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The Evolution of Online Mailing List Access

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


In relative terms, people do not change much.  We buy some of the same foods and wear some of the same cloths as we did 10 years ago.  So unless there’s physical relocation of your residence, or a life change event that occurs in your life, generally speaking, you’re probably the same person you were the last time you checked.  What has changed is a direct mail marketer’s ability to access mailing lists. In the last 10 years, the internet has enabled businesses create new tools for building a custom mailing list.  Not only have targeted mailing lists gotten better, but the delivery of mailing lists has also become easier.  Just 15 years ago, only 5% to 10% of the mailing lists were transmitted to the customer via the internet.  The other 90% was mailed to them on a disk, magnetic tape, or printed label. 


Today, well over 99% of all mailing lists are provided via the internet.  Data is simply attached to an email and off it goes.  If the file is too large for email, the file is uploaded to an ftp site and sent out. With the advent of the concept of Web 2.0, direct mail marketers can now easily visit a website, and for no charge, run their own counts.  Because they are doing the work of running the count themselves, a price discount is usually provided for online orders. Running your own counts and placing your own orders is a relatively simple process.  Once issued a login and password, you can simply choose the criteria by selecting geography, and whatever select filters you wish to create their list.  The results are nearly immediate in that the count is emailed to your inbox.  If the count quantity is to your liking, the list can be purchased on the same site and the order is emailed to you immediately. 


The interactive tool is available 24/7 and the online systems are getting smarter and smarter as the need requires. If you’re thinking about utilizing this type of technology, be sure your online mailing list site provides support consultation.  It’s important to be sure you’re familiar with what you’re ordering.  This technology is so easy to use that it’s very easy to order something you may not want.  If the online count & order site isn’t supported by a live help, look for another one.  Not only should the support be familiar with the functionality of the site, they should also have intimate knowledge of the databases they host. It is strongly recommended that if you’re new at direct mail and still learning your way.  Be sure you discuss your objectives with a direct mail consultant.  Mailing to the wrong audience can turn a potentially successful direct mail campaign into a costly disaster. If you’d like to talk with a direct mail professional about your upcoming campaign, visit 


BB Direct has an excellent online count & order system that’s fully supported by a team of experienced direct mail professionals.  You can find it at