How to Fail at your First Mailer (CFFL 397)

How to Fail at your First Mailer

Recording Location: 33.841318  -118.391593


Jack Butala:                            Jack Butala here with Jill. She’s gonna join us quickly. An impromptu quick motion of Jill’s … What would I call it? Jill? I would call it your … Jill had a feeling. So now we’re doing the slide.

Jill DeWit:                               I had a feeling.

Jack Butala:                            We’re doing our podcast live and video.

Jill DeWit:                               Yep. We’re going crazy now. We’re recording show number 400 this week, by the way. It’s about time we just go crazy.

Jack Butala:                            This is 397.

Jill DeWit:                               This is 397.

Jack Butala:                            Jack Butala with Jill DeWit.

Jill DeWit:                               Hi.

Jack Butala:                            Welcome to our show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about How to fail at Your Very First Mailer. It’s interesting that this came about because people think that they’re failing, but they’re not. The vast majority of all- well 99.99% of us are doing fantastic at this. There’s a couple people that are having some issues, so we decided to do a whole show on it just to help them out. This is How You Fail at Your First Mailer.

Jill DeWit:                               Yeah, we’ll help you with that.

Jack Butala:                            Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of the members on It’s Free.

Jill DeWit:                               Okay, cool. All right, Luke asked this question, “I hear people talking about segmenting their buyer’s list all the time, and I figured I would do it, too. But then I got to think about it, and wondered why it’s really that important. I have proppies for sale in Oregon, Virginia, and North Carolina. I figured I would segment my buyer’s list by state to start out. Wouldn’t you want to get as many eyes on each email as possible, though? I’m on the buyer’s list for other land flippers who have their buyer’s list segmented by state and I don’t like it. What makes it hard? It makes it hard to make sure I’m getting the emails for all the properties they have available. For the seller’s end, it seems like a lot of trouble with no real reason. What do you think?”

Jack Butala:                            This is a fantastic question.

Jill DeWit:                               This is a long question.

Jack Butala:                            It is a long question. What he’s getting at is when a buyer logs on to a website to take a look at a piece of property, I don’t care if it’s an apartment for rent, a house to potentially buy, an apartment building, or in our case, land. Everybody looks at it differently.

Jill DeWit:                               It’s true.

Jack Butala:                            Everyone. I love to look at property based on price per acre. I love to look at houses and apartments based on price per door or cap rate, and houses priced per square foot. Then it all doesn’t matter. None of it matters unless you can see it on a map.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            What it’s in relation to. Is it close to the ocean? Is it close to the mountains, and on. Is it in the right school system? To answer your question, Luke, you got to give it to them every single way they want it. You need to have the buyer decide how they want to review the real estate you have for sale. If you’re seeing a trend, the reason that you’re leaning toward it doesn’t matter to sort by state. Your leaning toward that is because you’re probably doing it correctly. You’re selling property to wholesaler- you’re selling it to wholesalers. You’re wholesaling it out to people who are going to resell it and they’re buying it solely based on its price.

Jill DeWit:                               The numbers, and that’s the right way.

Jack Butala:                            That’s great. We know with absolute, that’s the exact customer that you want to attract.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            If you don’t have the technolog- fortunate we do at [inaudible 00:03:20] we do this for you. The buyer, not at this exact moment, cannot do that, but literally, we got people working on it to expand that functionality. To wrap it up, if you’re seeing a trend, and you are, that your buyers are looking at the property based on price then give it to them that way. An unattended consequence is that if someone logs on and takes a look at your property, and they don’t like the way that they can see it it’s not the right customer for you.

Jill DeWit:                               That’s very true.

Jack Butala:                            I know for a fact, Luke, that this guy sells, what? 50 to 60 properties a month?

Jill DeWit:                               I think it’s the other Luke.

Jack Butala:                            Oh, okay.

Jill DeWit:                               We have several Luke’s.

Jack Butala:                            Oh, I know who this is.

Jill DeWit:                               In the group, yeah.

Jack Butala:                            Yeah, sure. I mean, as well.

Jill DeWit:                               But they’re both rock stars.

Jack Butala:                            They’re both killing it.

Jill DeWit:                               I know. Yeah, there’s probably plenty of other Luke’s that we don’t even cover.

Jack Butala:                            Luke two’s not … He’s just not in … He hasn’t been in it as long as Luke one, but he will be … It’ll work.

Jill DeWit:                               It’s a Luke thing.

Jack Butala:                            If you have a question or you want to be on the show reach out to us on Today’s show is called How to fail at Your First Mailer. Why the hell would you put- this is Jill’s … I’m saying what Jill’s thinking right now. Why the hell would you put the word fail in a title?

