Choosing the right mailing list is key to getting your offer in front of the right people who are ready to buy.
Assuming you’ve designed an order-pulling direct mail piece, using reliable lists from reputable sources is a great way to generate profitable orders that meet your campaign goals.
Before jumping headlong into list renting options, let’s cover a some preliminary marketing data you should have in order to make informed decisions.
Who Is Your Customer?
In order to reach your buyer, you must first identify the profile of your target group. Usually, this isn’t a difficult task. It’s just a matter of recognizing that, for instance, fishing lures have a market with fishermen. Further differentiation can be made between fly fishing and coastal fishing, and so on.
Regardless of how easy it is, this is often an overlooked part of the novice entrepreneur’s planning. Get keyed into the profile of your customer and you’re able to select the right list.
Know Your Market
Research your market, understand the demand for your products or service, and evaluate the reach of related products or services already being offered in your field. If your product has a limited market and you are competing with nearly identical products, then you might need to come up with a strong niche angle.
Thus, the basic keys to selling nearly anything via direct mail are:
- Know the profile of your ideal customer and the demand for your product.
- Present your offer in a way that differentiates you from the competition.
- Concentrate your sales efforts only on your target group.
Assuming you know who your most likely buyers are, you have a compelling sales proposition, and a product or service that’s in demand, now you simply need to find these people and get your message to them.
There are a couple of ways to obtain good direct mail lists for your campaign. You can use the services of a direct mail marketer, also called a list broker, or you can use the SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service) listing source.
• The SRDS provides planning data, comprehensive list source information, and filtering options to search among thousands of lists. With a bit of time and effort you can hone in on the list profile best suited for your needs.
• A list broker can help you take the guesswork out of choosing a list. Their experience and knowledge is put to work for you with specific list recommendations. This a real time-saver since wading through a multitude of list options on your own can be a rather daunting task.
Not only can a list broker save you time, they are often able to negotiate lower rates with list owners and managers. A good list broker will be able to look at your sales piece, give editing advice, ascertain your campaign goals, and give several list recommendations to choose from that meet your criteria and budget.
A list manager has a portfolio of lists that he manages, rents, and earns revenue from. Some list brokers also work as list managers. While this means the list broker has a wealth of knowledge from performing both roles, it’s worth noting that this may present a conflict of interest. Just make sure your broker is working for you and not tilting his recommendations towards his own managed lists.
Even in this technical age, direct mail marketing is still a great way to reach prospects and can be a profitable component in your advertising arsenal. See what it can do for you and the bottom line of your business.
The Direct Mail Solution by Craig Simpson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.