When it comes to direct mail, your mailing list is what it’s all about. Your mailing list can either spell success for your mailing list or total disaster before you even mail your letters out. You wouldn’t want to offer snow tires to prospects who live in Phoenix, Arizona would you? You could have the most amazing offer in the world, but the bottom line is that people in Phoenix can’t use it – simply because it’s hot all-year round in Phoenix.When creating your direct mail offers, it’s important not to random pick out people to mail out via your local phonebook. This is the surest way to go broke even if your ideal customer is similar to the people you’re mailing to. What you want to do is figure out who your target market is and how to reach these people as effectively as possible.With proper list segmentation, you can hone in on your most ideal customer and pinpoint them right away before you mail anything out. There are two kinds of mailing lists available to you, and one is more effective than the other.The first kind of list is called a “compiled list”. This is the kind of list is created by taking names out of a phone book or directory, and it’s the kind of list that you want to avoid. You can segment this kind of list further by using certain demographics to help out – but this won’t yield the greatest results for you. You could target people in your area who are only females aged 35-40, and who make $50k a year and above. This is slightly better, but it still isn’t as valuable as a direct response list.With a “direct response” list, you’re targeting people who have bought something. These are people who have bought something via mail, magazine ads, infomercials, and etc. These kinds of list are the most targeted kinds of list available and they can found via the SRDS.The SRDS stands for the “standard rate and data service”, and it can usually be found in your local library. It’s a 4-inch thick that that is very valuable to direct marketers, so I suggest that you start using it immediately before you go and compile a list from your local area phonebook.You will find a list of buyers who have bought just about anything that has some relation to what you are selling. The greatest thing about a buyer list is that you know that they have a high interest in what you’re offering. You don’t have to twist their arm to buy something because they’re already use to buying things.But there’s another kind of list that more valuable than a direct response list, and that list is your own customer list. Your own customers have bought from you and they know and like you – so you should create campaigns for them also.Your own customer list will more than likely yield a very high response rate, so you should take advantage of the goldmine laying under your feet today. Contact them at least once a month to retain your relationship with them, as you don’t want them running off to a competitor of yours.Use these tips to succeed with your direct mailings and you will more than likely be very pleased with your results. Good luck.