#1 Direct Marketing Mistake – Poor Mailing List Selection

The Wrong List can Jeopardize a Great OfferWhen most people are planning a direct mail campaign, they spend a lot of time and effort on getting the perfect layout. They usually end up wasting a lot of money because they don’t get the response rates they had expected and hoped for, originally. Most amateur direct mail marketers think “if I have a good looking mail piece, people will respond.” But unfortunately, that is not true.If they would spend their time and effort on the most important thing; which is targeting their audience by choosing the right direct mailing list, it doesn’t matter what their layout looks like. That is because if they target the right people at the right time with the right offer, they will have great response rates.So what ends up happening when you focus on just the layout and look of direct mail? You waste your money. Then you may also think that direct mail is not the right media for you. But really, it is the most powerful marketing media. This is because you get to choose your targeted selections. That is the key to direct marketing. You are not just mass marketing; you are targeting your perfect prospect. These are the consumers that will spend thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. Depending on your product or service, it could even be hundreds of thousands. So, how do you do it right?Start with a Checklist:
Know what area you want to target
Know who you are targeting
Strategically plan when you want to send out your message
Use the selections to pinpoint your prospective customer
Find the right list broker for you
Join your list provider’s newsletter/ezine/blog (if available)
Look for discounts offered by the list provider
Look for quality, not quantity
Use a list provider that has up-to-date information
Now you have a targeted plan. Test different layouts, formats, and offers at different times. You will end up finding what works. You may even have to change your criteria selections of your lists. So how do you do this the best way?The Right List BrokerYou should develop a relationship with a list broker. They will know what response and compiled lists are available. Don’t treat them as a supplier or vendor, treat them as a partner. If they provide you with a successful marketing list, you will end up forming a trusting relationship with them. It is always nice to work with someone you trust.Sometimes, all you have to do is tell the list broker what type of business you have and who you would like to market. They can suggest different criteria selections and maybe different target audiences that have been successful for other businesses like yours. They also know which lists do not yield high response rates. List brokers are only successful if you are successful.Final StepsHow often should you mail out a list? It usually takes three to seven times for a potential prospect to be marketed before you are recognized or remembered. So you may want to choose the option of multiple-use when purchasing a mailing list.Make sure to ask your list broker for discounts, as well as how often their databases are updated. Discuss your budget. You want to make sure that you and your broker are on the same page. Finally, track the results, analyze them, and make adjustments.Don’t waste your money or time by using the wrong mailing list for your marketing campaign. Make the most of your offer by sending it to the right people.