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The real cost in doing direct mail is not the mailing list but the creation and the postage. You can purchase a mailing list from a variety of mailing services or houses, or the printer handling your job can recommend a provider. I prefer to go that route. The printer will know who is the best source.
Cost is going to be difficult to answer here because it depends on the number addresses, the locations, how targeted you want the list to be, etc.
I have found the accuracy to be dead on. Now, the reality is that a 2-5% response rate is considered great for a direct mail piece. So, you need to manage your expectations for what is considered successful.
Very soon, folks will start responding to this post with a variety of other options to using direct mail. I encourage you to look at them and get as much information as possible, and make an informed decision. Direct mail does work, maybe not for ever business but it really does for some. But I would never recommend to my clients to rely on only one form of advertising. I think you develop a mix of several things for better reach and effectiveness.
I've "rented" lists from community newspapers and purchsed a directory from my local Chamber of Commerce. There are also brokers that specifically deal with mailing lists....you can find them in the yellow pages.
P.S. What's with the ALL CAPS? Are you upset today?
A little more information would help. Are you looking for homeowners, businesses, specific geographic area or business type?
A good place to start is www.infousa.com
If you are going to be doing a direct mail, many companies will provide you a list for free if you use their services (they subscribe to lists companies).
I have done mailers to as few as 500 to as many as 100,000 people and they can be very effective. Plan to mail at least twice perhaps even three times before you can truly measure its effectiveness - peope need to see you message sveral times. If it is a TOTAL flop the first time, rethink your message or revise your target list.
The "BEST" place that I've found for mailing lists is Sales Genie. There's nothing short of what this program can do.
Take a look at it: www.salesgenie.com
Let me know what you think..
Business Broker Bob
If you use Salesgenie you should look to join the Association of Professional Merger & Acquisition Associates
As part of their member benefits, you get discounts with sales geneie; the discount is greater than the cost of membership.