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Demographics For Direct Mail

 
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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Demographics For Direct Mail


What kind of demographics would indicate if a prospect is a good fit for your company? Suppose you wanted to implement a direct mail campaign how would you know who to mail to?

List brokers can provide you with a list of homeowners that meet the criteria you are looking for, but what criteria should you be looking for?

The most obvious criteria would be things like:
Age
Marital status
Income
Length Of Residence
Home Value
Payment Method

What other demographics would be the most valuable to you?

I would like to hear from people that actually use direct mail. I donít want to waste my time arguing with those that are not interested in using direct mail.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


I love threads like this

What does your company do for it's business?

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Age of home.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Look into EDDM from post office. 14.2 cents and you can pick neighborhoods or postal routes etc...
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #5
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
What other demographics would be the most valuable to you?
Place of employment, the number of children in the household, their spending habits, and their financial habits.

I market directly to single women who are a parent of 2 or more children and are employed by the government. If they are a family that spends money on frivolous items, they eat out more than 4 times a week (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and they save less than 8% of their income, they are a perfect match.

Some of the work that I do is sold on the "impulse buy" so when it comes to financial habits, I am usually targeting the person who pays their bills right before the cut-off date vs. the one that pays their bills in full and on time.

And being that the payday date is not confidential, knowing when gov't workers get paid help me determine when to advertise. e.g If payday falls close to the 1st of the month I'll wait until the following pay period to advertise.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEL View Post
What kind of demographics would indicate if a prospect is a good fit for your company? Suppose you wanted to implement a direct mail campaign how would you know who to mail to?

List brokers can provide you with a list of homeowners that meet the criteria you are looking for, but what criteria should you be looking for?

The most obvious criteria would be things like:
Age
Marital status
Income
Length Of Residence
Home Value
Payment Method

What other demographics would be the most valuable to you?

I would like to hear from people that actually use direct mail. I donít want to waste my time arguing with those that are not interested in using direct mail.
The answer should be in your office. What do the past customers who bought from you have in common?
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
Place of employment, the number of children in the household, their spending habits, and their financial habits.

I market directly to single women who are a parent of 2 or more children and are employed by the government. If they are a family that spends money on frivolous items, they eat out more than 4 times a week (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and they save less than 8% of their income, they are a perfect match.

Some of the work that I do is sold on the "impulse buy" so when it comes to financial habits, I am usually targeting the person who pays their bills right before the cut-off date vs. the one that pays their bills in full and on time.

And being that the payday date is not confidential, knowing when gov't workers get paid help me determine when to advertise. e.g If payday falls close to the 1st of the month I'll wait until the following pay period to advertise.
Where does all this info come from? Do you buy it you must. how would you know its accurate?
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:43 PM   #8
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


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Originally Posted by lawndart View Post

The answer should be in your office. What do the past customers who bought from you have in common?
The answer to this is tricky.

The best information you can collect from past customers is the actual mailing list itself. It's almost impossible to guess at what past customers have in common.

In marketing circles the references to past customers are almost always means customers originally derived from a cearly defined mailing list. The reason why is because I could never ask my past customers the questions I need to know to make clear marketing decisions.

Take a credit report for example. If you are a contractor that sells large projects a credit report can often be a great way to pull a list.

DO NOT GUESS!!! That will get a person is seriously hot water. I would pick four groups and start combining income and credit. Make sure all four have a different formula.

Track results.

Once you have results you now have PAST CUSTOMER results not based on opinions and guessing but rather fact.

So lets say that with the four mailings you clearly discovered the highest returns were from people with X credit and X income brackets..........

Exapand the mailing quantity for another round and see if you get a similar response.

If that checks out and you verified it, the next step is to introduce a new parameter like Foreign cars vs American cars. (You would be shocked at what the difference is.)

That is how lists are built and that is why advertising is expensive. If you stick with it and go through this learning curve direct mail pays massive dividends. It's massive, make no mistake about that.