Jill DeWit:                               You know what’s funny? You think that I hate all of the negative words, but I particularly like this show. I really like it based on the stuff that we talked about when I got back in town from New York the other day, about some of the conversations that you had with people last week and some people that are, frankly, doing it wrong. I think it’s important to talk about. I actually like this and I’m all in. I have some good things to share about why I think …

Jack Butala:                            Go ahead, lead it on.

Jill DeWit:                               … some people are failing. Okay, so I will happily share what I think. My number one thing that I think people why they might be failing in their first mailer is that they are sending offers … Let me back up. What our members are doing, what our people are doing, we’re teaching them how to send real offers to sellers that they have targeted that might be receptive to these offers to sell their property. Great.

Jack Butala:                            Yeah, they’re owners. They’re unsolicited offers in the mail.

Jill DeWit:                               To people with property that they’ve identified that they want and all that good stuff. Anyway, I think, for me the number one thing is that some people are sending offers that are unrealistic and sometimes even less than a hundred dollars, and that really bugs me. If I got an offer in the mail, and it wasn’t even worth my time and it’s not even gonna pay for me to go out to dinner or something nice, you know? For selling my property even though I know it’s not worth that much, I’m gonna toss it. It’s wasted so that’s a waste of time and energy and money. Not good, not good.

Jack Butala:                            What Jill is saying is they are not pricing it properly? What they’re doing is seriously bottom fishing just to see what’s gonna happen, and then they wonder why it doesn’t work.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            What happens in our group is we use a tremendous number of statistics and characteristics to identify what property, what sellers may be logical sellers. Assessed value, land value, improvement value, a lot of pretty sophisticated stuff. That’s why it works, and that’s why our members who methodically plan out and offers to owners campaign, why it works.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            We have a couple of people in our group who are not thinking it through. They’re just slapping it together and sending it out offers, for like 50 dollars. 50 or 80 or even 10 dollars. I mean it’s just … Then they’re wondering, “What the hell?”

Jill DeWit:                               Wondering why no one bit. Well, I would go, “You got to be kidding me, that’s not worth my time to even open the mail.”

Jack Butala:                            To get back to answering the question of the title, How to Fail at Your First Mailer Campaign, number one is price it improperly. That is absolutely the single biggest factor for why this fails. You know, you have to price it properly. You would never send … Speaking of New York, like yesterday, you would never send an offer out for a thousand dollars to buy a sky scraper and expect someone to sign it.

Jill DeWit:                               It’s like 10 dollars for a piece of property, that’s silly.

Jack Butala:                            Right, so we really need to methodically price it, and for instructions on how we price property just go over to LandAc- … It’s beyond the scope of this …

Jill DeWit:                               Show?

Jack Butala:                            … live event here. How we price it here is explained in great detail on Land Academy and Success Plan.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly. Want to hear my second one?

Jack Butala:                            Yes.

Jill DeWit:                               All right, so my second one not being ready … Another way to fail is not being ready and have some cash on hand to act when these offers come back in. You don’t just plan to, what we call, option them, which is option the property like, “Hey, I’m agreeing to buy it at this price within ninety days because the person really doesn’t have the cash, or whatever circumstance.” You want to have cash on hand, and I tell people this, you want to be properly prepared.

Jack Butala:                            Follow through.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            Whatever you’re promising in that offer, close by this date this amount of cash, be able to follow through, and be able to return the call. That’s my number two. Because you’re just not prepared when you said the offer’s out. Regardless, let’s say maybe you even did price it wrong, let’s assume you priced it right you’re gonna get a lot of calls back. And you’re gonna get a lot of people sending stuff back in the mail signed.

Jill DeWit:                               Yeah, and they are excited and ready to follow through, and if you can’t do that that’s poor planning.

Jack Butala:                            Yeah, and then you wonder why you didn’t buy any property. That’s fantastic. Exactly, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                               Thank you.

Jack Butala:                            Another reason that people fail at their first offer is because they test it. They send out four or 500 offers. They don’t do their homework on where they should send it.

Jill DeWit:                               Bingo.

Jack Butala:                            We send it to relatively rural areas and scrape the bottom price-wise. I don’t mean 25 cents price-wise, logically priced [crosstalk 00:09:35]

Jill DeWit:                               Do you know what’s funny? We say scraped the bottom, but it’s really not scraping the bottom. Even though we say that, we do send legitimate …

Jack Butala:                            It’s 20 to 40% of retail.

Jill DeWit:                               Yeah, I mean, but they’re reasonable offers.

Jack Butala:                            Yeah, and we have a bottom. I never send an offer out, ever, under any circumstance with a dollar amount less than 500 dollars.

