Today I want to do something a little different.
I want you to imagine that you are planning a special party at your house.
What do you do to get ready?
You do some deep cleaning and perhaps some touch-up painting. You plan the menu. You make your guest list. You create invitations and send them to that list.
Depending on what the purpose of your party is, your list might be different. If it’s to celebrate a landmark birthday for your spouse, your list might look different than say if it was a party for your daughter’s sweet sixteen.
Or if you were planning a party for your parent’s golden wedding anniversary your list would be different than if it was for your anniversary, right?
Because if you invited your daughter’s friends to your birthday party, they might think that is a little strange and you likely wouldn’t have a very good turnout for your party.
Conversely, if you invite family, close friends of your parents, your dad’s golfing buddies and your mom’s garden club to a party for your parent’s golden wedding anniversary party you likely will have a very successful party and a great turnout.
Now while my examples might seem a little obvious, I mention them to drive home a key money-making point.
Because just like when you plan for a party, when you are sending direct mail, to have a successful response, you must match your audience to your offer.
For example, it wouldn’t make sense to send a letter promoting Omaha Steaks to vegetarians or lawn service to people who live in condominiums.
So your list is one of the most crucial pieces of your puzzle. In fact, at Mailbox Millions Dan Kennedy said that fifty percent of your success in Direct Mail is having the right list.
Granted constructing a list when mailing a promotion is a bit trickier than making an invitation list for a party, some of the same principles apply.
Overlay lists for a more targeted list. When planning a party where you must limit the guests, more thought goes into the list. You might look for people that have something in common like maybe everyone is married and has children or maybe you only invite people from your church. With a mailing list you can do the same thing. Let’s say you have a golf shop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. So you want to target people that live in Myrtle Beach only. You could also cross-reference to see who on this list has bought a golf product or subscribes to a golf magazine. This would give you a tighter, more targeted list, giving you a much higher likelihood that your mailing will produce new customers.
Clean your list. People move, go out of business, etc. If you get one or two returned letters at Christmas when you send out Christmas cards, not such a big deal. But with direct mail, an old list that hasn’t been cleaned can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Mail more than once. Don’t give up on a productive list. You wouldn’t expect everyone you invited to show up at your party. Plus you wouldn’t assume that if they didn’t come they weren’t interested and would never attend if you invited them again. If you get a good response from your list, keep mailing to them.
When mailing a promotion, give careful consideration to your list just as if you were planning a party. When you do, you’ll prevent wasting a lot of money sending mail to people who aren’t interested in your offer. Plus, you’ll have a lot more people show up to the party—which means more fun and higher profits.
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