Direct mail marketing campaigns are effective ways to reach current and potential clients. For large mass mailings, costs to use established targeted mailing list for offline campaigns can run in the thousands when you consider the cost of postage, envelopes and the cost to rent an established list. To lower these costs you can create your own mailing lists. You can also distribute correspondence to your mailing lists recipients electronically. In addition, creating your own targeted mailing lists not only saves you money, but it also helps you to become more knowledgeable about your current and prospective clients.
Things You'll Need
Get to know the recipients of your mailings by walking in the recipients' shoes. Think about magazines, newspapers, television programs, websites, restaurants and shops that potential clients use. Visit offline locations such as websites that your clients frequent. Distribute your business cards and brochures and ask the potential clients to be in touch with you if they would like to be added to your targeted mailing lists.
Build a database. Create a mailing list database using a software program such as Word, Microsoft Excel or Lotus. Label field headers with "Recipient Name," "Street Address," "Email Address," "Website URL" and "Telephone Number." Add names and contact information of people who express an interest in receiving regular updates from you regarding your company, products and services. Continue to expand this database for the duration of your business.
Categorize each database. Create a different database for different mailing lists. For example, if you operate a virtual assistant firm, create a list for "attorneys looking for online administrative support," a list for "artists seeking virtual office assistants" and a list for "secretaries who want to become a virtual assistant."
Contact area colleges, universities and libraries and schedule to host public discussions and offer free information on the products and services your company provides. Carry a sign-up sheet with you during the engagements and encourage attendees to sign up to receive updates from you.
Take advantage of online and offline business and community directories such as Business.com, Onlinebizdirectory.com and Businessworlddirectory.com to locate new contacts to add to your targeted mailing lists. Keep in mind the specialty areas your company focuses on when searching directories. Only add people to your mailing lists who are truly interested in the products and services that you offer.
Use telephone white pages to identify people who might be interested in being added to your targeted mailing lists. Before adding someone to your mailing lists, refer to information in online white pages that show the person's information. To keep your lists clean and effective, only add people who work in occupations that your products and services will interest or most benefit.
Validate data regularly. Each time you send out a mailing using your targeted lists, update your lists by removing contacts where the address is inaccurate. For electronic mailings, keep your list clean by removing email addresses that kick back in your email box as being "invalid."