How To Start & Grow Your Business

Creating a Covetable Mailing List

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  • Hummy's

    1Create a list of people similar to your best customers. 2Your list broker will merge purge, remove duplicates. 3Typically 1/5 of names on a list are "bad".
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You’ve composed a dazzling direct mail campaign with captivating text and appealing graphics. It’s ready to go! Now what about your mailing list? According to a recent article by Craig Simpson in, “Your campaign is nothing without your mailing list—literally. Your mailing list is your everything.

The trouble is, most people have no idea how to get a top quality list and keep it pristine. Not only should the list be tailored for your demographic, but it should also be meticulously weeded and maintained with regularity, like a well-manicured front yard.

How to Create a Covetable Mailing List:

1. Get Specific

The author gives tips for customizing your list from the outset. “You want prospects on your mailing list to look like your best customers. So, a great place to start is to find out who your best customers are in terms of age, income, marital status, hobbies and interests, among other attributes. The more specific you are, the better you can define your mailing list.”

2. Learn to Purge

If you want results from your campaign that will be useful, it’s best to practice “list hygiene” before sending out that first mailing, Simpson says.

“A big part of cleaning a mail list is checking for duplicates. If you don’t take the time to remove duplicate names, you might as well be throwing thousands of dollars into the trash. The fact is, probably 98 out of 100 mailing lists have duplicate names on them, ” he writes.

3. Know Where Your Mail is Going

Strange as it sounds, Simpson mentions that each year there are tens of millions of wasted pieces of mail sent to incarcerated individuals and homes of people who have deceased, and typically 20% of names on a list will need to be removed after a purge.

In a Nutshell: Like fast growing yard foliage, your list is always growing, changing and requiring modifications to remain useful. Contact information isn’t static, it’s in constant flux. People move, change names, and sometimes no longer belong on your list.

It takes determination to keep your mailing list in great shape, but it’s definitely worth it, Simpson concludes. The more you maintain your mailing list, the more fruitful the results of your campaign will be.

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This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: