Direct mail can be an effective way to reach your potential customers. In order for it to be a success, it must contain two important components: (1) a highly targeted list, and (2) an enticing invitation to make your recipients open it.

Without those two components, your direct mail marketing piece will be among the 75% of all direct mail pieces that ends up in the trash unopened.

But rest assured, Capital List has got you covered. We have eight ways you can ensure your direct mail is opened and read once it gets to its destination.

Depending on the type of business you have and your specific strategy, you may want your direct mail to look like it came from someone your recipient knows. Or, you may choose to make it apparent that it’s a promotional piece coming their way.

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How do I get my direct mail opened?

Whichever strategy you choose, keep the following eight suggestions in mind:

1. Address your direct mail to an actual person.

Fortunately, this can be achieved easily with a current, accurate direct mail list like those provided by Capital List. A letter addressed to “Mr. John Smith” or “Mrs. Ann Hines” is more personal than a letter addressed to “Current Resident” or “To Be Opened By Addressee.”

2. Handwrite the address.

If you’re in the camp that wants your recipient to think the letter may be from someone he or she knows, handwriting the name and address is a nice touch. If there are too many to personalize like that, use printing technology to make it look like it was handwritten.

3. Return address strategy.

Use an actual return address label with a street address instead of a P.O. Box, and without your company’s name.

4. Use a real stamp.

Consider using a stamp that has a seasonal theme or is part of a collector’s edition. You can even put it on a little crooked to make it look like it was personally applied.

5. Packaging counts.

If you’re going for a promotional piece, a professional, high quality, glossy postcard or envelope makes a positive first impression. If you have the budget, you may want to…

6. Make it dimensional.

Put your message in anything that isn’t flat, like a box or a tube. Adding a coin, a pen or a mini toy to the outside will increase your chances of it getting opened.

7. Get their attention.

Powerful words such as “FREE,” “Limited Offer,” or “On Sale” imply deadlines and will make your recipient not want to miss out on the great deal.

8. Create curiosity and interest.

You won’t want to give away all of the information on the envelope or package. Invite your recipients to open the direct mail with phrases “Take a peek inside to learn more!” or “Check out your limited offer!”

A highly targeted list and strategies for getting direct mail open is a winning combination. When you have them both, you have the best chances of achieving success in your direct mail marketing campaign.

Capital List is a list brokerage service that provides our customers with highly targeted direct mail lists and permission based email and mobile marketing lists. For more information about our business or how to entice your recipients to open their direct mail, contact us today at 1-888-299-5478, or complete the form below.

Contact us for free list research, mailing, E-mail and Telemarketing Lists of all types.

Call Toll Free: 1-888-299-5478

What customers are saying about our targeted email lists

At Capital List, we guarantee deliverability of your message right to the mailboxes of new Columbus homeowners. The focus of our business is lists and lists only, which makes us experts in our industry. Our extensive experience has give us the knowledge and professionalism to provide exceptional service to our customers.

Thank you Sam and Bill with Capital List for making my job a lot easier. Your quick response and list knowledge is 1st class. I know that when I purchase a list from you that I am getting the exact info I need for my clients. Until I found you guys, my list orders of the past, were complete nightmares. Thanks again for all your hard work!
– R.B. New Orleans, LA

Outstanding Service! Capital List has exceeded my expectations! The helpful staff made getting my job done a whole lot easier. I would recommend them to anyone needing direct mail services.
– K.B. Zanesville, Ohio

Capital List pulled through for me. I am so impressed with how quickly Sam helped resolve my client’s mailing list issues. We were on a very tight print deadline and Capital List pulled through for me. The mailing went out without a hitch and ON TIME!! I will be referring more clients to Capital List.
– Cindy Elmer Lewis Center, OH

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Frequently asked questions about our list service:

Why should I use a list broker?

Within our industry there are list compilers, list managers and list brokers. The advantage of using a list broker such as Capital List, is complete access to the hundreds of specific lists available. List compilers or managers may only specialize in a few types of lists. They may force you into the lists that they compile or manage which may not be the best fit for your project. Many of these companies also offer their lists on the internet for purchase. This may be an option for experienced mailers, but most companies require extensive consultation. At Capital List, our knowledge and experience allow us to provide our clients with the most targeted, up-to-date file for their promotion.

What qualifications do your list brokers have?

Bill Doughty and Sam Watkins have worked in the marketing list business for 25+ years. They started Capital List in 1997 and have helped hundreds of businesses with highly targeted business, consumer, and specialty marketing data for their advertising/outreach promotions.

Where do you get your lists?

Capital list only sources data from the most respected list compilers and list managers. Every list company has strengths and weaknesses. We help our clients avoid costly mistakes. We have partnerships with the best sources to help you reach your target audience.

How often are your lists updated?

