Despite all the different ways Realtors® promote themselves online, direct mail marketing is still a large part of any comprehensive marketing plan. However, while email marketing has strict anti-spam and various other laws that outline who you can email and who you cannot, the rules surrounding snail mail are a bit more murky. How do you handle when a consumer asks to be removed from your mailing list?
While there are no laws prohibiting snail mail or requiring you to take people’s names off your mailing list, we do offer some best practices. Even if not required, it is a good idea to police lists and purge the names of those who do not want the mailings. Most large companies and marketers actually belong to associations that are bound to remove any customer who requests to be removed – both for goodwill and for environmental reasons. You can read about many of the ways people get removed from mailing lists and consumer rights here. In an era in which consumers are empowered by social media and other outlets to express their dissatisfaction with companies, failure to remove prospective clients from mailing lists may antagonize them.
For most real estate companies, there is no centralized “list” – most agents maintain their own lists. As a result, requests for removal need to be made directly to each agent. As it is a reflection not only on your business, but on the broker you represent, here are some tips for removing consumers:
- Have a system in place to permanently remove addresses, no matter the source of your original list
- Apologize for any inconvenience
- Explain you can only remove them from your individual list
- If necessary, explain how your list was created and why they originally began receiving your mailings (some consumers do not realize that their information is often public)
- If they are receiving additional mailings from another agent in your broker, offer to reach out on their behalf (and follow through)
Conversations* is where we help agents deal with common client concerns and detail best practices. Are you being frequently asked a question by your clients? Or are you unsure how to handle a situation? Trouble talking to your clients about a tricky situation? Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will try to answer it in a future entry.
*These are not meant to serve as official legal advice.