As a Realtor, I’m always looking for ways to create long-lasting relationships with my clients. So how can you put meaningful effort into your relationships, without totally draining your time and money? The answer is SendOutCards!
SendOutCards is a web-based system that will automatically send cards and gifts to your current and past clients on important dates.
In this post, I’m going to completely cover every aspect of SendOutCards, including pricing, 25 powerful usage tips, and a step-by-step tutorial on setting everything up.
Why Use SendOutCards?
If you’re in a service-related business, chances are a good amount of your future business will come from referrals and repeat clients. That’s why it’s important to keep in touch with all of your clients, especially past clients. SendOutCards is a great tool to do just that. And best of all, you can automate it!
Once you complete the initial setup, the system will automatically run throughout the year.
Over the past few years, I have personally used SendOutCards to mail birthday and anniversary cards to over 400 clients and counting.
SendOutCards Pricing Plans
There are a number of different membership options available through the SendOutCards platform. The number of contacts you can upload to the database, as well as the cost of cards and gifts, all depends on the individual plan you choose.
First, it is important to note for pricing that SendOutCards has two different categories for cards: Automated Send and Heartfelt cards.
Automated Send cards have a future send date and more than one recipient. I use Automated Sends as a drip campaign for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays throughout the year.
Because SendOutCards pricing is structured in a tier system, the more Automated Send cards you mail out, the more cost savings you get on each card.
Heartfelt cards, on the other hand, have an immediate send date and only one recipient. You can think of these as one-off cards which take a little more involvement on your end but are worth it if you have the time. You might send a Heartfelt card when someone has a baby or when you want to thank them for meeting with you over lunch.
Keep in mind that postage is not included in the cost of the cards. Postage is typically about $0.55 per card.
Basic Plan: $0.00 per month
With this plan, you can send Heartfelt cards for $2.75 per card. Automated Send cards follow a tiered pricing schedule, also starting at $2.75 per card and decreasing by $0.25 for every 25 cards you send. There is no discount for gifts sent and you can only manage a few contacts in the database.
Card A Day Plan: $37.00 per month
This is a great plan for giving you a taste of all that SendOutCards has to offer. You’ll get an allotted 30 Heartfelt cards per month, after which Heartfelt cards are $2.00 per card. Automated Send cards also start at $2.00 per card, decreasing by $0.15 with every 25 cards you send. You’ll get a 20% discount on gifts and access to SendOutCards’ Relationship Manager System.
Unlimited Plan: $97.00 per month
While this plan offers a bigger discount on cards and gifts, it isn’t necessarily worth the cost in my opinion, unless you are planning to use a lot of Heartfelt cards. Under this plan, you’ll get unlimited Heartfelt cards with postage included. Automated Send cards start at $1.75 per card and decrease by $0.15 for every 25 cards you send. You’ll also get a 30% discount on gifts and full access to the Relationship Manager System.
Unlimited + 100: $147.00 per month
With this option, you get everything that is included in the Unlimited plan, plus 100 Automated Send cards at no additional cost. Once you’ve used the Automated Send allotment, the cost of Automated Sends drop to $1.25 per card.
Unlimited + 250: $247.00 per month
This plan gives you everything from the Unlimited and Unlimited + 100 plans, along with 250 Automated Send cards at no additional cost. If you use your 250 Automated Sends, each additional Automated Send card is $1.00.
Which SendOutCards Pricing Plan is Best For You?
Now that we have gone over the SendOutCards pricing plans, finding the right plan for you will depend on how many contacts you have in your database.
Less Than 200 Contacts
If you have less than 200 contacts, I recommend the Card a Day plan. This will get you all the benefits that you miss out on with the free plan, at the cheapest price point.
Additionally, the Card A Day plan gives you 30 Heartfelt cards per month. While I don’t personally use the Heartfelt cards, you might find them useful for your business so this gives you a chance to try them out.
200 to 500 Contacts
With this amount of contacts, I recommend the Unlimited + 100 plan. This gets you 100 Automated Send cards per month, or 1200 per year. So if you have at least 200 contacts and send mail to them quarterly (as I recommend doing), you will be at 800 cards per year.
