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Mailing Lists and Demographics

Demographics can take your mailing list a long way. People of like interests tend to live in areas together. People who enjoy old classic homes will live in neighborhoods that are full of Victorians, Painted Ladies, Brownstones or Prairie style homes. Others who enjoy single story ranches with large backyards will live in newer suburban areas. And then there are those that live in golf or equestrian communities. I have seen towns who had “Teacher’s neighborhoods and Doctor sections. All of these people are similar to each other, have similar shopping habits, similar recreational interests and usually similar age ranges.

A certain type of client that you are developing your base client around will have specific characteristics. By identifying these characteristics shared by the clients, they can help you develop a finely tuned mailing list and then craft a marketing message that members of that group are likely to respond to.

The advantage to demographic marketing is that it helps you eliminate people who don’t match your criteria on your list. You can boost the frequency of mailings to those who are in your target audience without increasing your mailing costs because the mailings won’t be going to uninterested recipients. Direct mail marketing is a continuous and ongoing enterprise.

The most common demographic categories involve age and income. Other common subjects includes if they have children, if they rent or own a home, and whether they live in a single-family or multifamily property. Other screening specifications can be for such things as estimated current home value and amount of outstanding loans. And then there are what is the person’s occupation and what kind of lifestyle do they maintain. Do they golf or ski; are they boaters, cosmopolitan dwellers with enthusiasm for fine dining and the nightlife. Specifications for your niche list can be used also to eliminate certain segments. You may want to create a list that is directed to households with annual incomes of a minimum of $50,000 that rent their homes and are involved golf and country clubs. You can fine tune your list with each added demographic.

Spending time researching which types of characteristics of prospects you want on your list, will strengthen the quality and the response rate of your mailings. Resourcing public records and augmenting that data with information you gather yourself will edit and fine tune the list. Develop a direct response ad or promotion in which you offer recipients something of value (a coupon for coffee) in exchange for personal information. Or, if your list consists of a particular niche such as golfers, you could offer something of value to that particular group, such as a free round of golf.

Your mailing list should be updated continuously and even subdivided into characteristic categories. Always check addresses and statistics such as new real estate purchases to fine tune the list. As you get a clear idea of your target market for each list, you will watch them create a better response and effectiveness in all of your Direct Mail campaigns. By getting a better understanding of your customer base, you no longer have to do a saturation mailings Now, with research, vigilance and understanding, you can target the exact people you want as clients.