Picking a good mailing list for your direct mail campaign is an integral part of your success. Picking a good list can mean the difference between hitting the mark on your target and missing it completely.When picking a list to mail to, you never want to select a group of people from a phonebook. This list may reside in your local area, but if they aren’t targeted and aren’t looking for what you have to sell – then what’s the point? You’re losing money if you do this and there are other ways to reinvest your cash to make your campaign profitable.I used to be heavily involved in direct mail marketing so I am speaking from first hand experience here. I used to compile names from a phonebook and mail my offer out to people in my local area. I had the philosophy that since they live close by, they will buy my product because they are like a neighbor to me. I was dead wrong.No one responded to my offers and it took me a while to learn that I shouldn’t mail to people from a phonebook. Believe it or not, I wasted thousands of dollars on this little experiment, and until I got some good direct mail advice, my mind was in the blue. You don’t have to end up like me. If you’re currently mailing to names out of a phonebook, you should know that there are better lists available to you.Profitable mailing lists can be found in something called the SRDS. The SRDS stands for the standard rate and data service, and it’s a collection of customer mailing lists from people all over the country. This valuable manual can be found at your local library and you should know that you will have to pay for this kind of list.When picking your list, you should strive to get it as specific as possible. What I mean by this is that, you want to target your list by gender, state, age, income, and etc. A list like this will cost you more, but it will be almost guaranteed to get you the return on investment that you are looking for.The SRDS is 4-inches thick, and no matter what you sell, you can be sure to find the list that’s right for you in this book. You would be amazed at how many lists are in this book and it’s almost a sure lock that you will find something in here that relates to what you are selling.A list that you find out of the SRDS is called a “direct response list”. All this means is that the people in this book has bought something from their list owners. This is a very valuable list to attain and it is much better than a compiled list. A compiled list is just what it sounds like – a list that you go and compile from out of a phone book for example.Compiled lists are highly inferior to a direct response list and is something that you should stay away from. There is one kind of list that is better than a direct response list, and this list if your own customer list. Your own customer list is a list that knows you and likes you, and who wants to do business with you. If you’re not marketing to your own customer list, you’re missing out on a vast group of people that can make you very profitable.All of these tips for having direct mail success should be followed if you want to make money now.Be sure to start using them today to have the best results for your next direct mail campaign.