1. Determine if direct mail is right for you
Direct Mail is one of the core print marketing campaign media that has nearly gone extinct over the past decade. Many marketers have either eliminated direct mail from their marketing media toolbelt, or they haven't even learned how to send direct mail in the place as a result of the extensive decline of its usage. But research has shown that over the past few years, as a result of the lack of messaging competition, the ROI of direct mail has increased significantly for many business and marketing applications. Whether you're a small business trying to find its ideal target market or a huge corporation with a full-sized mailing program, you can always seek the help of businesses that offer a product or service centered around direct mail.
As this research implies, there are still some who wouldn't necessarily benefit from a shift to direct mail and who may be better suited for some of Conquest Graphic's digital products. If you'd like to learn more about what direct mail can do for you, we suggest checking out our Mailing Information page or our Mailing FAQ page. To determine if using direct mail is appropriate for your campaign, try out the Direct Mail ROI Calculator.
2. Compile a list of customers' profiles from your past sales information to determine who your potential customers are
Once you've determined whether direct mailing is right for your next campaign, you'll want to determine who is currently purchasing or using your product and who you want to be purchasing or using it in the future. This can be a general list or a highly detailed one, but it's best to be as specific as possible as it can save you a lot of time and money down the line hiring list brokers or research services to gather the information for you.
In most cases, the more detailed information you know about your customers now, the easier your mailing list compilation process will be in the future.
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 were before finding you. Investing in the research portion of direct marketing or spending the money necessary to hire a mailing list broker is really what makes the difference between high efficiency and low impact direct mailing campaigns.
3. Make a list of the common factors that are consistent through all past customer profiles
The more information you manage to get about your past customers, the better. This is the part when you go through the database of information you have about loyal customers and determine what kinds of identifying characteristics or experiences they have that make them a qualified audience.
These are the things that your future customers will also likely have in common.
If you decide to enlist the help of a marketing research agency or firm, provide them with as many of the details mentioned above to ensure they have the best quality information to work from. One great resource that can help with the initial stages of this process would be our direct mail list builder and acquisition tool or our EEDM tool. Both of 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 a central address.
4. Research customer profile findings and create averages of relevant household information
After making a list of your customers' business or consumer classifications, do some research to determine if there are any qualities about your customers (e.g. average household age income, average household size, average age, etc.) that they all have in common. This will make the next steps easier and could prevent you from needing to use some paid services that could place extra costs on your mailing program.
While there are more expensive marketing research agencies and similar avenues you could take to gathering customer data, there are also businesses like Conquest Graphics that have entire categories of products and services centered around providing free tools and resources to small business and nonprofit organizations so you can make informed decisions about who you want to contact and what your medium will be for contacting them. If you decide to hire a marketing research agency to manage all your research and direct mail marketing, you may skip this step.
5. Seek out resources to help you find mailing lists or find some mailing lists yourself that align closely with your customer profiles
Some of the business and consumer classifications are public data that is free or relatively low cost to compile. Other information may be extremely difficult to find. For example, finding a list of people who have purchased a boat in the past five years may be tricky for someone whos trying to reach those people across an entire region.
Luckily, there are existing lists that are searchable, rentable and function perfectly at helping brands reach their target audiences. Since you already know several identifying characteristics of you target customer, you can seek out the help of mailing list manager, broker or compiler.
List brokers are responsible for helping you find the right list to fit your needs. If you feel you already have a good understanding of the target list you need, then a list manager would be the best person to find. List managers or compilers oversee specific mailing lists and keep them up to date. It's important for you to find a list manager who has a list that aligns with your needs and industry. This may take some research, or you can seek out the help of a list broker.
Choosing the correct target audience for direct mail will have a huge impact on the success of your campaign and the overall visibility of your product to the audiences who need it most. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to find resources to help you determine and reach your target audiences.
While doing all the research required to build a better mail list can be cumbersome and expensive, there are alternatives that provide a much quicker route to a mail list and only require a small additional service fee. On Conquest Graphics' website, you can build, compile, save, edit, order, and fine-tune mailing lists using our mail list ordering tool.
Compile Your Targeted Mailing List Today
Compile Your Targeted Mailing List Today
Or feel free to check out any of our mailed products to see if anything inspires you for your next mailer order.
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