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Determining a Startup’s Direct Mail Demographic

While most industry experts are quick to point out the value in direct mail marketing campaigns, few are clear about how startup companies or businesses launching their first direct mail programs should determine their targeted audiences and demographics.

Especially with growing competition from online media, direct mail needs to be as efficient as possible in order to maximize return on investment. To that end, marketers should collect and solicit any and all consumer data, including names, telephone numbers, addresses, demographics and purchasing habits, among others.

However, it is likewise important to remain respectful of customers and not be intrusive with their information. For example, last month, California upheld a law that prohibits retailers from requesting zip codes from consumers – a ruling that the state Supreme Court declared can result in fines of up to $1,000 per violation.

Once sufficient data has been amassed, it's time to put it to use – a process that should be constantly tweaked and updated according to changing or narrowing market data.

"Print and mail out your direct mail campaign," wrote Kevin Deeb, president of Marketing Lists Direct. "The mail piece design, quality and offer should match the quality of the service or product you are marketing. If a local grocery store is advertising their fresh fruit, a postcard with bright, vibrant colors should be used."

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