When you are preparing to run a direct mail campaign, one of the most important terms you will hear frequently referenced is ‘target audience’. Your target audience are the people you are planning on sending your postcards to. They are the people you have researched and hope will buy your product or use your services. There are many business owners, however, who stop and wonder, “How exactly do I define my target audience in the first place?”
To begin, think about what you offer. Compile a list of what the products or services offer people and who exactly would benefit from them. Try to be as specific as possible but also include multiple niches. It can be very difficult for businesses to survive in a one niche industry.
Once you have this list, compare it with the list of people who have actually used your company already. You want to check a variety of demographics including age, marital or family status, ethnic background, education and income, gender, location occupation, and anything else you can track. Also contemplate if there are any other factors, such as hobbies or lifestyles, which influence your audience.
Once you have compiled your lists and evaluated how it measures up to the people who have actually been buying, write out your actual target audience. Hopefully, the two lists will correlate closely. If they do not, examine your past marketing strategies and see what might be causing the discrepancy.
As you write out your final target audience, do not be afraid to try and expand into new markets, but be sure to make it clear in your audience why you think they should care about your product or service. Take into account any criteria, such as hobbies, that you were able to use. For example, if your service benefits those who play golf, be sure that your target audience includes professionals and retirees with the time and money required to indulge in the sport.
A well selected target audience can make a world of difference in a direct mail marketing campaign. Take the time to carefully develop the criteria for those who will be sent a postcard. A haphazard mailing list will have a much lower ROI than one compiled with thought or even professional guidance.