Telford, PA (PressExposure) December 15, 2009 -- I would say that the greatest problems many people have who start to use direct mailing for the first time is that they do not really understand what they need to do to properly manage their mailing lists.
Knowing what you do when you print postcards along with the best designs is not as much of a concern because if you have experience with other forms of marketing you at least have some experience to call upon. The need to have color postcards that grabs the eye is rather obvious, and the majority of advertisements require something similar. What good is any advertisement if no one bothers to look at it?
However, setting up and maintaining a mailing list is when the problem occurs because this is not something you would need to do for any other form of marketing, which is what leads to confusion and other issues with it.
The first question is where do you get these mailings lists? There is a variety of different places you can go to in order to obtain fully formed mailing lists already. People who are receiving magazines or catalogs are naturally going to be on a mailing list. This is also a good group because they are used to receiving different things like this in the mail, which means they will be more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.
However, do not let your first mailing list be the only thing that you get. This is what I see happen the most: a company gets their first large mailing list and then never really alters it. They change things when they print postcards, find new designs to send out and things like that, but they stick with the exact same mailing list they have been using since the very beginning.
The problem with this is that the first mailing list you got is not likely to be very precise. Yes, you are going to be getting a list of people in your general market that might have interest, but a number of the people on that list are simply never going to have interest in buying from you.
Keep careful track of your success and then start to whittle away at your list as the months go by. If you keep noticing certain people who never bother to respond you might want to just take them off the list.
After enough time you can get your list down to the core people you know have the most interest. From there you can then get access to another large list and start the process all over again while still sending things to that first core list.
The end goal is that after enough time that core list continues to grow until it gets large enough to sustain you. Now you can be certain that everyone you send your marketing to has interest in your company, and you greatly increase your chances of success.