There are a lot of theories about what makes a direct mail piece stand out from the crowd – the copy, the offer, the images, the bold colors or the texture of the paper. Each argument has its merits. The one thing marketers can agree on, however, is what will make your direct mail project FAIL. Bad Data.
When it comes to adding data to your project, do not skimp, do not cut corners, and do not take shortcuts. There are three data aspects you need to get spot-on:
- Understanding Your Target Customer
When you begin defining your ideal customer, you need first to look at who your best customers already are and ask yourself what they have in common with each other. Identifying those commonalities will help you ascertain whether other individuals with similar traits might also be good customers.
Another important place to begin is by looking at whom your competitors target. You may or may not want to overlap them; ask yourself “who are they missing?” Analyze what your business has to offer and brainstorm on who might benefit from it. Who needs your service/product? What other, similar audience might also benefit?
Once you’ve compiled the above information, can you extrapolate other data from it? Is there a gender, geographic, ethnic background, education level, age or socio-economic factor that seems to stand out? To go even deeper, look for psycho graphic similarities. Personality, religion, values, hobbies, lifestyle, and behavior can all help to give a fuller picture of your target.
- Target Your Ideal Customer
Now that you’ve defined who your ideal customer is, you need to build a list of potential new leads. Your database may be a great starting point for creating your mailing list. Leads from surveys, social media, content marketing and online form submissions are a great place to start. Making sure this list is clean and current is of absolute importance.
- Select a Mailing List
Once your ideal customer profile is complete and you’ve updated and cleaned your database, you should be armed with enough information to decide on whether or not you need to purchase additional data. Knowing whom you are trying to target puts you in an excellent position to consider using an outside source for mailing lists. Several different types of lists exist, specialty lists, custom defined mailing lists, response lists and segmented lists to name a few. According to Direct Marketing News, when considering a company to purchase a list from you should always ask:
- Do you guarantee deliverability? The company should offer at least 90% deliverability.
- Do you update your lists monthly? An up-to-date mailing list is critical because people move and this greatly affects mailing list quality.
- Can I use this list more than once? Some list companies sell the list for one-time use only. If your strategy is to mail to the same prospect pool multiple times, you will want to ask about a multi-use option. Typically, a list is sold for 2-3 times the cost of a single use to allow for multi-use for a period of one year. Keep in mind you are not technically buying the list, you are simply renting it.
You an find these 3 attributes, plus more helpful information in the NextPage free ebook, The NextPage Guide to Direct Mail Success.