Skip to main content

Direct Mail Advertising - Getting Direct. Part One: Advantages of a Direct Mail List.

Direct Mail Advertising Target
A Direct Mail List can help get your advertising effectively targeted.

Direct Mail offers an affordable and effective way to advertise directly to a select group of targeted prospects. There are few, if any, other types of advertising that can stake that claim with confidence. In my Direct Mail Advertising - Getting Direct. series I will walk you through the process of how and why direct mail works, the things you should consider in your own campaign, and highlight some the main advantages of using direct mail in your advertising arsenal.

Direct Mail Advertising - Getting Direct.
Part One: Advantages of a Direct Mail List.

In order to have an effective direct mail campaign you need the right list. The list is key and separates what gives direct mail an edge when compared to the other methods in your advertising program. The list is absolutely the most essential part in your campaign's success. Some experts even say that the list could be responsible for up to 60% of the success of your campaign!

The reason direct mail is effective is because you can hand-deliver your advertisement directly to your specifically target prospects. I don't mean just anyone who could possibly use your service or product, I'm talking SPECIFIC!

Businesses or Consumers?
First choose whether you want to target consumer or business prospects. From there you can break down into specifics. I've added some helpful suggestions for possible applicable uses for many of the filters below in (blue paranthesis)


  • Certain zip codes (specific-city zoning campaigns)
  • Certain cities (candidates for city office)
  • Certain mile radius around an address (perhaps a 5 mile radius around your store)
  • A Combination of any or all of the above

Business Filters:

  • Employee Size Range
  • Sales Volume Range
  • Year the Business Started
  • Only Home-based Businesses
  • Small Business Indicator

Consumer Demographics:

  • Income range (target low income individuals with ads focused on saving money, high incomes with focus on quality)
  • Gender
  • Only Homeowners / Only Renters (offer alarm systems or home renters insurance?)
    • New Homeowner Lists specifics:
      • Deed Recording Date
      • Mortgage Amount
      • Purchase Price
      • Gender
      • Transaction Date / Type
      • Loan Type
      • Loan to Value Ratio (offering home equity loans or lines of credit?)
      • Lender
    • New Movers Lists specifics:
      • Phone Number
      • Census Mean Income
      • Previous Address
      • Distance of Move (offering moving truck services, or perhaps a local entertainment guide?)
  • Dwelling type - only houses, condos, apartments, etc. (offer home repair, lawn maintenance, or pool cleaning?)
  • Mail order buyers (looking to mail catalogs? find those who purchase via mail often.)
  • Credit card users
  • Age (As specific as 2-year increments) (18 years olds ready to graduate, 65 year olds ready to retire)
    • Physician-specific Lists:
      • Licensing and Association Data
      • Professional and Alumni Directories (advertise directly to fellow colleauges)
    • Specialty Lists:
      • Occupation Type
      • Industry Type
      • Churches Only
      • Fortune 1000 Companies
      • Pilots
      • Teachers
      • Real Estate Agents
      • Expectant Mothers
      • Timeshare Owners

Consumer Selects:

  • Vehicle Make and/or Model
  • Buying Behavior (such as Apparel, Books, Credit Cards, Electronics)
  • Health Related (such as Allergys, Arthritis, Diabetics, Organic Food Buyers)
  • High Tech (PC owners, Software Buyers, Internet Connection Type)
  • Life Events (Expectant Parent, Child Nearing Graduation, New Parent, Newlyweds)
  • Wealth Indicator (Likely Investor, Insurance Policy
  • Travel Selects (Past Vacations they have taken or Would likely enjoy)

Consumer Lifestyle Interests:

  • Only individuals with specific Hobbies (send your ad to those people already interested in what you have to offer!)
  • Those interested in the Arts, Biking, etc.
  • Only Cat or Dog Owners
  • Only Boat Owners
  • People who have shown interest in Career Improvement
  • Only Christian Families
  • Only Sports Memorabilia Collectors
  • Only people who enjoy Fishing
  • Only people who play in Sports or watch/read Sports
  • Only people who Travel often 

Keep in mind that Sales Lead Lists go out-of-date at a rate of 15% or more every year. Your list should be kept up-to-date to ensure that the rest of your campaign dollars are not being wasted by sending out your mailers to names/addresses that don't exist. An up-to-date list by a reputable company will average above a 94% consumer and 90% business deliverability rate!

As you can see, you're able to very specifically determine the exact individual or business prospect of your choosing. Unlike general advertising, you're not just putting your advertisement out there, crossing your fingers, and hoping your prospects are receiving your messages and noticing it. You're actually hand-delivering it directly to them! And to top it off you don't have to run multiple ads with multiple messages. You can actually custom tailor several different direct mail ads to appeal to several different types of prospects and assign only those specific ads be sent to only those specific prospects. That's what I call effective advertising!

Subscribe and stay tuned for the rest of my Direct Mail Advertising - Getting Direct. series. More to come soon!

Ensure that you purchase an up-to-date and reliable list from a reputable sales leads provider. In addition, I recommend purchasing your list from an authorized list reseller because they may be able to offer you a substantial discount pricing from retail pricing for the exact same mailing list. Effective Advertising Solutions LLC is an authorized reseller for USADATA, Inc.
For more info visit: Effective Advertising Solutions > Graphic Design > Direct Mail