Jill DeWit:                               Right, so let’s be cool, but you just tapped into my third one.

Jack Butala:                            Oh, good, okay.

Jill DeWit:                               Which was-

Jack Butala:                            Totally thought you were serious.

Jill DeWit:                               No, and it was good. My third one is … You know when you say test the market, you said do your homework kind of thing, and my thing is not having any education meaning, not doing your homework, not thinking about this, not putting a lot of thought into this. You don’t have to be in our world. There’s lots of ways around there that you can learn how to do this. A lot of people are listening to our show and are doing this. They’re not in our world and then we’re helping them, and I love that. Spend some time on this, learn about this. Make sure you’re doing it right, because if you don’t, you’re wasting your time, you’re wasting your money, you’re wasting your energy.

Jack Butala:                            You get frustrated, you know?

Jill DeWit:                               Yeah, you want to succeed.

Jack Butala:                            BiggerPockets, which we have no affiliation with, is packed with frustrated, new, real estate investors because nobody is giving them good advice. Buy a house and renting it out is maybe one of the most difficult set-yourself-up-to-fail ways to invest in real estate.

Jill DeWit:                               Especially if you’re brand new. People walk in thinking, “Brand new, I can do this.” No, there’s a lot to it, you know? Learn from somebody else.

Jack Butala:                            It’s not hard, it’s methodical, it takes patience, and you have to plan.

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            You need a website for people to go back to when they get that letter to check out. It’s the same way that you buy anything right. Well, most of us don’t. If you’re under 40, you wouldn’t even think about buying anything before you did a little bit of research on your phone to see if it’s priced right or if it is the same [crosstalk 00:11:31]

Jill DeWit:                               Whoa, wait, back up. If you’re under 40 … Under 40 or over 40?

Jack Butala:                            Under.

Jill DeWit:                               If you’re under 40 …

Jack Butala:                            Because they were born with a silicon chip in their mouth.

Jill DeWit:                               Oh, but they’re not looking at consumer reports, I can say that.

Jack Butala:                            Oh, my God. If you’re under forty there used to be this thing called consumer reports.

Jill DeWit:                               Where are they doing their due diligence? Do they think they really do that? I don’t know. Now I have a question about that.

Jack Butala:                            Before you went to buy a car you used to go to consumer reports to see what the guys on the test track …

Jill DeWit:                               Or car driver, yeah.

Jack Butala:                            Now you just to go to Amazon and you get the truth in 13 seconds about anything.

Jill DeWit:                               I do that. Well, that’s my question. I’m curious if the under 40 crowd does that. I hope they do. I do look for the reviews. Make sure Tyler reviewed all that good stuff. I don’t know where we went on that, but anyway.

Jack Butala:                            Anytime I’m in Best Buy or Fry’s electronics, everybody is standing there and looking at a product on a shelf, and they’re standing there looking at their phone.

Jill DeWit:                               I thought they were trying to price beat it though. That’s what I’m doing.

Jack Butala:                            Well, they’re just seeing if it works.

Jill DeWit:                               Well, that’s true. Yeah, I am looking at the reviews and I’m going, “Look it’s five dollars cheaper and it’s free if I do it on Amazon.” I often do that because I don’t want to take it, I don’t want to have to carry it around. It’s all good.

Jack Butala:                            Another mistake I see people doing with offers to owners, or sending offers to owners is licking an envelope and putting a stamp on it.

Jill DeWit:                               Thank you, Jack.

Jack Butala:                            Well, it seems like you’re saving money. In time you’re not. You need to find a bulk mail company that runs the addresses through software, and does handles all that for you. It’s way, way, way cheaper, and you don’t buy a printer and all of that stuff. Not to mention the fact that you’re gonna get a bunch of properties, you’re gonna get a bunch of letters back that are return to sender because the addresses aren’t any good.

Jill DeWit:                               That’s true.

Jack Butala:                            With the bulk mail, it got to run it through some software …

Jill DeWit:                               They scrub it-

Jack Butala:                            … something like that.

Jill DeWit:                               They get that bad stuff out of there. They make sure it’s deliverable. Oh, there’s so many ways that that saves money. You’re right.

Jack Butala:                            Finally, on my mental list on how to fail at this is to use a list.

Jill DeWit:                               That’s true, I like that.

Jack Butala:                            You need to tap into a database …

Jill DeWit:                               Hey, I’ll show you a list.

Jack Butala:                            … and create. See, here’s a problem with the list.

Jill DeWit:                               Just kidding.

