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Mailing List Direct Mail Response

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


As most direct mail marketers know, direct mail marketing is measurable.  And response percentage rate is the “barometric” measurement for success.    Direct mail is therefore more of a scientific study on what works better in terms of new customer acquisition.  And therefore, direct mail can measure the success, or failure of, a mailing list choice. While many advertising mediums are loosely measured by an increase in revenue over time following the TV commercial, space advertising in a magazine, or radio advertising splashing the new brand over the air waves, direct mail can be specifically measured by counting new customer generated from a direct mail campaign. 


With direct mail mailing lists, the direct mail marketer is able to pinpoint targets within their market and compare who well they respond to various offers. A “good” mailing list is one in which everyone on the mailing list are, for the most part, identical. 


The better mailing list is one in which each person on the mailing list share something in common.  Ideally, the more they have in common the better. Let’s look at two mailing lists that boast international travelers.  The first is a list self-reported international travelers we’ll call International Traveler compiled from a variety of self-reported surveys, both on and off line.  The other is a list of subscribers to an international travel newsletter. 


The only way the publisher of this newsletter captures these subscribers is via one banner add placed a website dedicated to informing the international traveler about immunization requirements in various countries. With the first list of self reported international travelers, we’ve got people finding these surveys on various websites. 


Each website has drawn these people from various interests.  We may also have records on the mailing list that have been captured from direct mail surveys.  Though this list may be larger and less expensive, because of the multiple source compilation, the list simply isn’t as strong as the newsletter list. Though both lists may work well for you campaign, it’s generally accepted to compare the results of a one list over another, and mail more of the higher performing mailing list.  If there were multiple sources for your mailing list, it’s as if you’re mailing to several mailing lists at once, but not measuring the results over each.


When choosing a mailing list for your next direct mail marketing campaign, remember to question the mailing list broker about the source of the list and learn as much as you can about the number of sources, when they were captured, how they were captured, where they responding to an offer or was it that they’ve purchased something.  Can you get a usage report of other mailers who’ve tested the mailing list and have come back for a continuation, and are there enough available records in the geography you want to test within.  This will help you choose the ideal list for your campaign needs.