How to Start Compiling a Customer Mailing List

Once you have begun to market to your prime prospects, your next step in building a successful marketing program is to start compiling a customer mailing list. You can begin your list by having a sign-up book in your store and automatically adding names to your mailing list. Any prospect who answers one of your ads or calls for more information should automatically go onto your mailing list. You can also offer contests or sweep­stakes that require people to write their names and addresses to enter.

Create two different mailing lists: one with customer’s names and addresses and one for your prime prospects. Because you will make different offers to each list, spend at least 60 percent of your marketing time and budget on marketing to your exist­ing customers, 30 percent to your prime prospects, and 10 per­cent to everyone.

Since you have a new business, your prospect list will be small, and your customer list will be even smaller. If you want to use direct mail initially, here are some ways to develop a mailing list.

Look in your local Yellow Pages or Business to Business direc­tory for companies that rent or sell mailing lists. These lists of names are usually available to you on diskette, if you have a computer. If not, you can get them on pressure sensitive labels.

Depending on your product or service, you may be able to ob­tain sales leads from various public agencies. Check local, state, and federal agencies. The county clerk, town hall, courthouse and state motor vehicle offices are excellent sources of free in­formation. You can find information on births, weddings, di­vorces, home ownership, car registrations, bankruptcies, and other data that might be helpful for your business. Obtaining this free information requires only your time and effort.

Once you have a mailing list, you will use direct mail to target all the names on the list. Direct mail is one of the most efficient marketing methods today on a cost-per-sale basis. This is be­cause you can choose exactly who receives your advertising mailer. Direct mail is used by virtually every successful business today, large and small.

Direct mail to your prospects and customers is completely un­der your control. You use whatever words, pictures, and tech­niques you want. You control the content. You also control tim­ing, mailing size, and cost. In addition to knowing specific costs and quantities, you have the sales results and exact cost per sale.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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