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Guide to Building a Mailing List for Direct Mail Campaigns

In direct mail marketing, there’s arguably nothing more crucial than your mailing list. If you want to get 1,000 clear responses from your target customers, theoretically, your direct mailing list should have 1,000 people. However, you’d need a miracle to secure a 100% response rate from your direct mail advertising. 

Realistically speaking, while that goal is nigh-on impossible, the fact that you’ve recognised the importance of direct mailing lists is an essential first step. How you build and use your mailing list can make a huge difference in your direct mail response rates and your campaign success as a whole.

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How to Build a List for Direct Mail

Consumer trust in direct mail is booming currently, with many businesses & charities nationwide recognising the true potential of direct mail marketing campaigns. However, one area which is frequently overlooked or left very last-minute and rushed is the all-important mailing list.

The Direct Mail 40-40-20 Rule

For years, businesses have followed the 40-40-20 model when sending mailshots, printed leaflets or flyers. For those that don’t know, this rule was defined by Edward Mayer, who explained that direct mail success and performance is based:

If we’re to follow the same logic, it’s essential to select the correct mailing list. Not just that, but to continually refine, tweak and improve it. This is so you can target more specific segments of your audience with razor-sharp accuracy, concise messaging and, by extension, greater responsiveness.

In its simplest form, a mailing list is a collection of names, physical addresses and contact information of your customers and prospects. In 2021, a direct mailing list could also include sets of other demographics, including (but not limited to) shopping behaviour, lifestyle and interests.

Types of Direct Mailing List

There are several direct mail list types, and the one you use will depend on your budget, deadlines, resources, audience(s), and your goals for reaching them. The available options include:

Direct Mailing Services – Best Practices

Each leaflet distribution type differs slightly in how it’s executed, not just from a cuIf you’re currently struggling for responses or want to improve your direct mail campaign list, we suggest you follow the below steps to make it more effective.

  1. Define your target audience.

Pinpoint exactly who your buyers are. If you cater for multiple audiences, that’s OK, but they may require a different approach as adopting the same strategy for various audiences may waste effort and budget.

  1. Choose your direct mail marketing strategy.

Which direct mail strategy will work best to reach your potential customers? You’ll need to think about your short-term and long-term goals, budget and timescales. Consider saturation mailing if large quantities of residents in a geographic area would benefit from direct mail. Alternatively, targeted direct mail can be reserved for specific customers that would engage with your material.

  1. Segment your mailing lists.

Direct mail segmentation is crucial for creating mailing campaigns that deliver what your customers want. Instead of targeting as many people as possible, focus your direct mailing lists on narrowly defined groups of people. This could include geographic (location), behavioural (buying habits), psychographic (lifestyle), demographic (age, ethnicity, income etc.) and more. 

  1. Test your campaign elements.

It’s crucial to test your direct mail communications and consider alternatives if certain aspects prove ineffective. Test segments, offers, types of print, types of postage, leaflet and brochure formats, amongst others. You can also consider changing your CTA, seeing whether you have more success getting your customers to ring your phone number, follow you on social media or contact your email address.

Methods to Avoid with Mailing Lists

It’s clear to see how beneficial leaflet distribution campaigns can be, provided they’re

Some general points to consider avoiding with direct mail campaigns include:

Methods to Avoid with Mailing Lists

It’s clear to see how beneficial leaflet distribution campaigns can be, provided they’re

Some general points to consider avoiding with direct mail campaigns include:

  • Prioritising quantity over quality.
  • Mailing the wrong audience.
  • Not considering who would actually benefit from receiving a piece of mail.
  • Sending mailings to old addresses more than once.
  • Ignoring your analytics and metrics.

Nationwide Mailing House Solutions

We hope the above guide has provided you with more insight into the importance of direct mail lists. If you’d like some further assistance, Lbox Communications have plenty of experience as a direct mail company, helping clients nationwide achieve an exceptional return on investment with cost-effective, targeted direct mail campaigns. 

We can do the same for you – whether this is in sourcing mail campaign data from sources like Experian, 24-hour in-house direct mail printing and mail fulfilment, or securing competitive bulk mail postage rates. 

If you’d like to get your campaign off to a flying start, speak to one of our team today.

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