By Gary A. Seitz
DEVELOPING A DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN IN 2021
recently received an email from a marketing company that started out with this statement: “Let’s face it — direct mail is simply print, a mailing list, and postage, all of which are commodities accessible to almost anyone. At the end of the day, all you care about are results (sales, votes, donations)! You don’t care how the postcard was printed.” While somewhat true, there is a lot more that goes into a direct mail campaign given new technology and the changing environment, both for marketers and consumers. With a major shift in the workforce from the office to work-from-home, marketers know that it is easier now to target their audience at home — making direct mail more effective than ever. IT STARTS WITH DATA Most marketers remember the 40/40/20 basic tenets for successful direct mail: 40% of your success depends on the list, 40% on the offer, and 20% on the creative. A recent statistic shifted the relevance to 60/30/10. Finding the right list is critical. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are tools available to help determine 20
MARCH-APRIL 2021 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
the right list, specifically targeted for your campaign and offer. Start with your own house list. While your own database may be rich with years of customers, you need to know their relevance now. Build a simple RFM analysis: Recency — when they last purchased (and the best predictor of future behavior), Frequency — how often they buy from you (triers, buyers, and advocates) and Monetary — how much they’ve spent with you (sales shoppers or true loyalists). A service provider can assist, or you can build this easily within an Excel table with the right internal data. Then identify your best RFM segments. If that type of information isn’t easily accessible, use the last two years of customer data to help identify and mirror your best customers. These are your most recent buyers/donors who reflect current buying trends. Utilize your service provider to scrub the data using CASS, NCOA, vacant and deceased coding, and then remove non-pertinent or undeliverable addresses. A clean list to start is essential for success! Get the demographics right. Today’s 2021 marketer has access, via service providers, to a host of demographic data
that can help them understand “who is my customer/donor.” Over 400 characteristics are available to append to better define your current base: attributes ranging from age, income, presence and age of children, and home value to lifestyle interests in recreation, the arts, politics, non-profits, and online purchasing or spending habits. With some simple analytics, you can use this data to better segment your house list and target your best rental lists. This can be particularly helpful if your customer base or brick-and-mortar locations are across a broad geographic area. If you don’t have the time, budget, or skill set to deep dive into appended data, service providers can also provide you with a customer profile report. A dozen key demographic and lifestyle or firmographic (business) attributes are applied to your file and a summary report describing your best customers is created for you. In most cases, a scored list of the best look-alikes in your geographic footprint is also generated. A scored list ranks each household in relation to how those demographics reflect your customers/donors. Households with a score of 90+ best reflect your current database for prospecting.
Mailing Systems Technology Mar/Apr