How to Purchase a Direct Mailing List
Mark Hale ‐ January 18, 2016
The mailing list you buy is one of the most important elements of your direct mail program. A good list will make or break the results you get from your direct mailer.
1. Be careful when buying from an online source. A mailing list is something that you should buy from a company you know or were referred to. Many online mailing list providers sell stale mailing list. I say stale because they are old and not keep up-to-date. Sure the direct mail list may be cheap, but buying a mailing list is not something you should cut corners on.
2. Do not buy a direct mail list from someone who resells unless that can demonstrate they are providing current data. The list we provide are refreshed and updated once a month so that we are providing the most accurate data possible. A lot of resellers in an effort to increase their profits only update their list data once a quarter and others once every six months.
3. Keep undeliverables low by running a NCOA on the list before mailing. Today people are fairly transient and can move easily. Running a National Change of Address (NCOA) will remove any additional undeliverable addresses before mailing.
4. Know about the “selects” you use. Selects are a mechanism by which we hone your list in directly to who you want to reach. Basic selects are age, income and area. You can also select new movers, or specific car owners for example. We have helped health companies target people with specific health ailments. The more you know about your target audience the more accurate the selects can be defined.
A good direct mail list makes up easily 65 – 75 % of the possible results from your direct mail piece. Not all mailing list vendors are identically and as I said earlier, cheaper mailing lists do not mean a good mailing list for business.
Direct mailing is the most effective way for most businesses to get new prospects because it is so targetable and easy to hone in. There are basically three parts to a direct mail campaign, the mailing list, the ad and the frequency that you mail the list. That’s it! Simple and effective—direct mail works.
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