Several years ago a marketing company offered to do a mailing for me to all businesses within a 50 mile radius of my office. This sounded like a great idea until I realized that areas to the east and south of me contained nothing but the deep blue sea, and a large portion of the area to my west consisted of Florida swamplands. Obviously the marketing company wasn’t familiar with the geography of Florida!
ACT! users frequently ask me to help them create a query based on a zip code range. And yes, it can be done but only if you understand how the zip codes in your area work. And it can be accomplished in two relatively easy steps:
- Find out the range of zip codes you want to query. Someone recently shared a cool website with me: http://maps.huge.info/zipcolors.htm. This website allows you to enter your zip code and find the zip codes within a given mile radius. For example, I plugged in my zip code of 33433 (Boca Raton, Florida) and found 65 zip codes listed chronologically within a 15 mile radius.
- Create an Advanced Query in ACT! based on the results of step 1. In my case I ran an Advanced Query in ACT! using the zip code field with the parameters “Greater than or Equal to” 33428 and “Less than or Equal to” 33498.
Once you’ve created your query you can use it to send out mailings to all the contacts within your range of zip codes. There are a couple of caveats however. If you examine the list of zip codes that I found a bit more closely, you’ll see that they don’t run in chronological order. As you can see below, the various Boca Raton zip codes are quite literally all over the map. If I only wanted to mail to the folks in Boca Raton I’d be better off just searching by the City field. And in highly populated areas such as New York City you’ll have to limit your radius to a very small distance because there are literally hundreds of zip codes within a very small radius.
By the way, if you’re thinking of upgrading to ACT 2012 or need to purchase additional licenses drop me a line. There’s a great sale going on during the week of 2/13/2012.