Last edited by Oconomowoc; 01-15-2013 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by killerdecks View Post

Where does all this info come from? Do you buy it you must. how would you know its accurate?
It's very accurate and you can buy or rent them. In fact, it's endless what you can do really.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:31 AM   #10
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Goldfinger really exists

Do you have suggestions as to where to find these list guys

Last edited by killerdecks; 01-16-2013 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:06 AM   #11
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


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Goldfinger really exists

Do you have suggestions as to where to find these list guys
I used the Haines Co.- amazing the info they can give you and the cost is nominal.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:22 AM   #12
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEL View Post
What kind of demographics would indicate if a prospect is a good fit for your company? Suppose you wanted to implement a direct mail campaign how would you know who to mail to?

List brokers can provide you with a list of homeowners that meet the criteria you are looking for, but what criteria should you be looking for?

The most obvious criteria would be things like:
Age
Marital status
Income
Length Of Residence
Home Value
Payment Method

What other demographics would be the most valuable to you?

I would like to hear from people that actually use direct mail. I donít want to waste my time arguing with those that are not interested in using direct mail.
Mel,
I focus on Slate and Tile roofs---so I am ONLY interested in Households with slate and tile roofs
we use direct mail. I work with 2 lists

List # 1 is a list I developed by hand. The core of the list I got from a nearby realtor who culled it for me from MLS data covering the preceding 3 years-and then I built on that from searching neighborhoods in my spare time. this list covers a fraction of 4 counties------- I add to it and refine it constantly.

List #2 I bought from the Haines Co.- It is a list of Tile roofs only in a 5th county. It cost less than $200 and covers 1800 houses. Although we may work approx. 3000 addresses, they are widely scattered across 5 counties, so EDDM is not viable for us. WE use first class mail.

If I was YOU- I assume you handle residential asphalt shingling????
If I was you, I would simply pinpoint developments built approx. 18-23 years ago and then I would EDDM to those carrier routes.

As I mentioned before we use first class mail-and in 2013 we will be sending out approx. 500/week. In 20011-2012 we sent out approx. 500/month

Best wishes,
Stephen
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #13
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oconomowoc View Post
I love threads like this

What does your company do for it's business?
I specialize in residential roof replacement, we also do gutters, gutter guards, and vinyl siding.
I started roof repair service a couple of years ago out of necessity because I am not selling enough replacements.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


There is a company called Melissa Data that can sell you a list according the criteria you are looking for. They can also take your customer list and append the demographics to the list.

I had them get me the demographics on a list of my customers about 7 years ago. I got a report on the basics that I described earlier; like age, income, etc.

I have a basic profile of my customers, and more specifically my customers that found me through direct mail. I want to get more information on their buying habits so I can develop a more precise profile. After I develop the profile I want to find prospects that match it and mail only to them.

I contacted Melissa Data and they sent me a list of the demographics I can choose from, and there are hundreds. I never knew they could collect so much information on people.

What I am looking for is information about their Buying Behavior, specifically about home improvements.

Iíve had success with Direct Mail in the past by mailing to neighborhoods that were all the same age and the roofs were wearing out. However the market has become unresponsive and the cost of direct mail leads has gone up. Not only that, but a lot of the people responding to my postcards were looking for low price, they were not a good fit for me. Somehow I need to narrow down the list so I am not wasting money trying to sell to people that are not a good prospect for me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:49 AM   #15
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEL View Post
There is a company called Melissa Data that can sell you a list according the criteria you are looking for. They can also take your customer list and append the demographics to the list.

I had them get me the demographics on a list of my customers about 7 years ago. I got a report on the basics that I described earlier; like age, income, etc.

I have a basic profile of my customers, and more specifically my customers that found me through direct mail. I want to get more information on their buying habits so I can develop a more precise profile. After I develop the profile I want to find prospects that match it and mail only to them.

I contacted Melissa Data and they sent me a list of the demographics I can choose from, and there are hundreds. I never knew they could collect so much information on people.

What I am looking for is information about their Buying Behavior, specifically about home improvements.

Iíve had success with Direct Mail in the past by mailing to neighborhoods that were all the same age and the roofs were wearing out. However the market has become unresponsive and the cost of direct mail leads has gone up. Not only that, but a lot of the people responding to my postcards were looking for low price, they were not a good fit for me. Somehow I need to narrow down the list so I am not wasting money trying to sell to people that are not a good prospect for me.
No doubt it's a very difficult thing. Unfortunately much of the success is in trying different parameters and tracking the results. Witht good tracking you eventually arrive at a great list. What I do wouldn't help you because we have very different businesses.

