10 Best Practices for Building a Mailing List

The most important part of any direct mail campaign is not the offer, the copy or the size of the postcard. It’s the audience. And your audience is determined by who you have on your mailing list. That means building a thorough and effective direct mailing list is crucial to your business. Here are some things to consider when compiling your list.

Build a “House List”

Perhaps the most obvious step is to begin compiling the names and addresses of the people who have previously bought from you. You might also want to keep track of their purchase and contact history so that you can try to spot the most opportune times to contact them and the best offers to bring them in.

Supplement Your Info

Salesgenie can provide you with information you may not even be able to capture, such as approximate annual income, age or ethnicity. We offer dozens of pieces of information you can add to your existing data – what’s called a demographic or behavioral append – to build a complete picture of your customers.

Analyze your Data

The point of collecting all this information is so that you can study it and learn from it. Start by identifying your best customers. What do they have in common?

Clone Your Best Customers

Once you’ve analyzed all the data you’ve collected and identified your best customers, you want more of them. Salesgenie can help you find new prospects who match the criteria you’re looking for with its easy cloning tools.

Entice New Leads

Offer a promotion or a discount for people to join your mailing list. If you have something of value, people will be more likely to give up their personal information. Growing your list and seeking out new prospects is an important part of maintaining your direct mail list.

Seek Out New Customers

Think about your business and what you might have to offer potential customers in a certain industry, neighborhood or zip code. Also, stay on top of changes in the marketplace by identifying new business starts or new residents who have recently moved into a new home or changed vehicles. Salesgenie segments its database so you can find those exact prospects easily to add to your list.

Consider Decision-Makers

All of your direct marketing should be exactly that, directly targeted to an individual consumer. If you have a product or service that could be suited for a commercial establishment, rather than merely addressing the business itself, look for decision-makers within the organization that might be the right fit for your mailing list.


Looking for new prospects doesn’t have to be a solo affair. Think about how many more people you could reach if you engaged in cross-promotion with another business. With permission, you could leave promotional materials at the cash register or front desk of a related business, or bundle it with a complimentary vendor’s materials to make a special offer. Be prepared to return the favor.

Test Test Test

Not all of the customers on your mailing list will respond to the same offer. When you send out a direct mail piece, it should carry a source code so you can track responses. Keep a note of who responds to what offer, and then if you’re not happy with the results, tweak the mailing or the offer to see if the changes improve response rates.

Refine Your List

Not everyone who is on your list now belongs on your list forever. If a customer has dropped off and stopped purchasing for a long period of time, they may have had life changes that impact their purchasing or found a new position. Which means they are just taking up valuable space on your list. A mailing list is a living thing and should never go stale.

Whatever stage you’re at with your mailing list, Salesgenie offers customizable solutions to improve your data. We can help you create customizable business or consumer mailing lists with a variety of demographic, geographic and behavioral selections. And if you’ve already started down the mailing list path, we can supplement what you’ve collected with our data enhancement services.