In the digital world, how to build an email list is well documented with 1000’s of people weighing in on different tactics. On the physical side of things where real tangible mail and physical addresses are involved, it’s not so straightforward. Marketers who want to use mail today now have a wide range of tools at their disposal to make mail as a marketing channel more accessible than ever. In this post we’ll cover just a few ways you can build your own targeted direct mail mailing list.
Use your customer database/CRM as your direct mailing list
Industry data shows that the best mailing lists are in-house lists. In other words, your customer database. According to the 2015 DMA Response Rate report, an in-house list’s response rate is 3.7% compared to 1% of a cold prospect list. This is why doing marketing campaigns to your own customer database can be so effective. To create campaigns that have the highest return, you should finely segment your database and send them personalized mailers with a message that resonates with that segment. If you don’t have address data for your customers, consider reverse email append services like Tower Data. They can often match a significant percentage of personal email addresses to valid physical addresses.
Buy or rent a direct mail mailing list
Buying or renting a mailing is quite common, but understand these are cold prospects who may not know your brand. You can buy both business and consumer lists, but these days you can easily find business prospects and addresses online (see next section). That still isn’t the case for consumers for obvious privacy reasons.
There’s a lot that goes into buying a direct mail mailing list which we’ll cover in future posts. The most important thing is that you get a list that’s as targeted as possible to match your ideal prospective customer. Mailing list providers will provide selects which let you narrow down lists based on everything from demographics to housing data. Think of it like creating a segment in your CRM or database.
Buying mailing lists is often a sales heavy process that, like much of the direct mail industry, still feels antiquated. Data providers that we’ve worked with who make it easier include Info USA and Mailers Haven.
Get creative with public data
The internet has created a level playing field in terms of having access to data. For business data, it’s never been easier to find potential prospects and their addresses. Depending on the kinds of companies and people you’re targeting, there may be public databases online. Think about public records, services like Yelp or Foursquare, associations, data aggregators, and other places who have this kind of data.
If you find a potential source but can’t export the data easily consider hiring someone on Upwork to scrape and clean up the data for you.
Finally, we also have a blog post describing some unique ideas for creating your mailing list.
Good luck in your search to build the perfect mailing list.
Put your list to good use
Once you have your list, you can import it into Mailjoy and set up a campaign within minutes.