Digital marketing through email and social media gets results, but direct mail still makes a lasting impression on your leads. With direct mail, you’re able to forge a tangible connection with your customers, sending them a customized, focused message they can hold in their hands. This connection comes at a price; direct mail is a more expensive option than digital marketing channels, and without effective data hygiene to ensure accuracy in your records, you aren’t getting the full value of your investment. Data hygiene makes mailing smarter by ensuring your direct mail reaches your intended audience.
Before you can connect with your direct mail audience, you need to know where they are. An outdated database isn’t just less efficient; it actually costs you money. When you send direct mail to addresses that no longer have an engaged lead at the other end of the exchange, you’re wasting effort. What’s more, if your lead has moved on without your being able to follow, you’ve lost even more in the form of missed opportunities and vanished customers.
Making the Most of Post
The United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) registry is one of the largest and most carefully maintained databases available. USPS-certified database services access the NCOA database directly and use it to verify your address information, keeping your mailing list updated with every pass. By cleaning your mailing list of invalid or outdated addresses, the NCOA also makes sure you stay in touch with your customers so they keep getting the outstanding service they’ve come to expect from you.
While the NCOA registry is a vital tool, it isn’t the only one database management companies use. The USPS has another powerful option for direct mailers: CASS, the Coding Accuracy Support System. CASS uses the NCOA database to correct incomplete addresses, typos, transpositions, and other incorrect or obsolete information in your list. Using a CASS-Certified service not only cleanses your data but keeps it clean with regular updates. The postal service also saves money when you use a database service that maintains its annual CASS Certification, so choosing a CASS-Certified service could even qualify you for lower commercial postage rates.
Making Better Use of your Data
Tracking leads with CASS is valuable, but it’s only a part of the story when it comes to saving money with data-assisted direct mail. Once you locate your direct mail customers, your database service administrator can help you make smarter decisions about approaching them.
Merge-purge processes improve your direct mail database by condensing duplicate names into a single customer account and striking invalid addresses from the list. Enhanced data processing also paints a more complete and accurate picture of your customers. Database marketers have sophisticated tools at their disposal, and with them, you can segment your mail campaigns as precisely as you want. Targeted direct mail is invariably more effective than cold-approach mailings, and a sound segmentation strategy ensures you reach an audience that’s more ready to engage. Seeing audience segments in finer resolution with the demographic filters you get from data enhancement can improve direct mail response rates significantly.
Your direct mail budget is too important to spend on wasted effort. Lists choked with defunct addresses and random recipients can’t function as streamlined database marketing tools. Save on mailing expenses and avoid missed opportunities with data hygiene services that optimize your information and keep you connected with your customers.