An effective mailing list is more than names and addresses–it’s a record of each person’s buying behaviors. Your customer list can track how often they shop with you, what they typically buy, and how much they spend. Keeping track of your customers and their purchasing habits will help you to personalize offers and increase the likelihood of a sale and response.
Here are some affordable ways to start your customer file:
• Keep a guest book and encourage customers to sign it when they visit your business.
• Hold a drawing and entice customers to enter their information for a chance to win a prize.
• Develop a frequent buyer program and capture customer information on the application.
• Make a customer feedback box and invite customers to include contact information.
• Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce about how to establish a stronger business presence in your community.
Consider renting a mailing list
Choose the people who are most likely to do business with you by keeping your current customers in mind and use their characteristics as a model to determine what you’re looking for in a rental list. The more specific you are in defining these characteristics, the more effective your list will be. You can rent mailing lists from a list broker.
How to compile customer information
It helps to store and manage your customer information in an easily accessible way by keeping printed information filed in a binder, or by creating a simple customer file using spreadsheet software.
As your customer file grows, you may want to consider investing in a contact management program. This type of software:
• Keeps your customer database organized.
• Tracks customer purchases and examines past mailing campaigns.
• Develops specialized mailings for certain people or businesses in your customer database.
• Determines which offers performed well in the past so you can model future offers after them.
How to keep your mailing list clean
Save money and reduce your environmental impact with these tips:
• Double-check the spellings of customer and street names.
• Verify that each ZIP Code™ number matches the street address.
• Use the correct ZIP + 4® Code for each address.
• Cross-check lists to make sure the same individual doesn’t appear more than once.
—Source: USPS Make your own mailing list www.usps.com/directmail/createyourmailinglist.htm