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How To “Really Get Your Customers”

By Steve Conn

What Really Makes Your Postcard Mailing Successful?

The biggest single factor in the success of your postcard mailings is who you send your postcards to.

You need a list of people or businesses to send your postcard offer to.

This can be a list of existing customers or prospects who have inquired as a result of any of your marketing efforts or a list which you purchase.

The list must contain the names of people who are likely to be interested in the benefits of your products or services.

If you send a postcard offering a free 6 pack of beer with the purchase of 2 large pizzas to a list of purchasers of a "pay-per-view" boxing match (a list which you purchased from your local cable TV company), you are more likely to get a big response than if you sent the same offer to a list of the ladies auxiliary bridge club.

This concept is known as targeting. You either have a list (existing from your own records or the records of a person or business willing to cooperate with you by letting you use the list), buy a list (of people who are likely to be interested in your product or service because they have purchased a related product or service, such as a magazine subscription on a topic related to your product or service), or a list can be compiled using characteristics about your target market.

When You Don't Pay Enough Attention To Your List:

When you don't pay enough attention to the list you select to mail to, you get a list which is poorly "targeted". This means the people on it are not likely to be interested in your products and services.

A "good list" is a list which is a good match for interest in your products and services.

A "bad list" is a list which is a bad match for interest in your products and services.

House List, Response List, Compiled List.

The 3 basic kinds of lists that you can use in order of their effectiveness are:

1. Your own list of prospects and customers. This is a list that you collected with your own personal marketing efforts. This is known as a house list. These people are most likely to respond to your offers, because they have responded in the past.

You own this list.

2. A response list or an ‘opt-in list’ is a list of people that have actually done something. They have either purchased something from the people who put together the list that their name came from or inquired in response to some offer. The last way they could have arrived on the list is to have asked to be on the list.

Presumably if they are on a response list the people on the list have some level of interest in the topic or purpose of the list.

This type of list can be effective if you are confident in the provider. They have not previously responded to you, but according to the provider have responded to someone in a related area.

This is a list you can purchase from the owner of the list or a list broker.

3. A compiled list is a list of people who were selected to be on the list because they possess the characteristics that you asked the list broker to screen for.

Examples of characteristics used to target correctly may include age, sex, geographic location, income level etc. The characteristics are more fixed characteristics than response list characteristics, which are behavioral characteristics.

Again, if you trust the provider this type of list can be very effective.

This list you can purchase from a list broker.

Determine which list you should use to maximize the response to your postcard mailings. And really go get your customers!

About the author:
Steve Conn, a Marketing Consultant, consulted PostcardMania before it could afford its own in-house full-time marketing director. Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998; her only assets a computer and a phone. By 2004 the company did $9 million in sales and employed over 60 persons. For more free marketing advice, visit

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