, people pay them a lot of money to, on coaching and training and how to what's the best marketing? You know, conversation. And I picked up a lot from them. And it was that it didn't, a lot of their marketing didn't include photos or images and include text and verbiage and copywriting. And a lot of it had to do with the message you're trying to relate to somebody, right. And so, in the investor world, I've learned man agents really need to listen to investors a little bit more, they do speak the language. And in some sense, the right way. I'm here to help you. I'm here to assist you. I can take this challenge off your hands, I'm here to whatever those things are, right. And then on the other side, I think investors should listen to agents at some level as well. And I think that we're kind of seeing a cross pollination of, of agents realizing that investors aren't going away. Investors knowing that they need agents, right. And so, in this language, you know that you try to speak to somebody and feeling like, well, I got to put everything on this, I spent 50 cents and I want it, I want it all to work. I want this one hit wonder, unless, at least now I am. I'm less concerned with what you say, than what you say from the heart. So, it shouldn't, doesn't have to be long and lengthy. I mean, my whole, is like you're it's like a billboard, right? You're driving down the freeway. This is how fast you're looking at your mail, right. So, what can stand out? At least resonate with you, at some level don't look spammy, look authentic and real. But then speak from the heart. So, a lot of our messaging, is that right? And it's not necessarily 'I'll pay cash, I'll close your house'. It's not a billboard, we try to say, 'Look, I'm a guy, I'm local in the area'. And we do this for our agents as well, we'll say, I've been in the area a long time. So you're, you're establishing validation, right? I'm here to help and assist you in any circumstance. I've got the tools and the bandwidth to help and assist you in whatever challenges you're in. Whether you're an investor, an agent, a solo guy, roofer, it doesn't matter. It's like we're all different people running our lives at 100 miles an hour. But if you could slow down and communicate your message in an authentic voice, I think it's going to resonate and be receptive to the people receiving it. But the data's got to be right, right. So, if you're speaking the right language, you can all call you know, call line very nicely, if I answer that question for you, but.

Sean O'Toole  49:18  

Yeah, did you ever read David Ogilvy and Oh I loved his tested advertising methods. And Ogilvy on advertising those two books, I think are two of the classics. But he was really all about testing, right? And so, they would do these huge tests in like, reverse text, you know, it's white text on a dark background, right is 20% less remembered than black text on a white background, right?

Andy Detwiler  49:44  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  49:45  

And just, they would go through all this a serif font versus a sans serif font, right? In a small text, you're better off using a serif font, that's ones that has the little, you know, curly Q's on the ends and stuff right in small Type, the serif fonts are better and big type, right? The sans serif tends to be better like, you guys get down to that level and you know, and do you see that? And are people paying attention?

Andy Detwiler  50:13  

Not to that level? No. But people like, Well, you know, like what you just said here, right? Why does this work? Right? Why does that work? And I'll tell you, this is kind of just kind of weird. But you know, say I have this thing here. This is kind of handwritten-ish. You know? And then I mean, I've just got so many things. This is more typeset. I have

Aaron Norris  50:32  

Just taken out my office.

Andy Detwiler  50:34  

Right. I mean, I get I get seeds, like the girls will always see me and things that go through. But so, here's the thing. This is what's kind of weird. It's like, it's all dependent, right? So, some people are receptive to this, it's just bold. Some people want to see more, you know, script stuff. This is a, you know, a typical one. Some people like for me, this one here on our it is more of a handwritten font, and it had to meet, just on another, it was more like this kind of thing, right? So, what happens is, you start to go, Why? Why does this work for some people? And this worked for other people, and then a handwritten letter or type letter work for other people. And then you can start to get into the dialogue of wait a second. Why does that bandit sign work? Why would you buy a bandit sign? I'm, I'm not gonna, I'm not receptive to it. I see it and I think I'm not doing it. But it works.

Sean O'Toole  51:28  

Right? Like all the all that plastic trash and it'll go on around.

