Mailing lists come in a variety of formats, but one of the most popular is direct mail mailing lists. Direct mail is a form of direct marketing that uses the postal services to deliver its messages. As such, it tends to be paper/magazine based although it’s not uncommon for CDs or other promotional material to be included. In recent years, credit card applications have been one of the most prolific type of direct mail, due in part to their high conversion rate.
In recent years due to its proliferation, direct mail has got a bad reputation and is sometimes referred to as ‘junk mail’. Recipients can find it intrusive as they can receive numerous mailings each day. This in turn leads to ‘blindness’ to the marketing messages being delivered, affecting the marketers ROI.
The other main issue that the general public have with direct mail is its environmental impact. It is estimated that around 44% of junk mail is destroyed without even being opened, which of course is a massive waste of natural resources. There is also a significant amount of ink used as well as the energy used by postal services around the world to process and deliver direct mail. In 2003, it’s estimated that 43% of all postal mail is direct mail, an increase from 29% in 1980.
Direct Mail Mailing Lists contain address of people who may be contacted via post, although the level of detail they go into will very much vary on the direct mail list broker they are purchased from. A good list should contain information such as the age, gender, income, religion, job, marital status but will ultimately be dependent on your needs as a marketer.
The more information that can be acquired in your direct mail list, the better you will be able to alter the promotional material so that it is well targeted at your audience. This is a process of trial and error that can take years to perfect, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time! Make sure you monitor certain performance indicators for each mail shot you send as this will ensure you have hard evidence to back up any changes you make to future mailing lists.
Hopefully this gives you a rough idea about direct mail mailing lists and how they can be used. If there are any points you feel I have missed, please contact me using the form below.