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A direct mailing is made of up three basic parts: the design, the offer, and the most important part – the list.

It’s true, the list you choose to mail to is the key element of getting the best response. This is because the wrong list can take your response rate down to 0%.

For example, you could have a great offer for a $2 Million commercial property, which you have listed for only $1 Million and it could be a great time to make the offer – but the list that you chose was homeowners, age 18-55, with annual household income of $50,000. Absolutely no one on your list would be qualified to take advantage of your offer, no matter how great it is. (It is true that if you send a lousy design with no offer to the perfect list, you could end up with squat, too, so I may be remiss in calling it the most important part of your mailing – I waffle on this!!)

If you have a gym that caters to serious, heavy lifters and you mail to senior citizens, again, your offer and your design won’t mean a thing.

In order to help you when it comes to lists, I’ve put together this article, in 3 parts, to show you exactly how to make the smart choices. This week we’ll look at mailing to your in-house list. The people most likely to respond to an offer are people who have either purchased from you or inquired about your services in the past. It may sound simplistic, but getting more sales out of your database is the best place to start.

Keeping a well-maintained database is going to be the best way for you to make sure you have this avenue available.

First, make sure that you are getting ALL contact information from your customers, including mailing address, phone, and email. In addition, get as much information as you can from any prospects you talk to. Collecting all the contact information that you can allows you the best opportunity to contact them in the future.

Next, keep every contact you ever make in your database. NEVER delete them, even if you think they are never going to buy. Make sure each record has either the date they contacted you or the date they last made a purchase. You never know how long it’s going to take for a prospect to actually pull the trigger, so you need to keep mailing to them on a regular basis. As time goes on, you can spread out the time between mailings for your older contacts, but you never want to cut them out completely.

Finally, keep track of what each customer bought and how much they spent. This is very important because it can help you put together the right offer to be mailed to the right contacts.

These steps take some effort to implement, but will help you to keep your database in the best shape for mining even more money out of it in the future.

In the next portion, we’ll take a look at how to use the data you collect to purchase the best new lists for a lead generation mailing.

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation's most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing–all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC's "Your Business." PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership.

If you would like to interview Joy or book her as a speaker, please email or call 1-800-442-0112 ext. 281.

Speak to a Marketing Expert today at: 1-800-442-0112
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