Direct Mail Database

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Effective Direct mail database management encompasses some other, high value activities. First of all, to qualify for the lowest postal rates, databases must be run through the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) database. PrintComm always feeds the corrected address file back to our clients as well as the bad address. For direct mail campaign we recommend one renter lead per household; for email marketing – you may consider multiple renter email addresses per rental unit. RENTER QUALIFIERS: Renter leads are selectable by income, modeled FICO score, age, years at complex, estimated monthly rental amount, race/ethnicity, occupation, and much more. Building a Direct Mail Database. Before you develop your direct mail database, you need to learn.

Everything you need to optimize mailing performance and reduce direct mail costs

Introduction
Earn the best return on your investment
As a marketer, you can reach your prospects through channels like social media, email, webinars,pay-to-click advertising, TV, radio…sometimes it seems like the options are limitless.
Direct mail is an extremely effective tool for driving new customer acquisition and retention, as well as revenue.
One channel that seems to loseappeal in the face of the flashy newmarketing automation solutions isdirect mail. The reality is that directmail is an extremely effective toolfor driving new customer acquisitionand retention, as well as revenue. Andwhen you pair automated direct mailwith your digital strategy, you can seetremendous positive growth in leadgeneration, customer acquisition,and revenue growth. If you’re new to direct mail, you’llwant to incorporate it in yourmarketing mix. Even if it’s anestablished part of your campaigntactics, review the best practicesoutlined here to ensure you earn thebest return on your investment. Youwant to optimize mailing performancewhile reducing the costs of sendingmail to bad addresses.As a best practice, and at a minimum, follow these three rules:
  1. You should not mail to people WITHOUT addresses.
  2. You should not mail to people with OLD addresses.
  3. You should not mail to people with INCORRECT addresses.
The 5 pillars of a solid foundation for data quality
Reprinted with permission from NetProspex / Dun & Bradstreet
With increasing goals and static budgets, today’s marketers need to get the most out of each program they launch. The quality of a marketing database can make or break a program. This section provides actionable steps and best practices.

Pillar 1: Know your buyer

PFL Tip on Account Based Marketing Automated direct mailcan reach target accountcontacts you normallycan’t reach. These includecontacts without emailaddresses or prospectsthat may have opted outof email.
As basic as it sounds, we work withcompanies every day that do not dothis. Target your programs directlyat the people who are most likelyto buy from you. The best way toobtain this information is to look atpast purchase data for trends. Tryto identify demographic criteria liketitles, industries, geographies and/or company sizes that buy mostfrequently. Isolate those that tendto make large versus small purchasesand, even better, those that arerepeat buyers. Once you’ve done this, compare itto the type of contacts you have inyour marketing database. Dig into anybehavioral trends you can see in yourresponse data. Often, you will be ableto group your contacts into influencersor buyers. Study how each grouptypically responds and at what time inthe buying cycle. Lastly, ensure that your marketingdatabase has enough of each of theseprofiles in it to help you meet yourmarketing goals. Develop targetedoutreach programs with messagingspecific to the needs of each audienceto ensure maximum success ofyour programs.

Pillar 2: Give your database a good scrubbing

PFL can assist with thedata scrubbing processwhen it’s time to senddirect mail, but wealways recommend thatmarketers perform thiscleansing earlier in thedata process.
The experts at SiriusDecisions have determined that the average amount ofusable records in a prospect database is 75%, with 90% considered best in class.If you’re looking to improve your database, you have to start somewhere—and thebest place to begin is by conducting a thorough cleansing. For a focused effort, remove records that don’t fit your target buyer profileor can’t influence the sale. Normalize your data in terms of capitalization andformats of fields such as phone and title. Remove or append information toincomplete records. Get rid of records that have bounced or unsubscribed.
While it’s not the fastest or easiest job in the world, starting with the cleanestlist possible will make your life a lot easier and more successful.

Pillar 3: Build from quality sources

When you’re actively cleaning out bad data, you may find less targetcontacts than you’d like in your database. Hitting your goals is anumbers game. Use a marketing funnel or calculator to determine justhow many leads you need to hit your goals. If you plan to purchase data, check that your vendor has a dedicatedprocess to ensure and maintain quality. Validated data will cost a littlemore, but it pays off in the end. The vendor should be able to tellyou how recent the data is that you’re purchasing and should offer aguarantee or refund if a percentage of data is incorrect.

