Department 3 https://d3data.com Your Data Department Thu, 11 Apr 2019 17:28:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Analytics & Tracking: Making or Breaking Your Direct Marketing Success https://d3data.com/analytics-tracking-making-or-breaking-your-direct-marketing-success Tue, 19 Mar 2019 21:42:40 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=80454 Direct marketing analytics and tracking are central to the performance of any direct mail campaign, so keep these expert tips in mind!

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Analytics & Tracking: Making or Breaking Your Direct Marketing Success

March 15, 2019, Michael Concannon

Department 3 Resouce

In previous posts, we’ve looked at two pillars of a successful direct marketing campaign: clean, up-to-date data and proper segmentation of that data. While these can’t be stressed enough, there’s a third pillar equally important to your success: properly tracking and measuring your campaigns.

This may seem to be the most obvious part of running any marketing campaign, but for direct mail it’s of particular significance.

Snail Mail vs. Email

The largest competitor to direct mail is email. As Digital Doughnut noted, a decline in printing costs has only gone hand-in-hand with an increase in postage costs. A study from Citipost Mail notes that direct mail has an average ROI of 7-to-1, while email has a return of 38-to-1. Clearly, email remains a cheaper option, with low start-up costs and a high ROI.

On the other hand, according to the Data and Marketing Association’s Response Rate Report, the household response rate for direct mail is at 3.7%, compared to email at a mere 0.12%. Plus, direct mail still performs better at new customer acquisition.

As Jeff Sopko notes in an article on direct mail and analytics, “direct mail uses real, definitive transactional data to optimize lists and identify prospects for acquisition”.

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That’s exactly why tracking your campaigns is crucial to seeing a better ROI. Properly measuring the effectiveness of a campaign, attributing responses and applying insights is what makes direct marketing powerful.

Regularly updating tracking data with detailed information about how your campaigns are being received by target audiences is vital. You can’t improve and optimize your marketing efforts without the proper insights into your campaign performance.

Any successful marketer needs to match response channels to each and every campaign, giving you valuable insights into what’s working – and when it’s working.

Timeliness Is Key

Timely analytics and tracking updates – whether they are daily or weekly reports – allow you to make rapid decisions and appropriate changes for future campaigns, such as data purchases or creative changes to messaging. What works now may not be as effective in a month’s time, so timeliness can be pivotal to a campaign’s success.

Timely Direct MailWhile it’s easy to assume a campaign is successful if there’s an uptick in sales or leads, the reality may be far more nuanced. Taking note of how a lead responds to different types of messaging, for instance, or what time of day they’re most likely to open your mailing, could make or break your next campaign.

One of the major reasons that direct marketing campaigns may take longer and be costly is the manual work involved. Take ABM direct marketing, for instance. As pointed out in DMNews, “One of the biggest caveats with highly-personalized direct mail campaigns is cost. Putting together handwritten notes can be a time-consuming process. For marketers, the challenge becomes orchestrating campaigns that will produce the most productive results for the effort.”

On the flip side, this makes direct mail uniquely unlike other forms of advertising.

A More Personal Pitch

Direct mail is seen as a more personal, more trusted form of marketing than email, which is considered to be quick and informal. Direct mail reaches a smaller audience than channels such as television or radio ads, which allows you to make the messages more personalized and relevant to your targeted consumers.

Direct Marketing Personalization

This personalization depends on your data and segmentation. But the key to keeping your audience appreciative of this personalization is to track which campaigns are doing well, then use those insights to optimize your marketing efforts.

If you think it’s time for new sales and higher response rates, this kind of data optimization is the foundation you need to build from.

Address Matching for 360° Attribution

Address-based matching helps give a marketer a more complete picture of all the leads that are engaging with them, particularly at their website. Many marketers simply do promo-code-based attribution, but there’ll be names on their leads list who will visit the site without referencing the mailer or its promo code. In some cases, they may have been influenced by the mailer but responded through another channel, or were driven to the site completely outside of a direct mail campaign.

