When you’re looking into direct mailing as an option for increasing your outreach, you’ll encounter questions about your ‘mailing list.’ If you are unfamiliar with direct mailing, you might not know what this is. Lucky for you, We’re here to help!
What Is A Mailing List?
A mailing list is a collection of information about customers or potential customers that will allow you to get in touch with them quickly. This information can include email addresses, phone numbers, names, and home addresses. You can get more detailed data to more specifically target your outreach if necessary.
How Do You Get A Mailing List?
There are several different methods when it comes to getting a list for your business, and some are better than others, depending on your situation. The three main methods are compiling your own in-house list, renting a list, or purchasing a list from a service provider.
It is possible to collect your own mailing list information. This usually takes more time and consists of customers that already come to your business and use your services. These are great for quickly getting in touch with existing customers. Getting this information can be as simple as having people who come into your business filling out a quick form indicating that they’d be interested in getting more information about your services.
Rented lists can be useful when it comes to getting in touch with new customers. Unfortunately, if you rent, you usually won’t be given access to the information directly, but will contract with a service provider to handle the actual mailing process instead. Once someone from the list responds to your outreach however, if they give you their contact information, you now have that for future in-house mailing lists, even if you are no longer renting the list.
A more long term and committed form of list acquisition, purchasing lists can be tricky. Just like with renting, you don’t always get to check out the information on the list before committing to the transaction. In addition, unless the service you’re purchasing from is highly reputable, it isn’t always clear how the information was obtained. It’s possible they never requested information in any way related to your business, and by reaching out to them, it could be a turn-off for them about your services.
When Paying For A List
You’ll likely pay per name with a minimum number of names on the list depending on where you get it. You’re also getting the information of people who might not know who you or your business is. You should also only purchase from those services that have a good reputation for curating lists and meeting the needs of businesses rather than simply lumping names and addresses together.