Pillar 4: Keep it clean

Okay, so everyone knows that data is never 100% perfect. However, by lookingat all the ways your company gets marketing contact data, you may be able tomitigate some quality issues by heading it off at the pass. For example, if you are gathering information from registration forms on yourwebsite, you may want to employ drop-down lists rather than open entry fields toprevent errors and promote consistency. Progressive profiling is another provenmethodology for gauging a prospect’s interest by getting them to engage inmultiple offers while also allowing you to gather bits of information over time.
By keeping the number of fields per form low, you will not only increaseconversion rates, but you will also decrease people’s natural tendency tofudge the answers.

Pillar 5: Rinse and repeat

Data decays at a rate of 2% per month or more, so you can expect 20-30% of your organization’s contact data to go bad per year.1
You may have started out with a cleandatabase and applied best practicesfor bringing in new data, but it won’tstay that way for long without ongoinghygiene practices. Data gets stale as a result ofemployees finding new opportunitiesor switching positions. Duplicaterecords may get imported or created.Ensure you have a way to keep trackof the state of your data on anongoing basis. Remove hard bounces from yourdatabase as they occur. Sometimes,auto-reply emails will provide thecontact information of the newcontact and your prospect’s company.Take advantage of the windfall byproviding them with a welcomemessage to introduce them to yourcompany and get them to opt-inas well. Much of this type of activity requiressignificant manual effort, so youmay want to take a more scheduledapproach for cleaning your database.Scrubbing your data againstthird-party sources can removethe personnel cost of doing thisinternally, provide improved campaignperformance, and help to keep youroverall email deliverability rate high asit reduces the hard bounces.
Part 2
Give incentives to get clean data
If you really want to get the most up-to-date contact information, provide a little incentive.
People are more likely to submit accurate information when they know a gift is coming their way.
We have experienced massivesuccess testing this process. Thistechnique kills two birds with onestone. First, the campaign helpsobtain cleaner data, as the recipientwon’t receive the gift if the addressis incorrect. Second, the campaignprovides another touch point tohelp build the relationship with yourprospect or customer.Does the incentive have to be a physical gift? No. The incentive could include:
  1. Free eBook
  2. Contest entry
  3. Free trial
Try different incentives to see which delivers the best ROI for your organization.Even when your company practices good data hygiene, bad data creeps into your system. As an option, considerworking with a third-party vendor to get your data in order.
“Address information such as street, city and state is missing in over 40% of customer databases.” 2
Percentage of records with the indicated field completed: 2
  • First name 77.5%
  • Last name 76.9%
  • Title 62.9%
  • Street 54.6%
  • City 59.5%
  • State 58.5%
  • Phone 36.2%
  • Email 89.2%
  • Company 77.2%
2 2014 NetProspex Annual Marketing, Data Benchmark Report

Data appending

Data appending is the process ofadding information to leads thatcompanies can leverage for sales andmarketing purposes. This data includesaddress information, demographics,psychographics and lifestyle profileinformation that can enrich existingrecords in your system. For example, instead of asking yourleads for their mailing address, youcan let the partner append thisinformation. Typically, when a lead iscreated in a marketing automationsystem like Marketo, that system willreach out to the third party’s databaseand attempt to match the lead againstits data warehouse of names. If thereis a match, the partner will append theadditional fields to the record. For direct mail, the accuracy of thecompany name, address, city, state,postal code, and country are thepriority items.Progressive profiling is a Marketo feature that allows marketers to collect more information each time a lead fills outa form. Prospects don’t want to share all their information before trust is built, so the best practice is to ask fewerquestions up front and then deepen the relationship over time. If you try to ask for too much information up front, conversion rates will drop.These graphs show decreasing conversion rates for both increasing informationpresented (shown by the number of text areas) and information demanded(shown by the number of form fields).

Direct Mail Database Services

Conversion rate by number of form fields
Consider adopting an address-focused progressive profiling strategy if addresscollection and verification is an important part of your process. Keep in mind thatthe accuracy of data collected via a user submission can vary greatly. If your company decides to go this route, make sure to give your data a review. Ifyou see a lot of data like “555555” or “7 Mickey Mouse Way,” you might need touse one of the other processes instead.
Conclusion
Set yourself up for direct mail success
The most significant initial component? Good data.
Direct mail is a powerful and effective marketing channel for yourorganization, particularly when it is automated and integrated withyour marketing automation platform.Direct Mail Database Doing it correctly, and seeing the most return on your investment, requires planning and forethought.

We've established a strong network of email list providers over the past several decades, which allows us to effectively procure email lists targeted to virtually any business or consumer segment. We'll help you identify just the right list to suit your marketing objectives, based on your specific demographic, interest and preference requirements.

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