Archive for December, 2020

How to Find the Right Mailing List

By Craig Simpson, Author and Owner of Simpson Direct, Inc.

December 23, 2020

In his book The Direct Mail Solution, direct marketing expert and entrepreneur Craig Simpson provides easy-to-follow solutions for creating direct mail campaigns that work! In this edited excerpt, the author discusses the two sources you can use to find the best mailing list for your direct mail campaign.

Another direct mail article brought to you by Talon Mailing & Marketing

It’s actually pretty easy to get exactly what you need when it comes to mailing lists for your direct mail campaigns. There are two sources that can help you narrow down your list selection: SRDS or a list broker who’ll do all the researching and negotiating for you.

The Standard Rate & Data Service (SRDS) direct marketing list source will provide you with an easy and organized way to review more than 100,000 different lists. SRDS will give you complete list rental information (sources, selects, counts, costs, list managers, etc.). You can use SRDS to search by category, market classification, list title and just about any other way you want to search for a list.

The most helpful and convenient source for finding the right mailing list is to use the services of a list broker. A list broker is a direct marketing professional who can provide you with list recommendations (list reco). A list reco is a group of lists the broker has carefully selected for you to pick from.

For example, let’s say you’re selling ski equipment through the mail, and you want to reach people who have bought ski equipment in the past. You can request a list reco from a list broker who’ll do the research and then give you an assortment of direct mail lists that you can choose from, all of them within your niche. In this case, it would be a list of available mailing lists containing the names of people who have purchased ski equipment through the mail.

List brokers have a wealth of knowledge about mailing lists that can make the task of selecting the right list much easier. They can also help you negotiate lower list-rental rates, which is a real benefit since renting lists can be expensive. List brokers offer one-stop shopping for mailing lists, and they’ll save you time and money.

List brokers can also help set up net name arrangements, which can save you thousands of dollars. A net name arrangement is where the list owner agrees to accept a lower payment based on either a percentage or the actual number of names mailed. For example: Your “net name arrangement” with the list owner could be 85 percent of the names shipped. This means if you ordered 50,000 names, you’d only have to pay for 42,500.

In the world of list brokers, there are four main sources you can go to in order to rent lists:

1. List brokers. Their basic role is to make arrangements for you, as the list renter, to rent the list from other companies. Normally, a list broker will research lists and segments to identify the ones that will work best for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

2. List managers. They supervise the rental of specific mailing lists that they themselves manage. List managers promote the lists they manage in an effort to get list renters to rent and mail their lists. The more people who rent the list, the more revenue is generated for the list manager and list owner.

They’ll keep track of all the businesses that have rented the list and what they paid for each usage. They usually ask the prospective list renter to provide a copy of the sales piece they want to mail so the list manager can determine whether to give approval to rent the list. If the sales piece is too competitive with the list owner’s own offer, or if the sales piece might offend the list owner’s customers, the list manager may decline rental of the list.

3. List compilers. They manage lists that they’ve compiled. A compiled list has been assembled using multiple sources, such as warranty cards, government records, corporate reports, telephone directories, Yellow Pages, credit bureaus, etc. If you want this type of list, you could work directly with a list compiler.

4. List manager/broker. Often, the most versatile source for renting lists is someone who has experience with both managing and brokering lists. However, some people in the direct-mail community think it’s a conflict of interest to provide both services. You can understand why they think so. There could easily be a temptation for the list manager to push his own list over others.

If you decide to use someone who is both a list manager and a broker, keep an eye on the lists that are being recommended. If it looks as though most are lists the broker is also managing, quickly find a new broker. You want someone who’s working for you–not working for himself or his company. Good list managers/brokers will provide you with list recommendations that will be the best fit for your offer regardless of whether they manage the list.

Finally, when using a list broker, make sure you receive a large number of lists to choose from. For example, if you’re mailing an offer for a weight-loss course, your list broker will be providing you with list recommendations from the weight-loss/diet category. If your goal is to rent 10 lists, your broker should provide you with 25 or 30 to choose from and also identify which lists they think will work best.

Craig Simpson has managed thousands of direct mail campaigns and grossed hundreds of millions in revenue for his clients. Simpson is the owner of Simpson Direct Inc. and a respected speaker/presenter on the topic of direct mail. He blogs at

Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings

The Democratization of Data-Driven Marketing and Selling Tools

December 18, 2020

By Jon Eggleton,

Below are four ways companies can utilize data to make their marketing dollars work a little harder:

direct mail databases

We’ve all heard the buzzwords around big data. Part of our vocabulary now for years, it’s become ubiquitous with showy executive presentations, major investments in software and hardware, and even job titles that can make someone managing database marketing for a mid-sized bank sound like a NASA scientist. All kidding aside, big data is real, and isn’t just for the largest companies with massive budgets and teams of propellerheads steeped in the latest data infrastructure trends. Like many technology-driven innovations it’s become democratized for the masses, with many ways to utilize it to drive customer and revenue growth. Here are four ways companies can utilize data to make their marketing dollars work a little harder.

