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Managing direct mail effectively creates efficiency in use
of resources while cutting down on costs. And as an integral part of the
marketing, there are several key components that can either make or break your
campaigns. Here are six steps that not only make good business sense but they
also have the potential to get your direct mail campaigns on the road to
success:

 

1. Address Data-Consistency is Key

 

Address formatting and accuracy in your database
are key in having the most efficient data hygiene process. The more organized
you are to begin, the better your results will be. It is well worth taking the
time to set-up a proficient program that formats contact data into appropriate
and consistent fields.

 

2. Dedupe–Merge-purge for Savings

It’s a fact that duplicates happen.
A standardized and properly fielded database will decrease the likelihood of
duplicate entries. Duplicate mail will not only irritate customers but it will
result in unnecessary additional costs on postage and printing.

 

3. Fix It– Validate and Correct for Accurate
Deliver

 

Before executing any sort of direct mail
campaign, it is necessary to clean up lists and standardize address data. You
can do this by using address validation and correction software. Components of
this key step include repairing address information, filling in missing
elements, and removing incorrect addresses.

 

4. Update the Movers-Use the Change of Address

 

Statistics show that in the U.S. alone more
than 43 million Americans move each year. There are various options for
updating your lists for change of address information, including the USPS NCOA
database and Service Bureaus.

 

5. Suppress Records – Keep Unwanted Mail Out of
the Mailbox

 

Suppression is the process of removing records
from mailing lists based on internal or industry protocol. By doing this, you trim
postage and production costs, reduce waste, and enhance your ROI. You can use
resources such as the DMA “Do Not Contact” data available through service
providers to remove consumers who have requested not to receive direct mail.
1,500 U.S. marketers used this service and eliminated 930 million pieces of
unwanted mail in one year alone.

 

6. Target Effectively -Make it Relevant

Rather than mailing your entire
list, select a target audience of consumers that are more likely to respond.
Use location intelligence to discover demographic and geographic data,
business, and consumer data appends. Find more customers by using profiling and
filtering. Use targeted and personalized marketing campaigns to increase
response and reduce waste.

Take a look at your company’s
direct mail initiatives to determine if the best practices are in place. List hygiene
and using targeted communications are only a part of solving this problem, but
they are a necessary first step to getting it right.

If you are ready to make some changes to your direct mail, check out some of our solutions!

By Natalia Crawford

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