When a business employs direct mail, the campaign generally calls for some sort of mailing list. There are three different options for creating or securing a mailing list for a direct mail campaign. This guide will help you understand the uses and benefits of all three.
Creating a mailing list off of existing customer data is a cost-effective option for businesses of any size. Using data from past sales and other customer relations information, you can craft a list of your own and avoid paying any outside parties to collect the data. These types of lists are especially useful for simpler tasks like mailing out customer loyalty rewards or other promotional items, or inviting less-frequent customers to make a new purchase with your company in order to reinvigorate the sales relationship you’ve held with them in the past. This method can also be used to “model” new customers by considering common demographic and behavioral factors held by existing customers. The method can be limiting if seeking new customers, however, as it provides you no access to people that you haven’t done business with in the past. For that, you may need to seek an outside party.
Third party lists are those crafted by that specialize in crafting mailing lists for businesses, or by printing companies that have the capability, like U.S. Press. Though it costs more than creating an in-house list from scratch, the benefits of having a list of potential customers and having the work outsourced to save time can outweigh that cost. Third party mailing lists can be tailored and narrowed by demographic to match your “model customer,” meaning having a good idea of who that customer is beforehand is essential. Once you’ve provided that bit of information to the outside party, however, you can expect a tailored list that will give you opportunity and access with many potential customers you likely wouldn’t have had otherwise.
EDDM is a service offered by USPS that provides you with access to a every occupied home within a certain postal route or zip code. It isn’t a “mailing list” per se, because it’s not tailored or modified in any way. Again, there is no way to modify or edit the recipients of an EDDM mailing campaign. The benefit to using EDDM is the cost reduction. EDDM are designed to be broad, inexpensive campaigns that reach everyone without discretion. They’re great options for those looking to save a little money, or those with a rather broad customer base.
Each type of mailing list has its cost and benefits. Finding the right one for your business means understanding the nature of your campaign and its goals. As always, you can call your account manager at U.S. Press with any questions or concerns you may have.