Over 500 Contacts
With this amount of contacts, you should go with the Unlimited + 250 plan. This gives you an allotted 250 Automated Send cards per month, or 3,000 per year. This means if you have 500 people in your database to whom you send four pieces of mail per year, that’s 2,000 pieces of mail you’ll be sending.
Organizing Your Database
Organizing your database is the most time-consuming part of using SendOutCards. The amount of work you have depends on how thorough your database is at the start. This involves calling and messaging people to find out their birthdays and pulling up your transaction history to find out the anniversary of their home purchase date.
In order to build your client’s profile in the SendOutCards database, you’ll want to first organize their contact information in a spreadsheet. Include fields for:
- First and last name
- Anniversary of home purchase
For couples, only pick one person to send the anniversary card to, but address it to both of them.
Creating groups allows you to organize the contacts in your database and keep track of who gets what type of card. For example, someone might receive only a birthday or anniversary card, and some may get both. If you want to make a separate group for your top clients, you can do that here as well.
This data field is only important if you are sending a card addressed to both of them.
- Spouse birthday
This is not necessarily important if you already have them listed separately in your database.
Importing Your Database
To get started click on “Import Contacts”.
On the next page, simply click and drag the appropriate file to the uploader.
Then, verify that the information is correct and the dates are entered in the proper format. When you are done, click “Next”. On this page, correct any errors SendOutCards may have found, and hit “Import” in the bottom right corner.
When it’s finished uploading, click on “Go to Catalog”.
Then, click on the “Relationships” tab on the left-hand menu.
You should see all of your information here, along with the Groups you created. Don’t worry if it says you have more contacts than you really do. The system duplicates the contacts that have a spouse relationship attached to it.
Creating Automated Campaigns
Once your database is set up, you are ready to start your first campaign! You have two options: you can either purchase pre-packaged campaigns or build your own custom campaign.
With a pre-packaged campaign, you will get a number of templates for different occasions, along with a pre-written message inside. Pre-packaged campaigns range from $85 for three template designs, to $135 for five template designs.
Opting for pre-packaged campaigns can really increase your SendOutCards pricing quickly, which is why building your own campaign and creating your own custom cards is a better deal.
To create a custom campaign, go to the “My Campaigns” tab and click on the + button.
Choose a name for your campaign, such as “Birthday” or “Anniversary.”
On the next page, add a card to get started. You can purchase one created by SendOutCards, or upload your own photos to create custom cards.
Once you select a card you like, you can begin to customize it.
SendOutCards makes it easy to build and customize cards with their drag and drop card builder.
Once you’re done adjusting all the details of your card, hit “Add to Campaign” in the bottom right corner.
On the next page, adjust the send date and add any gifts you want to include.
Once you’re done, simply click on “Send Order” to prepare your campaign to be sent.
Getting Ready to Send
After you finish setting up your campaign, you only have to take a few more steps before you can set it and forget it.
To prepare your cards for mail out, go back to the “Relationships” tab and select the group you want to send cards to. Then click “Campaigns” in the upper right corner.
On the next page, select the Campaign you wish to use and click “Submit”.
SendOutCards will then create your order, and show you the full amount you will be charged throughout the entire campaign lifecycle.
It’s important to note that you will be billed individually as each card is sent, rather than paying for the whole campaign upfront. You will receive an email receipt each time a card is sent.
Make sure to double check that your return address is accurate, since any cards that can’t be delivered will be returned to you. If you do receive returned mail, update your database immediately to avoid future mail outs to a bad address.
Then, click “Ready to Send.”
Now you are all set! SendOutCards will keep sending out cards and gifts to your contacts, and you won’t need to log in to the system again until you’re ready to start a new campaign.
25 Tips For Using SendOutCards
1. Update Your Database Regularly
Ideally, you should update your database with new contacts monthly or quarterly. This way, if a contact’s birthday is at the end of the year, they will still get a card. I prefer to add new contacts monthly and update my current contacts every six months to keep my database accurate.
