It’s common to hear marketers talk about the importance of a “target market”. Unfortunately, it’s far less common to find useful advice on determining who that target market would be. To remedy that, here are a few pointers on finding your direct mail target market.
Any form of advertising works better if it’s “aimed” at a target. Generally, broadcasting your direct mail to anyone and everyone is like throwing seeds into the wind and hoping some of them take root.
Nobody disagrees on that point, but you’d be surprised at how few marketers really understand how to find a target market.
Demographics: the Key to Your Direct Mail Target Market
The problem with marketing isn’t lack of data. The problem is knowing which data to use, and how to tap into it the right way. Always start with demographics. These are the basic points of data you’ll use to begin narrowing your focus for your direct mail campaign.
Demographics can include:
- Marital Status
- Number of Children
If you’re already feeling like that’s too much to process, then you’re right. The key point here is to choose just a few demographic data points to define your direct mail target market.
Build Upon a Small Core of Demographics
Some of the demographics on that list may pop out as obviously important. That will depend on your business, of course. Choose two or three and that’s how you will begin building a picture of your targeted audience. So many marketers try and use every demographic available to them, and that’s where they get confused or overwhelmed.
Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond
It’s not always the huge demographics that are the right choice. Choosing a niche demographic can often be the most successful. An effective strategy can be to segment your potential market. You can narrow things down to very personalized data.
Let’s look at a few examples.
- High net worth couples that go on cruises.
- Single parent families that live in condominiums
- Families with children that live on more than two acres and grown their own food
- Union members that are of a particular political party
The possibilities are almost endless when you narrow down to a specific niche for your direct mail target market.
Choose Two Data Points: an Example
For example, let’s say you’re creating a campaign for the local community college and the goal is to increase enrollment for the career-related continuing education courses. You might want to use the following core demographics:
- Age (25-45)
- Income ($20,000 – $30,000/year)
That would target people who were in their prime career-building years but who weren’t pulling in enough to pay the bills. That gives you a solid core to focus upon. From there, you can then flesh out a picture of their life to create your ad copy. Now you’re focusing on the direct mail target market rather than throwing your seeds to the wind.
Look under your own Nose
Your in-house database can be an excellent source for your direct mail target market. Use your own list of customers or clients to create a new list with your desired demographics.
For example, in examining your own list you might find that your best purchasers are men between the ages of 25 and 35 years old and they rent their place of residence. Knowing that will help you make a more informed decision about what criterion to base your target market.
If all of this still seems just too complicated, no problem. Pick up the phone and call us at 702.617.9000 or complete our contact form. We’ll get the ball rolling in no time.