For certain products or services, direct mailers may choose to saturate a particular area with a mail piece, regardless of specific household interests, attributes, or indicators. The only instance we where typically recommend this approach is if the product or service offered by the direct mailer can be used by or apply to almost everyone, no matter their specific financial situation and/or preference. Saturation mailing lists can be much less expensive than demographically targeted mailing lists, and can still delineate between certain dwelling types (single-family dwellings vs. multi-family dwellings). However, when one considers the cost of printing and postage for each mail piece that is delivered to an unqualified household, the targeted mailing list approach begins to seem much more appealing.

Depending on what class postage the direct mailer is planning to use through the post office and what kind of mail piece they are sending, postage rates can vary from 17 cents per piece (postcards) to 46 cents per piece (basic #10 envelopes with letter inside). Non-profit organizations can benefit from even less expensive postage, but still, these costs are much more than the price of the targeted mailing lists. This doesn’t even include the cost of designing and printing the mail pieces, which can certainly cost more per piece than the list does, as well. After seeing these costs broken down, our clients that were initially wanting to use a less expensive saturation mailing list, almost always choose the targeted mailing list approach instead.

Using a targeted mailing list instead of a saturation mailing list can increase a mailing’s response exponentially. For the few pennies per record more for the targeted mailing list, a direct mailer can really save big dollars and expect to have a much better response.