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Important Mailing List Terms Defined
If you are considering new ways to market your small or online business a mailing list might could be a good option. A mailing list will allow you to spread information about promotions and build business leads. Direct mailings also offer the advantage of targeting a specific area whether physical or online. Here are some terms that are used regularly concerning mailing lists. If handled with creativity and sensitivity a mailing list can be a highly effective way to promote your business or services when directed to certain customers.
Mailing List – This is a list of physical addresses or e-mails of your consumers and potential leads. Addresses should be gathered in ethical and honest ways including allowing customers choose to subscribe to your list.
Distribution – Distribution refers to the ways you choose to send out your mailings whether by e-mail or by postal address.
Target – Refers to the process by which you choose a particular group of consumers you would like to mail to such as teenagers or working adults. By targeting you mailings you will reach the consumers most interested in your product or promotion.
Database – A database is usually an electronic file or program which holds all your subscribers separated by target.
Market – A market describes a certain group of people who are current or potential consumers of your products or services. For mailings, markets are often broken down by zip code.
Broker – A broker is someone who handles your mailing list for you.
Collateral – Collateral refers to a variety of papers goods such as brochures, newsletters and press releases that can be mailed to announce promotions and advertisements for your business. Collateral can be sent electronically or by post.
Mailing list companies provide a marketing service. They sell lists of addresses, postal and email, to businesses. They may also handle the physical act of marketing.
Lists may also include phone numbers for telemarketing. These lists are carefully targeted to likely customers, although less scrupulous companies may simply sell any addresses they can get their hands on. Mailing lists may also be used to distribute free magazines or advertising supplements.
They are used for what salesmen call lead generation. Mailing list companies keep large databases. Electronic mail is targeted by these companies, as marketing materials cost nothing to send over the internet.
Bulk, or mass direct mailings, may be an annoyance to some consumers. However, businesses still find it worthwhile. In some cases, they may be addressed to "Resident" when the homeowner's name is unknown. Databases may store information by profile or simply by zip code. Distribution is usually through the regular mail, although local businesses may also pass out flyers by hand.
Mailing list companies often advertise online. They place a great value on keeping their databases secure. In some cases, magazines and other companies may sell the addresses of their subscribers to advertisers. Direct mailings usually contain coupons, or other promotions. The mailing list company acts as a broker and does the legwork of obtaining valid addresses.
Direct mail, especially electronic, is considered a cheap and effective marketing technique. In order to avoid having promotional campaign materials dismissed as 'spam', companies are taking more and more steps to personalize and properly target mailings. In many cases, they only send them to existing subscribers or through distribution channels that include storing details of customer transactions.