The Secrets of Mailing Lists
The world of direct marketing is heavily reliant on data. There are over 55,000 available lists on the market. From compiled lists to response lists, there’s something for almost every targeted campaign. They all vary in quantity, quality and price. It’s sometimes difficult to understand a good list from a bad list. Today we will talk about targeting with data, getting the right list and what questions to ask before renting.
Renting the Right Marketing List
You read it, yes, you’re renting a list. Many people think you are buying list, but that is not the case. Once a prospect contacts you, at that point you own that person’s contact information.
Your direct marketing success is generally based on these percentages:
Creative / Messaging 20%
Since a marketing list can contribute a whopping 40% of your campaign’s success, you better make sure you get it right.
You need to find the best and appropriate list that meets your needs. As you identify a list source, you need to know what questions to ask and which list source to go to. Always remember, getting a better list will garner a higher response rate. Increasing a 1% response to 1.5% could equal thousands of dollars in revenue! Doing some leg work and possibly paying a small amount more for a better list is always a wise investment.
The first type of list is a compiled list. This is a type of mailing list created by collecting names and addresses from public records, directories, and other sources. Compiled data comes from more than 3,500 public and proprietary sources such as:
Credit record statistics
Mail order transactions
One of the list compilers we use has 2,500+ data elements available. We can use compiled data for the vast majority of the campaigns we help our clients with. Some of the top compilers include:
An example of consumer data I could get from a compiled list would be:
Their house is a single family dwelling
Age 35 to 55
Has a daughter under 5
Makes at least $75,000 a year
They have lived in their home over 5 years
Their house was built in 1972
An example of business data I could get from a compiled list would be:
Been in business 5+ years
Has between 100 and 250 employees
The revenue is between $2.5 and $5 million
Every compiled list has their pros and cons. As you get more experience, you will know which ones to use and when.
The second type of lists is a response list. These lists consist of names and addresses of individuals who have responded to an offer of some kind. This can range from people who subscribe to a specific magazine to people who have completed and returned their product warranty card. Some response lists examples include:
An example of consumer data I could get from a response list would be:
Made a purchase from Pottery Barn Kids
The purchase was made within the last 3 months
The purchase amount was between $50 and $100
An example of business data I could get from a response list would be:
People that members of Entomological Society of America
They have a specialty in Insect Pathology
There are literally tens of thousands of niche lists available in the marketplace. At B2E, we have even surprised ourselves at the type of data we are to find.
Marketing List Due Diligence
When looking for a marketing list, you must do your due diligence. Factors to consider when weighing the value of a rented list:
How often is the list updated and/or cleaned?
Where does the data come from? How was it collected?
How frequently do people on the list make purchases and how much do they spend?
Have earlier customers rented or purchased the list after initial test mailings?
How frequently has the list been rented by other companies?
What is the list company’s policy on returns?
These are important questions to ask every single list you are looking to rent. Lists vary in quality and price, and typically, the more expensive the list, the better the quality. The least expensive lists are referred to as unqualified lists which consist of a rundown of occupants in a specified geographic area (i.e. carrier route).
Lists generally go bad at a rate of 2% a month. By the end of the year, about a fourth of most lists are out of date. Did you know around 15-17% of the population moves every year? A list becomes less effective the more often it is used. The industry standard for deliverability is roughly 92%.
At B2E, we have researched and rented thousands of different marketing lists over the years (direct mail, email and telephone). If you have questions, please contact me and I will help you out.