Direct Mail Campaigns: Targeted Mailing Lists vs. Every Door Direct Mail

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Written by: Nice Branding Agency

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If you’re looking to market to your current customer base or grab the attention of new prospects — and let’s face it, what company isn’t trying to do that? — your thoughts will probably lean immediately toward digitally-based marketing, such as social media campaigns or online advertising. Though these techniques seem to be some of the more popular means of current advertising, they can be easy to carry out but complex to manage and time-consuming to track results. Why not kick it old school with Direct Mail Campaigns? Direct Mail Campaigns are still a popular marketing tool for several reasons — the biggest being that you can definitely count on the fact that your potential customer will touch your ad. It may be a short touch, or a glance, but if well designed, it will be seen by the consumer you are targeting, and that's something you may not be able to count on with digital advertising. Creativity and concept go a long way when it comes to direct mail. You have less than a second to convince your next customer to take a second look. Working with a professional branding or graphic design agency, such as Nice Branding Agency, to create your campaign mailers is the best idea you've had yet. Printers are great, but printers are printers. The UPS store...well, we’ll be NICE! Let the designers do the dirty work to get your mailer noticed. That's what they're good at. Once you nail down the details of your campaign, it's time to determine your ideal prospect. Use factors such as location, age, household income, and gender to define your target customer. Once your aim is set, basic approaches can be used to reach them — a targeted mailing list or Every Door Direct Mail. What’s the difference and which one is best for you? We’ve broken it down and dirty for you below.

Direct Mail Campaigns to Targeted Mailing Lists

This approach involves a marketing campaign that is mailed to a purchased list of individuals with demographics compiled from any number of sources, including telephone listings, voter registrations, self-reported surveys, in-house subscriber lists, or offers that individuals respond to (buyers, inquirers, subscribers, sweepstakes entries, or club members).


Highly Targeted
Targeted mailing lists can be as narrowly or broadly tailored as you need them to be and can be based on factors as broad as geography and gender, or as narrow as specific buying habits and number of children in the household. Looking to market to single-income households with stay-at-home moms and two or more children? No problem! What about families with only one child, living within a 10-mile radius of your business, who have moved within the last two months? That’s pretty specific, right? Well, that’s doable as well. You just need to keep in mind that the more narrow and specific your factors, the smaller the list will be.
In addition to targeting the correct demographic for your campaign, your direct mail piece can be personalized based on that audience. Let’s say your service is pricey, something of luxury. Knowing that you have targeted a higher-income demographic, you can make certain that the graphics and message around your campaign reach and lure that target group. Without the custom targeting, your demographic could have multiple income levels, thus making your campaign half as effective as it could possibly be because the lower income levels are not drawn to the same look, product, or service as the higher-income-level recipients.
Increased Relevance to Prospects
Personalized marketing pieces with relevant content can and often do make the difference between recipients tossing “junk mail” into the garbage or having their interest engaged, drastically increasing your return on investment (ROI) when compared to that of generic marketing campaigns.


Multiple Components
No matter whether you are working with a design agency, such as Nice Branding, with all-inclusive services, or piecing together the mailing in-house, the following must be taken into consideration when putting together a Direct Mail Campaign:
  • Design and formatting of mailing piece
  • Printing cost of mailing piece
  • List purchase (one-time use versus multiple-use)
  • Postage/Mailing cost
  • Postal permit, if applicable
In addition to wrangling all of the factors above, each and every one of them has a cost associated with them. Depending on the size of your lists/mailing, these costs can get expensive. You should keep in mind, however, that this cost is relative. Direct Mail Campaigns are still widely considered a more cost-effective alternative to other marketing strategies.

Direct Mail Campaigns with Every Door Direct Mail

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a program developed by the USPS that focuses purely on geo-targeting (targeting consumers based on where they live and work), enabling businesses to send non-personalized marketing pieces without having to print specific names or addresses on that mail piece.


Mailing Lists Not Required
Up to 85% of your business’s customers come from the five-mile radius surrounding it. EDDM draws from this statistic and allows you to focus your marketing efforts on defined postal routes surrounding your business, without the need for a list of names and addresses. All you have to do is choose the neighborhood/zip codes you want to reach and your printed pieces will go to all homes and/or businesses within that area.
No Postal Permit Needed
Typically, Direct Mail Campaigns involve purchasing a postal permit, which can cost up to $450 per year. EDDM mailings of up to 5,000 do not require a postal permit, saving you the cost and trouble of purchasing a permit each year. Most mail houses and printers that handle Direct Mail have a mailing fee that covers the cost of the postal permit.
Lower Cost than Targeted Mailing Lists
One of the most appealing aspects of EDDM is its low postage rate (as low as 17.5 cents per piece). Online design tools and printing services are also available through the EDDM site, giving you a one-stop-shop approach to a semi-targeted, local promotional Direct Mail Campaign. At Nice Branding, we don't endorse the online design tools. That's a very important piece of the Direct Mail marketing puzzle the USPS has set up to encourage ease of use, but overall it doesn't take your goals into consideration. A mailer lacking concept and creativity will only be glanced at and thrown out.


Lack of Specificity of Targeting
While you can target specific geographic areas, you cannot target specific demographics of residents/businesses within the area you choose to market to. This may lead to many prospects not receiving relevant marketing material to their personal situation, drastically reducing ROI.
Lack of Personalization
One of the main benefits — no need for mailing lists — also feeds into one of its main limitations. Because you don’t have a list of names or details of residents of the area you are marketing to, your personalization options are very limited and may result in lost engagement. How many times have you received mail to “Resident” instead of your name and tossed it into the trash without even looking at it?
Which Way to Go?
As you can see from the above breakdown, both of these means of targeting consumers for your business are viable options. Both will get your Direct Mail Campaign into the hands of prospective customers. When choosing, you should keep in mind that you can have the most incredible services and may be extending a truly enticing offer in the form of a brilliantly designed creative piece, but if you’re not getting your marketing piece in front of the eyes and into the hands of your correct audience, your campaign will fail. Either way, we are glad you are out there getting your message out and are hopeful that this information will be helpful to you in your efforts. If you would like Nice Branding Agency to assist you in your Direct Mail campaigns, please call us today!