Ethnic Mailing Lists Come of Age

By Dan Anglin

Mailing lists targeting specific ethnic groups have been around for the past 20-30 years. However, the major issue with the ethnic lists of old were just that – they were old and the logic used to categorize households by ethnicity relied heavily, if not solely, on the surname of the household. That being said, these lists had plenty of holes and inconstancies with this kind of rudimentary logic in play.

Let’s use Shaquille O’Neil as an example. While, Shaq may have worn the Celtic Green with pride during his final years as a NBA player, we all know that Shaq is very UNLIKELY to be running for office with the local chapter of The Ancient Order of Hibernians. Yet, back in the day, he would’ve been easily lumped in with a prospecting list for the organization!

These days, advancements in technology are making it far easier to target correctly. The development of first and middle name tables, coupled with intensive learning from the mistrials of data’s dark past, has led to easier and more accurate methods of assigning ethnicity to a given household. Because of these enhancements, more ethnic data is being captured and coded across the nation.

As for the composition of the ethnic data compilation process, it includes:

• A combination of over 100,000 first names, 90,000 middle names and 1,000,000 individual surnames
• US Census Bureau Data
• Survey Response Information
• Internal system rules to confidently define the ethnic makeup of a given household

In recent years, these advances have revealed that the ethnicity experiencing the largest growth in the US has been Hispanic households. To learn more about the opportunities this presents for you and your business, check out the “Targeting the Hispanic Market” article right here in MP News!

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