Acquiring Fresh Mailing Lists For Direct Mail Postcard Campaigns
Audience is at least 40 percent of the equation in developing a successful direct mail campaign. Your messaging, offer, and design are also important, but using a targeting mailing list is critical. Mailings sent to the wrong people are likely to result in a waste of time and poor use of budget on your end. However, when targeted the right way, direct mail postcards offer response rates significantly higher than response rates from digital media, according to the DMA Response Rate Report 2016.
So, how do you create a mailing list that meets your audience targeting criteria? There are several ways to create a great mailing list, and the best option for you will depend on your company and resources.
Building Your Own Mailing List
If you’ve sent direct mail postcards before, you might already have a list in place. Just remember that a good mailing list is never complete - it’s important to track campaigns regularly and keep your mailing lists as up to date as possible. You should have a process in place to check and correct mailing lists to account for people who have moved or whose needs have changed. For example, changes in life stage such as marriage, having a child, or buying a home could trigger different needs among your audience, which you can track to make your offers more targeted. Simple tactics like inviting recipients to update their profiles, or requesting current information as part of an offer redemption, can help ensure your list stays up to date over time.
Building a postcard mailing list from scratch is tougher, but can be done through consistent lead generation. There are many ways to gather prospects, including strategies as simple as combing through your local yellow book. Although this is a good starting point, you’ll likely want to gather more information about the people to whom you’re mailing postcards. Lifestyle habits and the other characteristics that indicate your recipient’s interest are best gathered over time. By continually demonstrating your company’s value on multiple platforms through useful content, you’ll build a list of targets that opt-in to receive information.
You can create your own mailing list in the following ways:
- Scan existing lists. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you likely have some customer addresses already on file. These people should be added to your mailing list first.
- Check your local yellow book or chamber of commerce directory. It may sound old fashioned, but this is still one of the best ways to get information on the people located near your business. This method works best for smaller businesses or local nonprofits.
- Start generating your own leads. This is where things get interesting. There are a lot of ways to gather leads, and having prospects give you their information willingly builds an extremely valuable exchange. Why? They’ve demonstrated their interest -- they want to hear from you!
Lead generation via digital marketing is one of the best ways to build an opt-in mailing list. Offering value through some kind of free service: a webinar, a great website with useful information, or even a drawing that awards a monthly discount or prize -- depending on your business -- are common tactics for lead generation.
Building your own postcard mailing list can ensure that your campaign is reaching the right people, but the process is time consuming, and results can take months or even years. This method isn’t best for campaigns that need to be sent out quickly, and keeping information up to date requires diligence. Depending on your company or organization, other practices may be more useful.
Using an Existing Mailing List
Many businesses offer mailing lists for purchase, which can be a great starting point for new campaigns -- and a way to get in front of audiences who are not yet familiar with your business. While some marketing experts might tell you to never purchase a list, we disagree. However, if you're using a pre-existing list, ensure that it is updated periodically and targeted for your needs.
For example, our direct mail postcard service, QuantumPostcards, offers both consumer and B2B lists that are compiled from multiple data sources, telephone directories, credit files, mail responders, and government records to keep lists current, and they’re updated monthly.
If you’re considering using an existing mailing list, working with a direct mail agency is the best way to procure a list that meets all of your requirements. Hyper-targeted lists will get the results you’re looking for by reaching the people who will be most interested in your postcard mailing campaign. QuantumPostcard’s postcard mailing services can target your recipients based on multiple criteria, including:
- Distance from a map point (for example, addresses within a certain radius of your business)
- Adult Age (2-year Increments)
- Estimated Household Income
- Home Market Value
- Number of Adults
- Number of Children
- Credit Card Users
- Dwelling Unit Size
… and more. We even have the option to get a free list count for your campaign, to see what audience numbers are available to you based on your needs, in order to budget appropriately. For example, if you're looking to send your mailer to people ages 18-35 in a specific geographic location, select these options in the list count to see how many people in that segment are available to you. You can access this feature without having to place an order first. We can’t stress it enough -- a targeted mailing list is the most essential part of a direct mail campaign, so if using an existing mailing list, it's important to plan.
Working with a Direct Mail Agency
For a visually appealing postcard campaign that targets the right people, a direct mail agency is your best bet. Agencies do everything for you in one simple and convenient service that ensures your postcards look the way you want and are sent to the best audience. QuantumPostcards offers a variety of printing and mailing services, as well as the ability to upload your own postcard design or create one with our Design Canvas tool. Once you’ve uploaded a design, our mailing services can send them to a list you’ve uploaded or to one of our pre-targeted and updated lists.
The Importance of Targeted Postcard Mailing
Ensuring that you’re mailing postcards to the most relevant list is an investment, but the rewards speak for themselves. Sending mail to a large geographic region, regardless of interest in your business or likelihood to purchase, can be costly. A targeted list will generate the greatest ROI and build loyal recipients that look forward to hearing from you.
Learn more about QuantumPostcard’s postcard mailing services to get started, and hear from other users who have gotten real results.