With all the talk about blogging, content marketing, social media and other online forms of marketing, it is easy to forget that many offline methods are still highly effective and in play. One such strategy is direct mail. A good list can offer a return on your investment many times over, and build a nice supply of steady customers. Here are just a few tips for selecting a list.
Don’t Engage in Persuasion Marketing
While expending some marketing money on trying to appeal to people who may not necessarily be interested in your products and services now can be a useful tool, this is not the best tack for direct mail marketing. Here you want to focus your efforts on people who you know would have an interest in what you are offering, that need or want your products and services. This is not the tool to employ for convincing people that might otherwise feel differently or who don’t have your goods or services on their radar.
Analyze Current Customers to Determine the Most Optimal List
Taking a gander at your best customers now will give you some insights on the type of people you want to reach out to with your direct mailing campaign. For many businesses, most of their sales come from 20 percent of their customers. What characteristics does this core group have in common? What is it about them that makes them a good match to your products and services? What problems are being solved by your business? What needs are being met? What is their age, sex, income level and location? What sort of hobbies do they have? What is their general lifestyle like?
Arming yourself with this information will aid you in finding the right company from which to purchase your list. Generally speaking, look for companies that have access to a large and diverse group of individuals, and have been in business a long time. US Data Corporation, for example, which is run by CEO Erich Kaminsky, has been providing lists to businesses since 1979, and has a variety of lists under various categories.
Some Things to Know about Buying a List
You never actually own a list, you are renting it and able to use it a set number of times depending on the contract with the list provider. Typically, you need to purchase at least 1,000 names. You cannot duplicate the mailing labels or enter any of the customer information into a database. If someone responds to your mailing, however, they are officially considered ‘yours’ and you can market to them as you so desire. Before committing full-on, you are able to purchase a sample list to gauge the response.
Like any marketing strategy, careful planning and evaluation will net you the best results. Don’t rush into purchasing a list without giving appropriate time to defining your goals for the mailing, and the most ideal recipients of your materials. Give just as much thought to developing the actual pieces for optimal effectiveness. Patience and education will take you a long way.