Think about your last mail piece that was sent. How many on that list responded? What were the demographics of those that responded? How were they segmented? How should be able to respond to these questions, especially before you send out another mailer. Don’t be in such a rush to promote a new product; always think about the segment that responded last time. Many marketers neglect the most important step of direct mail marketing: refining their mailing list.
- Segment in multiple ways versus one. You wouldn’t want to send a mailing introducing your business to a customer who’s been loyal for years. In the same way, you don’t want to advertise a product in one city that’s only available in another. Gather and update as much information as possible to ensure each list you pull is targeted to the right contacts.
- Limit permissions for list editing. Who can edit contact information within your lists? To ensure up-to-date data is saved correctly and corrections aren’t deleted, provide limited access to sales and marketing teams. When cleaning a specific list, assign the project to one person to avoid confusion.
- Remove duplicates and reduce waste. Have your mailing services provider remove duplicates from the mailing file for you, to save the expense of mailing to the same person twice, and consider whether you want to send only one piece to a household or to all contacts in that home.
- Update changed addresses. USPS has a National Change of Address (NCOA) service that’s an invaluable tool for direct mail marketing. Start here, but don’t be afraid to do your own detective work online. Double check corporate addresses and even personal websites for mailing info.
Think of your mailing lists as ground zero of your direct mailing strategy. The more time and effort you put into building and refining your lists, the more successful your direct mail campaigns will be.