Did you pledge to grow your business in 2018? Are you looking for a list of prospects to turn into new customers?

But wait, how many emails did you get yesterday? The average person gets about 88 emails a day–or more if you combine work and personal email. That compares to only 15 pieces of postal mail per week, per person according to USPS household diary study reports. Obviously, there’s less competition in a physical mailbox, and neuroscientists have demonstrated that messages on paper resonate with people more than digital messages. Clearly, postal mail needs to become an element of any marketing campaign and getting a good postal mailing list is easier than you think.

What you need to know: Your ‘house’ file is comprised of your existing customers – one of your most valuable assets. In the early days of the list rental business, some owners kept lists of names and addresses in the bank, literally, in a safe deposit box.  Using computer algorithms, you can model or mirror your existing customers’ characteristics (also called cloning or “look-alike” analysis) to find similar prospects and likely new customers. You could choose to invest the time to compile your own list of prospective customers from other sources, but a time-saving option is to find a company that offers list rentals. Traditionally lists are rented for one-time use only, so that list prices increase when multiple use licensing is requested, but some list owners will discount the second rental or offer some other custom arrangement.

Click2Mail offers four basic postal mailing list types:

  • Occupant: relies on the address for delivery and uses Occupant or Boxholder instead of the name.
  • Consumer: contains the name associated with the mailing address.
  • Business: identifies businesses along with the mailing addresses
  • Property: compiled based on public property records.

You probably already have a sense of what kind of rental list might meet your needs. However, did you know that demographic or behavioral criteria can often be incorporated into your search to narrow the audience more precisely? The criteria are called “selects” and the more relevant selects you can determine, the better the targeting, but the higher the price; for example, a list of single women between the ages of 24 and 34 is less expensive than a list of single women between the ages of 24 and 34 who live in single-family homes and are interested in health and fitness. But if you really know your target audience, a precision target will be worth the extra cost and you are less likely to waste money mailing to non-buyers.

Before renting from a specific list, you’ll want to ask how many unique names and addresses in the database, also known as the “universe”. If you select a subset based on geography, age, gender or income, the process of obtaining counts based on your selects should be iterative. You’ll initially select enough prospects to fit your budget and if you see favorable results, you’ll likely want to go back and rent more prospects from that list source.

Often both the list owner and the mailer will add seed/decoy names and addresses to the list, directing mailpieces to the office or the home of the mailer and the list owner (even though they may not meet the demographic or geographic criteria of the list order). List owners do this to monitor the list rental compliance terms, mailers do it so they can see what was really sent in the mail. Before the USPS introduced tracing for letter mail, decoys were also added as a means to track how long it took for the USPS to deliver the mail. Now, Click2Mail customers can find the delivery information for each piece mailed in their Click2Mail account because Click2Mail adds a USPS-compatible tracking barcode to each individual mailpiece before it is mailed. It’s still a good idea, however, to add yourself as a seed so you can see your own piece in the mail. Click2Mail’s video shows you How to Add Yourself to the Mailing List.

At Click2Mail, we MailNerds are here to help. Guidance with mailing lists is one way we can help you grow your business.