It's time for a....DEBATE! Old Skool Marketing vs New Skool Marketing... Let's debate! Shawn and Luna will face off to debate regarding Old Skool Marketing Techniques. Let's kick it....Old Skool!
ASHLEY LITTLE: Hey everyone I am Ashley Little, with Wholesaling of the Box and today I'm joined by Luna Ankrom and Shawn Bowen. We're discussing old school marketing a battle of the ages, and it'll be debate-style so we've got to rough outline and each participant is going to have about two minutes going back and forth to advocate for or against our two old school Park techniques bandit signs and Direct Mail.
So let's get it started, Shawn you have one minute to tell me about your marketing experience and go.
SHAWN BOWEN: I started driving for dollars, and then I started doing mail and bandit signs. From all those, I had the best response from mail. The End.
ASHLEY: Wow you're really trying to push this, to get it out there.
SHAWN: I got it! This is a debate thing you guys. This is new to me, so I am figuring it out!
ASHLEY:: Alright Luna, you have 1 minute to talk about your marketing experience.
LUNA ANKROM: A lot of my marketing experience up until two months ago, was mostly theory. I had some applied to my own hobbies, but this has been my application of sorts. Then, of course, I've been doing other things. I am a digital marketer, I do video marketing, and social media marketing. Anything that involves the digital space, that's what I am a part of. As well as paid advertisements that exist. That's my experience with it.
ASHLEY: I have two minutes to explain what Bandit signs are. Bandit signs are those ugly yellow signs that you see strewn all over by Walmarts, 7-elevens, and on those medians in between streets. They are called Bandit signs because they are illegal, but people still do it anyway. It seems to work for people.
Bandit signs, there are specific rules you have to follow. They typically look like, for example, Shawn has all of his that says "Shawn buys Houses!" There was a whole thing about we buy houses versus [Insert Name Here] buys houses. Which makes it seem a little bit more personal. I know people that use their daughter's name to make it seem more approachable.
Then they are brightly colored, so they attract some kind of attention. Sometimes they're smaller stickers that are on a lamppost. Something to get someone's attention as they are driving by to think "Oh, maybe I'm going to do this. They are going to buy the house in any condition. Might as well." They are just everywhere. You will see them with websites on them, but most of the time it's just a phone number.
You guys are going to do some defensive moments now. First thing is Shawn, as our resident old school expert.
SHAWN: Resident old guy, I like it. Go ahead.
ASHLEY: Slash spring chicken. Why did bandit signs work in the past? What were they trying to accomplish? And go.
SHAWN: Bandit signs were good back in the day because there weren't many online presents, it was just a phone number, nowadays the marketing is completely different. But their goal was a big broad net. You'll get some sellers, you'll get a lot of wholesalers calling it, you'll get some buyers. The goal with it was strictly to find sellers. It did a few different things, it really brought in a lot of buyers. You had to weed through that. Then, of course, you would get some of the sellers but then a good amount of retail. Going back to the number part of it, the main goal was to get sellers. It drew in a lot of other people, it was really good and did the job. The problem was it was just very time-consuming.
We would go out and spread three to four hours dropping hundreds of these signs. Then we would have to track where those signs were in case we got in trouble for putting the sign in public right away and not supposed to have them there. So, their job was to strictly pull in a large number of three different types of people: buyers, sellers, and wholesalers.
Strictly the game was to buy the house. We want sellers and the sign says "Shawn buys houses" any condition because it stated like we want to buy the houses.
It was Shawn, so it was personal and that was our goal. Instead of "We Buy Ugly Houses'' or'' We buy homes for cash". I saw that but wanted my name to be on it. So that people could be "oh, that's Shawn!" it kind of bit me in the butt sometimes. They would say "hey, where's Shawn? I'm going to kill him. He put a sign in my yard!".
That was their job, that was their goal.
ASHLEY: Alright, not bad. I will say this though, You know listing off a con and why it didn't work. You kinda did Luna's Job for her, maybe don't do that again for the next one. Luna, your rebuttal is cons to bandit signs, and why didn't it work then? and why doesn't it work now or anymore?
You've got two minutes.
LUNA: I think Shawn said it really well and when he was just describing the value of your time and having the best use of your time. I mean he's always talking about time, value, money and that is part of it is just knowing how long it takes to do these things. Versus publishing saying something to a social media page for example and it can have a very wide range. It's a push of a button versus you know setting up the signs and possibly getting in trouble for having them in places they shouldn't be or individuals getting mad if it's on their property.
There are a lot of cons on that side of it as well as you can be specific in one of those very broad posts and still have a broad net cast with it, versus a bandit sign where it has to be very eye-catching, so you can't put a lot on there. Other than a phone number or a catchphrase and it's not too much information. If you can be more specific when you're pushing something like that out you can save yourself the time of sorting through the retail and maybe the buyer's list that comes with what you're looking for, those sorts of things so instead of having all of that extra tasks be added to it kind of helps really just makes things more specific and it helps save that time, which helps save money and all about its connection.
