I just had a conversation with the Executive Director about building the list for her non-profit with direct mail. It was interesting, and there are some good points to share.
First, she’s under pressure from her Board to increase the number of names on the mailing list. Now, this is just “let’s get it done” pressure rather than “do it or you’re fired” pressure. In fact, the Board is also willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on renting a list to see what results they get.
Which brings me to the first good point: Never buy a list.
When Judy (not her real name) e-mailed me, she said they were looking at buying a list – what did I think. Well, I was headed to the bank anyway, so I stopped into her office afterward.
Direct Mail Marketing Tip #1
If you can BUY the list, then it isn’t worth having.
Direct mail lists are always rented. You send your mail piece to the list broker, or printer, and they address the envelopes. You only get the names of people who respond to you offer. And you get their names through their response. (I know…killer obvious.)
Okay. So Judy and I are going through the list criteria because Continue reading