Direct Mail Lists: DIY, Rent, or Buy?

Direct Mail Lists

Direct mail lists are a key component for direct mail campaigns. There are a number of ways to get these lists. For this type of campaign you may create the mailing lists yourself, rent the lists, or buy them outright. The right answer may be different in each case.

Direct Mail Lists are an Essential Part of Any Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail lists show where your mailers need to be delivered. The right direct mail lists can make your campaign hugely successful. The lists are typically based on certain data and demographics, which help identify specific consumers. The wrong lists could mean you get few, if any responses, to your mailer.

Accurate Targeting is a Must

No matter where you get your lists, they must be current and have value. You will need to accurately determine which consumers you will be targeting with the mailer. Use lists that are designed just for this group. A pet store would not do well sending mailers to people who don’t like animals or have pets.

What is a List Broker?

List brokers are individuals and companies who offer direct mail lists for marketers to use. Many of these brokers are out there, some providing lists of a higher quality than others. If a broker has a price that is much lower than everyone else, this may be a red flag. Data on lists must be relevant to your customer needs.

The DIY Method

One way to get the direct mail lists that you need for your campaign is to collect data and create your own lists. Know that this method can require a lot of time and effort on your part. However, it is much more affordable, and you have complete control.

There are some advantages the DIY method offers, which make it a popular choice for serious marketers. When you create your own lists, you control the accuracy and the relevancy of the data that is included. You can search public databases for new consumers to target, and update the lists as you gain new leads and customers.

Renting Lists for Your Mailers

Another option to get the direct mail lists is to rent them. List rentals are usually single use rentals. You are paying to use the list data just once and you will never own the data. You cannot use it in any future campaigns, unless you pay the rental fee again. When you rent lists, you also have to rely on others to determine the value and accuracy of the data.

If you use direct mail regularly to reach out to consumers, then list rentals can get expensive over time. Multi use rental agreements can be difficult to find, and pricey when the lists involved are top quality.

List Purchasing

A third option for direct mail lists is purchasing the ones that you need. This type of agreement means that you are free to use the data on the lists in any way you want, provided you do not sell it. The data can be used repeatedly. You can add, delete, and update the information, so that it stays highly relevant and current for the most value.

Which Method is Best for You?

Each method of getting direct mail lists can be right in some cases, but wrong in others. Before you decide, take a look at: your budget, your long term plans, the time you have available, the resources that you can use, your personal preferences, and other factors in your own situation. These will help you decide which method is best for your campaign.

How do you get your direct mail lists and why?

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