Jack Butala:                            Number one, you don’t know how old or new the data is, that’s a problem. But the real problem is that you don’t know if they’re logical buyers. Let’s say you somehow pull a list, you go to the county and you get a list. You pay 50 dollars, they send you a CD like it’s 1984. You put it in the computer and you pick out 50 people that you want or 500 or some number. Let’s say you send it to all of them. What you’re doing is you’re not scrubbing the data and using assessed value and a bunch of other statistics to logically make a good decision about who should get an offer. You’re just spraying the whole thing. You’re setting yourself up to fail is what you are doing.

Jill DeWit:                               I love you. You have the best little things that just come out.

Jack Butala:                            Spray the whole thing?

Jill DeWit:                               Yeah. We’re not even gonna go there. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Just pass on. Keep going, just keep going. Just the things that … You think that I come up with the funny things when it’s really you so that’s good.

Jack Butala:                            If you’re methodical about this, and you take some time and care about it and treat it with the respect that it deserves, you’re going to make a fortune. That’s the thick of it.

Jill DeWit:                               Yep. That’s good.

Jack Butala:                            But if you just flippantly slap it all together, just to see what happens, it’s not gonna work.

Jill DeWit:                               It’s not gonna work. You just wasted.

Jack Butala:                            How’s that for simplifying it?

Jill DeWit:                               I know and the big picture is we don’t want you to be discouraged, we want you to succeed, so that’s why we’re doing this show. We don’t want you to fail. We want you to know what you need to do to do it right. We want you to have some success, and we want you to … Sure there’s gonna be little things that you goof up on, but you’ll recover, and you’ll go, “All right. Gosh, I forgot to take that out of my when I was scrubbing down my data. Now I’ll remove that or now I’ll add that in, because that would have been something that would have made my offers better.” We want you to succeed, we want you to get some good properties out of it, and make some money.

Jack Butala:                            Before you send that mailer out, go onto Success Planet and ask a million questions. All of our members are there, it’s totally free about this or houses or anything or investing in general. Go to Success Planet, it’s a forum, and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about sending this offer here, am I making a huge mistake?”

Jill DeWit:                               Exactly.

Jack Butala:                            If you remember … I’ll personally, on Wednesday, you can schedule a call, I will personally go over with you live on …

Jill DeWit:                               I’d love that.

Jack Butala:                            … on Skype, and we’ll look at your spreadsheets together and price it. Every Wednesday my schedule gets packed. You know what, and I’ll do it about properties that if you’re thinking about buying a property, we can do that, too, if you remember.

Jill DeWit:                               I’d love that. Jack will actually go into your … You can share with him your spreadsheet, and he’ll actually go in and say, “I’ll make another column right here and here’s how I would price it.” I mean that’s priceless information.

Jack Butala:                            Here’s some good stats. Jill and I have sent over 2.4 million letters out. I checked. Actually, I had …

Jill DeWit:                               It’s crazy.

Jack Butala:                            … RealQuest tell me that. Then last month, RealQuest said our members downloaded 280,000 records.

Jill DeWit:                               Wow.

Jack Butala:                            So this is working.

Jill DeWit:                               It’s working.

Jack Butala:                            We sent out, I don’t know, I think our letter company, bulk mailer company, where we get our huge discount, it was the first month we’ve used them, and we sent out as a group …

Jill DeWit:                               Wasn’t even a full month.

Jack Butala:                            … 65,000 letters. Yeah, it was half of February when we started this.

Jill DeWit:                               I mean that’s a lot of mail, just quickly throwing it together.

Jack Butala:                            Half of January, sorry.

Jill DeWit:                               Yeah, that was not very many people and that was a lot. That was really good. I’m excited to see the stuff.

Jack Butala:                            It works.

Jill DeWit:                               Yep. Cool.

Jack Butala:                            Join us in another episode where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information, that’s me.

Jill DeWit:                               And inspiration, that’s me.

Jack Butala:                            To get just about anything you want.

Jill DeWit:                               We use it everyday to buy property for half of what it’s worth and sell it immediately.

Jack Butala:                            You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I wonder if anybody’s watching us at all.

Jill DeWit:                               I have no idea. I don’t know. No, what’s funny is, we’re gonna get sunburn on one side here.

Jack Butala:                            I know. I was wondering that, it’s hot.

Jill DeWit:                               I know.

Jack Butala:                            We’re gonna get sunburned. People back East are [crosstalk 00:17:36]

Jill DeWit:                               I know, I’m so sorry.

Jack Butala:                            They bundle up.

Jill DeWit:                               I’m sorry, New York. I was there yesterday. I actually went through de-icing yesterday to get out of there. We had a not long delay, thank goodness. It was about an hour and a half so we got very lucky. I was there all last week and it’s better here. I’m good. I’m good.

Jack Butala:                            Information and inspiration to buy under-valued property.

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