Is Buying a Direct Mailing List a Bad Idea?

Buying a Direct Mailing List

Direct mail is one of the best ways to reach loyal customers and potential new ones. Study after study shows that people pay more attention to their mail, too. Unlike email marketing, direct mail marketing features tangible offers that you can hold in your hand. Plus, consumers only get so much mail as opposed to email, so they can take the time to go through it.

Since direct mail is such an effective method of reaching people, how should you go about getting a mailing list? Is buying a direct mailing list a bad idea? Aspen Automotive is here to answer that for you!

Buying a Direct Mailing List Is a Bad Idea

Buying a direct mailing list is not a good idea. While it definitely helps you add names to your address book, get your mail in more mailboxes, and reach more people, buying a list does have some serious drawbacks. From public perception to reaching the wrong people, it’s better not to buy a direct mailing list. Choosing to go with a well-researched, targeted audience is, and always will be, a much better decision.

Why You Should Never Buy a Mailing List

Why you should never buy a direct mailing list

If purchasing a direct mailing list can get your mail to more people, isn’t it worth the risks? Maybe in the short-term because it gets your name out there, but not if you’re focused on growing your business. A list that you purchase will lead to you sending your marketing materials to more people. No question about that. However, it will also lead to some negative consequences.

Irritated Recipients

Has your inbox ever been flooded with spam? Have you ever received a bunch of robocalls? There’s a pretty good chance you answered yes to one of those, if not both. Mailing promotional materials to people who didn’t ask for them is sort of in the same boat.

People don’t like receiving unsolicited mail any more than they like unsolicited emails or random phone calls. While 73 percent of Americans prefer being contacted via mail than email, that doesn’t mean you can expect a solid return on investment (ROI) by just sending mail to random people.[i]

Reaching out to specifically targeted leads will yield results. Sending mail to anyone and everyone in a geographic location will rub some people the wrong way and might get your mailers tossed right in the trash.

Giving Your Business a Bad Reputation

What’s worse than irritating a few recipients? Getting labeled as a company that spams people could be worse. Public perception can be just as important as the goods and services that you offer. Whether it’s word of mouth or on social media, you don’t want to get a reputation as the kind of company that harasses people with random mailings.

You won’t have to worry about that if you build your own list. Instead, you’ll only be sending postcards and letters out to people who are already interested. It’s a smarter approach and a better PR move.

Bought Lists Lack in Quality

Buying a direct mailing list is a bad ideaNot all lists are created equal. The quality of a list can vary depending on who you buy it from. For example, you can’t realistically expect people to stay in the same home forever. People move…a lot, in fact. While families used to occupy the same home for a long time, that’s just not the case anymore.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) processes 37 million address changes every year, and they deliver about 47 percent of the world’s mail.[ii] Think about that. That’s just one delivery service and it sees that many addresses change annually.

When you buy a direct mail list, there’s a very good chance that the information on that list will be outdated. If that happens, you’ll be sending who knows how many mailers to the wrong addresses and the wrong people. That’s a waste of time, money, and material.

Ownership Comes With a Price

There are three options when it comes to obtaining a direct mailing list. You could create your own, rent one, or buy one. Renting is more of a short-term commitment, while buying a list is a long-term investment. If you decide to buy, every part of that list becomes your responsibility. That may seem like a good thing, but think about what we touched on above.

Not only will you be reaching out to people who might already be sick of receiving direct mail, but the contact information can be outdated. That means you have to pick up the pieces, fix any and all inaccuracies, and keep the list updated going forward. Plus, you had to pay for this obsolete, inaccurate list, too.

If you’re going to do all that anyway, wouldn’t you rather start from scratch? If you build your own list, you’ll have to update it once in a while anyway, but you can be more confident that both the addresses and the leads are accurate. It’s also more cost-effective, since you won’t have to buy the information in the first place.

You Can Get Lost in the Crowd

If you do decide to buy a mailing list, you should stop and think about your competition. They’re trying to reach the same people as you. So, who’s to say they haven’t already rented this list in the past, or bought a similar one from the same provider? By purchasing a list rather than creating your own unique one, you can overwhelm someone’s mailbox with similar offers that end up getting lost in the shuffle.

Benefits of Building Your Own Mailing List

By now it should be clear that buying a mailing list is a bad idea. On the other hand, creating your own targeted mailing list by focusing on specific demographics and nurturing leads can deliver some exciting results, such as:

  • Reaching people who are already interested
  • Building relationships with leads and customers
  • Higher response rate
  • Easier to track campaigns’ effectiveness
  • Better reputation

Learn How Aspen Automotive Can Help You Build Your Own Mailing List

At Aspen Automotive, we specialize in direct mail marketing. Not only do we understand that buying a direct mailing list is a bad idea, but we can help you build your own targeted mailing list. From using analytics to creating personalized content, we’ll be by your side every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build the best list for your business.