What size town do you live in? What about surrounding communities? If you are in a smaller type community the marketing dynamic is much different than say a major city of 500k.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:53 AM   #16
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart View Post
The answer should be in your office. What do the past customers who bought from you have in common?
Typically they look like this:
Length Of Residence: over 8 years
Age: 35 and older
Married
Income: 75K and over
Home values are higher than average.

Iím on the road right now so I donít have all the info in front of me.

The customers that found me by Direct Mail were all over age 35, all were married or widowed, and most had houses valued at over 400K, and they had been living there longer that 8 years.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:55 AM   #17
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


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No doubt it's a very difficult thing. Unfortunately much of the success is in trying different parameters and tracking the results. Witht good tracking you eventually arrive at a great list. What I do wouldn't help you because we have very different businesses.

What size town do you live in? What about surrounding communities? If you are in a smaller type community the marketing dynamic is much different than say a major city of 500k.
The county I am marketing in has over a million people; I am not sure how many houses. It has higher than average income; it’s the wealthiest county in Michigan. The majority votes Democratic in Presidential elections, the last time they voted Republican was in 1992. One time a googled the name of a prospect that called me and I saw that he had donated over a million dollars to Democratic candidates. There is also a large Jewish population here.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:40 AM   #18
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


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The county I am marketing in has over a million people; I am not sure how many houses. It has higher than average income; it's the wealthiest county in Michigan. The majority votes Democratic in Presidential elections, the last time they voted Republican was in 1992. One time a googled the name of a prospect that called me and I saw that he had donated over a million dollars to Democratic candidates. There is also a large Jewish population here.
When dealing with wealthy people they want to know they are getting a great value. Everybody wants that of course but wealthy people even more so.

So whatever marketing material you send out I would try and focus on value.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


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When dealing with wealthy people they want to know they are getting a great value. Everybody wants that of course but wealthy people even more so.

So whatever marketing material you send out I would try and focus on value.
I believe you are very correct on that, Mike. When the word value is used though, most people associate it with price. You see the evidence of that in how often advertising paints cheap price to mean value.

Discerning buyers know better. Cheap price is often the worst value, probably more often than not. I'd be reluctant to even use the word value in marketing to this group because the proliferation of abusing the real meaning has created an instinctive aversion to anyone claiming to offer value.

You need to build value, just don't use the word (or use it very carefully).

On a note directly related to this topic, any good discussion about direct mail always includes the principles of repetition and timing. IOW, mail more than just one time and know that the response will be different depending on both the message and the timing it is received.

I've recently received 2 mailings from InfoUSA, a DM list provider. I've never used them and have no way of knowing how they compare to others. Ironically, just now while typing this post I just received an email from them. The subject line got my attention. It says, "Don't recycle your InfoUSA catalog just yet." That's exactly what I did... too late. But with the impeccable timing, I actually read the email. I probably would have anyway just because they contacted me twice before sending the email, but this ideally demonstrates how to make DM more effective.

This kind of timing is highly unusual, but I'll presume they aren't spying to know I was posting on this thread. With something like roofing, your DM will hit people at the ideal time if you are consistent and have a message with impact that rises above the noise filling their mailboxes already.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:49 AM   #20
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Re: Demographics For Direct Mail


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Where does all this info come from? Do you buy it you must. how would you know its accurate?
I generate this info myself by posting ads on Craigslist and Facebook. Some of the ads are very compelling yet completely unrelated to what I do. When they click on the link in the Craigslist ad or they click on the Facebook ad, it directs them to a landing page where they enter all of their info.

When people voluntarily submit their info, it tends to be more accurate than not because they want more information on the ad that they responded to.

So as a fictitious example, I might advertise, "Snickers and M&M's 25Ę! Click here for a free promotion!" and they will actually get a free fun size candy bar in the mail as well as information on how and where they can buy their favorite chocolate candies at auction because the manufacturer couldn't get the last 300 cases out the door in time before the next production run. Then then I have a "Tell a friend" button on the landing page and eventually a few of their friends respond to the ad also.

I give them the goods for next to "nothing" yet the whole time I am polling and surveying my potential customers without them even being aware of it.

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