The Most Important Part of Your Mailing (Part 3): Beyond Targeting Demographics

The Most Important Part of Your Mailing (Part 3): Beyond Targeting DemographicsWe're now on part 3 of this 3-part article and so far, I've gone over how to build your in-house list, then how to use that database to determine what demographics you should select when purchasing an outside list for lead generation. Many factors can be considered: age, gender, zip code, annual salary, profession, and number of children are some of the more common qualifiers – though it may take a while to figure out what combination works for your specific product. Don't worry about political correctness when considering to whom you should mail. It is perfectly acceptable to test certain lists that may be considered “stereotypical”. (For example, if you own an authentic Cuban restaurant, it's perfectly okay to mail to a list of authentically Cuban people!) Many times, these lists will work well – but you never know until you test them.

Let's skip forward to the part where you've tested the lists that you purchased. You've done some repeat mailing, and the demographic lists that match your database are not quite performing up to the level that you would like.

In most cases, demographic lists more than get the job done. For some products or services, though – home woodworking tools, for instance – you may not be confident that you can adequately narrow your list by the normal qualifiers.

Continuing the home woodworking tools example, you can make certain assertions based on your past customer data – but in the end, all it has really told you is that your customers are mostly men, 25-55 and are spread out across all different annual income ranges. According to nationwide demographics, you've narrowed your list down to 61,227,184 contacts (using the 2008 census data). You definitely need a way to narrow it down more.

At this point you may want to consider using a privately “managed” list. These lists are going to cost more per name, but will give you a much better way of pinpointing possible customers. For example, you could order the subscriber list for Fine Woodworking Magazine. Although they are around double the cost – say, 10¢ per name instead of the average 5¢ on a demographics list – you are guaranteed that all of the names you get are for people interested in woodworking, and therefore are much more likely to be interested in your product. If you are interested in checking what managed lists are available, matching interest in your product or service, just give one of my Marketing Consultants a call at 1-800-628-1804. They'll help you find one that fits perfectly. It's going to cost you a bit more than a demographics list, but you will likely find that the response and your return on investment are considerably higher!

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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