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A plethora of list managers of mailing lists can be found in direct mail trade magazines such as Catalog Age & Direct Magazines: 203/358-9900, Target Marketing: 215/238-5300, Direct Marketing: 516/746-6700, and DM News: 212/741-2095.
Some list brokers sell through their own catalog of mailing lists. These handy reference tools will give you an idea of just what’s out there - what kind of lists are available and counts of how many records exist in thousands of different list categories. Want to know how many dentists there are? It’s a piece of cake: 190,168 are members of ADA. Want to know if there is a list of picky ale drinkers? Find list of “Ale in Mail-Continuity Members:” 70,973 of them. Selling an accounting product? Try list of Accounting Institute Seminar Attendees - all 78,634 of them. Looking for college professors? Did you want 43,347 who teach English, or 18,184 who teach history, or 8,477 in marketing, or 9,194 philosophy teachers, or the…
If you need additional information - like how many doctors who specialize in allergies and are head of their practice with four or more employees can be found in Pennsylvania - call any of these catalog houses and ask them to run a count. You’ll be able to get that information in about ten minutes. Hugo Dunhill: 800/223-6454, American Business Lists: 800/555-5335, Best Mailing Lists: 800/692-2378, CompilersPlus: 800/431-2914, and Edith Roman: 800/223-2194 to name just a few. More phone numbers can be found in my books Uncommon Marketing Techniques and How To Market A Product For Under $500!
Several companies now offer lists of every business or every person in U.S. on CD-ROM. These products allow you to create your own list criteria and generate your own precisely targeted mailing lists. Some of better programs make it easy and fast to use their CD-ROM products. Mailing list CDs are available from InfoUSA: 800/321-0869, and Global Business International: 407/568-5037 to name but two.
One of best resources for lists is Internet. There’s no getting around it now, Internet is here to stay — you might as well get on and get used to it. It’s a great - probably best - research tool available for almost anything, if you can filter out crap from good stuff. But… isn’t that way with all research tools: you gotta figure out which is good stuff that you can use, and which is bad stuff that you’ve just spent last two hours looking over and have now figured out is pretty worthless.
You’d be surprised how many of your competitors will sell your their customers’ names. If not competitors, how about asking other businesses who serve your market if you can purchase their mailing lists.
Of course, best list of all - bar none - is your own house list of current and past customers. These are folks that know you and trust you; they’ve experienced that great customer service you offer and are now willing to buy something else from you if you would only let them know it’s available.
Spend some extra time in this most important area - list research: tighten your list criteria, do your homework, spend time in research, and find best lists you can possibly find. Then test several. It’s worth extra time and money to target your audience with precision and increase chance you’ll come up a winner at post office. There is no single more important factor in creating a greater response to a mailing than mailing to best possible list. Whatever you do, don’t settle for a mediocre list unless you want mediocre results.
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Bio — Jeffrey Dobkin, author of incredible 400-page marketing manual How To Market a Product for Under $500 ($29.95 +$4), now has a second book, Uncommon Marketing Techniques ($17.95 +$3) - 35 of his latest columns on small business marketing, exactly like one you just read. Both books are available directly from publisher - CALL TOLL FREE 800-234-IDEA - phone orders welcome - Visa, M/C, AMEX. These books are completely filled with tips and techniques to make your marketing faster, cheaper, more effective - and fun. You never learned this stuff in college! Mr. Dobkin cuts right through theoretical crap and demonstrates a wealth of practical how-to direct marketing techniques. He is also a speaker, writes powerful, response-driven sales letters, engaging web content, persuasive catalog copy; and exceptionally hard-hitting direct mail packages. He also is a marketing consultant who will analyze your direct marketing packages, ads, catalogs, and campaigns. To place an order, or to speak with Mr. Dobkin call 610/642-1000. Fax 610/642-6832. From The Danielle Adams Publishing Company, Box 100, Merion Station, PA 19066. Or visit him at www.dobkin.com. Satisfaction Always Guaranteed.
Other articles from Jeffrey DObkin can be read at his website: www.dobkin.com. Call him at 610-642-1000. Dobkin is the author of "How to Market A Product for Under $500!"