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Mailing List Acquisition Strategies

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


1. Consider timing of your campaign Your direct mail piece competes with the other mail pieces in the mailbox that day as well as the attention span of who you mailed the direct mail piece to.  In the summer months, the kids are out of school and families are busy with summer activities.  The weeks around December are filled with holiday activities that occupy a direct mail recipients attention that directly competes with the consideration of your mail piece.


2.  Consider the competition How is your competition positioning themselves to the very audience you’re attempting to win business with?  What’s their offer, and is it similar to your offer?  Consider for a moment what the direct mail recipient considers when they receive your direct mail piece and your competitions direct mail piece.  Be sure your direct mail piece clearly defines your offer and that your offer is clearly different.  The offer doesn’t have to be better, but has to be different.


3.  Series mailings Building brand is reinforced by mailing your direct mail audience multiple times throughout the year.  The message you’re sending to your audience should be consistent to be remembered.  By renting your mailing list for a multi-use, you’re able to direct mail the audience as many times as you’d like within a period of one year.


4.  Keep consistent with your message There is a synergistic effect to consistently voicing the same message whether it is across multiple mediums of advertisement or multiple times through the use of direct mail.  Though direct mail marketing is one of the most measurable and controllable, your message should be consistent and clear to be heard and remembered by most.


5.  Setting expectations If you’re a direct mail marketer representing a business who’s investing in direct mail, be sure to properly set the expectations of the direct mail campaign.  You should explain the possibility of undeliverable direct mail and what percentage.  You should also properly explain the potential response rates your customer should expect.  This should be done before the dollars invested are spent and in conjunction with the offering of a plan of action to take for various response rates.


6.  Business reply by mail It cannot be said enough, response measurement is an important component to your direct mail campaign.  Including a response vehicle such as a Business Reply by Mail allows you to do just that.  Offering a catalog, order form, test product, free newsletter, etc…will help you decipher those you’ve direct mailed to that have a sincere interest in your product or service, from those who more likely don’t.


7.  Always be testing No matter how successful your direct mail marketing campaigns are you should always be testing something.  Take a successful mailing list and attempt to learn something new from these direct mail responders.  Takes have of those initial responders and mail them twice as often as the others and see if the purchasing activity increases.  Append demographic elements to the entire mailing list of responders and see if there is any consistency or pattern with these responders.  You may find a cluster of responders from which you can test multiple versions on.


8.  Consider mailing to businesses for a consumer offer Some offers typically direct mail marketed to a consumer mailing list could be direct mail marketed to a business mailing list.  After all, there are people who receive the mail at the business.  Those recipients aren’t used to receiving a personal offer so your direct mail piece may stand out from the rest.  This approach isn’t for every product/service but worthy of consideration for the simple fact that people creatures of habit. 


Many affluent consumers are used to getting bombarded at home and many of the direct mail pieces get very little attention.  What they probably don’t see too often is a mail piece that’s completely unrelated to there employment arrive in the middle of their work day.  Still many people are in a different mode while at work, perhaps more relaxed, away from the children, fresh mind-set because it’s earlier in the day, and perhaps will are more able to offer your direct mail piece a bit more attention at their place of work.