Compiling a Mailing List
Direct mailing lists have a tendency of getting overused, overextended, and outdated. Because of this, many companies are turning to creating their own mailing lists to solve the problem. Mailing lists work best when they are fresh, targeted, and accurate. Sometimes businesses compile their own mailing lists from directories to focus on a local area. Others have different ways of making their own lists. But however you do it, there are some important guidelines to follow to ensure the list is successful.
Start by making column headings or field names legible and understandable. It may sound simple enough, but costly mistakes have been made here. And be careful of physical addresses vs. mailing addresses. Some customer databases will have two distinct addresses so it is important to distinguish between the two.
When you are exporting from a database, make sure to export only the fields necessary for mailing to keep the list clean and free of mistakes like accidentally printing phone numbers instead of addresses on the envelopes.
You can avoid delays in mail processing by reviewing your list before sending it to your mail house. If it seems confusing to you, it will to them too. And as it is your business on the line, not the data entry worker on the other end, they won’t be as careful as you would about ensuring accuracy. Make sure to clean it up before it goes to the mail house.
If your intention is to do a staggered mailing, breaking up the sending of the mailers into separate mailings, make sure you notify the mail house ahead of time. Let them know the plan and identify the groups that need which mailing and when. They should be able to facilitate this process for you as you communicate your needs. Above all, take responsibility for your own mailing list and you’ll get the best results.