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Residential Mailing Lists: The Ultimate Guide

by Nov 17, 2023Audience Targeting0 comments

Even amid the immense popularity of digital platforms, direct mail continues to be an important component of many businesses’ marketing strategies. Direct mail (sent to house lists) has the highest ROI for individual media, 161%, putting it ahead of popular digital marketing channels like social media. 

What explains the consistent popularity of direct mail? For many consumers, direct mail is appealing because it’s tangible; holding physical letters or postcards in their hands ensures messages stand out in their minds. 

As a marketer, you might be interested in expanding your organization’s direct mail strategies to reach a new audience. One of the best ways to quickly grow your local audience is by using residential mailing lists

A residential mailing list enables businesses to send saturation mailings to every resident in a predetermined area. In this guide, we’ll cover the ins and outs of these lists with the following sections:

  • What is a Residential Mailing List?
  • Are Mailing Lists Safe for Businesses to Use?
  • 5 Benefits of Residential Mailing Lists
  • How to Find Reputable Residential Mailing Lists

Ready to learn more about how residential mailing lists can support your marketing efforts and how to get a list of addresses in a neighborhood? Here’s the Resident Mailing Lists Ultimate Guide:

Contact us today to expand your direct mail audience with residential mailing lists.

What is a Residential Mailing List?

Residential mailing lists, also known as Resident/Occupant, Res/Occ, or Saturation lists, are indexes of addresses within a certain ZIP code, neighborhood, or mail delivery route. 

Marketers use residential mailing lists to reach every mailable residential address within a given geographical area. They typically will use a Resident/Occupant list if the offer is general and does not require extensive personalization or targeting. 

Resident/Occupant data is updated monthly and is sourced directly from the United States Postal Service®. This type of data offers marketers an opportunity to receive substantial postal discounts based on the level of carrier route saturation that is achieved. 

Residential mailing lists allow you to target an audience based specifically on geographic location. With this type of mailing list, you can reach all of the households or businesses in a defined area and ensure current residents see your message. 

Residential mailing lists are indexes of addresses within a certain ZIP code, neighborhood, or mail delivery route.

This is the type of mail you receive that’s addressed to “Current Resident” rather than your name. For example, you probably get coupons and flyers for pizza restaurants, lawn care services, and other local businesses sent to your home from time to time. Typically, that’s because your address is included in a Resident/Occupant mailing list. 

As a marketing professional, you can purchase these lists to reach a local audience with your outreach campaigns. You can choose the areas you want to target based on a specific mail carrier route, ZIP Code, city, county, state boundary, congressional district, or general radius. However, residential mailing lists are not the same as consumer mailing lists.

What is a Consumer Mailing List? 

Resident/Occupant lists serve a different purpose than consumer mailing lists. Consumer mailing lists are lists of individuals, whereas Res/Occ lists only contain physical addresses. 

With consumer data and consumer mailing lists, you can send messages to specific people that you’re hoping to reach. These lists can include consumers’ full names, home addresses, email addresses, and other information—allowing you to personalize your outreach.

Are Mailing Lists Safe for Businesses to Use?

Yes, purchasing a residential mailing list is perfectly safe and legal for businesses. However, most data providers will rent mailing lists based on a one-time or a multi-use list need; because consumers move so frequently, a purchased list is only good for a very short time. 

However, it’s important to note that there are a few regulations to be aware of before acquiring and using third-party data. If you work with a data partner to acquire Res/Occ lists, ensure they comply with all the guidelines set by the Association of National Advertisers regarding the ethical use of data in marketing campaigns and any relevant local regulations.  For example, if you’re mailing to California residents, you’ll have to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). 

Before buying a mailing list, ask your potential data partner about their compliance practices to ensure you only invest in ethically sourced data. 

