How to Build a Direct Mailing List

Writing a direct mailing list

Whether it’s building brand awareness, increasing conversions, or keeping in touch with your customer base, direct mail marketing can help you achieve your business goals. The first step to having a successful direct mail campaign is putting together a solid mailing list.

Fortunately, that’s Aspen Automotive’s specialty! To help you target the right people, we decided to take a closer look at how to build a direct mailing list.

Direct Mail 101: Building a Better Mailing List

Creating a mailing list involves gathering a lot of information, putting that data into practice, and crafting your mailers around that. There are a couple of different ways you can go about it. You will have to:

Determine Your Direct Mail Strategy

Direct mail campaign planningBefore you start building your list, you should think about what kind of approach you want to take. For example, do you want to take a targeted approach or focus on saturation?

With saturation, you’ll send mailers to everyone in a specific area. Usually this includes all the businesses or residents near your dealership. On the one hand, this will get your mailers in lots of mailboxes. On the other hand, you won’t get the same kind of response rate as you would from a targeted list.

A targeted list is exactly what it sounds like. Targeted mailing lists go after a specific audience. By putting that kind of time and thought into your list, you end up with a higher response rate and a more successful campaign.

Define Your Target Audience

If you decide to create a targeted list, your next step will be to determine your target audience. A great way to do that is by creating buyer personas. A buyer persona is basically a profile of the people you’re trying to reach with your campaign. Some characteristics that go into a buyer persona include:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Wants/Needs

You can use these buyer personas to personalize the content on your mailers. Think about their pain points. What can you offer them that they need? What are they looking for that you have to offer?

Establish Your Goals

While you’re thinking about your target audience and building buyer personas, make sure that they’re in line with your goals, too. As an automotive business, what’s the goal of this campaign? Are you trying to reach new customers? Offer a specific service? Push a new model? Send an offer to long-time customers?

The answer to each of those questions could warrant its own separate campaign with its own unique mailing list. If this is the first time you’ve put a mailing list together, though, just getting the word out to consumers in the community is a great starting point.

Put Your List Together

Putting together a direct mailing listNow that you’ve settled on your goals and thought about who to target, it’s time to compile your mailing list. There are several ways you can gather the names and addresses you’ll need, including pulling from:

  • Visitors to your website
  • Social media followers
  • Local residents and demographics
  • Your existing customer base

While each of these options presents its own challenges, Aspen Automotive and Epsilon are well-versed in how to pull data, set up your mailing list, and work together to achieve your goals.

Analyze & Apply the Data

A key element of long-term success is maintaining your mailing list. This shouldn’t be a once-and-done endeavor. A good mailing list evolves over time. Take the data from your campaign and use it to adapt your mailing list over time. See what worked well and what didn’t, and you can create other successful campaigns from it.

Why it’s Better to Build a Mailing List

woman reading direct mailAn alternative to building your own mailing list is buying or renting one. This can be a quick way to get a list of local contacts. However, obtaining someone else’s list has some drawbacks. For example, lists that are traded and passed around won’t have the same quality as a list that you built from the ground up.

Using a third-party mailing list often ends up with you sending mailers to people who don’t want them, or who are outside your target audience. That can frustrate some people and may create an unfavorable opinion of your business. Plus, if you rent a list, it’s not yours to hold onto and grow over time.

Building your own list is the smarter approach because you’ll not only get to refine it over time, but you’ll also have a personal relationship with your audience. That will yield a higher response rate, since you’ll be reaching out to the right people.

Learn More About How Aspen Automotive Can Help With Your Mailing List

At Aspen Automotive, we have years of experience in creating the most refined mailing lists. We’ll work with you every step of the way, so your campaign can contact the right people at the right time. Plus, with Epsilon by our side, we’ll be able to pull and analyze data for you, too. Contact us to learn more about how to build a direct mailing list and get started.