The surprising power of compiled lists for direct mail

When you look beyond your organization’s own mailing lists for direct marketing, you will find that there are significant differences between subscriber lists and compiled lists.

Subscriber lists consist of data records of people who subscribe to a particular publication or service and contain the information subscribers provided at the time they signed up. While contact information direct from the source is considered to be relatively accurate, the records are often limited to whatever basic information the subscriber was willing to provide, such as age, living situation, income; or in the case of a business, the company size and the job title of the contact. Contact information may be reasonably current, but demographic information may go out of date. Some of the better subscriber lists also carry dauntingly high prices.

Compiled lists are–as the name suggests–a merging of data from different sources that can yield very rich records for each individual and business. The information in a compiled list can come from various sources including credit bureaus, real estate records, and demographic and geographic databases. The resulting records are much richer than those found in typical subscriber lists. For instance, Marigold can use our large compiled databases to produce a list of companies whose office locations relative to telecom service centers pre-qualify them as DSL customers. Or Marigold can provide a list of newlyweds in a particular region that meet specific income criteria.

Here are some of the reasons so many companies are harnessing the power of compiled lists for their most important direct mail campaigns:

  • Because they provide access to a large, inclusive data set you can easily refine, compiled lists are ideal for major, comprehensive campaigns. For example: A mailing to all the homeowners within 5 miles of a new building supplies store.
  • Compiled lists are relatively inexpensive, making testing of the lists easy and low risk.
  • Refining a data-rich compiled list with selects is far more efficient than trying to merge and purge multiple subscriber lists for a campaign.
  • Given the same (or even a lower) response rate than a subscriber list, an inexpensive compiled list often turns out to be more cost-effective.

It’s been our experience that with the right selection, the right refinements, and the right testing, compiled lists can often meet or beat the performance of subscriber lists. Start exploring the compiled consumer lists and compiled business lists available from Marigold, or contact us to find out more about developing custom compiled lists.

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