4 Surefire Ways to Gather Leads for a Stronger Direct Mail List
Screenwriters call the quirky circumstances of a future romantic couple’s first meeting a “meet-cute.” They conjure up lucky chances and unusual ways for their fated characters to meet so that every romantic comedy feels fresh to the audience (though in fact it isn’t). Still, the meet-cute between a destined pair in the movies has a serendipitous effect.
But there is no serendipity in marketing. And your prospects and printing company may be destined for one another, but you certainly can’t afford to wait around for a meet-cute. Instead, your marketing team needs to take a proactive approach to building a promising prospect list for your direct mail campaigns. Here’s how.
Best practice for direct mail is thorough integration with social media. Your Facebook and Twitter feeds ought to draw attention to the piece you just mailed, while the piece itself should invite recipients to connect with you on social media.
Use social media as a list-building tool too. Attract more Facebook fans and Twitter followers by sharing discounts and coupons socially. Next: drive prospects from social media to your website. Finally, invite prospects to share their contact information on your site. It’s a conversion process that requires patience and persistence. And it pays off.
Trade Your Way
B2B printers enjoy a distinct advantage over other marketers because clients may have data you could use without competing with their business. For example, a restaurant owner may have a robust list of locals that have the same age and economic status you’re targeting. So offer to the restaurateur an enticing “trade.” Exchange a discount on their latest menu order in exchange for their prospect list.
Although trading is a low budget way to kickstart your printing company’s direct mail list, it’s almost always necessary to buy data too. Kate Dunn, CEO of Digital Innovations Group and a direct marketing specialist, guides clients in list building and advises investing in data from a mail house. Says Dunn, “We’re going to have to spend a little more on data so we can get a smaller haystack [of prospects].” And, of course, the smaller your haystack the more likely you’ll find your needle—er, customer.
Ask for Referrals
Besides trading with clients, start networking with business contacts for referrals. Ask them for the resources they used to build their list. Did they purchase one from a mail house? Were they satisfied? Non-competing business owners in your area may have a resource they’re willing to share, even if you’re just exchanging lists. Just be careful not to dilute the quality of your list if it isn’t segmented.
Direct mail campaigns waste money when marketers don’t put the effort into finding the right leads for their direct mail pieces. And you’ll be lonely forever if you’re waiting around for a meet-cute with prospects.
What about your printing company’s list-building strategy worked well, and what didn’t?