A targeted mailing list is a type of mailing list that is directed at a certain group of people based on some attribute they share, such as age, location or shopping patterns. A targeted mailing list has a number of applications, particularly in marketing and politics. By targeting an advertisement, marketing is aimed at those most likely to be interested while saving money by avoiding those who are not.
Targeted mailing lists can be used in a number of ways. A grocery store might want to advertise a special sale to frequent shoppers within a few miles of the store. It can create a list of shoppers in the same ZIP code who spent more than $100 last week. In politics, a candidate might want to send a mailing to voters in a county who are frequent voters. He could create a list of people in the same political party who voted in the last three elections.
Advertisers can get addresses for targeted mailing lists from several places. Some internal organizations have mailing lists, which can be sorted by particular desired attributes. A number of companies sell or rent their mailing lists to advertisers. Other possible sources of mailing list information include store records of previous sales, membership in organizations, or donations made to charities. That information can be collected in a database, where it can be sorted in almost any way imagineable. Targeting and identifying the right group of recipients is one key for making targeted mailing lists work.
A targeted mailing list can be more cost-effective than other ways of advertising. By contacting a specific group of people directly, an advertiser may avoid the cost of sending the ad to many people who will ignore it. It also helps marketers tailor their message to a specific group of people, making the ad more relevant and perhaps more likely to be read than a message simply sent to everyone. By advertising more effectively to smaller groups of people and by using services like bulk mail to lower costs, advertisers can achieve better results while saving money.
While targeted mailing lists are often created for mailing printed items, the same concept can be used for spreading a message by phone or email. Using email is particularly easy, as marketers can sort and create a list, write a mailing, and deliver it to recipients all from the same computer.