Direct Mail vs. Junk Mail: What’s the Difference Really?

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Green No Junk Mail MailboxThe difference is that direct mail generates a response and junk mail ends up in the trash. Just because it’s delivered by the post office does not mean that it is direct mail.

Junk mail does not appeal to the reader and is not wanted by the reader, so ends up in the trash. Direct mail is targeted to a specific reader and is designed with benefits that the reader is interested in and is combined with an offer that entices the reader to take action.

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There are two parts to an effective direct mail program:

1)   A good mailing list.

2)   A well crafted message.

The first step in not wasting your money and getting results is obtaining a correctly targeted mailing list. The direct mail list should be current and contain the demographics that match the target demographics of your product or service.

A bad mailing list does not target the people who have a need for the product or service. In fact, this is what people refer to as “junk mail”. It is considered junk because it is mail that is not relevant to the people it is mailed to.

Getting a good direct mail list is a key factor in a successful direct mail marketing campaign and a major point to consider in small business marketing strategies where marketing ROI (Return On Investment) is a key concern.

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How do you find a good direct mail list?

All mailing lists are created after specifications are entered into a master database. The computer filters out prospects that do not match the specifications. So it goes with out saying that the first step in getting a targeted mailing list is the knowing your customer. The very minimum needed is sex, age income and area. The more you can tell us about your best prospect the better we can hone in the mailing list.

Where do mailing lists come from?

Mailing list comes from usually one of two sources. The first source is from the three major credit bureaus. That’s right, they know all about you and they sell that information. The second source is lifestyle information, which is complied from magazine subscriptions and other sources people subscribe to. For example, if I wanted to market to people who play tennis, the list would be generated from people who subscribe to “Totally Tennis” or “Tennis Magazine”.

Another source of a mailing list can also come your company’s database of people who have bought your product or service or inquired about your services.

You might think, “Well, shouldn’t I use my in house mailing list and just mail to my existing customers? Since I know they already have an interest and I already have that list.” You would not be totally incorrect in this assumption, you should promote to your existing customers. However, just mailing to your existing customer list does not usually create expansion. You need new blood to grow your business.

I usually recommend that you invest 65% – 75% of your marketing efforts finding new customers and 25% – 35% marketing to existing customers. This is a formula for growth and expansion of your business.

We can help you get the correct mailing list your business needs and create the perfect type direct mail piece for your business. Our job is to make sure you do not waste your money on junk mail.

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