OK, perhaps we’re stretching the phrase “Shapes and Sizes” when discussing something as ephemeral as a list, but not by much. They really do come in different “shapes” and they can be different “sizes” as well. Instead of the word “shape” let’s use the term, “type”. There are two different types of mailing lists, business and consumer, and you approach each differently.
Business lists allow you to market your company to other businesses. An important tool you may want o use is the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code of the businesses you intend to target. Here is a link (http://www.osha.gov) to the US Government’s list of SIC Codes.
Consumer lists are for business or organizations that cater directly to a consumer. The two sub-categories are addressed lists and saturation lists. We discuss the latter in greater detail at our site, EveryDoorDirectMailStuff.com (link)
How you fine tune your lists is through a series of filters, often called “selects.” Both business and consumer list have selects for geography; do you want customers in your zip code? In your county? The State? The entire USA? You can even select your mailing list by setting a geographic point (such as your business address, and then extending a radius line a given distance, such as five or ten miles.
Additional business selects include corporate office vs facility, franchises vs independent owners, public vs private corporations, home businesses, years in business, numbers of employees, phone numbers and gross sales.
Consumer lists will contain selects for family size, income, home ownership vs renters, presence of children, ages of children, head of household age, profession, hobbies, phone numbers, ethnicity, religion, home value, etc. Surprised by what is available? You shouldn’t be. People have been giving this information over to data collection agencies for years and web sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have made it easier for these companies to gather the data. (Here we can’t help taking a shot at our biggest competitor, V*sta Pr*nt. Did you really think they took a loss by selling 1,000 business cards for 99 cents? They make money on that order by selling their customer’s name, address, email and every bit of information they collect over and over again. In fact, they’re one of the country’s largest source of personal data.)
Keep in mind that selections work both ways. You could choose all the families who earn $100,000 within ten miles of your store but exclude those within a specific zip code. As you add more and more selects you add filters to get to your ideal customers, you make your potential list smaller and smaller.
Most lists are priced at a base price per thousand plus additional costs per selects. For example, a consumer list may start at $40 per thousand plus $10 per thousand for an income select, plus $5 per thousand for a profession select plus $5 per thousand for a home value select. Most lists will also have a minimum quantity per order and business lists tend to cost slightly more than consumer lists.
When you are ready to experiment with lists visit our site at Mailing List. You can get counts and see costs all without any obligation.