2. Add Potential Clients to Your Database
Even if someone hasn’t purchased a home from you, add them to your database so you can keep in touch with them. These are people you already have a relationship with, who know, like, and trust you. These could be friends, family, or co-workers. Adding these people to your database is an excellent way to use SendOutCards to get more referrals.
3. Utilize Heartfelt Cards
These are one-off cards that you send outside of your scheduled campaigns. Use Heartfelt cards to thank someone after meeting with them, after they give you a referral, and whenever you hear about a special occasion in someone’s life.
If you select one of SendOutCards’ paid plans, you’ll receive a certain amount of Heartfelt cards each month.
4. Send Your Campaign Whenever You Want
Campaigns usually come with a pre-selected send-out time. Cards are typically sent out at three-month intervals from the time your purchase the campaign. However, you can customize this so that you can send your cards whenever you like.
For example, you can choose to send the first card of the campaign immediately, and send the follow-up at six months.
5. Attach Gifts
SendOutCards has many different gift options, such as cupcakes, brownies, treat packages, and novelty gifts. However, the more expensive gifts can quickly add up, especially if you have hundreds of people in your database.
I’ve created a top 25 tier in my SendOutCards database, made up of clients of mine that give me the most business and referrals. I make sure to send them more expensive gifts to show my appreciation.
6. Import Your Entire Database at Once
If you have separate databases for your prospects, current clients, and sphere of influence, combine them into one database to upload to SendOutCards, rather than uploading each one separately.
Once you’ve combined all of your databases into one big spreadsheet, make sure you delete any duplicate entries, ensure the information is accurate, and then create groups for each segment of your database. These groups will appear in SendOutCards when you import your database so that you can easily organize your list by the desired group.
7. Only Input Relevant Information
Even though SendOutCards has fields for phone numbers and email addresses, you don’t need to collect this information because you are only sending physical mail. The only information you should collect is name, mailing address, birthday, home purchase anniversary date, and spouse’s name, if applicable.
8. Use Groups to Organize Your Database
In your spreadsheet, have a column that assigns each person a group. You can have a group for your contacts receiving just birthday cards, another for your contacts receiving only anniversary cards, and one for those receiving both. You can also create groups for your sphere of influence, potential clients, and top 10 tier.
You can have as many or as few groups as you want. Once you import your database, SendOutCards will automatically sort them into these groups.
9. Do Something Special for Your Top Clients
You can keep everything simple by keeping all your clients in the same group. But if you want to go the extra mile, set up a separate group for your top clients and reward them with special gifts. If you can afford to do so, giving nicer gifts to your valuable referral partners is a great way to show your appreciation.
10. Stay Top of Mind with Current Prospects
Even if you don’t have a close relationship with your prospecting group yet, you can still consistently send them cards to stay top of mind. I personally send cards to my prospecting group quarterly, on top of the campaigns for my other groups.
These should contain a simple message thanking them for their support and telling them that they can reach out if they ever need anything.
11. For Smaller Databases, You Don’t Have to Set Up Campaigns Right Away
You can simply import your database to SendOutCards without setting up a campaign, and the system will send you email notification reminders for when your contacts’ birthdays and anniversaries are coming up. This way, you can send people one-off cards as each date approaches. While this works for smaller databases, you’ll want to utilize campaigns if you have a hundred or more contacts.
12. Sign Up for a Paid Plan for Best Results
To get the best out of SendOutCards, including discounts on gifts, you should sign up for a paid plan. The best SendOutCards pricing plan for you will depend on how many contacts you have in your database.
In general, I recommend the “Card A Day” plan for databases of less than 200 contacts, the “Unlimited + 100” plan for 200 – 500 contacts, and the “Unlimited + 250” plan for 500+ contacts.
13. Use SendOutCards to Update Addresses
If one of your clients has moved, the card you sent to them will come back to you. This way, you can know which address you need to update. You should change it immediately so that you don’t keep sending out cards to the wrong address.
You can also use county tax records to manually verify addresses in your database, or look up addresses that you may not have already.
14. Set it and Forget it
To set up a campaign, you only have to log in to SendOutCards at the start of the year. The campaign will last for the entire year, and you won’t have to log in again until later in the year to set up next year’s campaign.
