Understanding the Differences Between a Consumer Mailing List and Residential Mailing List

It is important for all Direct Mail Marketers to understand the main differences between a Consumer Mailing List and a Residential Mailing List. When utilizing Direct Mail Marketing for Business to Consumer offers, the question always arises, would you like a Consumer List or Resident List? Here are the details for each list for you to make an educated decision on which list would work best for your campaign.

The Residential Mailing List

The residential mailing list, also referred to as the “Saturation List” or “Occupant List”, is a walk sequence bulk mailing list. Walk sequence is the line of travel the postal service delivers the mail. The Resident List contains the complete address, walk sequence number, and saturation report. This file is typically addressed to, “The Current Resident”, with the option to output names where available. This file is compiled straight from the United States Post Office and includes every deliverable address. This data is updated monthly from mail carriers information.

The Saturation List also offers the option of including businesses within the area, along with the residents. Many List Brokers do not give you the option to pull based on demographics, although they are available. This file allows you to pull average age, income and home values based on the average within a carrier route. It is important to remember you must have a bulk mail permit or use a local printer for this type of mailer.

The Residential / Business Saturation file is perfect for restaurants, churches and any business that wants to reach every mail box in an area. It is the most effective ways to get your message out to everyone.

The Consumer Mailing List

The consumer mailing list is a more targeted database with an array of demographics to select from. It is more personalized than the Resident List, since it is addressed to the exact head of household’s name rather than current resident. This database also allows you to focus on your main goals of your direct mail campaign to define exactly who would be interested in your offer or product. It is important for all Direct Mail Marketers to understand how they can add value to their marketing efforts by becoming more targeted in their mailing list selections.

It may be more effective to spending slightly more of your marketing dollars on a consumer mailing list purchase to ensure you are putting your offer into the right hands. This will guarantee better results, increased response rates, and increased sales. The most popular selects available include: Exact Age, Income, Home Ownership, Investible Assets, Net Worth, Personal Interests, Specific Mortgage Information, Purchasing Behavior and many more.

Most consumer files are compiled from multiple data sources (e.g. telephone directories, credit files, mail responders, government records, and more) and should be updated monthly (e.g. NCOA, Do Not Call, Do Not Mail compliance). This database should include all necessary postal paperwork needed for your mailer and be mailed first class.

In conclusion, there are some big differences between these two files. These explanations should help in deciding which direction to move in. Marketing Lists Direct wants direct marketers to realize the importance of putting in the research before starting any direct mail marketing campaign.

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