How to Build a Solid Direct Mail List
So you’ve decided to run an integrated marketing campaign to drive more leads to your business. And you understand the importance of personalizing your direct mail to better engage your prospects.
But in the initial stages of developing your direct mail strategy, you realize that your database of great contacts hardly includes physical addresses.
Like many companies, you’ve shifted your focus to digital marketing over the last several years. So your contact list is predominantly comprised of email addresses. How can you run a successful integrated campaign without physical addresses?
Before you run your campaign, you’ll need to know where to send your mailers. And thankfully, there’s a wide range of actions you can take to build a solid direct mail list.
How to Start From Scratch
Creating a contact list from nothing can seem daunting, but there are many ways you can develop a pool of great contacts. And you might already be doing a lot of what it takes to develop that list. You just may need to make some strategic tweaks. Here are three of the most fundamental methods to building a comprehensive contact list.
Create Remarkable Content
Step one is to create educational content that your web visitors actually want to learn about. We’re not talking about how you’re the company of choice. You have to know what makes your prospects tick, what problems they’re trying to solve, and the topics that they’re interested in. And if you’re already creating informative content that they love, you must create a landing page for each of them, requiring them to complete a form with their contact information.
The key to this strategy, however, is the value of the information you provide must match what your prospects perceive to be the worth of giving you their personal information. They probably won’t hesitate to give their email addresses. But their physical addresses? Downloading this content has to be worth it to them.
As a guideline, a form for a blog subscription page shouldn’t require more than an email. But an offer for an eBook or a free sample? That may be worth giving you their address.
Leverage Your Existing Following
If you’re blogging and have a good presence on social media, you should be leveraging these platforms to promote the educational content you create. Tweet about one of an eBook or webinar and funnel people to your landing pages. On your blog, add links throughout articles and CTAs at the bottom to send readers to landing pages. When you have great content, you need to put it to work for you.
Collect Addresses at Offline Events
People are much more likely to give their addresses to a person than submit them on a website. Whether concerned over internet privacy or the absence of personal charm, people are simply less inclined to share their physical address online.
So when you attend trade shows and conferences, you must take advantage of the great opportunities to connect with prospects and build your direct mail list. Really, any event in your company attends is a great opportunity to collect physical addresses. You could even offer to send prospects a link to offers or discount codes to entice them to share you their addresses.
How to Obtain Physical Addresses From an Email List
When it comes to building a following and generating interest it always comes back to valuable content, including emails.
Create awesome email content that your contacts will love. They’d likely get a lot out of whitepapers, eBooks or webinars, so use your emails to promote offers and link to their landing pages. There’s a great chance they’ll fill out the form and provide their address.
You could also offer to send your email list coupons or an entry to an online contest. Really anything of interest that is enticing enough to share more of their personal information is worth trying.
And it may go without saying, but you should always encourage your contacts to share your content with their network. Incorporating social sharing buttons and an “email to a friend” option helps you reach prospects you may not currently reach.
Why You Should Build Your Lists Organically
There are many companies that choose to purchase mailing lists. And while some of these contacts may respond to your direct mail, the return on investment largely pales in comparison to a list you’ve built organically.
A contact list you’ve assembled organically is the result of building trust with people who’ve come to value what you offer. They chose to give you their address. They’ve asked to hear from you. And that has meaning. The likelihood that they take action on a direct mail piece is far greater than someone you’ve sent a mailer to cold.
But that’s not the only benefit of a home-grown direct mail list. Organic lists also give you the ability to track the success of your offline and online marketing efforts.
From an offline perspective, if the CTA on your mailer promotes calling a trackable number or visiting your site, your prospect will identify themselves when taking action. And you’ll be able to measure the return on your campaign.
From an online perspective, you can measure the number of physical addresses you generate from your online marketing efforts. The more addresses you collect, the more effective your online campaign is.
6 Tips To Take Advantage of a Great Direct Mail List
If you already have a great mailing list, you’ve probably put in a lot of hard and strategic work to build it up. And if you don’t quite yet, you will in time. Either way, you should do whatever you can to make the most of your hard work.
Here are six tips to help you maximize the return of your list (and the time you invested in building it):
- Target prospects who are harder to reach online, or have low engagement on your site.
- Don’t try to sell to prospect on the first shot. You risk coming off like a telemarketer.
- Reinforce your online campaigns (interacting with your prospects from more than one source develops brand loyalty).
- Promote content offers on your direct mail pieces, whether eBooks, whitepapers or webinars.
- Keep it simple – we’re visual creatures, so don’t bore them with data. Use the tangible, visual benefits of direct mail to drive prospects to your website.
- Use hyper-personal images to grab your prospects’ attention.
Kickoff A Successful Integrated Campaign
When you’ve established a solid direct mail list, you’ll finally be equipped to integrate your online marketing with targeted direct mail. And with an organically-built list, you can foster a personalized experience with potential customers who may very well be ready to start a discussion about your company.