Choosing Your Mailing List Part 1
Sometimes businesses seeking to advertise by direct mail spend all their efforts developing the ad itself, and neglect to pay proper attention to the mailing list they are using. But without the right mailing list, no manner of advertising efforts will be worthwhile.
Mailing list companies compile lists based on location, age, interests, and other demographics. They get this information from a variety of sources like mail-order companies, phone companies, retailers and other businesses. Even educational institutions and government entities release mailing information. For example, if you file for divorce, you may receive mailers from divorce attorneys, and the same with bankruptcy.
Knowing your target audience is vital for the success of your direct mail advertising. If you have a product designed to work for seniors, you will want a list that will get you the most exposure to households with ages 55 and above. That will require the appropriate mailing list.
Many advertising experts will tell you that the best list you have is that of your own customer base. Can you bring in more business from the people who have already purchased from you? Your own mailing list is usually the most productive mailing list to begin with.
Once you have already tried that route and you are looking to bring in new customers, you will need to branch out from your own mailing list. When you know who you want to market to, you need to decide how you want to go about obtaining a list for that target audience. You can either swap for the list or rent it. See “Choosing Your Mailing List Part 2” for more information on these options.