Direct mailing lists can be an efficient way to increase a company’s revenue. The mailing list is the most important ingredient in creating a successful campaign. Small and large businesses can benefit from direct mail. Once a business creates their ideal candidate, they then must select their appropriate geographical area. In creating a geographically targeted mailing list, it is necessary to select your market area correctly. There are many ways to appropriately select the geography for marketing mailing lists. You can select from largest area to smallest by specific states, counties, SCF, zip codes, carrier routes or a radius from a specific location.

Large national businesses may select specific states. When selecting states, there is the option to select specific states or regions within the US. These regions are broken up as North Eastern, South Eastern, Northern Central, Southern Central, and Western. The universal totals within states are extremely high unless the audience is extremely targeted.

Counties within specific states are selectable. A county is the largest territorial division among a state. When selecting counties, most mailing list brokers will break the county out by zip code. This helps in showing all the cities that will be included in a county selection. Counties still provide a large geographical area and the numbers may still be extremely high for a less targeted audience.

An SCF is a sectional center facility. More simply, an SCF is the first three digits of a zip code. This is a smaller geographical area than a county but large than a zip code. SCF’s can make up major cities.

Zip codes are a more target choice than county or state selections.  A zip code is a zoned territory within a county. In selecting zip codes, there is the option to select by actual code or simply supply your list provider with city names. By providing city names, the list broker will ensure you receive every zip within that city. This is a great choice for a more localized business.

Carrier route codes will narrow down your geographical selection even further than a zip code. A carrier route is a smaller territory within a zip code. There are different types of carrier routes. They can be city routes, rural routes, highway contract routes, post office box sections, and general delivery units. This form of geography is the most targeted and equivalent to a neighborhood level. A reputable marketing broker should also be able to supply you with a carrier route map at no charge to help in selecting the specific routes needed.

A radius selection can help a business select geography closest to their location. This application allows the option to select a specific mile distance from the address or the option to select a quantity from the address starting point. To pull a radius, a mailing list broker would only need the address and either the distance in miles or quantity of records to run the list.

Whether marketing for a large or small company, selecting the appropriate geography correctly is imperative. Any mailing list campaign will be more successful when the geographical area is selected correctly. Accurately selected geography is as important as any other criteria within a list’s creation. It is always suggested to review your direct mailing lists by geography before mailing. Many states have the same county names and it just takes one wrong selection to destroy your campaign.