Goff and Howard Public Relations / Public Affairs Logo

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A mailing is only as good as your list

When did you last update your organization’s e-mail and direct mail lists?

If it was more than a year ago, expect the lists to be as much as 20% inaccurate. Why would there have been so many changes? According to the United States Postal Service:
• 19.3% of all businesses move each year
• 13.7% of Americans move each year
• 1.8 million new mailing addresses are added annually

With ongoing maintenance, your lists will stay in such good shape that you can be ready for a mailing at a moment’s notice. Accuracy will also save on mailing costs, reduce waste, and greatly boost your mailing’s chance of effectiveness.

While e-mail blasts avoid the expenses of mailing, an updated e-mail list is critical to your effectiveness. As you meet people and collect business cards, make sure they don’t only occupy a growing pile on your desk. These cards are a critical way to keep your organization’s lists up to date.

So, while list updates may not be your favorite task, they are critical for making sure your mailings and e-mail blasts accomplish your intended goals.

Statistics source: United States Postal Service, April 2008 Mail Systems Management Association IMB Forum.