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Things to Think About When Purchasing a Direct Mail List

A direct mail list is a list of people to whom you plan on sending direct mail marketing materials. Custom mailing services can help to jump-start your business, but before you purchase a list, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.

What Type of Mailing List Should You Buy?

“Compiled” mailing lists break people down by location, marital status, number of children at home, or other differentiators. These lists are usually the less expensive option.

“Response” mailing lists target specific behaviors and can compile data based on thousands of factors. They’re ideal if you want to pursue people who are grouped by specific motivations, such as buying a car or eating at fancy restaurants. 

How Will You Contact People?

You should have a plan for how you will use the list. Here are some standard options for direct mail:

  • A classic envelope, letter, and response form will work well
  • Postcards are easy and affordable
  • Self-mailers include larger pieces with more content
  • Lead letters allow for a more sophisticated touch
  • Catalogs are ideal when you’re selling many products
  • Dimensional mailers are great for business-to-business
  • Newsletters work well with existing customers
  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) targets an entire neighborhood

Whatever method you choose, ensure it ties into your overall marketing strategy.

What Is Your Target Market?

When purchasing a list, you’ll be able to select criteria like age, gender, income, and home ownership. The more specific you are, the better the result will be. This detail will help to ensure that you’re reaching the right people.

Check to see who is purchasing your products and analyze these people. What do they have in common? These points of commonality define your target market.

How Often Will You Initiate Contact?

Once you have your list, it’s important to manage how often you contact people. If you plan on contacting them weekly, they may get tired of hearing from you. If you only contact them once in a while, they may forget who you are. A good rule of thumb is to initiate custom mailing services either every other week or once a month.

How Many Contacts Will You Have?

The size of your list will depend on your budget and how quickly you need to develop results. When starting out, you may want to purchase a smaller list to test the waters. You can always buy a more extensive list later on.

How Soon Do You Need the List?

Companies can often deliver mailing lists within 24 to 48 hours. If you’re in a hurry, let the vendor know so they can accommodate your timeline.

How Much Can You Spend?

The cost of a direct mail list will vary depending on the size and criteria you select. You can spend between a few cents per piece to a few dollars per piece. The more targeted the list, the higher the cost will be.

Total campaign costs will include design, copywriting, purchasing the list, printing, and mailing.

Remember to do your research when purchasing a direct mail list to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Custom mailing services can be a great way to reach new customers, but only if you do your due diligence.

Complete Mailing & Printing offers a suite of services for companies in the Bay Area and on the Central Coast. Contact us for additional information and to discuss your needs.