Choosing Quality Mailing Lists and Getting Your Postcards to the Right Prospects

Choosing Quality Mailing Lists and Getting Your Postcards to the Right ProspectsThe 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:

1) a list of existing customers or prospects who have inquired as a result of any of your marketing efforts or

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):

1. Your own list of prospects and customers. This is a list that you collected with your own personal marketing efforts. This is known as a house list. These people are most likely to respond to your offers, because they have responded in the past.

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?

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation's most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing–all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC's "Your Business." PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership. Find Joy on Google+

If you would like to interview Joy or book her as a speaker, please email joyspeak@postcardmania.com or call 1-800-628-1804 ext. 281.

Speak to a Marketing Consultant 1-800-628-1804
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