The Basics of Selecting Good Mailing Lists For Business

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Direct mailing lists for businesses are all across the board as far as quality goes. You can find cheap direct mailing lists for business marketing and waste your time handling unqualified prospects and money on wasted postage. The price of a direct mailing list can also have little to do with quality. Getting a good quality direct mail list for your business has more to do with the company you are buying the list from and how well you can identify who you want to reach.

Profiling has gotten a bad name in the media, but when creating a direct mail list, profiling is exacting what you have to do as the first step. Simply, profiling is identifying your best prospects by looking at and building a profile of your current best prospects.

Your overall intention for profiling your best customers is:

  • To identify traits and characteristics of your best customers in order to buy a mailing list of similar prospects.
  • To help match products and services to the identified traits and characteristics.
  • To help you target mailings and product offerings more closely based on known behavior patterns you identify.

Once you know whom you are trying to reach, how do you select a good company to buy a mailing list from? The first thing you have to know about companies that sell direct mail lists is that basically everyone gets their raw list from the same sources. The three major credit bureaus provide all of the raw mailing list data. After the basic data is complied from the credit bureaus it can be crosschecked with phone books and various public records such as tax assessors files to get a more defined and accurate list.

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Depending on your prospect’s profile, you can also get what is called a response of managed file list. A response list is a list of people who have purchased or inquired about a product or service. Magazine subscriptions, club memberships and warranty cards are just a few of the ways response lists are put together.

As you can probably imagine from the above descriptions of direct mailing lists, the quality of the mailing list you buy in a large part has to do with the company you buy the list from. Companies selling cheap direct mail lists for business are probably not going to be your best bet. Mailing lists are not generally expensive, but as much as 50% of your direct mail success depends on the quality of your direct mail list.

It is almost impossible to buy a good mailing list if you first do not profile whom you want to reach in the first place. Direct mail for most businesses can be a very effective means of getting new customers. Direct mail goes directly to a person. If the person you are mailing to does not have a need or interest in what you are selling you can see how important the quality of your mailing list will be.

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