Know Thy List!
Lists especially Mailing lists come from all different places, with all different qualities and in all different sizes.
Mailing lists, email lists and telemarketing lists can come from just about anywhere and people are always surprised to hear that there’s an entire industry that serves the process of managing and facilitating the use of these direct marketing lists.
Mailing lists usually group into distinct categories, but the internet and modeled data computing power has blurred the lines of the many traditional sources one would find for list names. Technology and the ability to enhance data and match records based on transactions and smaller and smaller data points has created an enormous amount of new lists for mail, email and telemarketing.
The best mailing lists in the market still are derived from sources where the individuals that are part of the direct marketing effort took very specific action to get on the list and typically it involved responding to and purchasing from a direct mail solicitation.
This then is the best possible name to prospect to of all for your direct marketing efforts. Good examples of great names to mail to are individuals that bought from a catalog, that paid to join a membership or association, or donated money to a cause or charity through the mail. Other great sources of names come from people that bought a product or service through the mail such as a magazine, newsletter, self improvement system, books, videos, health related products, jewelry or anything that may interest them. This gives us additional valuable insight into their psychographic and purchasing behavior.
There are lists made available through government records and our courthouses, newspaper listings, directories from associations and the many questionnaires we all respond to through the mail, online or on product registration forms.
Most lists range in size from a couple thousand names to several million names depending on the source. If one were to look at all the lists on the market from the very worst to the very best you may find as many as 75,000 different sources available. That’s a whole lot of opportunities to make good testing and bad testing decisions.