Choosing Quality Mailing Lists and Getting Your Postcards to the Right Prospects
The right direct mailing list targets people who want your product or service.
The direct mail mailing list is a key factor in a successful direct mail marketing campaign and a major point to consider in small business marketing strategies where marketing ROI (Return On Investment) is a key concern.
What really makes your direct mail marketing and advertising campaign successful?
The biggest single factor in the success of your direct mail marketing strategy is who you send your mailings to.
A. You need a list. This can be:
2) a list which you purchase or in some cases obtain for free.
B. The mailing list must contain the names of people who are likely to be interested in the benefits of your products or services.
Don't try and sell beer to the Temperance Society or real estate to people who cannot afford it. You have to target your direct mail marketing efforts.
What kinds of lists are available?
C. There are a few basic kinds of lists that you can use (you can use them all):
2. A response list is a list of people that have actually done something. They have either purchased something from the people who put together the list or inquired in response to some offer or asked to be on the list. They have some level of interest in the topic or purpose of the list.
These people have not previously responded to you, but they have responded to someone in a related area (if you have purchased a correctly targeted list) so you know they are at least warm. This is a direct mail mailing list you can purchase from the owner of the list (such as a magazine or company) or a list broker.
3. A compiled list is a list of people who were selected to be on the list because they possess the characteristics that you asked the list broker to screen for.
Examples of characteristics used to target correctly may include age, sex, geographic location, income level, etc. These are more fixed characteristics than response-list characteristics, which are behavioral characteristics.
4. An 'opt-in' list is a list that people sign up to be on – they are asking to be mailed and emailed to; these lists are pretty pricey but can have incredible ROI. These can also be purchased from a list broker.
5. A highly exacting segmented list based on hi-tech systems analysis can give you the ability to micro-target your market for extreme results. Using technology, you can access information about your client base that goes way beyond the standard criteria of age, income, and gender used in list purchasing. You can learn the spending and saving habits of your customers, what they enjoy reading, and where they like to travel. After analyzing this information and the geo-demographics of your client base, you can find your exact market and promote only to them. It is a rare service offered by a few direct mail houses where the price ranges from the very high to the more reasonable. I wish I could disclose where else you can get this analysis done aside from my company, but we simply are not allowed to. The company has automated the process for us and made the pricing so proprietary that they will not let us print who they are – although we are happy to tell you if you call us.
Mailing lists, correctly targeted, can make the difference in a mediocre promotional campaign to a wildly successful promotional campaign. It really just depends on what you are willing to have – success or mediocrity. So which is it?