How to Make the Most Out of a Direct Mail Saturation List

Direct Mail Savings 101: Part 3

So far this series, we’ve covered the importance of keeping your list clean and how targeting with demographics can enhance the effectiveness of your campaign. We’re glad you’ve enrolled in Direct Mail Savings 101, and would like to move to our next topic— how to use saturation lists most effectively.

What comes to mind for many when saturation lists are brought up is that they are the most cost-friendly method of bulk mail available. The other popularly held notion about these lists is that using them is like closing your eyes and throwing a dart at a board. There are people that do it that way, just wanting their mailpiece sent to a certain zip code or codes and that’s all. However, there is a way to take your saturation list a big step further than that, and we’d like to show you how.

Some marketers shy away from saturation lists because they see the drawbacks of the blindfolded approach. What they have yet to realize is that there is a way to target while using them that can help you reach the right people and produce tremendous results.

Carrier Route Maps are Key

In our case, the dart is the great offer you’re sending out to your audience, and the dart board is where it must land in order to do its job. A great way to make your dart hit the bullseye is by pulling and using carrier route maps, a term used by the post office for the specific routes that each mail carrier walks.

More simply put, each carrier route covers a neighborhood. Using carrier route maps to plan a saturation list mailing campaign rather than just selecting zip codes to mail to can aid businesses of many types. Maybe the product you’re offering is something that people who live in one part of a zip code would have interest in but others would be highly unlikely to.

Take lawn care service for example. The people in zip code 55555 who own homes and have yards could very well be interested in hiring you to do their mowing, gardening, and landscaping. Those who live in that same zip code who rent properties will opt to pass on purchasing lawn care services.

If you create a saturation list that includes carrier routes that cover real estate inhabited by those who possess the demographics you’re targeting and omits the routes that lack them, your campaign is likely to produce more favorable results. After all, getting your offer to the people who are most likely to say ‘yes’ is very important.

It is also possible to take the addresses on carrier route maps and filter them through various sources in order to append income and home values (and other demographics). These filters take the average of the entire route. Your demographics might be different from some in your zip code, but it is likely that your demographics are pretty similar to your neighbors. These filtered lists are a great way to get a better grasp of who you’re targeting…or who you should be targeting.

Wrap Up

As you can see, saturation lists can be delivered just by zip code, or they can be executed in more calculated fashion. Another point to note is that if any further targeting besides what we’ve discussed occurs, then it’s not a saturation list. Creating and executing targeted saturation lists can be time consuming, which is why many marketers partner with outsourced direct mail providers.

Providers like Allegiant Marketing Group understand how to filter carrier route map lists and shed light on where you should be directing your mailings. When saturation lists are properly filtered, it’s possible to reach a lot of your targets for very little money. It’s up to you to decide if this is a venture you’d like to undertake, or if trusting in an experienced partner with a 96% client retention rate seems like a better option.


Look for our next blog in the series:
Take Our Quick Class: Direct Mail Savings 101 (Part 4)
Find Creative Ways to Get More Value From Your Direct Mail Campaign.

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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