Do you know how to find the right mailing list?

Below are 16 tips that Bethesda List Center wants you to make sure you are following so you  on the road to success in your mailing list acquisitions.

1. Do the Math – Plan your mail marketing campaign as an accountant
would. Start by figuring out how much income and unit sales the
project must generate to break even. Remember, it’s money that matters
first; percentage response rate comes second. In other words, your
campaign might actually be a big money maker, even if it has a low
percentage response rate.

2. Always Key Code, Record and Analyze Results – Assign a key code to
each list, record and analyze the responses for each code. You’ll see
which files are working better than others. Do this on every mailing.
When email marketing, use coded links to a special order page in your
web site. Many mailers do the key coding but neglect to record and/or
analyze, so they never learn what works and what doesn’t.

3. Test Everything Else, Too – Copy, package design, offer, pricing
and timing are key elements that can also affect a direct mail
campaign. Key code, record and analyze results of each change in your

4. Be A Smart List Buyer – Keep in mind a few things when you’re ordering lists:

– One time use – Lists are for one time use only. The names are the
property of the list owner. However, mailers do own the names of those
individuals who respond to their promotion.

– Be flexible – Direct mail lists offer many options; however, all the
bells and whistles may not be available on every list.

– Samples – List Owner Links usually require a sample; even if it’s
just a rough sample of what you plan to send.

– Time – Many lists can be shipped in 24 hours. Others may take a week or more.

– Minimums – Most List Owner Links require a minimum order of 5,000 names.

– Prepayment – Most list suppliers require prepayment from first time customers.

5. Build Your Own Mailing List – Your customers, trade show leads,
other prospects, inquirers and former buyers are the feedstock for
your own comprehensive and direct marketing list. Be sure to include
opt-in email addresses. Many BLC list customers have also asked us to
market their organizations’ mailing lists. Got an up to date list of
10,000 or more names? Ask us about marketing your file for additional

6. Focus on Your Audience – Your selling message should address the
specific needs and interests of your audience. A good list
professional will be specific too. With the details you give them,
they will recommend lists that home in on your best customer

7. Types of Lists:

– Direct Mail (Snail Mail) – For use in direct mail marketing programs
conducted by the marketer. Many of these lists are also available with
telephone numbers at additional fees for telemarketing programs.

– Email – For use in email marketing programs. Reputable and effective
email lists use only opt in names. Email list owners nearly always do
the mailing for the marketer.

8. List Sources – Keep in mind a few terms when considering lists:

– Association – Professional or trade association membership buyers.
Many of these individuals also purchase other offerings from their

– Subscriber – Magazine or continuity subscription buyers. Sometimes
offered along with names of expired subscribers at a lower price.

– Buyer – Proven buyers of a list owner’s product or service. Often
offered with a “hot list” or “recent buyers” subfile at an upcharge.

– Compiled – Names of prospective buyers compiled by a third party.
While not usually considered as productive as association, subscriber
or buyer lists, compiled files can be effective.

9. How Lists are Priced – Direct mail lists most often have a base
price per thousand names, expressed “/M”. Options to select geographic
areas, job titles, industries, or to add key coding and the like are
additives also priced by the thousand names. Shipping and handling
charges are charged by the order.

10. How Mailing Lists Are Supplied – Today, most mailing lists are
sent via email. However, they can also be provided on floppy, CD,
Cheshire and pressure sensitive label stock.

11. Get Your Envelope Opened – A live stamp, instead of pre-printed
indicia or meter mark, short teaser copy and name and address printed
directly on a closed face envelope will go a long way toward keeping
your mailing from landing in the trash unopened.

12. Use Color in Your Letter Effectively – Try a blue signature and
sparing color use elsewhere to emphasize your most important points.

13. Give all the Product Details in Direct Mail – Give your reader
everything he/she needs to make a decision. Features, functions and
benefits… the more the better.

14. Be Extra Brief in email – You have just fractions of a second. Be
quick and tempting. Use the subject line as your teaser copy. Link to
your home page in several places.

15. & 16. Work with a List Professional – (This tip has two numbers
because it’s so important.) Use a list pro with years of experience,
hundreds of regular customers and a solid reputation throughout the
business. They should have access to the best lists and work with
sources around the world. List professionals can help you find
promising new names that you never knew existed, and they’ll steer you
away from those files you ought to avoid. A list pro will also
coordinate the time-consuming list acquisition process (ordering,
tracking, shipping, billing, etc.) at no additional charge to you.

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Bethesda List Center, is based in Bethesda, Maryland. The company is 19 years old and specializes in business-to-business marketing campaigns with direct mail, Email, CPA / CPL – click per action / click per lead, web marketing, SEO and website landing pages.

Bethesda List Center has a sister company, Bethesda Emedia Marketing.   Bethesda Emedia Marketing is a Full Service Email Transmission Service. “From your text and graphics, Bethesda Emedia does the rest!”

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