For painting contractors, there are usually two different kinds of mailing lists: a consumer list
- names and addresses of people/households that meet certain consumer/demographic
criteria like income, home value, age of home, square footage, presence of children, etc.; and a resident/occupant list
- addresses only (usually) of households that meet certain geographic
criteria like ZIP Code, neighborhood, Carrier Route, County, or a radius around a jobsite/shop location, etc.
Both types of lists have advantages and disadvantages and these are dependent on your needs. Consumer lists
are more targeted and precise; they have more selections available; they have names; and they can go a long ways towards "pre-qualifying" your message. However, consumer lists are more expensive (naturally); they have lower quantities; and due to the overall concentrations
of a consumer list (relative to what the USPS sees for an area) they mean you pay higher Postage. A Res/Occ list
gives you complete and total coverage for an area; they have higher quantities (which can be a +/-); they are very affordable; and again, due to their concentrations
, they help you qualify for unbelievably low Postage. However, they usually do not have names associated with the address (if they do, the names can be outdated...people move, but addresses don't); you have very few qualifiers to select from (single-family vs. multi-family); and the sheer quantities can be overwhelming.
Both types of lists are readily available from a number of sources. The only thing you should be aware of is that most of the mailing list compilers (with one major exception) offer their mailing lists on a single-usage rental basis
. The reasons for this are varied, but they center around the desire to keep the lists (and the information in them) accurate and up to date and therefore, valuable. Do they enforce this? Yes. The lists are "seeded" with dummy records that end up going to one of their subsidiaries/agents. This way, if you rent the list for a one-time use and they get 5 postcards from you, they can show up on your doorstep with a van full of lawyers.
- What type of list should you use?
- Who do you want to reach?
- What are you trying to accomplish with the campaign?
Let me know by posting if you think this is good info. And if you want, I'll be happy to post more.