Which List is Right for Your Direct Marketing Campaign?

rightlistWith so many types of lists available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your campaign. In addition, lists range widely in cost and market suitability. So, just how do you select the right list?

Often, the right list depends on your budget; however, the most important factors to consider when choosing a list are the goal of your mailing and proper targeting.

First, you need to know what you want to accomplish with your mailing to select the best list to meet your goal. Then, by selecting the right targets within that list, you can spend less, increase response rates and boost your ROI. So, how do you find the best targets?

Apply the 80/20 Principle! As you know, 80% of your customer-base delivers you only 20% of your company’s profits. And the opposite is also true… 20% of your clients bring in 80% of your organization’s earnings. Therefore, you must take into account the core attributes of the 20% of your customers who make up 80% of your business to find the best targets. Check out our blog post, Ask Questions to Build the Perfect List, to learn more about using the 80/20 principle.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common list types, what they include, and when they are a good choice.

  • Saturation – Target every household in a specific area. These lists allow you to saturate an entire zip code, city, county or metro area. You can even target the people within a specific radius. The delivery process is simplified for the US postal Service which in turn provides the lowest postage rates possible. A good option when you want to cost-effectively get your message to as many people as possible.
  • Bankruptcy (Auto) – Target people who have filed for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 and 13 available by status (filed, discharged or dismissed) dates. Target location by state, zip, county, city and radius. An excellent option for ongoing fresh leads. (70% of people with discharged bankruptcies typically purchase a vehicle within six months of their discharge date).
  • Consumer – Target specific individuals using a wide variety of filters to compile the list. This database identifies individuals based on age, income, home value, gender and much more! This is a good option when using the 80/20 principle. Gather the information you know about your best customers, and mirror those attributes as a starting point. Filters include (but are not limited to):


  • Demographic Information = [Who] Industry, niche, size, sales revenue, titles and more
  • Psychographic Information = [Why] Pain points, situations that create desire for your product or service and more
  • Geographic Information = [Where] North, South, East, West, local, national, rural, metro areas, etc.


  • Demographic Information = [Who] Age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, income and more
  • Psychographic Information = [Why] Interests, hobbies, values, attitudes behaviors, lifestyle and more
  • Geographic Information = [Where] State, city, zip code or specific areas within a certain radius
  • Business – Target specific industries, businesses or even certain titles within a business. This list can be broad, beginning with geography, or specific with SIC codes and titles. An excellent choice for those in the B2B marketplace.
  • New Movers – Target people that just moved into your city. Individuals who have recently moved are actively looking for local services in their new area. This database identifies individuals who have moved within the last six months (updated monthly) based on the date they activated their utilities. This list is a good fit for churches, dentists, restaurants, landscapers, dry cleaners, veterinarians, etc.
  • Year/Make/Model (Auto) – Target owners of a specific year, make and model of automobile. Filters such as income, lease/own, marital status and more can be added for more specificity. Further encourage trade-ins by adding Kelly Blue Book or Black Book values based on condition (fair, average, very good or excellent). A great fit for buyback programs to replenish pre-owned inventory and sell new vehicles.

Need help selecting the right list for your campaign? AMG’s List Procurement Specialist will listen to your goals to help you determine the best list to help you achieve them. Reach out to us and get the conversation started!

Eric Weisgarber

Eric Weisgarber is the founder and President of Allegiant Marketing Group, Inc. His calling is helping business professionals grow their gross profits, net profits, and cash-flow through through marketing services, systems implementation and consulting. His business calling is aligned with his life\’s purpose – developing people and serving the community through discipleship.



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