Are Smaller Lists Better?

In marketing, we usually think that the more people we can reach, the better. But when it comes to the lists you’re using, going big may not be the best strategy.

It may seem counterintuitive, but with email or direct mail, you should almost always try to trim your lists. Here’s why.

Especially with direct mail, each prospect you reach costs you money. So it makes sense to focus your list on your best prospects — those who: 

  • Are most likely to have the problem you solve or who want what you provide
  • Are most likely to buy
  • Have the highest potential to generate long-term / lifetime value
  • You can serve cost-effectively and profitably

Think about your best customers or clients — those who meet the above criteria. What do you know about them? 

If they’re individual consumers, what’s their annual income or net worth? Where do they live? How old are they? Are they college educated? Do they have kids? How old? What else?

If they’re businesses, how big are they? What’s their annual revenue? How many employees do they have? What industries are they in? Where are they located? How long have they been around? Who’s your contact?

Now look at building or refining your list around more people or businesses who fit those criteria. These are the prospects you’re more likely to convert.

Keeping your mailing lists more focused means you’re not paying to deliver your message to those who are less likely to buy. Keeping your email list under control means fewer bounces and higher open and click-through rates. In both cases, your response rate goes up and costs go down.

So if you’re using these two powerful marketing tools, amplify their value by tightening up your lists. And be sure to use your website to offer visitors something of value in exchange for their email address.

(And if you could use a hand building those lists or crafting a message that creates engagement and response, call Idealogy at 812-399-1400 or email to get started.)