In direct marketing there are three specific elements that make up the success of a campaign: the list, the offer and the creative.

But which of the ingredients is most important? Designers will say: “it is the appearance and design of the communication which makes the piece sing.” The writer will say that, “the way the offer was crafted made the difference.”

Both are wrong – there is only one critical element that ensures the success of a direct marketing campaign: the list, also known as the database.

Hands down, the critical, most important component of a direct marketing campaign is a “responsive” list – one where the contacts have a history of purchasing products like yours. In other words, they are the “right” people to target for what you offer.

Simplistically, you would want to offer maternity clothes to pregnant women and would not want to offer gardening services to apartment dwellers.

The magic is in finding that segmented, very specific list.

Your marketing piece could be beautiful and the offer fantastic, but if the people you’re presenting this to are not your market…you’re wasting your dollars.

This is where Solutions for Growth can help. Our experience with list brokers allows us to secure lists for our clients that are highly targeted and match our clients’ needs.

Do you need new customers? Consider a list of people who meet the demographics and are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

For example, we recently ran a direct mail campaign for an IT company targeting certain types of businesses; we then followed up with a telemarketing program that referred to the mailer. The results were so outstanding that the client asked us to repeat it!

Keep these three things in mind next time you are considering a direct marketing campaign:

1 – Creative – it’s important to have your communication appear professional

2 – Offer – the offer is what you’re presenting that is of value to the customer

3 – List – the single most important component of your campaign, get it right, be specific and be targeted for optimal results.