With any direct mail effort you should have a goal in mind. Most goals fall into one of three categories - Grow Customer Revenue, Reduce Customer Attrition, or Acquire New Customers. Regardless of your goal in order to have a positive ROI the campaign must be relevant, timely and traceable.
Let’s start with making your campaign relevant. The key to making your campaign relevant is the mailing list. You want your prospects to match your target demographic/psychographic profile as closely as possible. Depending on your company and your campaign goals this may be a list segment of current customers or a purchased list of business prospects. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you need to purchase a list.
There are many list providers and many the specialize in niche markets so be sure to do a Google search. For small businesses who do most of the marketing themselves I suggest using the Experian Small Business Services website - http://www.experian.com/small-business/services.jsp. It provides a great deal of power and functionality, uses quality data, and has the most intuitive user interface that I have found.
You have the option of building a business list or a consumer list depending on your customer base. It will also ask you if you want to do basic segmentation or advanced. I like the advanced version for greater control over your list - and with the step-by-step approach, even beginners should find it easy to use and navigate.
Spend some time looking at all the tabs and segmentation possibilities. The closer you can target your list, the better your ROI will be.
In my next post, I’ll discuss how you can use free internet tools to identify the best time to drop your next direct mail campaign.