Segment your mailing list to increase ROI

Think for a moment about how people “market” in every day life: for instance, how they go about getting buy-in for a new project from others at work or from their families at home.

Do they emphasize the same selling points to the CEO as they do to the art director? Do they pitch weekend plans to a spouse the same way they describe them to their teenagers? Not a chance! People get buy-in by tailoring their offers to each segment of their audience, giving each person the teaser that sparks their interest and the type and amount of information they need to make the decision to sign on.

Though you don’t know the people on your direct mail list as well as you know the people in the office, the same strategy of “divide and conquer” applies. Most direct mail list records have associated information that allows you to segment by geographical region, business or household size, business volume or family income, age, gender, previous purchasing patterns, or other criteria. (Your Marigold list broker can tell you more about this on a list-by-list basis.)

If you are using direct mail to get email opt-ins, or to find out more about prospects, be sure to ask for registration information that will allow you to segment the response list and customize future offers.

Once you’ve segmented your list into distinct audiences, the next step is to customize your offer to each one, with an attention-grabbing teaser and segment-specific information. Then you’re set to begin a process of sending and testing, evaluating the performance of each customized offer. Each time you mail to the segmented list, you’ll have an opportunity to refine and evaluate your approach. It’s a continual process, but a valuable one, with potential to boost both direct marketing ROI and understanding of your market.

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