How to Create a Direct Mail List

Direct mail is increasingly becoming popular despite the digital disruption in the advertising industry. However, most people seem to shy away from direct mail because of the work involved.


It requires a lot of work to succeed in direct mail marketing. You need to be as creative as possible in order to attract the right customers.


How to get started with Direct Mail Marketing


There are three major factors that can help you succeed in a direct mail campaign. They include the list, the offer, and creativity. 


Cleaning your list


One of the things you need to know is how important the mailing list is for your business. A mailing list is approximately 40 percent responsible for the success of your marketing strategy.


For instance, if you have a huge list of bad or invalid addresses, then your list isn’t going to achieve anything.


The unfortunate part is that very few people pay attention to the list before a mail. In case you are using a list of your customers, it is important to ensure that you clean it out to get rid of any bad addresses.


You can also use that opportunity to update any addresses that might have changed over time.


The National Change of Address (NCOA) is the best place to seek help if you are not sure how to create or update the addresses. There’s a list of people created there whenever they change their address details.


Another important thing is the format of your address. A small mistake in your address such as wrong punctuation or wrong spacing will send your mail right to a dumpster.


The good thing is that most reputable printers or mail houses have software that is able to check the validity of an address.


If you are renting a list of your mail, then ensure that it is from a good source that offers clean addresses. Besides, ensure that the source of your list constantly updates their lists for people who have changed and gotten rid of the old ones.


Try to find out the last time they updated their lists. In case it was updated a month ago, you will want to get more details about some addresses. Most reputable mailing companies update their lists because they understand the importance of the addresses to marketing firms.


Get an offer for your direct mailing list


It doesn’t matter the type of a direct mail list, you should always incorporate an offer. You can then take advantage of the offer to include a call to action (CTA) – where you tell the customers the exact thing they are supposed to do after receiving the mail.


Most businesses usually outsource their direct mail campaigns to agencies or independent designers. Although this can help such businesses create many listings, the designer or agency firm will likely miss out on the critical elements of your direct mail strategy.


If you are going to outsource your work, then you should work closely with the agency or designer. This is because you are the one who understands your customers better. You will be best placed to advise the agency helping you with the key elements to include in the mail.


Mail creativity


The creativity in the direct mailing is not similar to the one in other marketing techniques. Below are some of the key elements to include:




You should understand your target market as well as your product in order to come up with an effective format.




Most people think that visual elements are far more important than a copy. That’s not true – because headlines play a critical role when it comes to communicating or expressing your value.


The secret here is simple – take advantage of a catchy headline to introduce your offer or product to customers.


Although it might take some time and effort to come up with a good title, it is important to keep trying until you get the right words to communicate what exactly you want.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.