All lists are updated on a regular basis. The frequency depends on the type of list. Some files are updated monthly, some quarterly and some are updated at the time of order processing. We can give you specific update dates at the time of process/order.

How accurate are your lists?

We only source the best files for accuracy. No list is perfect since they contain millions of records and are continually changing. We Guarantee our Consumer and Occupant Lists to be over 95% deliverable and our Business Lists to be over 90% deliverable. Any returns beyond those limits will be replaced or credited. Please see our website for details. Specialty lists have different guarantees depending on the file and compiler.

What types of marketing lists are available?

Hundreds of lists with thousands of targeted filters/selects! We do the legwork and list research at no additional cost to you!

What is a specialty list?

A Specialty List is a list that is outside the standard Consumer or Business list files. Some examples of specialty lists would be: Physicians by specialty or type of practice, New Movers/New Home Owners, Pet Owners, Graduating High School & College seniors, Bankruptcy information, Brides-to-be, Auto Loan Lease information, New Parents, Interests Hobbies, Boat Owners, Motorcycle owners and modeled credit file data just to name a few.

Do you do postal mailings?

At Capital List we specialize in the vehicle that gets your postal or e-mail promotion delivered. The List! We do not provide mailing services. We work with a large number of mailing companies throughout the country and can make connections if needed.

Can you print mailing labels for me?

Most lists are e-mailed in an excel format which can be mail-merged to other software for printing labels. We can also arrange for label printing for most small files. Labels are not recommended unless your mailing is very small.

Do I need a bulk rate permit for my mailing?

This depends on the quantity and type of mailing. Most mailing companies allow their clients to use their bulk rate permit for mailings if needed. Mailing companies or the USPS (United States Postal Service) can help direct you.

Should I use a mailing company/lettershop to process my mailing?

This also depends on the type of mailing and quantity. We highly recommend using a mailing company/lettershop to help with most direct mail programs. These companies have the tools to simplify the process and save you money by pre-sorting your mail and running the files through postal software such and NCOA (National Change of Address). The postage savings alone can help justify their fees.

What is the typical turn-around time for my list order?

Most lists are e-mailed the same day that they are ordered. Some specialty files can take an extra day for processing.

How and what type of format will my list be sent?

List orders are typically in an excel format then put into a (.zip) file with all related Postal reports and e-mailed as an attachment.

What is the process and how do I get started with a targeted marketing list?

The first step is research through some fact-finding. We prefer to speak with our clients over the phone. Customers can also complete the request for quote form on our website to get the process started. We ask many questions like: who is your target audience for your promotion? What is the target geography for your promotion? Do you have a target quantity? We then run free “counts” (the number of records available) from the best file available and provide pricing. We can fine-tune your list in many ways. And our goal is to consult our clients through the process.

I don’t have a good idea of who my customers are. Can you help me?

Through our modeling process we can profile your best customer file in an automated process that matches your list against a national compiled database to create a market penetration analysis. The resulting report highlights how your customers differ from those in your marketing universe. We can then apply the intelligence of your penetration analysis to your target market to create a custom prospect audience that looks like your best customers. Contact us for more information.

Can I get consumer phone numbers with my list?

Consumer phone numbers can be obtained. Phone numbers are “scrubbed” against the national Do-Not-Call registry. An updated SAN (Subscription Account Number*) registration number must be supplied to receive consumer phone numbers for telemarketing. More and more consumers delete their “Home” phone numbers and use cellular phones exclusively which reflects the quantities available.

*see DoNotCall.gov

What are the available geography selections on lists?

Not only can we target your lists with targeted demographics, we can help you target your area geographically. We can select by State, County, SCF, Zip Code, Zip4 & block groups. We can also help with custom mapping and radius around an address or location to a distance or quantity.

Are e-mail addresses released? What do you need for an e-mail broadcast? Can you e-mail broadcast to my e-mail list?

Yes, more and more Email list compilers are willing to release their Email addresses for third party marketing. However, you should be aware that you may not be able to use the records being provided because of the restrictions on your Email service provider’s user agreement. Be sure your provider will allow the use of third-party lists. If you choose to do your own broadcast, you are also responsible for compliance with all can spam regulations relating to Email Marketing and privacy.

We also offer Email appending to your current in-house Postal file which may be a better option. Since you already have a relationship with these people your Email is less likely to go into their “Junk” folder. Our recommendation is to always send your first broadcast with a Welcome introduction and a response request to Opt-Out if they don’t want more Email clogging up their in-box. This is good Email etiquette!

The best alternative is to have Capital List manage your campaign using one of our Double-Opt-In Email list compilers. You would provide the HTML Ad Copy, Subject and From lines and a short list of Email addresses to serve as a test for your review and approval. You can also include as many web links as you like on your ad. Once approved, we handle the broadcast on your schedule and provide tracking showing your campaign results. No worries, no liability, no hassle!