Firms that use direct mail as part of their marketing campaign strategies should make sure that they use the best data available to them, an expert has advised.

Independent copywriting expert Bob Bly suggested that as well as making use of high quality packaging, direct marketers should also invest in the right lists in order to secure strong response levels.

Writing in Business Management Daily, Mr Bly added that having the right mailing lists can also have a bearing on the content of marketing messages.

“The mailing piece should not be written and designed until after the right lists have been identified and selected,” he commented.

“In direct marketing, a mailing list is not just a way of reaching your market – it is the market.”

According to MarketingSherpa’s recent 2009 Email Marketing Benchmark Guide, just under a third (29 per cent) of business-to-business marketers plan to increase spending on third-party lists this year.