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It’s 2019! Time For A Mailing List Update

2019 Mailing List Update

Posted by Steven Sheck, President, Infinite Media

January 10, 2019

The New Year is a good time to refresh direct mail marketers about the available wealth of list data options. After all, we all know that probably 50% of the success of B2B and B2C campaigns is attributable to the mailing list. So, it pays to be aware not only of the 80,000+ mailing lists that are on the market, but the menu of selectable data they represent. This includes demographic, firmographic, and response data selects, plus deeper insights available via established and emerging technologies. Some of this mailing list update is direct mail marketing 101. Some is breaking news. All can help you achieve success in 2019.

Compiled Versus Response Mailing Lists

Compiled mailing lists are built from multiple sources which include public records, online form completions, surveys, industry directories, phone directories, etc.

Response mailing lists are persons who all have filled out a form to receive materials, or responded to an offer. This activity could range from initial inquiries to actual and even repeat purchases.

The main difference is the degree of propensity and/or intent each record represents. For example, a compiled list of households in Dayton, OH simply includes households in that city, plus whatever details of the household makeup are a matter of public record. A list of people who have responded to a sweepstakes registration have known interest in the activity of participating in sweepstakes plus whatever may be won.

House Mailing Lists

Most organizations and companies have a list of their current customers. This may extend to past customers as well as good prospects. In order to scale up this list it is common to conduct a “look alike” process. This means searching through either compiled or response lists to identify prospects that fit the profile of the house list, thereby growing the audience for a direct mail campaign.

Data Appends

Quite often, house lists and even appealing compiled or response lists have gaps in their records. That where data append services come in. Individual details such as HH income, email addresses, religious affiliation, or phone numbers can be extracted from other databases and appended to the list being built. That way, marketers have more ways to uniformly reach, and follow up with their campaign target.

Following Are Examples Of List Data Selects

Demographic Mailing List Selects

  • HH Income
  • Geography/ZIP/Neighborhood
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Number of Children
  • Business
  • Number and Type of Vehicles
  • Own or Rent
  • Value of home
  • Plus Many More

Firmographic Mailing List Selects

  • Type of Business
  • Industry (SIC)
  • Geography/Locations
  • Number of Employees
  • Title – Owner/Executive/Director
  • Income
  • Valuation – Sales
  • Annual income
  • Plus Many More

Response Mailing List Selects

  • Subscribers
  • Purchasers
  • Inquirers
  • Frequent Fliers
  • Gamblers & Gamers
  • Hobbies
  • Investors
  • Sports Fans
  • Eco Friendly
  • Plus Many More
Additional Data Overlays

The following add richer context to a mailing list. New Movers need countless goods and services. New Parents much the same. Personal and property protection loom large as never before.

Health details on their own raise a spectrum of propensities and needs, from education to treatment and the insurance maze that almost everyone enters when services are required.

UCC filings, including Merchant Cash Advance activity, paint a picture of the financial health – or lack of it – for a company. Intent data that reveals potential customer activity is on the rise.

The current political climate has drawn almost everyone into the discussion. Fundraising and voter turnout are huge arenas for direct mail outreach. Overlay basic data profiles with the details that help tailor the message to the recipient with accuracy and above all relevance.


  • New Mover
  • New Parent
  • Medical Conditions
  • Mortgage – Inception/Maturity
  • Insurance – Expiration Dates
  • Car Loan – Inception/Maturity
  • Children in College
  • Hobbies
  • Recreation
  • Religion
  • Political Party
  • Donor


  • UCC filings
  • Merchant Cash Advance
  • Hardware and Software Usage
  • Equipment Leases
  • Competitors
  • Contract Expirations
Convergence: The Brave New World Of IP Targeting And Intent Data

IP targeting matches a specific physical address. It does so at a 95% or greater confidence level for true one-to-one marketing. Targeted digital advertising is taking its place alongside postal, email and telemarketing to enrich the ways customers and prospects may be reached. Focus your targeting all the way down to an individual campus, venue, building or household. NOTE: during the data gathering process customer data files are securely imported. Personally identifiable information (PII) is removed from customer records.

Intent data is drawing lots of attention. It empowers direct marketers to glean strong predictive signals from online search activity, whether B2C or B2B. Foremost among them is purchase intent, along with long lead research pursuant to a purchase consideration. Marketers begin by providing target parameters, such as industry and product category. The intent data provider takes it from there. IP addresses are captured so that the searcher can be identified as a part of an organization. It is possible for a great deal of detail to be revealed. Exact title, area of expertise, even details of hardware and software installs, upcoming expirations, all sorts of intelligence can be gathered. Either way, activity informed by context can be scored for intent. Depending on where a lead scores, direct marketers gain insight into how the opportunity should be pursued, from awareness-building to specific offer, across all available DM channels.

There’s A Lot Out There

Mailing list hygiene is your line of defense against mis-targeted and undeliverable mail pieces. Be sure to only use mailing list data that is verified and a recent update. Not only will this protect sender reputation, but it will prevent wasting a lot of money. Remember, USPS rates are going up January 27!

Then there is the advent of the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR), along with the U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the new California Consumer Privacy Act. Together they represent a formidable challenge for direct marketers to become and remain compliant in the new atmosphere of privacy concerns.

Ask questions before buying or renting list data. Who else has used the list? When was it last used? Build a mailing list that accurately reaches real businesses and current households. Using an array of sources and methods you can target an audience that has by some measure shown a propensity to be interested in your offer. In 2019 as in every new year, the choice is yours.

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