However, to get the most benefit from the system, I recommend logging in routinely to send Heartfelt cards, as well as to add contacts to your campaigns. This way, new contacts can begin receiving cards right away instead of waiting until the following year.
But even if you choose not to login to the system again, it’s nice to know that you will always have a baseline amount of cards going out to your current database for the year. Any extra work you put into SendOutCards is icing on the cake!
15. Change it Up
Pick different cards every year so that clients don’t get the same ones every time. SendOutCards offers a wide selection of designs, and you can also create your own. You can either upload your own photos or use free stock photos from sites like Pixabay, Unsplash, and Shutterstock.
16. Personalize Your Cards
Use photos, fonts, and colors to create a personalized card and message. Family photos or a photo of yourself are better than a generic stock photo. Also, upload your branding, logo, and signature onto your cards. If you have a slogan you can add that, too.. You can use a site like Canva to create a digital signature for yourself.
17. Use SendOutCards Even If Your Business is New
SendOutCards is useful even if you are just starting a business. If you don’t have much of a database yet, just send cards to all your friends in the area, letting them know that you are starting a new business and would love their support and referrals.
So many professionals underestimate the power of sending physical cards. In an increasingly digital world, it’s a nice change of pace to receive cards in the mail. Plus, the unexpectedness of receiving that card will stick in someone’s mind for months to come.
18. For Smaller Databases, You Can Add Contacts Individually
If working with databases sounds too technical, you can add each contact individually into SendOutCard’s Relationship Manager. However, this only works if you have a small database. If you have hundreds of contacts, the import method will save you time.
19. Start Right Away
You should set up SendOutCards now, even if you’re starting in the middle of the year. This way, you’ll be able to reach all the people with birthdays or home purchase anniversaries at the end of the year.
20. Send Cards Throughout the Process
If you want to take an extra step, send cards to your clients throughout the entire buying or selling process, not just after the closing. For example, send one after your first meeting, when you get under an exclusive contract, and after the repair negotiations and appraisal.
This will create a deeper connection with your client so that by the time you get to closing, they will be more likely to give you a referral.
21. Stay Top of Mind with People You Are Close to
Keep up with the contacts you are especially close to by sending them Heartfelt cards for special events in their lives, such as marriages or job promotions.
I use photos that I save from their social media accounts to create custom cards. It makes the card more personal, and people tend to save them because it’s a printed photo of the memory.
22. Keep in Touch with Other Professionals
You can also use SendOutCards to thank other professionals in your industry. For example, any real estate agent I’ve done a deal with or sends me a referral gets added to a group in my SendOutCards account. You just never know when that relationship could turn into something bigger.
Use SendOutCards to send out advertisements for your Just Listed and Just Sold announcements. This will act as your “Evidence of Success,” by showing your database that you’re active and successful.
However, don’t go overboard with this because then all your cards will feel like advertisements. I strategically send them out once or twice a year, either when I have a special listing or a unique client story to share.
24. Mail a Card to Get Back in Touch
Use Heartfelt cards to send a card with a thoughtful message to someone you may not have spoken with in some time. I’ve found this to be a great way to get a dialogue going again, and I’ve even had clients take photos of the cards and share them on their social media.
People love to be thought of, so you don’t always need to have a specific reason to send a card other than you were just thinking about them.
25. Reach out to Acquaintances
Sending cards to people you meet at networking events is another great way to use SendOutCards because it can help you get more referrals. If you do get referrals, send another card thanking the person who referred you.
This takes being more intentional. We meet so many people throughout our lives. If you take the extra step of finding out their address, either by asking them or searching through tax records, then send a card to let them know you appreciated meeting them, you can go from acquaintance to relationship very quickly.
Final Thoughts on SendOutCards
In my opinion, SendOutCards is an invaluable tool to add to your business and it is certainly worth the time and cost when it comes to maintaining meaningful relationships with your clients. I can honestly say that SendOutCards brought in the highest return on investment in my real estate business. If you’re looking for a way to stay in touch and get more referrals for future business, sign up for SendOutCards today.
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