There’s a tendency to think that the bigger the mailing list, the better. We want our message to reach as many people as possible, but does that always make sense?
Here’s an example. Let’s say you own a gift shop. After the holiday season, you plan to have a huge, two-day, blowout sale and want to send out a postcard to promote it. Your mailing list includes names and addresses of 5,000 customers, collected over the past several years.
As you prepare for your sale promotion mailing, consider:
The accuracy of your mailing list. Each year, 40 to 43 million Americans, or about 11 percent of the population on average, move and change their address. That means about 20 percent of the addresses on your current mailing list could be wrong.
The attractiveness of your sale to your audience. With tourists and out-of-town visitors stopping into your shop, it is likely your mailing list includes customers who are several states or even half a world away. Chances are, even if the deals you offer are amazing, these customers aren’t going to buy a plane ticket so they can come to your two-day sale. It makes your business look out of touch when you mail sale postcards to those who are more than a couple of hours away.
To make your sale mailing most effective:
Work with a professional mailing service. The mailing service will clean up your mailing list, comparing it to 48 months’ worth of address changes in the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) system. You’ll save money through postal discounts and avoid the expense of undeliverable mail. Your mail professional can also advise you on how to make your mailing more targeted by sending your sales postcard only to those customers within a reasonable driving radius of your shop. Not only will you save money on mailing costs, you’ll save on printing because you will mail far fewer than 5,000 postcards.
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