Enter your email address to receive this article as a PDF to read later!


Postcards to a Targeted Mail List Are Effective Direct MailSuccessful marketing with post cards depends on multiple factors. Each mailer must capture attention, include effective graphic design and text work, deliver concise and high-quality information, and make a compelling offer that persuades recipients to take action. Combine all these features of an effective direct mail campaign with laser-focused timing to get your message to people exactly when they are most likely to respond and you have a much greater chance at realizing a high ROI. One thing remains, however, to make your postcard campaign a true winner: a targeted mail list.

Companies interested in post card direct mail have two main options. The first is the US Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) option. The other is using targeted mailing lists sourced elsewhere.

Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®): Costs Less But Poor Results

EDDM® puts your marketing focus on location. Businesses use it to mail postcards to every home or business on an individual delivery route. It represents the least expensive way to mail out a direct marketing campaign using post cards. While this method of wide broadcast spreading of your marketing message may offer some benefit to local brick-and-mortar businesses that cater directly to consumers, its lack of specific targeting can drastically decrease any return on investment percentages.

The adage, “You get what you pay for,” is a good reminder of what to expect from this inexpensive method. Simply put, every household in a particular neighborhood or on specific roads will not be interested in your marketing message. Communities are not arranged by demographics. If you run a landscaping business, people in condos or rental units will have no use for your services. If you offer dog obedience training, no one who does not own a dog will care.

Targeted Mail Lists: The Right Offer Direct to the Right Audience

Sometimes a higher initial price tag means much greater value. Targeted mail lists and mailing out postcards to them may cost more than EDDM®, but the rate of positive response to the former will be considerably higher as well. Casting your marketing web wide to a postal carrier route or two means more of your post cards will end up in the recycling or trash bin instead of in the hands of people eager for your offer.

Professional list brokers offer many types of targeted lists. Choose the best for your individual needs depending on your ideal audience’s demographic data such as age, gender, relationship status, number and age of kids in the household, types of pets, whether they own a house or rent, and income levels. Business to business (B2B) companies can also narrow down to the most effective list based on similar criteria like business size, type (SIC code), age and location, minority ownership, and overall financial information such as sales volume and net worth.

Not only will a single marketing campaign yield greater results when sent to a targeted list, it also allows your company to design different post cards based on the unique focus of a recipient group. A pediatric and family dentist may see good results sending a mailer out to all addresses where children reside, but will get a more profitable response from a post card focused on cosmetic dentistry for adolescents and teens if the ad is sent to families with children who make over a certain amount of income each year.

Accuracy of a Direct Mail List is the Most Important Factor

No matter how well targeted the direct mail list is, inaccuracies and out of date data will ruin the chance of a high response rate. Only choose lists from trusted sources that check regularly for fresh and correct information. Some of the most accurate include those based on recent purchases or trade publication status. Many people find this area a tangled mess.  That is where a direct mail list broker like Bethesda List Center can help.  Their fees are paid for the list owner, so no additional costs are involved.

Experienced list sources also provide quality mailing lists because they understand the need well and are experts at sourcing data, sorting and organizing it, and delivering the standardized for of postal mailing addresses. If your marketing campaign focuses on a specific professional group or career, compilers may be your best choice.

A postcard direct mail campaign has two main goals: to build brand recognition and, more importantly, to inspire the person who receives it to take action on the offer. The end goal of all marketing is the same: to generate sales. Choosing a less expensive but less successful option like EDDM® ultimately wastes both money and time. Sourcing the most accurate and targeted mailing list presents a better value for marketers and delivers the type of high response and conversion rates you need to succeed in business.