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How To Perfect Your Direct Mail Targeting In 5 Simple Steps

Direct Mail Targeting

A mistake many marketers make is having their focus primarily on the design of their direct mailers which can cause a decrease in responses.

Although an eye-catching and well-designed direct mail message is sure to generate results, if who you are reaching out to is a last-minute thought, then your direct mail campaign isn’t fully working to your advantage. In fact, you should figure out who your target audience is before designing your direct mail piece.

With direct mail marketing, as well as any other marketing channel, you need to target the right audience. Whether that audience comes from your internal database or an outsourced one, these 5 steps will help you create the perfect targeted direct mail campaign.

1. Outline Your Goals for Your Direct Mail Campaign

Targeted Mailing List

Whether you’re a small business looking for its ideal target audience or a large franchise with a full-sized mailing program, before you begin your targeted direct mail campaign, you’ll need to outline your goals so you can easily target the right audience for your company.

To get started ask yourself a few questions like what product or service are you advertising? Is your goal to promote a sale or to build stronger brand awareness? Are you looking to target a new audience or target certain existing customers or leads? Is your goal to drive traffic to your website or to your location?

Depending on what your goals are, will help you determine the type of people and areas you should be targeting in your direct mail campaign.

2. Analyze Your Most Successful Customers

Once you have outlined your targeted direct mail goals, you’ll want to take a look at who your most successful customers are.

This is because you may think that households with children present are your target audience, but your current customer data may show that you would have more success targeting single homeowners.

How to Determine Your Customer Personas and Profiles

Determine who is currently purchasing or using your products or services so you can better determine who you want to target. For example, if your current, most profitable customers consist of women who own a business, then targeting other women business owners could mean a higher response rate.

You can determine these customer characteristics by using a general list or your internal database.

To do this, you can go through the database of information you have about loyal customers and determine what kind of identifying characteristics or experiences they have (e.g., average household size, average age, average income, etc.)

Or if your customer base is extremely large, you can even use a solution like Look-Alike Analysis to get an in-depth look into who your most successful customers are, so you can gain a better understanding of who your ideal audience is.

No matter how you analyze your current customers, it’s best to be as specific as possible as it can save you time and money when compiling your targeted mailing list as well as lead to a higher ROI.

In most cases, the more detailed information you know about your customers now, the easier your list compilation process will be.

It’s important to remember that prospective customers don’t have to be just anyone picked at random from a community. You can target people who are just like your existing customers.

The more information you manage to get about your past and current customers, the better.

Although this can sometimes mean having to spend the money necessary to obtain this information, it can truly make a difference between high efficiency and low impact direct mailing campaigns.

3. Decide Who You Want to Target with Direct Mail

Once you have a complete understanding of your targeted direct mailing goals and after analyzing your customers’ business or consumer classifications, it’s time to decide who you want to target.

Creating a list of your customers using their personas and profiles.

This could be an audience who is in the same area and have the exact same characteristics as your ideal customers, or you may wish to target a different location and an audience who has a few of the same characteristics depending on the specific product or service you are offering.

Some great resources that can help with the initial stages of this process would be our direct mail list builder and acquisition tool, our proximity mailing list generator, or our EDDM tool. These tools allow you to get an idea of how large your potential audience could be given either the specific carrier routes or set of qualifying details you apply for a given ZIP code or area within a radius from your customers’ or business’s location.

These tools can also be extremely useful if your business is just starting out and you have very little to no information about your customers. This is because they give you the ability to reach larger but still targeted audiences and as you generate responses, you can begin collecting the customer data needed to perfect a targeted mailing list. 

4. Choose Your Type of Mailing List

There are primarily 3 mailing address lists, and each one has its own purpose.

Below are the three categories of mailing lists as well as explanations of what each is used for so you can easily choose the right one for your targeted direct mail campaign goals and budget.

Use geographic and demographic information to refine your lists

Internal Mailing Lists - Creating a mailing list from your internal database like your CRM or Marketing Automation platform has some advantages including it being free, the individuals on the list already know your brand, and you already know who the recipients are—meaning you can better tailor your direct mail messages to their specific needs and relationship with your business. Plus, with your internal database, you can also take advantage of direct mail automation where you can set up triggers and have direct mail automatically sent to individuals based on certain events or actions—no mailing list compiling is even needed.

Complied Mailing Lists - Compiled lists are perfect for location and demographic targeting. These lists are cheaper than a response list as the information is publicly available and quite easy to find. For example, you could target consumers in a certain ZIP code who are married and have children present in their home. These lists can also be created to target consumers, households, or other businesses.

Response Mailing Lists - Response mailing lists are lists that consist of people who have specific interests or behaviors and there are thousands of data points for you to gain access to so you can reach a new audience who is interested in your company’s offerings. For example, you can target individuals who bought a certain product from your competitor, individuals who enjoy dining out, or individuals who are searching for a new car.

5. Compile Your Targeted Mailing List with the Right Resources

As mentioned above, some business and consumer classifications, like home value, age, employee size or sales volume, are public data that is either free or low cost to compile.

Targeting Direct Mail Campaign 

Other information, however, can be slightly more expensive. For example, mailing lists that are targeted based on interests, like finding a list of people who are interested in purchasing a boat or a list of people who dine at fine dining restaurants frequently.

Luckily, no matter who you are looking to target, there is an option for you. And since you already know several identifying characteristics of your target customer, you can successfully seek out the help of a mailing list manager, broker, or compiler.

Choosing the right target audience for your direct mail campaign will have a huge impact on the success of your campaign and the overall visibility of your product or services to the audiences who need them the most.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find resources to help you determine and reach your target audiences.

At Conquest Graphics we can help you find the right list that fits your needs. We work closely with list brokers every day and our team of experts know exactly how to create the perfect targeted mailing list for your specific direct mail campaign. 

We also have the tools to help you quickly and easily compile a mailing list on your own, like our mail list ordering tool where you can build, compile, save, edit, order, and fine-tune your targeted audience.

So, whether you’re looking to launch a targeted direct mail campaign based on consumers’ interests and behaviors or are looking to target an audience in a certain area within a specific demographic, we are here to help.

To get started, click below to check out our targeted mailing list tool or if you’re interested in a more complex targeted list, head over to our advanced mailing page to discover targeted direct mail solutions like Propensity Mailing, Look-Alike Analysis, or Drive Time Mailing.

Compile Your Targeted Mailing List Today

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