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Guide to Targeted Mailing Lists

Apr 06, 2011

More Isn't Always Better: A Guide to Targeted Mailing Lists

By the time you've finished reading this article, you should have internalized two concepts: 1) You can, easily and affordably, rent and use a mailing list. All by yourself! (Well, with Click2Mail's help.) 2) Pit a general mailing list against a targeted one and the targeted list (and corresponding mail campaign) will always win. Every time. On both cost and effectiveness measures.

More is better, right?

There is a common misconception that more is always better. That's true when it comes to chocolate cake, but not when it comes to your mailing list. More addresses are not always better. Here's why: not everyone is a member of your target audience. No matter what business you're in, what product or service you're selling, there will be people who are not your prospective customers.

Does it make any sense, then, to spend your hard-earned money sending mail to those people who aren't your prospective customers? Of course not! And that's where targeting comes in. When you target your mailing list, your message, your design, your offer, you maximize your response you get the most bang for your buck.

3 steps to targeting success

Step 1: Define your target audience. Before you mail anything to anyone, you need to identify your target audience. That involves asking yourself a lot of questions, some hard, others not so much. First: What is my goal? Second: What am I selling (here, with this mailer)? Third: Who's buying what I'm selling?

Once you've identified your target audience - those people who are buying what you're selling - you'll need to find out as much as you possibly can about them. Where are these people? What are their problems (that your product or service can help them overcome)? What are their dreams (that you can help them achieve)? The more detailed you can get, the better able you will be to craft a mailer that really connects.

Step 2: Get your mailing list. Once you've defined your target audience, and really gotten to know them, you need to find out how to reach them - you need their addresses. That means you have to rent a list. And yes, mailing lists are affordable for every size business.

You can rent 1,000 addresses through Click2Mail for just $20. (And actually, for a limited time, we'll give you an additional 15% off any list.) In addition to being incredibly affordable, renting and using a mailing list is incredibly easy. Check out our one-stop Mailing List Center.

You'll see in our Mailing List Center that there are a number of lists to choose from: consumers, occupants, property owners, businesses, and new movers. Once you select a list, there is a wide variety of ways to refine it (to match your list to your target audience). If you're targeting consumers, you can select for those who live within a specific radius around your business or for those who have recently moved. Other search criteria include:

  • Age Ranges in Household (Adult) 
  • Brand Name Medicine Propensity
  • Brand Name Medicine Propensity
  • Credit Card Indicator
  • Green Living
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Media Channel Usage
  • Occupation
  • Social Networker - Number Of Sites Individual Belongs To
  • Vehicle Make/Model
  • Working Woman
  • . . .and the list goes on


If you're targeting businesses, you can select for geography (telephone area code, ZIP code, city, county, state). Other criteria (again, the list of options is a long one) include:

  • Approx Number of Years in Business
  • Employee Size Range
  • Industry Classification (SIC Code)
  • Website URL
  • Women Owned


Step 3: Segment. So you've defined your target audience (Step 1) and rented a mailing list with addresses that specifically match your target audience (Step 2). Now, you can further refine your mail campaign by segmenting that list - dividing it into separate categories to even more specifically tailor your mailings.

Say, for example, your target audience is working women aged 35-49 with household incomes above $75,000. You make those selections in our consumer list and click to rent. You own a boutique nail and hair salon and want to offer a special offer. With Mother's Day coming up, you think about offering a special coupon.

But if you mail that Mother's Day coupon to all of the women in your list, you'll be reaching some women who aren't mothers - and your offer will be wasted on them. Instead, you could segment your list into women with children and women without children, and do two separate mailings with two separate, tailored offers (and get a much better response out of it).

To understand how targeting your mailing can save you time and money, let's consider the case of an owner of a resale boutique for children's clothes. She has heard that she should market to all the households within a one mile radius of her business - which is where 80% of her current customers live (so the most likely place for new prospects).

If she chooses to target everyone within that one mile radius, she will be mailing to 2,761 addresses. Yet some of those households won't have kids - they won't be part of her target audience. If she makes just one selection on her list, selecting for those addresses with children in a specific age range - realistically the client base that will be visiting her store - her lists drops to 481 addresses. Her new targeted list is now 80% smaller but exponentially more effective.

Like this business owner, you can easily and affordably rent and use a mailing list from Click2Mail. And like her, you can reap immense rewards (lower cost and better results) by targeting your list. Every step of the way, Click2Mail can help. (And for this month only, you'll save 15% on your mailing list. It's easy, use coupon code 1751618297  at check out.) Visit Click2Mail's Mailing List Center today.

To learn more about getting your money's worth using the Click2Mail list interface, join our webinar Wed., April 27, 2011 3:00 - 3:30pm EDT.