At the age of 35, there is little reason to receive direct mail pieces offering AARP’s insurance plans, yet that’s exactly what came in the mail on Saturday. The would-be insurer (a well-known insurance company that shall remain nameless) spent more than a few cents on printing, postage, and list fees, all on a prospect of slightly better quality than that of a child or someone deceased. Achieving a good return on your direct mail dollar can be very difficult if you are targeting many poor quality leads.
List selects are filters based upon specific criteria that reduce a mailing list to a smaller, better targeted sublist. In the above example, the appropriate select would have been age, removing everyone below the age of 50 who are thus ineligible for the insurance. Selects can be made upon almost any characteristic that is common to all records in a list. Common selects include age, location, and income level (for consumers) or revenue (for businesses).
The above example might have resulted from a single incorrect record, or they might have spent tens of thousands of dollars by not using the most basic of selects: age. With that in mind, take a moment to consider if you have used the most appropriate selects for your direct mail campaigns.