Mailing Lists – Keeping it Simple
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?
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. The three basic kinds of lists that you can use are (you can use all three):
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 who 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 behavioural characteristics.
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?