ASHLEY: Okay, Shawn your next topic is to talk about the pros of bandit signs, and why it works? Give Luna a rebuttal
SHAWN: Okay the reason they still work is because maybe you're not catching that older person. Maybe you're not catching the older person, maybe you're not catching the clientele that's in the certain age bracket. That isn't on the phone, or maybe isn't on the computer, that's the old school style that I recognized, I've seen them for years. They didn't fit me, but now they do.
So it resonates with that clientele. I think it's a really good idea to keep those going. From a time, value, money standpoint. It's like nowadays I'd rather pay someone to do that because they work. You can get leads from it.
We've got guys that have gone and done stuff like this, almost a bandit sign. You know, the sticker on a window type thing. That says all the identical things, but I still think it works because you're going to catch the clientele with the age group.
They are always driving around on a Sunday. Cruising around and they see the sign. Maybe you drop the sign in someone's yard and it's the nosy neighbor. That's an older guy, just chilling on his porch, smoking a cigar. He sees the sign and he says "I know that guy, or I know that lady. I know who left that there, she will sell you that house! I know her, I will give you her number". I think it's the mentality that I keep in mind, that it still catches the older crowd. That's where I feel it works.
They're very time-consuming, and it does come to money because it's almost three or four dollars a sign versus you can get it done cheaper from your side. It's almost like pennies versus the time to go do it and pay for the sign. It's just way way cheaper.
ASHLEY: Nice, you've got like a second left. All right, so Luna this is going to be the final discussion on bandit signs. What are some other or newer alternatives that you would recommend to people? Where would they accomplish the same goal that bandit signs used to accomplish? And go.
LUNA: One of the big ones because of course, I am a social media Advocate. With the social media side of things and of course, I always advocate for that. I mean realistically, one it saves you that time and two, if you tap into the right niche or the right platform, you have this very good, very defined audience that you know, has certain interests and you know you can get them.
It may not include that older audience or more niche audience. That maybe doesn't social media or doesn't really get involved with all of the technology side of things. But there are even ways to reach them that are cheaper. Then doing the bandit signs, that aren't necessarily super time-consuming, either.
One of the ones I can think of off the top of my head, is there are like areas around locally. I mean, I know some cafes do this. They'll have these boards that you can put flyers and things on for local events. I mean, I know libraries do it for sure.
A lot of local businesses will promote these as well and it can lower the cost by doing something essentially. Like a flyer or an information strip that could go on that board. One that would be cheaper than a sign. It's just copying paper and then two it still gives you the option to be more specific because it's a smaller thing but someone has to come up to it to look at it. You can have something attention-grabbing, but it still has more information.
ASHLEY: That is all our discussion for Bandit sign and now we're going to move into direct mail so I've got two minutes to tell you guys about Direct Mail. Which I think is good since I'm the one that does the direct mail for our company.
Direct Mail is exactly what it sounds like, it's mail that people are getting directly. Oddly enough some people use postcards for that, in particular, we use letters with an envelope and a peel and stick stamp. It looks a little bit less businessy, than some of the printed stamps. Less than some of the things that you get from other businesses, and so it encourages people to actually open up the envelope. Then they're invested there like "okay I'm going to take the time to read this" but with a postcard, you can go inside or you can toss it out.
Direct Mail marketing is important if you're trying to target very specific houses or people. Bandit signs you are just kind of trying to get anything that you can. you're casting a wide net with bandit signs. With the direct mail there are some people that do send letters to entire neighborhoods but most of the time for us, at least our Direct Mail is more targeted for looking at people that are on Code Enforcement list, are delinquent on their taxes, someone may have died, someone may have been evicted.
Things like that where it's a more targeted and more specific to someone that might have a reason for selling as opposed to the bandit signs which is just like anyone in their mother is going to see it and be like "I want to call and see what kind of offer they would give me you know everything has a price". That is direct mail.
Shawn, it's your turn to tell us why direct mail works and what was direct-mail trying to accomplish and I feel like I didn't think I had this kind of the answers.
SHAWN: Well, I think I noticed direct mail working because I didn't have the time to call, right? Again, it's a call to action on the mail piece. The one thing I realized was everybody was preaching postcards, right? Because it's cheaper, you can do it for like three or four cents a postcard versus sixteen to eighteen cents a letter. Then at the time, we were having to print these things, and then send them. It was a lot of work. So the postcards didn't get a lot of attention immediately.
So, I'm just going to put this letter out to see what happens. That thing went gang Blaster, it was awesome. The response rate, like you said to commit to it, was crazy because you can easily read this postcard in like flip it back and forth and read what is exactly the same thing in the letter. But you're just not as invested and then realizing that we just stuck with the letters. But it also was an inbound call to a warm or hostile lead. Let's put it that way, either somebody's happy to talk to you about selling a home or you get the irate seller Like " How did you get my information" or you get the really pissed off people that time to write something on it but its stamp on it and send it back to you man you had a lot of time on your hands.
