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If your company doesn’t have a strong, focused direct marketing mail list, it’s like getting your car stuck in deep mud. You push on its accelerator, but the wheels just spin, throwing muck everywhere. The key to getting unstuck is to grow your target audience and level up your direct marketing efforts.

One of the biggest strengths of direct marketing is that it enables you to identify and deliver your marketing message directly to a highly targeted audience of your ideal customers. From postcards and direct mail pieces to catalogs and dimensional mailers, direct marketing campaigns provide you with many opportunities to intrigue your prospects and persuade them to engage with you.

Whether you utilize a carefully culled in-house list or purchase one, direct marketing can give your business the traction it needs to grow and thrive.

If you don’t own a list, you need to purchase one. But where should you start? Here are some insights on how to get traction and accelerate your business growth with direct marketing.

3 sources for purchased lists

Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience, it’s time to purchase a mailing list. To do so, you have three options, each with its own set of trade-offs. Here are their pros and cons:

List brokers compile lists from multiple public sources, sorting them by industry classification, job title and other attributes. They are the least expensive way to grow your list, but also have the lowest quality. Up to 25% of their records may be outdated or incorrect. If your budget is very limited, list brokers can still offer plenty of value by giving you a base of prospects you can use as the foundation for expanding your direct marketing efforts.

Web data curators such as ZoomInfo and Broadlook constantly cull the internet, searching for and compiling company and contact data. Because their software does this continuously, lists purchased from them tend to be more up-to-date and accurate than those from list brokers. They represent a good mid-priced option for many companies, and also offer a variety of database services that can help you to clean and verify your list.

Industry-specific sources such as trade magazines and associations offer the highest quality and most accurate lists. They already “own” audiences that are focused on your industry or market and have built-in incentives to keep their data up-to-date. They also own the attention and trust of their subscribers, which you can leverage to share your messages with them.

Most publishers and associations own sophisticated marketing platforms that include a variety of services designed to bring buyers and sellers together, including:

  • Advertising,
  • Sponsorships,
  • Email and direct marketing services,
  • Events, and
  • Industry directories.

Ask them to design an integrated strategy that can help you do a cost-effective job of reaching and influencing their audiences. And don’t forget: Direct mail and email, used together, can pack a powerful one-two punch to help you multiply your persuasive power with your target audience. When purchasing lists, always include email addresses, so you have opportunities to integrate your messaging across both platforms.

Which list sources does Heritage use for its internal and client marketing efforts? It varies, depending upon each client’s objectives and budget. We’ve done everything from Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), a service of the U.S. Postal Service that saturates a geographic area with direct mailers, to highly targeted campaigns that are focused on very specific audiences and marketing messages.

If you’re ready to grow your target audience with a purchased mailing list, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your needs.


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