Why mailing list accuracy is more important than the cost of the list.

Many times, prospective customers tell me that they can buy automotive data for less  than our price. Of course, this is true. There are many price points in the marketplace for auto data, just as there are for consumer demographic data.

Many times, prospective customers tell me that they can buy automotive data for less  than our price. Of course, this is true. There are many price points in the marketplace for auto data, just as there are for consumer demographic data.

So, what’s the difference?  Isn’t it better to pay less for your list?

Let me illustrate why that is not always the case.

Let’s say that you pay $0.065 per name and address, and you buy a list of 10,000 names. On top of that, you have creative/design work, printing, and mailing costs. By the time you’re done, each mailer might cost you a total of $2.00. It could be more or less than that, but that is a reasonable estimate.

Of your total $20,000 expenditure ($2.00 x 10,000 names), $650 (3.25% of $20,000) is the cost of your mailing list.

If you spent $0.05 per name, that cost would be reduced to $500 (2.5%) rather than $650, and if you spent $0.03 per name, your total for the list would be only $300 (1.5%).  Sounds like a great deal, right?

So, you buy your list, put together and mail your mailer, and wait for customers to respond.

But, your response rate, or the number of people who actually respond to your mailer is affected by the accuracy of your mailing list.

If you are targeting owners of specific vehicles, and your list is 95% accurate, then 19,000 of your 20,000 mailers have gotten into the right hands.

If your list is only 90% accurate, then only 18,000 of your 20,000 mailers have gotten into the right hands.

1,000 mail pieces, at $2.00 each, is $2,000.  2,000 mailers costs you $4,000.

Considering that the cost of the mailing list is a very small percentage of your overall cost for a direct mail campaign, your goal should be to ALWAYS get the most accurate list you can find.

Frequently, although not always, the cost of your list is tied to the cost of keeping it accurate.

In our case, we spend a huge amount of time, effort, and money ensuring the accuracy of our list. We never have duplicate entries for the same vehicle, and we constantly check to make sure that the person we say owns the vehicle actually does.

Feedback from our customers is that we regularly are 95-98% accurate, while many of our competitors have accuracy rates significantly lower, sometimes less than 90% (sometimes a LOT less than 90%).

 

The bottom line is that the price of the list is important, but it is much more important to have an accurate list. The money you save by buying a cheaper, inferior list is nowhere near what it can cost you in misdirected mailers that get thrown into the garbage.