So, yeah I think he's always been a niche for us because of what it does, right? It does get us a response and sometimes it's good and sometimes bad. No less it does get us a response. It's probably our best source of marketing for now. But mail marketing works, that is a real thing and people if you're not doing it, you need to get back because it does give you results. to it for sure.
ASHLEY: All right nice and Luna so what are some cons to mail marketing and why do you think it doesn't work as well anymore or not necessary why do you think it doesn't work as.
LUNA: Well, honestly With this one. I do kind of agree that it's a good form of marketing. Especially because it makes such a personal connection the way that it's being done. I agreed the postcards are too corporate and your immediate thought is "it's just Spam" and you throw it out. You don't think about it.
If you open an envelope that's a different type of interaction with it. Comparatively, I would say it's having a good home page on a website. If someone goes on to your homepage and it's something that everyone talks about and digital marketing has its bounce rate. That's exactly what the idea is behind the envelopes. They are invested at that point, it's more likely that you get some kind of response from them.
But as for any kind of Improvement. Honestly, I don't know other than maybe adding some sort of ease of access digital thing to it. Make it a QR code that they can scan. Something that's super fast. I know a lot of people nowadays don't like answering the phone.
That's a problem I have seen. That unless someone is going to text them, they are not going to talk to that person. So, I think making an outbound call for them would be an extra step as well. So, just kind of trying to see ways to merge the Two Worlds to kind of make these things more effective. Overall no, I don't think there's a lot of like heavy heavy thoughts to it
ASHLEY: Okay, Twist. Luna is taking a pro position. Shawn, now it is your turn. Can you tell us why you think this still works in such a digital electronic age? Especially with things like email and email marketing?
SHAWN: I think this works because there is still that personal touch in mail, right? It goes back to kind of bouncing off of Luna when she's talking about corporate feels.
So an email is not as personal. It can go to your spam folders, it can go to your regular. When you get a letter to your house, that again is a very personal thing, right? That's why I think it's still the world.
Also, we are all so attached to the digital world, you kind of get lost in that world. When you get something as personal as a letter that's written to you, It's addressed to you, it's talking to you, in a call of action to you. I think that's really personal and that is what makes it work. I think it's interesting to hear, even in this digital world we are in. People are reverting back to it.
I'm actually bringing up the idea of going back to the Pennysaver and doing an AD in it because I think it would cause traction, and I think it would get attention. It would go to the clientele of our avatar, right? We are always looking for the avatar of the seller. What kind of sellers are we looking for? And I think that's what it gets to. I think deals with those kinds of people are we want to try to market more to the older crowd. That's the people that have homes.
So, I think that's why it works. I think letters are very personal. I think that's why it's still effective and almost kind of making a comeback. Marketing is not dead in the mail marketing world. It's coming back! The new cool.
ASHLEY: new cool, old school
SHAWN: Oh - I like it!
ASHLEY: Okay, this is going to be our final comment about mail marketing. So, Luna - what are some other or newer alternatives to mail marketing? Can you accomplish the same goal of personalized sort of outreach?
LUNA: So, I do recognize that the mail works really well with the older target market. Especially, of what Shawn said with the avatar of the seller. That mirrors the marketing techniques about having a customer profile. You develop out a person that you would directly be marketing to with your niche, with your demographics.
Similarly, that works for that side if you're trying to bring in. Say maybe you're not targeting Shawn, it's maybe you're targeting a different subsection. One of those subsections that use for example Instagram. Then it would be good to do the direct messaging on Instagram. I've seen brands do this with good success in terms of getting a conversation as well. More than just a bot that pushes out messages, having some sort of customizable message to be able to send, that really just speaks to that person's situation.
Now, the other problem with that is finding that person's user profile. Kind of that sort of connection can be achieved in the messaging side of things and I think kind of email, but there is some of that genuineness lost when you go into an email format. So, that's kind of my closing thoughts on all that.
ASHLEY: Awesome, awesome guy, it's an awesome job! I thank you so much for being on. That's the time for our debate. Like I said, Thank you Shawn and Luna for participating. For those of you listening, let us know who you think won!
Was it Shawn Bowen with his passionate defense of old-school marketing techniques? Was it Luna Ankrom with her zealous promotions of new school tactics? Or was it me, Ashley Little for being the best debate moderator, virtual bouncer in the R.E.I School of Hard Knocks? Vote on our Facebook page and Instagram page.
Be sure to check out our website: www.wholesalingoutofthebox.com for tons of great resources and to listen to old podcasts episodes for fun times and invaluable information.
Thanks again everyone, we will see you next week for our episode on new school marketing.