US Data Corporation Direct Marketing Blog

Direct Mail Lists: What You Should Know Before You Buy7:00 am


By Kristen Dabrio

Direct Mail Lists: What You Should Know Before You BuyDirect mail marketing has continued to work efficiently for businesses and can be an essential part of a marketing campaign, which is why it’s so important to understand everything you can about direct mail lists. Since direct mail lists can make a huge difference in the success of your campaign, it’s crucial to spend the time to select the best possible list. The list, along with the offer and the creative, make up all the essential parts of direct mail campaign and they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Many companies shy away from running their own campaigns because they lack a clear understanding of how direct mail lists work. However, a successful direct mail campaign has the potential to bring in lots of new customers, so it will be worth your while to gain a better understanding of the direct mail list buying process. Here are a few things you need to know before you buy.

Businesses looking into purchasing direct mail lists often don’t realize that there’s a difference between buying and renting a list. Many lists have the option to either purchase for endless use or rent for a one-time-use, but you should be aware that there are stipulations to each.  Since direct mail lists are always changing and need to be updated as often as possible, renting a list is usually your best option. However, this usually means you can only use the list once, so if you plan on running multiple campaigns, you will have to rent a new list each time. Purchasing a list allows you to use that list as many times as you want, but there’s no assurance that your data will be accurate, and direct mail data becomes outdated very quickly. Since people are always moving and their residential addresses change, having an accurate and up-to-date list is absolutely essential to any direct mail campaign.

Knowing your target audience is crucial for any campaign, so make sure you have a solid understanding of your customer base before you begin for your direct mail campaign. A credible list company will help you find your target audience if you’re unsure. Your list specialist should also be able to suggest additional targeting selects, and help you evaluate whether or not direct mail is your best marketing option. People who have retired, stay-at-home moms, or other people who are likely to bring in and sort the mail every day, might be well-suited for direct mail marketing campaigns; however, teenagers or college students might not be the most fruitful options.

Keep in mind that, if you haven’t prepared your direct mail campaign in advance, you’re probably not ready to buy your direct mail list yet. Since direct mail lists should be used almost immediately after they are rented in order to preserve the data’s accuracy, you need to make sure all of your materials are ready to go before you pull the trigger. You don’t want to spend weeks designing a campaign after you purchase a list, so all of this should be done before. Being prepared in advance will help ensure that your list is current and will live up to its potential.

Many list rentals require you to rent a certain number of addresses. The company you’re renting from should tell you their minimum requirements for direct mail lists up-front and help you figure out what’s the best strategy for your mailing campaign. If you’re targeting a very small demographic that might not yield many results, your list specialist may try to help you expand your targeting selects a little in order to ensure that the list is profitable for your company. Ultimately, this should be a collaborative process with your list specialist; their industry expertise will help you navigate the rocky terrain of direct marketing and make sure you’re doing what’s best for your company.

Ultimately, preparation is key. If you know what you want from your direct mailing lists, renting a list should be a fairly simple and rewarding process. If you’re looking for ways to drive in more business and further develop a cohesive marketing strategy, direct mail marketing is a great idea. Your best bet is to contact a reputable list company and get started as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or are interested in renting a mailing list for your business, please call us at (888) 578-3282.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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