Direct Marketing To Librarians?

I've been running LISHost for 3 years now, and what started out as a fun hobby has grown into a fun part time job. It's never been a big money maker, and I've never done any advertising, but I'm considering doing some next year. Last year was the first year I made more than I spent, and it wouldn't be a bad thing if that trend continued. Up till now, 100% of new folks have come via word of mouth. So maybe it's time to try and grow this little business a bit more, so I'm thinking of buying a list and sending out some postcards.

Has anyone done any direct mail marketing using a list available from librarian specific lists? I'm curious what the response rate was. I'm assuming it's rather low, but I'd love to hear from anyone with some experience in this area.

We've all been on the receiving end, I'm curious if you feel like you get too much junk mail. If a postcard from LISHost showed up in you mail box, would it bother you? Am I wrong to think about buying your name from someone you might not want selling it?

Update: 12/15 21:45 GMT by B :Note: This is about LISHost, not LISNews. LISHost is a web host I run over Here

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I throw away junk mail

Especially library related junk mail. But I already know about LISNews, so I'm not your target audience.

Congratulations

You could send mail to the Chief Librarians, or the Presidents of Large Library Organization, with permission to duplicate and distribute.

Also, there is nothing wrong with allowing non profit or reference Google Adwords at the bottom.

List Serves

I would send out emails to all the major library list-servs. A good way to do this is have a person that is respected on each list-serv send the message. Then it is not spam and the person can vouch for the usefullness of LISNEWS which is also good.

Why Not?

I think people are missing that this is for LISHost. :)

I don't think this would be a bad idea. Not everyone has control over who their web hosts are, but when they do have a choice, I think a lot of libraries would be interested in a host familiar with libraries. And the association with LISNews would probably help too. I know I've received some direct mail that, while it wasn't applicable or needed at the time I got it, later when I was looking for that product, I remembered it. In fact, that's how I ended up with my LISHost account. Was looking for one and remembered it from here!

My .02

Our Community

A BIG selling point of LisHost (for me) is that it is run by a librarian, for librarians...and lots of us have our sites on LisHost...so any PR that would make potential clients aware of LisHost's special "librarian centered" community would bring more of us there.

Re:Our Community

Agreed, at bit more marketing of LISHost in the listserv spheres--or even a monthly mention as a "news" story on lisnews.org might work. I think an agressive word-of-mouth marketing campaign would work better than a mass mailing.

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