For years, marketers loved to talk about how many targets they had on their mailing lists. Let’s be honest, these “targets” were just names. We didn’t have the tools available to really determine who was a legitimate target.
To us, any name was a good name. We spent millions of dollars sending static direct mail to every address we could lay our hands on. Today, that is no longer the case.
Technology has given us tools that can help us better initially build our prospect lists with what we think are valid prospects. We then have data collection tools we can use to even better qualify these prospects and actually determine if they are valid leads.
What this means is that we’ve gotten smarter. We are focusing on not being everything to everybody, but to offering the best product or service to a qualified lead at the right time. We are spending our marketing dollars in a much more effective way.
Is junk mail dead? Of course not! We still have those organizations that must have more money than sense. As a condo dweller, I’m amazed at the number of mail pieces that I get from lawn care, roofing and swimming pool companies. Those are usually followed by an offer from a roofer or an offer for gutter guards. I will never buy what they sell – I live in a condo.
However, as an organization that produces direct mail, I am grateful for their support of our industry. As a marketer, I’m appalled at the amount of money they are wasting.
It’s not the quantity of people on a mailing list, but the quality of those names. Our goal should be to focus on targets who will actually buy what we sell!