One-stop-shop services are a powerful way mailers and printers can capture more business – a strategic opportunity to adapt and thrive by becoming a comprehensive solution provider. Offering customized mailing lists is one way to add value to direct mail client relationships, yet list development has historically required third-party providers and additional management on a client’s behalf. Today, simple APIs are addressing this need. With seamless API integration, mailers and printers can bypass mailing list providers to reduce complexity, keep more revenue in-house, and supply more of the services their clients want.

Creating New Revenue Streams with Mailing List APIs

Integrated APIs enable mailing houses and printers with private-label branding for list services, with end customers seeing only their brand and logo when lists are provided. Mailers can also easily create a dedicated online portal for list building, offering clients the option to create and customize lists without a third-party resource. Ideal for high-volume mailers, APIs can be easily integrated into in-house data systems to optimize efficiency in list management, retrieval, updating, and storage.

APIs Offer Leads Featuring Consumers, Businesses, Occupants, and Property Owners

In contrast to handing customers off to third-party mailing list providers, mailing providers and printers can take charge of list development in-house to maximize profits and tailor their offerings to meet customer demands more competitively. Optimized list options span consumer, business, occupant, and property data.

  • Specific criteria can be customized to optimize marketing campaigns, including factors like household income, age groups, homeownership, or marital status. Consumer data can be appended with phone numbers, birth dates, family relationships, and more, further enriching mailers’ understanding of their potential customers, including over 200 million US individuals and 140 million households.
  • APIs focused on occupant lists are known as "Occ/Res" or "Walk Sequence" lists and offer the capability to saturate specific carrier routes, ZIP codes, or addresses within a specific radius. Resulting campaigns are meticulously organized in walk-sequence order to boost postal discounts and can include head of household names to encourage higher response rates.
  • Business list APIs tap into an expansive, multi-sourced business database with millions of entries spanning home-based enterprises to Fortune 500 leaders. Flexible list enhancements contain sales volume, contact names and titles, and company sizes, as well as data such as branch/headquarters indicators, and fax and phone numbers – providing an ideal foundation to direct mail, email, and telemarketing campaigns.
  • Property data APIs enable mailers to customize lists according to geography (ZIP codes, radius, county, etc.), property type and value, mortgage amount or rate, and owner type (including absentee owners). Other enhancements could offer region, square footage, number of rooms, sales price, mortgage loan type, year built, indications of corporate ownership, and even multiple buildings.

Seamless Tech Powers a Competitive Approach to the Art of List Building

Handling mailing lists in-house has never been easier, thanks to streamlined processes and advanced technologies. With the ability to upload postcard and other mailer designs and then select target lists, mailing houses and printers can efficiently cater to their customers' unique needs. API integration ensures a seamless, user-friendly process to list-building – one that keeps customers from purchasing additional list services elsewhere.

At the same time, mailers have a new capacity for competitive value. Determining their own pricing margins, they can draw their own delivery area maps, discover new markets via user-friendly online list searches, and even create their own private labels for a personalized brand experience. By tapping into simple APIs, mailing houses and printers enhance their efficiency and competitive offerings, reduce costs and increase revenue, and foster a more productive relationship with their direct mail customers.

Greg Brown is vice president of marketing for Melissa, a leading provider of global data quality, identity verification, and address management solutions. Melissa solutions empower more than 10,0000 organizations worldwide to effectively connect with their audience, proactively managing the quality of their data through advanced validation, matching, enrichment, and profiling capabilities. Contact Greg at or via LinkedIn.

This article originally appeared in the September/October, 2023 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.