"What happens to those hundreds or thousands of letters you send to prospective clients every year? My guess is that 90 percent or more of the recipients simply crumple up those letters and toss them in the trash.
But what if that letter came back? Wouldn't that be a hoot? Wouldn't that catch the recipient's attention?
That is exactly what I was thinking when I came up with the idea of using a crumpled letter as one of my key marketing tools. For years I would send letters to people who were trying to sell their homes themselves -- whom we in the real estate business refer to as For Sale By Owners or FSBOs -- and to sellers whose listing contracts had expired.
In the letter, I would explain that I knew the homeowner's listing contract with the other agent was about to expire or that the person had been trying to sell her home for several months without success, and was offering my services as a listing agent.
These letters generated some extra business, but I was not getting nearly the conversion rate that I had expected. I knew that most of the people receiving my letters were going to do the same thing as I do when I receive similar sales letters; they were going to crumple them up and throw them away.
Tired of spending time sending out letters that were just going to end up in the trash, I decided that I would take action whenever someone tossed my letter in the trash or simply ignored me. I would resurrect that letter and use it to my marketing advantage.
About four days after I sent out the original letter, if the prospect had not gotten in touch with me, I would send out a nearly identical letter, but this time, I wadded it up first, smoothed it out a bit, and wrote with a red marker at the bottom of the letter, "Please Don't Throw Me Away Again!" I inserted the letter in a plain envelope, addressed it by hand, and mailed it to the original recipient.
When I started this new marketing program, I saw an instant boost in conversion rates. I was receiving more than double the responses to my crumpled letter than I had ever received from the originals. "
There's more to this article. I don't want to copy all his article so if you want to read more here is a link:
Real Estate Marketing: The Secret of the Crumpled Letter