Save Money With Targeted Lists

Direct Mail Savings 101: Part 2

Demographics – the characteristics of a human population– is a concept that direct mail marketers are familiar with – and for good reason.  Used properly, high-quality demographic data enables you to target specific segments and earn better results at a lower investment.

After focusing on some methods to boost your ROI and response rates in Part 1 of this series, we’ll now discuss how to save money by using lists targeted to match your client base’s demographics.

People of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and family types have mailboxes. The person your offer goes out to could be 18 or 88. They could live alone, or with a half dozen family members. As you might imagine, these and other demographics directly influence what kind of offers they will be most likely to act upon.

One thing all mail recipients have in common is the universally shared reaction to receiving mail pieces with offers that have nothing to do with their current lifestyle. When a renter gets a mortgage refinancing offer they have the same reaction that a single guy or girl with no children has when they receive an offer about hot new minivans—“Why the heck was this sent to me?”

Understanding your client base’s demographics makes it possible to create lists targeted to reach them. This will save money by mailing things to people who are more likely to say “yes.”

How are High Quality Targeted Lists Built?

A mailing list can be as simple as drawing a box on a map of the area you want to mail to – but the more strategic you are in pulling the addresses you want to send to the more efficient your mailing will be. Everything from geocoding to satellite imagery can be used to create a high quality targeted list.

Here is just a brief snapshot of some of the ways that direct mail marketers go about reaching out to certain demographics

  • Business Mailing Lists- Create a list by defining business type and location.
  • New Movers Lists– When people move into a new place they usually need new service providers.
  • Family Lists– Use demographic data to target by age, income, education level, presence of children, and more.
  •  Mortgage Mailing Lists- Compile data from public records, and learn about your targets’ property. If you’re selling swimming pools, figure out who has a backyard to put one in!

Two Important Issues to Consider

  • Your Budget – Determining how to create your targeted list is a big part of the process, but it could end up being a waste of time if further down the road you figure out that the pricing and delivery options for the list you’ve developed make it cost prohibitive, or otherwise unfeasible. Pricing and delivery methodology should be figured out before time and other resources are put into developing a list.
  • Your Time – The other important issue to consider is whether or not to outsource the list development process. Will you be able to dedicate the resources it takes to research and develop a great list?

If you are unsure about this, the wisest solution may be to find an outsourced direct mail provider that can build the list types mentioned here, and other types for you. Remember, there are a ton of demographics out there— and some of them are more easily identified than others. For example, voting and school districts have defined boundaries which make building lists to target those within the districts a simple task. However, other demographics may require more time and resources than you would be comfortable allocating to develop.

Wrap Up

That’s where the services of an established direct mail marketing company like Allegiant Marketing Group can help— by generating lists, designing campaigns to frame the call to action, and getting the mail pieces into your targets’ mailboxes on time. Consider which option is best for your business, and start using lists that are targeted to reach those who share demographics with your existing client base today!


Look for our next blog in the series:
Take Our Quick Class: Direct Mail Savings 101 (Part 3)
How to Make the Most Our of a Saturation List

Eric Weisgarber

Eric Weisgarber is the founder and President of Allegiant Marketing Group, Inc. His calling is helping business professionals grow their gross profits, net profits, and cash-flow through through marketing services, systems implementation and consulting. His business calling is aligned with his life\’s purpose – developing people and serving the community through discipleship.



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