Creating the Right List

Posted on 09/23/2022 at 07:47 AM by Morna Brady

The cliché in real estate is location, location, location.

Well, in direct mail, your big three are 1.) the list 2.) the list, and 3.) the list.

You can have the best product in the world, the best offer, and the best creative marketing design . . . but if you present them to the WRONG people, your direct mail will die like a rat in the road.

So, let’s talk about what you can do to get the right list.

To be successful, you must be as targeted as possible about who gets your mailing. You’ll want to think about:

• Who buys your product or service? Think about gender, age, marital status, or specific job titles. Also take into consideration psychographic profiles such as their special interests and lifestyle choices.

• Where are these prospects found? At home or at work?

• What geographic locations are you targeting? Nationwide? Or specific cities and states?

• How many people do you want to reach and how many times do you want to reach them?

We doubt you have the budget to mail to all 350-million people living in the United States. You need to narrow your selections as specifically as you can.

An online research tool you can use is They trumpet themselves as “the Google of direct mail lists.” And that’s a fitting tagline. They make it easy to review thousands of mailing list possibilities.

You can view the online data cards which will give you an abundance of information, such as:

• Sources, selects, counts, costs, and list managers.

• How the person got on the list – e.g., they responded to a direct mail piece, a print ad, or a newspaper insert.

• The average amount they spent to purchase the product from the list.

• The average unit of sale. If it’s close to yours, you know the prospect is comfortable with and able to spend the money for your product or service.

• The recency of purchase that got them on this list.

Recency is more important than most people realize. It’s better to target someone who bought 60 days ago than to target a buyer from 6 years ago.

Hotline names are the most recently updated data cards, often within the last month or quarter. A recently updated list is more likely to get you greater response. 

Now, if all of this seems a little overwhelming, that’s because it often is.

But we can help.

The experts at Andrick & Associates offer you a wealth of knowledge about direct mail, creative design, and mailing strategies.

We can give you recommendations based on our knowledge of lists and how best to target your ideal prospects.

Some of the things we’ll want to find out for you about your potential list include:

• What is the average unit of sale? Is it close to your target purchase?

• Who has used the list recently?

• Who continuingly mails to this list? If the same companies keep using this list – and their offer is like yours – you should experience similar success.

• What is the list source?

• What is the total number of subscribers, buyers, or attendees available?

• What are the list costs?

And we can save you time and money by negotiating with list providers on your behalf.

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