Andy Detwiler  51:33  

Now you're talking. Yeah, now you're talking a different story also. But in reference to the, you know, how you how you're receptive to it. This guy great, gave a great speech on why ill banded light signs work, why did this thing work versus whatever. And then now I'm a little bit more receptive, maybe I'm older, and I like, you know, I like oh, I saw it easier, quicker. So, that kind of lends its story to, at least what I do with print Jeannie is I tried to say that if you're sending out a sequence of seven, your response rates go up. But don't just send everything that looks like that. That would be the big mistake, right? So, you, you change it each time because you really don't know these people because of the data. But then you don't know the receptors or who they are as a person. So, what you try to do is you say, in my best opportunity for success, I'll send something out at least five six times that seven is the magic number one I'll mix it up Yeah, and different formats. One comes from Aunt Sue. And then the handwritten letter one looks like it comes like that. One looks like it came in a six by nine, ones a jumbo and then you know, maybe one is a, you know, more of a graphic card, that's a mini? So, do Can I focus on sans serif, versus serif, versus bold versus whatever, what I generally do, at least in my perception of as a designer in the first place, is I use my instinct, top to bottom, will I be receptive to this thing at some level? And so, like if I have this ebook, and it kind of summarizes what I've learned, and maybe you can share it at some point, but from my perspective, if people could just stop for one second, think about how can I communicate to this person with an authentic voice, right, using my instinct of what I believe would be beneficial to me or that person? And then at least you're sure, that way, now you're, you're, you're off to the races with the right adage of, you know, communication tools, right? That's the best way. And so sometimes I say, to people, like, Don't get so in the, you know, weeds about, is it this way? Or is it that way? You know, you don't know, so hit it many times with a general understanding of a common sense, or instinctive guide of what resonates with you as a person, and then do your communication, you know, and that's kind of like, that'd be my kind of my point of interest there. So yeah, but designing font sizes and graphs, while the graphic designer, so, yeah, I look at that, from my perspective. And yes, I do take that into consideration. So.

Aaron Norris  54:03  

Any trend or anything you're looking forward to in 2021, that should be on our radar?

Andy Detwiler  54:07  

A trend? Well might, yes, it would be fill out a form of the six or eight. I don't call them let's just use the investor or the agent space, whether it's next sellers are motivated sellers, or distressed or whatever it is, the trend is going to be picked from a list of a data list. That's prepaid for you, the cole lines with a direct mail communication, they hit some with online and offline strategies at night while you're sleeping. So, my you know, my, my, that's me, that's my mission. Right? So, we've started to taste it. We have people with good responses from it. You know, my buddy who is getting the text emails and or he was getting emails from, you know, from you guys. Now, it's through automation and it runs. That's, that's the move. No, and I, I've said this to my partners, I'm like, you know, I, I've kind of feel like I've been a little forward thinking on a lot of tech. But I'm so grateful that at least this print on demand automation, dynamic data resonated with me at the point when it did. Actually, I have to give a little bit of kudos to Deluxe. They said, what do you want when they they did an acquisition a couple years ago? They're like, what do you want? I said, I want to print one, it's gonna be a million bucks, do it, make it happen? And that was I really owe it to them for that. And because of that gives me the world, right? It just said, and then you know, Sean is like, he gave you the app. You know, we both need each other, I think. Yeah, peanut butter and jelly. But oh, I hope I answered that for you, Aaron.

Sean O'Toole  55:44  

Peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut butter jelly is great to peanut butter and honey. Yeah, pretty much all of that.

Marshmallow.

Andy Detwiler  55:53  

It's good. It's good. It's a good mix.

Aaron Norris  55:56  

Well, how should they go about to anybody listening? How should they go about finding it today?

Andy Detwiler  56:01  

I think they can investigate on PropertyRadar. And you'll see us in the integration section. Certainly.

Sean O'Toole  56:10  

GoBigprinting.com is for people who want to mail lists for people who are really interested in this automation and individual piece PRINTGenie. Yeah, and it's printgenie. It's not PRINTgenie.com, it's printgenie.io.

Andy Detwiler  56:24  

Exactly. Web application.

Aaron Norris  56:26  

I will leave all the links and to your ebook as well, which I read yesterday. Fantastic. And it's very fast and easy read with tons of great information. I'll put that in the show notes in the community. Thank you so much for being here today.

Andy Detwiler  56:37  

I really appreciate you guys. I'm so glad we get to connect. This is awesome.

Sean O'Toole  56:42  

Thanks. Thanks.

Aaron Norris  56:44  

Thank you for listening to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast, you can find show notes and links to some of the resources mentioned in the show at datadrivenrealestate.com. Click that join the community, and you'll be forwarded to the PropertyRadar community where you can ask questions about the current show and even see upcoming guests and ask questions there. We'd love to engage with you in the community. So check it out. Please don't forget to like, favorite, subscribe and share on your favorite platform where you're listening to the show. It helps us out a great deal. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Written by:
Aaron Norris
Written on:
January 14, 2021