Your prospect lists’ quality is the single most crucial component of a successful direct mail campaign. A marketing list used to be only a list of the names and addresses of people you planned to recruit as clients. It is now a demographic treasure trove. In order to improve effectiveness over time, direct mailers now have the opportunity to segment their list, provide tailored messaging, and track results. The mailing list quality accounts for around 60% of the response to direct mail. To put it another way, lists are important.


Confirm your target audience

If your company has been around for a while, you presumably already have a target market in mind. To be sure your claims are still valid, you must conduct market research. By having faith in your target market and what they actually want, you may save postage and printing costs. 


  • What is important in their lives right now?
  • What relationship does this have to your brand?


Build your strategy

Direct mail campaigns can be planned in a variety of ways. The key factors are your offering, your target market, and the kind of reaction you seek. A landscaping business, for instance, might ship out a large number of pieces in the spring. They are merely going after homeowners in a particular zip code. Therefore, there is no need for customization, and everyone gets the same offer at the same time. While this is happening, a major retailer may employ A/B split testing to identify the components of a new product campaign that are generating the most conversions. They can evaluate the effects of different postage options as well as demographic list segmentation, letter forms, price, and design components.

Companies may choose to use more tailored messages in an effort to increase the lifetime value of each client and lower turnover. Although the upfront costs can be higher, the ROI will justify them. They will get crucial behavioral information that will help them better understand their audience for upcoming direct mail marketing.


Buy mailing lists

When the audience and strategy are clear, marketers may start buying lists for acquisition campaigns. Sadly, choosing the cheapest lists isn’t always the wisest course of action. Even if the offer is strong, a poor quality list could result in a low response rate, so you never know if you’ll get lucky. It is best to make an early investment in high-quality lists. Some lists are available for rent if you wish to try one out before committing. Generally speaking, renting is less expensive than buying.

Lists are frequently divided into two categories: broker and in-house. In-house lists are created using the first-party data you already own. This comprises a list of potential customers who have previously bought from you or subscribed to mailings. Although this is a fantastic place to start, broker listings can aid with growth. Any list you buy from a third-party data source is a broker list. The best brokers will select the best-performing lists and offer them for sale or rent. For B2B, keep in mind that finding the proper jobs within those firms is just as important as reaching the right companies. By doing this, you can prevent your mail from going in the garbage.

Start with well-known list suppliers like Mailers Haven and ListSource. Businesses can obtain pertinent information on a B2B and B2C basis. When buying mailing lists, bear the following in mind:

  • Has the USPS’s change of address system, NCOA, been used to update the list? Make sure the information on your lists is accurate and up to date. Your lists are accurate thanks to Switch’s address verification tool, ensuring that your mail is always deliverable.
  • How many additional people use the list? While some list suppliers may give exclusive rights, others may make their lists open for purchase by anybody. You might or might not care about this, depending on the circumstances.
  • How did the list get made? It is crucial to know where the contacts came from. As an illustration, while some lists are produced using event attendees, others are based on geographic areas. You can avoid low response rates later on by making sure the data source corresponds to your target population.


Segment your lists

Marketers frequently discover that list segmentation is profitable. Lists can be divided into categories based on factors like location, age, economic level, gender, purchasing patterns, interests, and values, among others. This enables you to communicate with your audience more truthfully and develop messages that stick in their minds. Once things start to move along, you may keep track of answers to particular lists and import that information into your CRM. With the use of direct mail automation, you may quickly collect information that will enable you to gradually reduce your cost per acquisition.


Measure performance

When the time comes to put your list to work, you’ll want to make sure the proper tracking is in place so you can accurately gauge the conversions and/or ROI of your internal or acquired list. Widen the attribution window a little for direct mail since it often has a longer lifespan than a digital campaign, especially if your call-to-action, like a discount, has a future-dated expiration date.