Why The List is the Key to Direct Mail Success

There is nothing more important in direct mail than the list. Here’s why.

You can have the greatest design in the world – have the best remodeling professionals working for you – be the most creative person in the world –  but, if you target people, who aren’t looking for creativity or have no affinity for your design, guess what happens? Nothing!

Without the right list in direct mail, you are just wasting your marketing money. The list is more important than anything you put in the envelope, on the radio, on your website, or in an email, including the offer (which is important!). Therefore, DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE, regardless if you are doing direct mail or re-designing your website (i.e., do you design your website for “everyone” or for people who are “interested in design?”).

The “best” lists are those that will respond to you, which includes understanding the age, income level, presence of children, home values, zip codes, etc. about your target audience. One of the best ways to grasp what the “right” list is, you need to study your own! To do that, you will need a working knowledge of Excel® — the most powerful analytical tool in the world. With that program, you will be able to study your customer file, profile it, and then build a plan to find other places where similar prospects reside.

For example, you’re not selling $19.95 items – you’re selling a lifestyle, creativity. Therefore, by definition, your direct mail is simply designed to elicit a response that is “I’m interested” and maybe, “I want to buy.” If it does the latter, all the better. But typically, $10,000 designs are not sold through the mail, but the mail can enhance their selling. That is why they call this type of selling “the considered purchase.” Direct mail is a way to move toward the final destination: a sale.

To be successful in direct mail, then, you need a list of responders. But, where do you find such lists? Other designers will not share theirs, so why not “partner” with someone like a showroom who just might share their list? You can also, after a study of your own file, send your direct mail to other people within the zip codes where you have had success. You might also consider getting your current customers to recommend you (referrals are, after all, the leading way you get your business now, isn’t it?).

New movers are a source of good leads. They are more likely to “need” your services. You can use the internet to find recently sold properties in your targeted zip codes, and then use direct mail to contact them!

Reaching the right people is a key component to the success of your next direct mailing.