How to Choose the Right Mailing List

You send out a direct mail campaign to your existing clients and the response is overwhelming. So, to capitalize on this success you want to send the same campaign to a prospect list. How do you find the right list?

It’s an axiom of the direct mail industry that the biggest factor in the success of a direct mail campaign is the list. Some say using the right list will account for as much as 80% of the success of any mailing. So, doing your homework is the logical first step in planning your direct mail campaign.

Ask yourself what are the characteristics of your clients who responded to the campaign?

For consumer marketing:

  1. What is their gender?
  2. What is their age?
  3. What is their average income?
  4. What problem does your product or service solve?
  5. What lifestyles are you searching for?

For business marketing:

  1. What is their job function?
  2. What is the business’s size?
  3. What is the business’s sales volume?
  4. In what industries are these businesses?

The answers to these questions (and more) will help you target the exact prospects for your product or service.

The next step is to find the best list that has these prospects. This is where the expertise of your direct mail list broker comes into play. A good list broker will ask you many questions including the ones above in order to help you pinpoint the exact target market you should be reaching. They will use your answers to research lists and advise you of which lists will perform the best for you. All of this at no cost to you.

Many attributes of a list help determine which lists will work. A list broker will take these into consideration:

  1. Where do the names on the list come from? What sources are being used to create the list?
  2. How often is the list updated?
  3. Are new names being added on an ongoing basis, and if so, can names be selected by recency?
  4. What demographic selections are available?
  5. What other mailers have used the list recently? And what kinds of offers were they making?
  6. What are the terms for one-time and multiple use?
  7. Are net-name arrangements available and what are they?

Dunhill International List Company’s account executives have an average 35 years of direct mail list expertise. Call our account executives at 1-800-DUNHILL (386-4455) today for expert advice on choosing your next direct marketing postal or email list.

Mailing List Checklist

When preparing to send out a direct mail piece, there are 6 simple steps you should take to insure your mailing list is ready for your marketing campaign.

Not only do you want the mailing to get out on time, you will also want to be sure you will get the best return on investment. This includes making sure the list you are using is up to date and meets with the USPS rules for bulk mail.

When you rent your list from a reputable list broker, they should prepare the list to comply with the USPS rules, but it is always good to ask your list broker to verify when the list was last NCOA’d, etc. Here is a checklist to help make sure your list will be ready for your mail piece.

  • Is the list targeted to the right audience? When renting a list, be sure target prospects are similar to your best customers
  • Is the list current? When was the list last updated?
    • Was it run through NCOA (National Change of Address)?
    • Was it passed through the DMA’s “do not mail file”?
    • Was it purged of deceased persons?
  • Does it need to be checked for duplicates? Do you want to reach only one person in a household/address?
  • Would adding “Or Current Resident” make sense for this mailing?
  • Would the mail piece benefit from Personalization?
    • If personalizing, is the list Capitalized properly?
    • What about initials as First names (e.g. H. Ross Perot).
    • Would a reference to their COMPANY, LOCATION (CITY/STATE) grab more attention?
  • What about empty fields? Choose a default name (e.g. Guest, Friend)

Dunhill International List Company is celebrating it’s 80th anniversary in the list industry. The company currently provides over 30,000 constantly updated mailing, email and telemarketing list categories. Our account executives offer essential sales guidance for consumer and business to business direct marketers. Call 1-800-DUNHILL (386-4455) today for your free list consultation.