5 Benefits of Residential Mailing Lists

How can a residential mailing list supercharge your direct mail marketing strategy? We’ve already highlighted a few benefits of these lists, but let’s review a few additional advantages. Res/Occ lists allow you to:

This image shows the benefits of resident/occupant mailing lists, as outlined in the text below.
  1. Reach all of the individuals in a certain radius. Using Res/Occ data ensures that your direct mail messages will reach the current residents of your target areas. And because they will be addressed to ‘Current Resident,’ the materials you send to these individuals won’t be returned even if the previous resident has moved. 
  2. Establish your new business in the community. Use your direct mail campaign to raise awareness and brand recognition among local audience members. 
  3. Reach a new market. If you’re trying to reach a new audience, such as individuals who live in certain neighborhoods or apartment communities, using Res/Occ data ensures you can market directly to those individuals. 
  4. Cut through the digital clutter and speak directly to potential customers. Digital fatigue is real! Consumers see hundreds—if not thousands—of ads daily on social media and other digital apps. With a direct mail campaign, you can avoid the digital clutter and reach potential customers with a tangible message. 
  5. Drive more traffic to your business. By sending residents coupons or discounts, you can encourage them to visit your storefront or buy from your business. This can expand your business’s foot traffic and, subsequently, its revenue. 

And, Residential Mailing lists can qualify for significant postal discounts. When prepared correctly and delivered using USPS Marketing Mail®, residential mailings offer significant postal discounts over First-Class Mail®.

How to Find Reputable Residential Mailing Lists

By now, you may be wondering how to get a mailing list for a neighborhood. This all starts with finding the right data provider.

Before committing to purchasing a residential mailing list, ensure your data provider offers reputable, accurate, robust services. Ideally, you’ll find a data provider that offers up-to-date, comprehensive audience data. Reputable data providers offer a wide range of lists to choose from, including:

This image shows the types of mailing lists, as outlined in the text below.
  • Resident/Occupant: These lists are compiled from USPS® data for maximum deliverability. This type of saturation audience is highly effective for non-personalized, non-targeted campaigns.
  • Consumer: Reach specific consumers using demographically targeted consumer data. These audiences can be based on Zip Code, a geographic radius, and other geotargeting parameters and can be purchased based on the demographic, lifestyle, and other attributes of your choosing. 
  • Enhanced Occupant: Enhanced occupant lists allow you to remove households that, based on factors like age or income, are less likely to respond to your offer. These lists increase the likelihood of connecting with responsive prospects while retaining the benefits of geographic saturation. 
  • New Mover: New movers are often looking for new restaurants and shops to visit in their new neighborhood. New mover data allows you to market your local business to capture their attention and welcome them into your community. 
  • New Homeowner: New homeowners have a variety of purchasing decisions to make within the first few months of living in their new home, including everything from buying a new dishwasher to acquiring paint to make that lime green bathroom a more neutral color! You can reach these individuals and serve ads to them with new homeowner data
  • New Construction: Reach the newest addresses in your community with new construction data. You can connect with the residents of brand-new neighborhoods or apartment complexes to introduce them to the area and increase their awareness of your business. 
  • Business: If your company conducts business-to-business marketing (B2B), B2B data can be a valuable resource to connect with target businesses. You can use criteria filters such as ZIP Code or industry to find your exact target market for your product or service. 
  • Apartments: Since apartment communities include a high volume of residents in a small geographic area, they’re an effective marketing environment for your direct mail campaigns.

Find a data provider that uses sophisticated geomapping tools to create their location-based audiences. These tools help ensure that the data you purchase is accurate and precise. Plus, they can help you identify target audiences that will meet your marketing needs.

For example, Deep Sync uses mapping technology called GEO-Direct. This technology features a custom polygon tool that allows you to map out your target area and gain access to accurate addresses, demographics, mail carrier routes, and other important information. 

Interested in learning more about what this technology can do for your business’s marketing strategies? Schedule a strategy session today

Final Thoughts

As a marketer, your local community can be the heart of your customer base. When you can connect with local audiences effectively, you can build genuine relationships with these individuals and serve your community more effectively. 

Using a residential mailing list to supplement your next direct mail campaign allows you to increase brand awareness in your local area and start establishing your business as a local staple. 

For more information on effective direct mail campaigns and how mailing lists fit in, check out these additional resources:  

Contact us to get started with residential mailing lists.


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Resident Mailing Lists: An Ultimate Guide