You don’t have to be in marketing long to know that direct mail lists are the most important piece of any direct mail campaign. After all, even if you’ve splurged on graphic design that wows, if you reach the wrong audience, there is really no chance for success. It’s a waste, a waste of time and money.
There is more than one way to have direct mail lists that make a campaign work. You can create the mailing lists from your own database, rent the lists, or buy them outright. What works best can be different in each case.
Direct Mail Lists Data and Demographics
Typically, direct mail lists are based on certain data and demographics that help identify specific consumers. Demographics can include any of the following, and more:
- Number of children
- Marital status
- Hobbies: boating, runner, crafting, sports
- Location: based on city, proximity to an area, zip code, neighborhood
- Life events: moving, graduation, wedding
- Purchase history: online, brick and mortar, catalogs
Accurate Targeting is Essential
No matter where you get your direct mail lists, they must be current and precise. You will need to accurately determine which consumers you will be targeting. Use lists that are designed just for your group. It’s amazing the accuracy and details a good mailing list can provide. There’s no point sending a pet store mailer to people who don’t even like animals or own pets.
When thinking about marketing, think about identifying. An effective marketing campaign should identify the people who already want your services or product. There should be very little convincing needed with direct mail lists that target the right group.
Identifying and then targeting potential buyers and clients that already have an interest in what you offer puts you at a distinct advantage over your competition.
What is a List Broker?
A mailing list broker is similar to other business type brokers, for example, a real estate broker. They will search the market looking for listings that meet your needed specifications. The broker should be capable of searching for all the qualities and characteristics that you require. They do the research and check out the market to find all of the lists that are available that meet your requirements.
There are many direct mailing lists brokers, some providing lists of a higher quality than others. If a broker has a price that is much lower than others it could be a red flag. It could be outdated, non-relevant, or inaccurate. Just like most things, you get what you pay for. Do your due diligence when selecting a list broker.
The DIY Method
One way to get the direct mail lists that you need for your campaign is to collect data and create your own lists. Know that this method can require a lot of time and effort on your part. However, it is much more affordable, and you have complete control.
There are some advantages the DIY method offers, that make it a popular choice for serious marketers. When you create your own lists, you control the accuracy and the relevancy of the data that is included. You can search public databases for new consumers to target and update the lists as you gain new leads and customers.
With today’s website and internet advances, it is fairly easy to incorporate easy to use forms and call to actions to obtain consumer data. And don’t discount social media. Brands can turn social data into direct mail lists and consumer insights.
Renting Lists for your Mailers
Another option to get direct mail lists is to rent them. List rentals are often single use rentals. You are paying to use the list data just once. You will never own the data and you cannot use it in any future campaigns unless you pay the rental fee again. When you rent lists, you also have to rely on others to determine the value and accuracy of the data.
If you use direct mail regularly to reach out to consumers, then list rentals can get expensive over time. Multi-use rental agreements can be difficult to find, and quite pricey when the lists involved are top quality.
Direct Mail List Purchasing
A third option for direct mail lists is purchasing. This type of agreement means that you are free to use the data in any way you like, provided you do not resell it. You can use it repeatedly, add, delete, and update the information so your list stays highly relevant and current.
Which Method is Best for You?
Each method of getting direct mail lists can be right in some cases, but wrong in others. Before you decide, take a look at your budget, long-term plans, and the time you have available. You will need to review your resources, personal preferences, and other details of your individual situation.
Are you ready to get started? Do you still have questions? We can help. Our decades of direct mail experience means you get the best results from your direct mail campaigns. Contact us now!