Choosing The Best Mailing List

Most businesses, small or large, use Direct Marketing every day to reach and acquire new customers. Choosing the best Mailing List for a campaign is critical to your success. Learn how to better chose your Mailing List and you’ll guarantee that it reaches the right person at the right time. Then, all that remains is doing your best to give them “the right offer”. Of course there is no “right offer”, but knowing your business and who usually makes your ideal customer, you should tailor the offer you mail, to what you believe will attract them the most.

You, the owner of a business, are best at what you do. However, like many others you have to deal with marketing your own business – that is – getting the “word out there” about you, what it is you do and why should people use your products or services.

One marketing method works for you right out the gate – Word Of Mouth. While WOM marketing is critical to any business, it doesn’t allow you to advertise special offers, promotions, or reach people who are not in the direct circle of your current customers. Hence, direct marketing was born.

On the other hand, we live in an age of Social Media, and it’s easy to believe that you just put yourself on facebook, instagram, pinterest, what have you – and it just works like a digital magical Word of Mouth, but it does not. With all recent trolling on the web, many people are not trusting the ads and recommendations that appear in their news feed and other means, because the “real stuff” is regularly tainted by “fake stuff” or “paid stuff”.

What’s left then?
Recently, many marketers are finding out that “good old mail” works like a charm. Why?
Because our “digital” inbox is much more flooded than our “physical” one. Then, there’s also the aspect of holding a physical piece of mail. Research has proven that a mailpiece is much more native to the human experience. I guess after all, we’re still “creatures of hold and touch”, at least for now

So, let’s say you decide to put this to the test and printed a simple flyer with a special offer that you think will appeal to the kind of customers you have. Now – what’s a Mailing List and why does it count?
Well a good Mailing List is your true secret weapon (so don’t go telling your competitor, ok?).

Mailing List defines the “universe” (the entire target audience) whom you are trying to reach and talk to, in hope of selling … practically, yourself.

Now, how do you get a Mailing List that represents accurately your target audience and also is (what we call) “fresh” – meaning, it “drops out” members of the universe who are most likely not new to yo and already know you, and thus are less likely to act on the offer, because they are either already your customers, or have decided not to be.
Your efforts, if you wish to market effectively and in a small budget, should focus on those who yet don’t know who you are BUT need your service or product, potentially.

So, what are Mailing Lists and who operates in this world that you know little about?
Here are a few helpful facts:

The Direct Mail Solution, a book by direct marketing expert and entrepreneur Craig Simpson provides easy-to-follow solutions for creating direct mail campaigns

One interesting area he deals with is obtaining mailing lists.

He goes on to explain a few core principals of the Direct Marketing Mailing List world that every business owner considering Direct Mail, should be aware of, as you should know a bit about how dealerships work and car business works, when you’re buying a car…

In the world of list brokers, there are four main sources you can go to in order to rent lists:

1. Mailing List brokers.
Their basic role is to make arrangements for you, as the list renter, to rent the list from other companies. Normally, a list broker will research lists and segments to identify the ones that will work best for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

2. Mailing List managers.
They supervise the rental of specific mailing lists that they themselves manage. List managers promote the lists they manage in an effort to get list renters to rent and mail their lists. The more people who rent the list, the more revenue is generated for the list manager and list owner.

They’ll keep track of all the businesses that have rented the list and what they paid for each usage. They usually ask the prospective list renter to provide a copy of the sales piece they want to mail so the list manager can determine whether to give approval to rent the list. If the sales piece is too competitive with the list owner’s own offer, or if the sales piece might offend the list owner’s customers, the list manager may decline rental of the list.

3. Mailing List compilers.
They manage lists that they’ve compiled. A compiled list has been assembled using multiple sources, such as warranty cards, government records, corporate reports, telephone directories, Yellow Pages, credit bureaus, etc. If you want this type of list, you could work directly with a list compiler.

4. Mailing List manager/broker.
Often, the most versatile source for renting lists is someone who has experience with both managing and brokering lists. However, some people in the direct-mail community think it’s a conflict of interest to provide both services. You can understand why they think so. There could easily be a temptation for the list manager to push his own list over others.

If you decide to use someone who is both a list manager and a broker, keep an eye on the lists that are being recommended. If it looks as though most are lists the broker is also managing, quickly find a new broker. You want someone who’s working for you–not working for himself or his company. Good list managers/brokers will provide you with list recommendations that will be the best fit for your offer regardless of whether they manage the list.

Finally, when using a list broker, make sure you receive a large number of lists to choose from. For example, if you’re mailing an offer for a weight-loss course, your list broker will be providing you with list recommendations from the weight-loss/diet category. If your goal is to rent 10 lists, your broker should provide you with 25 or 30 to choose from and also identify which lists they think will work best.

At Homeowners Marketing Services, we have operated as a compiler of a unique universe of consumers; those who purchased and moved into  their new property.

Why specifically those? Well, this is part of what’s called “Life Event Marketing”. When a baby is born, for example, certain purchasing needs arise that are unique to that event. So is the case for people who move to a new property. As most moves are to distances bigger than 10-15 miles, most new movers and new homeowners have to find new providers for many products and services. There’s no need to drive 10 miles to your old grocery store, when there’s a new one just around the corner is there?
But, how will you decide which one to go to, for the first time? This is what’s called “habit forming period” – those critical 30-90 days where new homeowners make their new set of preference for restaurants, medical clinics, pet shops, kids and family activity and entertainment places of business.

If you are looking for “how to make some noise” for your business and dying to get new customers and increase your sales, there’s nothing like a “home brewed” marketing campaign. All you need is the right Mailing List, and we’re right here for that purpose.

Please contact us at any time with any question. Even if it’s not related to our services, if it’s helping a business owner be successful with their marketing campaign, we’d be happy to answer your question and point you at the right direction.

Although Mailing Lists is all we do, day in day  out, for over 40 years and 20,000 customers, we have learned a lot about what it takes businesses, big and small, to direct market effectively, so don’t be shy – give us a ring.
At least let us help you find the right Mailing List for you, even if it’s not ours.


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