1. Target Your Prospects To Keep Your Brand In Front of Them

Even if you don’t have a formal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution in place, if you’re a B2B marketer you probably have at least some sort of prospecting list of contacts or organizations you wish to do business with. With as little as a couple hundred company names (or a bit more, if you want to target specific individuals) you can leverage social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to reach executives and decision-makers within those organizations you most covet. While it may not convert leads as a stand-alone tactic, it can be a highly-efficient way to stay in front of prospects you may be trying to reach through direct selling efforts.

2. Utilize Customer Lists to Acquire New Customers That Look Like Them

If you have customers, then you have a customer list. Utilizing it can be the tip of the iceberg to creating smarter marketing campaigns based on who is buying your goods or services already, particularly for B2C marketers. Similar to #1 above, social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to do lookalike audience targeting to find new prospects who share traits with your best existing customers. This can include demographic information, interests, and geographic locations. While source audiences of 1,000 or more are most optimal for targeting, lookalike audiences can be modeled after as few as 100 people from the same country. Expect to pay a premium per click to reach your lookalike audience, but know that you are also eliminating wasted circulation by reaching only those who may be likely to have interest in your offering.

3. Use Marketing Automation to Better Target Your Message to Existing Customers

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketing automation and CRM platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, and numerous others have raised the bar for segmentation, allowing marketers of all shapes and sizes to tailor messaging to individual customer groups. This can have all sorts of benefits, from email marketing to what the digital experience with your brand will look like for various groups. You can be a behavioral health provider nurturing an existing patient through various life stages, a financial services institution ushering a user through the refinance process, or an e-commerce retailer making detailed recommendations based on prior purchases. Regardless of your industry, marketing automation and personalization can be accomplished without big budgets or teams of technical marketers to execute.

4. Leverage Available Data To Make Key Business Decisions

Not all uses of data have to be directly tied to marketing campaigns or efforts. There is no shortage of ways in which data can inform important business decisions, or aid in the acquisition of new clients. Data can be invaluable for making important decisions such as where to put new brick-and-mortar locations, or whether to move into new service and product offerings. In those instances, data can tell you where demographics may be favorable to your business, or where under-served gaps may exist that could be profitable areas of growth. Data can also be a powerful sales differentiator, allowing a service provider to come to a prospect with demonstrable insights around that prospect’s business and available market, without having worked together before. Such uses of data can still set you apart today, but may become table stakes in the future.

Jon Eggleton is the co-founder and managing partner of Traktion Partners, LLC. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Traktion helps both B2B and B2C companies in healthcare, financial services, e-commerce and other verticals utilize digital marketing tools to generate new leads, recruit hard-to-find professionals, and reach highly targeted audiences.

Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

Talon Services Include: Direct Marketing Services, Postage Discounts, Bulk Mail, Bulk Mailings, Laser Letters, List Rental Fulfillment, email blasts, File Maintenance, Digital Printing, Direct mail data processing, database services, Dupe Eliminations, NCOA processing, List Rentals

Direct Mail Drives Record Levels of Consumer Engagement

December 5, 2020

People spending more time at home during the lockdown has resulted in a huge upswing in the amount of engagement customers are giving to physical mail, according to new Royal Mail research.

Talon performs direct mail services on Long Island, New York

By Fiona Briggs, Retailer News

Consumers engaged with 96% of all mail during lockdown. In fact, 88% of people said they paid as much or more attention to mail during lockdown. And they interacted with each item of mail an average of 4.5 times.

There was also a 70 percent year on year increase in the number of people going online as a result of something they read in a mailing. The growing appeal impacted all age groups, with growing levels of engagement among the young. Just under one in four (24%) of those that did engage with mail more in lockdown were in the 18-34-year-old bracket.

The move comes as local businesses place growing importance on keeping in touch with customers during lockdown. With a large percentage of the population currently spending a lot of time at home, and with this trend set to continue, the impact of mail is predicted to be greater than ever.

The authority and trustworthiness of mail has also been recognized by Government – sending key communications via letter during the pandemic. Royal Mail was entrusted with delivering the letter from the Prime Minister to every household in the UK at the start of the Coronavirus lockdown.

Amanda Griffiths, head of communications planning Royal Mail MarketReach, said: “It has never been a more important time for brands to strengthen their relationships and build connections with their customers. The pandemic has meant that home has become and will remain an important and safe place for people creating the ideal environment for them to engage with direct mail more deeply than ever. Now is the perfect time for brands to deepen their customer relationships and drive revenue through mail.”

Need help with your marketing or direct mail?   To learn more about our services, or discuss your direct mail needs, here’s our home-page link and contact information:

Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings