Not All Mailing Lists Are Created Equal

ThinkstockPhotos-482477464It’s ironic, really. The lists that we struggle to be removed from are also the same lists our companies strive to obtain. The truth is, for many businesses, targeted mailing lists are the bread and butter of their marketing efforts. Being able to create niche-marketing materials and then putting those materials into the right hands is essential to a successful direct mail campaign, and to a higher ROI.

Not all mailing lists are created equal, though. Understanding the different types of mailing lists is critical in maximizing the return on your investment of content and quality marketing materials.

Consumer Mailing List
Consumer mailing lists are comprehensive lists of people associated with their demographic, economic, and psychographic information. The consumer mailing list helps your business target individuals with very specific profiles for maximum return on investment. Typically, you can choose to filter these types of lists by the following data:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • Estimated Household Income
  • Children Present
  • Home Value
  • Single or multiple family homes
  • Hobbies and Interests

Consumer mailing lists are more expensive than say, a neighborhood mailing list, but your ability to filter out non-ideal recipients can make your investment worthwhile, especially for high-quality mailings such as multi-page letters, brochures, or large, high-quality postcards.

Neighborhood Mailing List
Neighborhood mailing lists are by far the most cost-effective list you can get. Many local businesses will target specific neighborhoods within a particular zip code or geographic location that falls within a specific radius of their business location.

This type of list is effective for obtaining new clients, particularly if your business wants a broad reach without regard to specific demographic or other categories. Deliverables commonly associated with this type of mailing list include coupons, smaller postcards, and trifolded brochures  or flyers.

Business Mailing List
Business mailing lists are the “Holy Grail” for B2B companies, enabling them to maximize new targeted opportunities. This list type includes data pertaining to:

  • Business Type
  • Number of Employees
  • Annual Sales
  • Credit Rating
  • Geographic Location
  • Executive Names
  • Phone Numbers
  • Years in Business
  • Owner Gender
  • Public vs. Private

By targeting specific business data points, your company can identify and market directly to your ideal clients. You can also use the data points to differentiate the type or content of your marketing materials. For example, if you would like to market your product specifically to women-owned businesses, this type of list can help you do that, while still allowing you to send similar content to non-women-owned businesses with a different message.

Specialty Mailing List
Specialty mailing lists are, just like they sound, lists of people filtered by special categories that you determine. Common types of specialty mailing lists include:

  • New Parents
  • New Movers
  • New Homeowners
  • Homeowners
  • High-income Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Investors
  • Health Conscious
  • Green Consumers
  • Sports Enthusiasts
  • Voters (by political party)
  • Seniors
  • Consumers by Hobby

The list goes on. Essentially, if you can think of a niche that you want to market to, there is probably a specialty mailing list just for that.

Truly understanding the individuals and businesses that your product or service is ideal for is the key to success for your direct mail campaign. Combining a highly targeted mailing list with marketing materials that speak directly to the people or businesses on your list will boost your chances of making that next sale. So if you are ready to start planning your next direct mail project, give us a call – and let Futch Printing & Mailing ADDRESS all your printing needs!

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Super-Charge Your Sales Force With Highly Effective Print Sales Collateral

ThinkstockPhotos-78460226Converting prospects into clients is often a difficult and expensive process. Sales reps can spend weeks, months, even years trying to get a prospective client converted into a buyer. A large part of that process involves face time between the sales rep and the prospect in an attempt to forge a relationship built on trust. Seldom does that face-to-face meeting end in a solid sale.

Sales reps hate leaving a prospect without a signed contract, and the days of hardline sales techniques are long gone. So, how do your reps keep the conversation going and the interest building when they’re away? The answer is simple: put high-quality, effective print sales collateral in their hot, little hands.

Armed with the right mix of marketing materials, your sales reps can leave their prospects with some subliminal messaging that subtly invades the prospects’ subconscious after the sales rep leaves. Think of it as a little beacon whispering “buy me…buy me.”

Highly effective print sales collateral doesn’t just mean you leave any ole’ brochure and a plain business card and hope for the best. To super-charge your sales force, you need well thought-out, quality-designed materials that will continue to grab your prospect’s attention and not end up as a coaster or at the bottom of a hamster cage. Top sales experts have weighed in with the following best practices.

Case Studies
The single, most effective piece of sales collateral that you can leave with your prospects is the case study. Including one or two case studies targeted to the prospect’s needs can do more for your sales than a holiday gift basket. Your case studies should concisely discuss:

  • What your client’s greatest challenge was prior to purchasing your product or service
  • How your client implemented your product or service
  • How your client’s challenge went away or was reduced by implementing your product or service

These three things will communicate more to your prospect about how your product or service works and the value that it can provide to them, than merely listing the things your company does. Be sure to include solid numbers about money and time-savings, as these are the top two complaints companies have.

Testimonials
Finding three or four clients to rave about you is also a fantastic way to show your prospects that (1) you have clients, (2) your product/service is LOVED and (3) why your clients love it. Just like the case studies, if you can guide your clients in crafting a testimonial that discusses how your company changed their life for the better, the more effective the testimonial will be. Including their name, business name, and even a picture can go a long way in building credibility. Nothing says, “Trust us” like someone else saying, “Trust them!”

The Sales Page
Sales and Marketing Strategist Walter Wise notes that successful marketing messages use the “Marketing Equation of Interrupt, Engage, Educate, and Offer.” Let’s break down that equation (don’t worry, it’s even less to remember than the FOIL method from back in middle school):

  • Interrupt: your main headline, designed to interrupt your prospect’s attention
  • Engage: your sub-headline, crafted to keep the prospect’s interest and get them to keep reading
  • Educate: this is where you add some valuable information on solving your clients’ problems
  • Offer: this should be a low-risk, free report, checklist, white paper, or e-book that will position your company as a thought leader in the field.

Take the time to provide your “offer” in your sales package. The longer you can keep that prospect engaging in your company’s materials, the more likely they will be to buy.

Putting It All Together
It goes without saying that all of your materials should be printed on high-quality paper stock and designed by a professional graphic artist so that the materials are aesthetically pleasing. Too much text and low-quality graphics can be an instant turn-off, regardless of the quality of the product you’re trying to sell.  You want materials that will catch your prospect’s attention, and will beg them to read what’s inside.

And when you’re ready to start working on your marketing collateral, give us a call – and let Futch Printing & Mailing ADDRESS all your printing needs!