Many factors contribute to a successful postcard mailer campaign: attractive, eye-catching graphic design and typeface settings, captivating, persuasive sales copy, and timing your mailers to present readers with the right offer just when they are ready to buy are all crucial aspects of a winning postcard mailer campaign. However, the single most important element that separates successful campaigns from mediocre or failed ones is often overlooked: the mailing list.

Businesses have two choices for their postcard mailer campaigns: Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) or targeted mailing lists.

Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®): Inexpensive But Also Ineffective

EDDM®, which is a program run by the U.S. Postal Service, allows you to have your postcard mailers delivered to every single household on a particular carrier route. The primary benefit of EDDM® is its low cost; it is the cheapest way to send out direct mail. It also allows you to spread your message as far and wide as possible.

However, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” While the notion of being able to get your business in front of every single household in your neighborhood may seem attractive, in reality, your business probably doesn’t appeal or even apply to everyone in your neighborhood. People who rent apartments have no need for lawn care or home maintenance services, for example, and those with no pets or children aren’t interested in veterinarians or pediatric dentists.

Targeted Mailing Lists: Get Your Business In Front of the Right Buyers

While targeted mailing lists have higher upfront costs than EDDM®, an accurate, carefully targeted list will result in a much higher response rate. Instead of carpet-bombing the entire neighborhood with postcards that will largely end up in the trash, a targeted list gets your mailers into the hands of those prospects who are most likely to want or need your services.

Targeted lists can be very broad or very specific depending on the demographics of your customer base; you can select prospects based on age, income, gender, marital status, presence of children, age of children, home ownership, pet ownership, and many more. Lists are also available for the B2B sector, allowing B2B businesses to target prospects according to criteria such as geography, business type (SIC code), size (number of employees), sales volume, year started, and minority-owned indicator.

Using a targeted list also allows you to design different campaigns for different subsets of your customer base. For example, while a general campaign might target all households with children in your neighborhood, you may wish to send out a special “welcome to the neighborhood” mailer to people who have just moved into the area.

List Accuracy Is Key

A targeted mailing list is only as good as its accuracy. For maximum success, it is important that you use a list that is based on a reliable data source and that is as fresh as possible. At Cactus Mailers, we use list data from high-quality sources such as Acxiom and Dun & Bradstreet, and on many of our lists, we offer guaranteed deliverability.

The end goal of a postcard mailer campaign is to generate responses – and ultimately, sales. In most cases, EDDM® results in you wasting time and money targeting prospects who are not and never will patronize your business. A quality targeted list will get you the results you want while saving you time, money, and hassle.

Read more: Five Reasons Why the Copy on Your Postcard Mailers Should Be Professionally Written