I could share statistics all day long to prove that direct mail still works, but I won’t. Okay, just one, it does provide the lowest cost per lead and a higher response rate than almost any other marketing channel. When it comes to direct mail marketing, it will pay to understand the nuances of implementing a strategy. Targeted mailing lists can increase the ROI of your direct mail marketing efforts, but just renting or buying a mailing list isn’t enough to guarantee you a good return on your marketing message. You need to be aware of the pitfalls and opportunities that mailing lists offer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying and using mailing lists to make your direct mail marketing more effective.
Work With a Reputable Mailing List Broker
Mailing list brokers and mailing list companies are experts at developing and designing mailing lists based on your criteria. An excellent mailing list provider can be the difference between a marketing campaign that flies and one that falls flat.
Know What You’re Buying
A cheap mailing list is usually cheap for a very good reason. In fact, it’s probably worth far less than what you paid for it. Mailing lists that contain expired names, from illegitimate sources, sources that aren’t opt-in, will be ineffective in the short run and may actually damage your business’ reputation in the long run.
Make Use of Filters and Selects
Highly targeted mailing lists come at a premium, but the extra expense is usually worth it in terms of the response to your marketing message. Before you contact a mailing list provider, sketch out your ideal customer, then use selects and filters to compile your list. If your request returns too few or too many results, count on the expertise of the mailing list company to help you narrow or broaden it based on their experience of what has worked for others.
Test Your Marketing Materials
Use your mailing lists wisely to help define your marketing message. Select several small segments of your mailing list and target each with a different version of your direct marketing mail. Track the results, then send out the most effective version of your marketing message to the entire list.
Mailing lists get old and stale as people move in and out of your marketing segment. Don’t make purchasing a mailing list a one-shot deal. Instead, establish an ongoing relationship with a mailing list provider and update your list regularly to introduce new prospects and weed out those who no longer fit your demographic.
Follow Up on Your Mailing
It can take several contacts with a single prospect before they’re ready to buy. Work out a timeline with a follow-up plan for every piece of mail that goes out to your mailing list and vary the contact type among telephone, direct mail, and email to maximize the ROI on your purchased mailing lists.
Having a strategy and understanding how to implement it is why we see such successful numbers in direct mail campaigns. This type of success requires engaging customers and building relationships, in other words, patience and a bit of ingenuity.
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