Tell a great story to the wrong people and they will ignore you. But tell the same story to those hungry to hear it and you can change the world.
Accurate list targeting is the foundation of successful direct marketing. Choose the right lists and your mailing has a fair chance of success. Choose the wrong lists and your investment in copy, design, print, mail and postage are quickly lost.
But be warned. When you buy a list, how do you know it is right for you? You cannot tell from scrolling through the names if they are up to date or even if they really exist. You certainly cannot tell if they are interested in your service.
How do we choose the right lists?
BY KNOWING YOU
Let’s talk a little about what you do and where you want to go. It helps us get a picture of the kind of people who will prosper as your customers.
Then let’s look at your current customers. They are a living history of your past marketing efforts. If you want more of the same, your customers are a model of those we need to find.
If you are changing directions, let’s talk some more before matching up the likely prospects to your new vision.
TARGETING THE RIGHT PEOPLE
The name and address of just about every person in the United States is available to you.
They are all on a mailing list somewhere, from the President of the United States , to you, me and everyone else. We know much about their lifestyle, too — where they live, who with, how long, debt level, what they do for a living, their age, income, attitudes, interests and financial stature.
Not all of that information is available for every person, but the data we have, or lack of it, will help refine the selection of prospects that are right for you.
FINDING THEM ON THE RIGHT LISTS
Once we know the kind of people that are right for you, we look for them on the right lists. Because names are available on more than one list, we could find them as homeowners, subscribers to a magazine, as contributors to a particular cause, or as buyers of certain products through the mail or the internet.
Each of the variety of lists we could use would yield a different response rate, depending on who else is on the list with the names you want. A response list usually yields a higher response than a compiled list. Buyers of Williams Sonoma cooking supplies usually respond better to an offer for culinary classes than a selection of all homeowners aged 35 to 50 with $100,000+ income.
That’s because the response list is made up of people who have previously responded to cooking-related offers rather than simply having the ability to take culinary classes. But response lists cost more to use than a simple demographic selection list. The right choice for each situation is balanced by more than we can cover here.
AND FINALLY, OFFERING PROOF
The real proof that you used the right lists are in your results. You can, and should code each list, and segments of the list you use, and count up the results by code. The proof of how many responded from each zip code, age group, income group, and more, is the best form of marketing intelligence.
We’ll help with that. Measurements on thousands of mailings have given us a body of knowledge you can draw upon for your mailing and marketing selections. There’s no need to learn everything yourself — some things we already know.
The marketing campaign starts, or should start, with the list selection. Once we know the quantity and description of the prospects in your area, the creative approach, budget and timing
will follow. We started our company by offering mailing lists. Creative and production services followed. It’s the correct order of things.