What You Need To Know When Creating Your Mailing List

Mail List 101

Does direct mail marketing seem old fashioned to you?  Do you wonder if it is cost effective?  Is your goal to attract new customers?

Most marketers will tell you that it costs more to generate business from new customers than from existing customers. However, business thrives on building new customers.

Successful direct mail hinges on a few important components.  The first of which is a good mailing list.

What makes a good list?  A good starting point is to identify your current “best customers” and build prospects based on those same parameters.  Or start from scratch and create a brand new profile.

There are plenty of list managers and brokers out there from which to choose.  A quick google search will give you scores of potential vendors.  Select a vendor that will guide you through building a list.

Your target demographic will depend on your desired profile and end goals.  Here are a few to start:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Estimated income
  • Homeowner/renter
  • Credit card holders
  • Education level

 A good list seller may have over 100 points of demographic information.

Lists can be purchased for one-time use or multiple mailings in a given period of time.  I recommend purchasing usage for a year to allow for follow up mailings and perhaps breaking that list down to manageable test mailings.

A list is the first step in your direct mail piece.  You should keep in mind the 40-40-20 rule (40% list, 40% offer, 20% look and feel of mail piece).

What has been your experience with using your own house-grown list or a purchased list?  Where do you wish you had more in-depth information regarding your customers or prospects that a qualified list could have answered for you?





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