Cleveland, OH (PressExposure) March 07, 2011 -- Direct mail lists make it possible for businesses to gain new customers, which increases revenue from sales. Now, most people read that sentence and immediately began thinking of the big pile of junk mail in their mailbox or the spam that fills their email inbox like a hearty dinner. However, not all direct mail lists lead to spam! They are beneficial uses for direct mail lists.
Is it possible to know for sure whether or not the investment has paid off? Just look at the angry responses to the spam you're sending out, right? Okay, let's be serious here. To start with, there are three basic types of direct mail lists: company owned lists, response lists and compiled lists. In order to decide which list is going to offer the best profit potential, you must have a clear idea of who you're targeting.
Company owned lists are lists that have been created by a business for their own use. These can be created by customers who check an opt-in box on a website so that they can receive occasional newsletters and promotional advertisements in their e-mail. It is always a good idea to use the opt-in method, otherwise you'll risk being branded as a spammer if you send unsolicited e-mail-and we all know what people think of spammers, don't we? You can send e-mail to a physical address without any previous permission being given; this is what is commonly known as "junk mail".
Response lists are rented out by companies whose sole purpose is to generate mailing lists. The lists being rented out by these list brokers may be derived from magazine subscribers, individuals on catalog mailing lists, and people who buy items from television. These lists work under the assumption that what a person bought previously is a good indicator for future buying habits. For example, if you've ever wondered why you received those unsolicited "As Seen on TV" catalogs, it's probably because you bought something you saw on TV. Watching infomercials at 3am tends to make us do impulsive things.
Compiled lists are compiled from public records. Therefore, they usually contain records from the DMV or from the census, the phone book, or even the newspaper. These lists are the cheapest option, but they are also the least likely to deliver good results. Since the information is so vague, they're almost useless to a company trying to predict consumer buying habits; in fact, throwing a dart at a list of names and calling that person directly might get you a better response rate.