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Improve your direct mail marketing by improving your mailing list

Everything is getting more expensive – gas, groceries, wood products, wages. Every person and business is having to take a serious look at their budget and decide where they should cut costs. You may be tempted to pause your investment into direct mail and other marketing efforts.

DON’T DO IT! If your marketing efforts are bringing in business, then they are worthwhile investments that need to continue. Rather than putting these efforts on hold, look for ways to either cut costs or increase effectiveness so that you improve your ROI. 

We will be going through many of these strategies over the next few weeks, but today we are just talking about one: THE LIST

Reader, it is time to clean up and pare down your mailing list. The best way to save money and continue marketing is to make sure you are ONLY mailing to accurate addresses and to people who will find your products and services relevant. 

First, go through your list manually. Update any addresses of people you know have moved. Delete any addresses of people who have asked to be deleted. You may also want to delete addresses of people you’ve been mailing to for years who have never responded. 

Next, ask your direct mail service provider (that’s us!) to run your list through the National Change of Address database (NCOA). This will allow you to update the addresses of those on your list who have recently moved. 

If you want to ensure delivery to a specific address, even if the recipient’s name is wrong, be sure your direct mail house adds “or current resident” to all of your pieces. 

Lastly, be sure to get rid of all duplicate addresses. Your direct mail provider should also be able to do this easily for you. At One Step, this service is automatically included when we set up a new mailing list for you. 

In addition to, or maybe instead of, updating your current list, you may want to get a new mailing list from a data company. Data houses typically update their data every few months, so purchasing a new list ensures you have the most up to date data and you don’t have to spend time filtering it out yourself or running it through NCOA. 

If you find that your current mailing strategy is too expensive, use demographic filters to shorten the new list you get from the data company. You may want to target based on age, income, recent web activity, how many years they’ve lived in their house, etc. Having a more targeted list will not only reduce your cost but can potentially increase your response rate since you are sending only to recipients who are likely to need your product or service.