Direct mail marketing is a time proven way to get your message to the audience of your choice. There are decades of stats you can rely on all of which pointing to one thing: an average return of at least 2 percent on your direct mail campaign. While there are many ways you can save money on your direct mail advertising with the printed piece, whether choosing a postcard over a brochure, a catalog vs. magazine, you can also save money on the purchase of a mailing list if you are clear on the purpose of your niche mailing.
The main thing that will allow you to better target your audience with direct mail marketing is mailing to pre qualified recipients who would be in the best position to be interested in your product or services. You can utilize lists that can be purchased by either list brokers or direct from companies with a similar clientele yet a non competing one, which would be at the top of totem pole re cost per thousand. While this can give you a better percentage of return it is also the most expensive type of list to buy assuming that it is an accurate one.
You can accomplish the same thing at a lesser cost by targeting a similar audience based on demographics. A reasonable priced direct mail list of mailing records/addresses would provide you with the income of the addressee, age, property ownership etc. However the more you narrow down your list and add additional specificity, say all people with a size 8 show, just kidding, the price of the list may go up.
The least expensive mailing list to purchase is a carrier route list, without the name of the occupant, which is why you see direct mail in your inbox addressed to “Dear Occupant”. This type of direct mail list features two low cost features; it has the lowest per thousand pricing of all direct mail marketing lists and will provide you with the least expensive postage when you mail your piece. For example, a postcard mailing, or a bulk mailed letter will run you approximately .25-28 cents for a letter or flat up to 3.3 Oz, a carrier route mailing of a postcard would cost you approximately .14 cents.
Let’s say you want to narrow your niche direct mail marketing plan to people making over $100,000.00 per year and who own their own homes, as you are selling upscale widgets for homeowners. Do you purchase a direct mail marketing list to include homeowners, making over $100,000.00 or is there a cheaper way to mail to the same person and get the same results? Your choice would therefore in dollars be; mail for almost twice the postage cost and buy a direct mail advertising list for either X or 4-6 times X, yet in either case get the same results?
I think you would opt for the money saving methodology to reach the same people with your list and here is how you do it. First you need to understand who you are trying to reach and who is capable or wanting to become your customer. If you do not know this well before you are even considering a direct mail campaign, you had better stop what you are doing and rethink your business model. If you do know who your potential customer base is, the most cost effective way of reaching them and bringing your method to them is by buying an “occupant” list but tailoring it to your requirements. I am sure you do not care if your upscale customer lives in Hollywood or Bellaire, so long as they become your customer. Therefore, Google for “purchase mailing lists” and a ton of companies will come up, although there are only about two providers for all of the resellers of direct mail lists in America. Choose “occupant” lists and review their carrier route selections by zip.
If you have an upscale item you will want to choose carrier routes within zip codes that are in upscale neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills, Manhattan From 96th street and south and so on. Within each zip code will be the “carrier route”. The carrier route also known as the walk route is a given smaller territory within a zip code assigned to a carrier(s). Most list brokers will provide additional information in addition to the amount of addresses within a specified carrier route, such as businesses, postal boxes and homes or apartments. If your widget only appeals to homeowners you can either exclude routes that are heavily populated with business and choose residential routes and if a mixed route, since you only need to mail to 75% of the occupants in order to qualify for “carrier route” direct mail services, you can select a smaller portion excluding the business or postal boxes etc.
I will tell you in front, the work to segregate out your requirements can be tedious and a bit time consuming but this can lead to great savings for you on your direct mail marketing campaign, both on postage and on purchasing your list of addresses to mail to. This style of honing down an “occupant” list to meet the requirements of your particular widget that you are promoting is obviously most beneficial to smaller businesses, businesses on a budget or start ups.
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