We recently launch our online “build and order” mailing list application.

Like many other similar apps, it is meant for self-servicing. Which is awesome if you know what you are doing, in other words, you have to be experienced and somewhat knowledgeable in the field. If you are one - fantastic, you can stop reading, but if you think there is always something new to learn, here is a quick guide how to use the selections properly. The guide is for our system, but it is applicable for any online system which includes similar selections.

As we mentioned in our previous post, there are two basic targeted mailing list types - consumer and business. Our guide will include both as well as the third most popular list - the occupant list, aka residential, aka zip list, eddm list, geographical and probably more. All of those refer to the list that includes all physical addresses (residential and business) exactly as they appear in the USPS® database. We call it “occupant list.”


A. Geography: you can choose the geographical area you want to cover in several different ways:

1. RADIUS - it is self-explanatory, but there are few details you should know: you don’t need to enter the exact address, you can use only zip code, and the radius will start at the center point of the zip. You can specify the range by distance; quantity or driving time which gives you great flexibility in defining the desired area.


2. CARRIER ROUTES (CRs) are a group of addresses within a 5-digit zip code that are served by one mail carrier. To use this option, you have to know either the CR numbers or use a CR Map. I will cover details about CRs in the OCCUPANT list section.

3. ZIP CODE - this is probably the most popular and the simplest to use. Everybody knows what ZIP code is and is much easier to locate a ZIP code and its borders than a Carrier Route.

4. ZIP CODE RANGES- use this option for faster selection of larger areas

5. CITY, COUNTY, STATE - covers the entire respective option. All indexed by state. Select from the list as many as you need.

Geographical selections may be combined to fit exactly your target area. Use with caution, as it may create discrepancies. We would recommend this for savvy users only.

B. Demographics: all the parameters that describe your target prospects. Again you can include as many parameters as you need but have in mind that each selection restricts the count further and further. 80% of our database is verified (not modeled), so when you choose more options, the count will include only those records which meet ALL your selections.

1. AGE - very flexible - one year increment. You can specify an exact range. If you want only 35 years old, you just click from 35 to 35.

2. INCOME - selection in very narrow bands starts from $0 and goes up to $ 2 million + The income data mostly comes from self-reporting and reflects the combined income for the household

3. GENDER, MARITAL STATUS - self-explanatory.

4. CHILDREN - this is pretty extensive selection, besides the fact that you can choose families with children, you can select the kids age and gender as well. Please note that any choice involving children is considered "sensitive" and in a lot of cases, you might be asked for a sample of the direct mail pieces you intend to use.

5. DWELLING TYPE - depend on the purpose of the list you are building, you may need to include only single homes, or only apartments, or any type, just be careful always to exclude the PO Boxes unless you need them of course.

6. HOMEOWNER / RENTER - very useful if your business or specific offer are is strictly toward homeowners or vice versa.

7. HOME VALUE - also in very narrow bands from less than $15,000 to $2,000,000 plus.

8. PHONE NUMBERS: If you intend to do a telemarketing campaign or integrate one with your direct mail, for a small additional fee you can get the phone numbers where available, or you can include only records with phone numbers, in both cases the output will honor the National do-no-call registry.


A. Geography: Refer to the consumer geography section. The selections are identical.

B. Selects: The first and most important of all parameters is what type of businesses you want to target. All companies are filed by their industry SIC code. If you are not familiar with the SIC codes or have no idea what it is, then you have to choose the first of three ways for Industry type selection.


a) Search by Keyword - This is the easiest and best way to select a business type for entry level users. Enter a keyword (example: doctors, lawyers, restaurants, etc.) the system will list all possible SIC codes

Business List SIC Code Selection
Click to Enlarge

b) Industry Category List - this type of selection is suitable if you want to target entire industry. There are three to four tiers of subclasses under the main categories. It might be annoying if your target group is deep into divisions.

c) SIC code ranges: use this if you have the desired SIC codes numbers.

2. EXECUTIVE CONTACT - if you intend to do a personalized campaign, the contact name is a must. Furthermore, our system allows you to choose the contact by the role in the company (owner, marketing director, IT executive, VP sales, etc.). Again, very useful for highly targeted campaigns.

3. ADDITIONAL CRITERIA - there are several additional parameters you can select from - deliverability, records per company (all or one), employee size (exact or range), annual sales (exact or range), location, private or public corporations.

The selections are well displayed and easy to use.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the selections are included in the basic price, only if you need to “output” those, then the extra fee will apply.

Business List Output Selections
Click to Enlarge


A. Geography - Same as the Consumer and Business but as I promised will explain in details how the Carrier Route selection works and how to use it.

CARRIER ROUTES - as we described above each ZIP code is further divided in Carrier Routes (CRs). They start with a letter followed by a 3-digit number. CR that starts with letter “B” is for PO Boxes, “C” is for city route and letter “R” is for rural routes. Typically I omit the PO Boxes but you can include them if you think they are necessary for the success of your direct mail campaign. When you enter a ZIP code, all the CRs will be listed on the right. To select the routes you want, you either have to know the numbers or have a

Carrier Route Selection
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B. List Options.

1. Seasonals - those are homes which are not occupied year round.

2. Less Than Ten - select whether to include CRs with less than ten records.

3. Dwelling Types - Choose from homes, apartments, trailers, businesses. Note: if you want to comply with the USPS® requirements and claim saturation rates, you can omit only businesses. If you want to mail lets' say only to “homes” and exclude apartments, it is almost certain that you will not cover the “saturation” requirement.

4. Route Types - Unless you use the CR selection, this is the option where you can specify what type of routes you want to cover: city, rural, PO Boxes.

C. Output Option - include names, availability in most cases ranges between 70-85% of the total records. Yes, this is a paid option, but it's valuable and beneficial. For less than a penny, you will get the names of the head of the household where that name is available. In other words, you can create a personalized campaign at a saturation cost. Do you like to be called “Resident” or by Your Name?

Resident Occupant List with Names


Milena Marguenski
Milena is the owner and CEO of US Presort.
US Presort | 3801 Victory Blvd., Suite 1 - Staten Island, NY 10314 | P : 718.980.6556