By matching a recipient’s physical address on a mailing list with their desktop or laptop IP address, marketers can identify them when they visit the site. This gives them useful insights into target behaviors, actual campaign performance, and how their total marketing mix is performing.

Building a Baseline with Holdouts

The incrementality of direct marketing allows unique insights into your customers through holdouts. As the only channel that can be completely isolated, holdout testing allows you to measure the incremental ROI of your direct marketing campaigns and measure how effective they are compared to your other marketing efforts.

By removing a group of your customers (your holdout group) from your direct mail efforts, their sales and response rates become a baseline against which you can measure your campaigns’ incremental lift.

Direct Marketing Analytics and Reporting

Armed with this knowledge of what’s most effective, you can adjust your campaigns for downstream optimization.

A Last Word: Picking the Right Analytics Provider

One caveat to keep in mind? When evaluating different data analytics and tracking tool providers to help optimize your direct marketing campaigns, power and features alone are not enough.

Platforms that are extremely technical and non-intuitive to use can become overwhelming and lead to human error, misusing data, and misidentifying trends.  Which result in poor targeting and subpar campaign ROI.

Best-in-class analytics and tracking technologies are intuitive and easy to use.  The platform or service you choose should allow you to mine data and report results exactly the way you want to in order to ensure you’re running the most precise and cost-effective campaigns possible at every step, from targeting and segmentation through execution and analytics.

Direct Marketing: Your Guide to Success

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Explore the best practices and processes that result in quality direct marketing data, and maximize campaign ROI.
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Your Direct Marketing Database: A Secret Treasure Trove https://d3data.com/your-direct-marketing-database-a-secret-treasure-trove Wed, 13 Mar 2019 08:00:33 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=70023 There's enormous value in your direct marketing database, if you know how to unlock it. These insights will help you mine that value!

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Your Direct Marketing Database: A Secret Treasure Trove

March 15, 2019, Michael Concannon

Department 3 Resouce

A company’s direct marketing database is a cornerstone of customer engagement.  A recent article in DMNews examines customer relationships – and dives into the power of personalization.

The mindset of customer obsession is summed up by Tony Kavanaugh, CMO of Insightly, who says “Engage the customer in a way they want…Every customer should feel like they are the only customer, even though you have thousands of customers.”

This beautifully sums up the importance of segmenting your audience for accurate personalization. Just this past February, an Adobe study found that one-third of the consumers surveyed were more likely to make an unplanned purchase if content from a brand was personalized.

We dove into that in another post, and the lesson? That the very foundation of the value you can offer as a brand is built on the quality of your data.

Your direct marketing databases are a treasure trove of potential. But keeping them clean and up-to-date is the only way you can unleash that potential.

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Don’t Be Late, Stay Up-To-Date

Data decays at a rate of approximately 30% per year. This means that the best approach to data cleansing is to make it an ongoing activity.

Traditional print allows for out-of-the-box creativity that can sometimes be stunted in other forms of marketing. It also adds a personal touch that can be lost within the sheer volume of Internet content, or it can complement digital marketing campaigns to make a deeper impact that resonates with the receiver.

Direct Marketing Database Personalization

However, this also means that your direct mail campaigns won’t resonate with your audience if they fail to reflect a target’s new job, a lifestyle shift, or other changes.

Worse than being late with your data updates? Data duplication.

The Duplication Situation

Data duplication is a costly mistake.

Experts estimate that almost 10% of all data entries are duplicates. These don’t just cause various levels of irritation for the recipient, but also double your printing and lettershop costs for each duplication.

Basically, it’s a lose-lose situation.

Duplicate data can be the result of many common occurrences, including:

  • Simple human error
  • An effect of storing data in multiple archives
  • Consumers inputting their own information more than once
  • Having different files with small variations in customer information

Duplicated data squanders precious marketing dollars and resources. If that wasn’t enough, mistakes in your direct marketing can bruise your brand’s credibility over time and cause customers to be less and less interested in engagement.

De-duping your database can cure this ill, as a proper merge/purge can eliminate duplicates. Harder to catch? The tiny mistakes that conceal dupes.  For instance, if the email address on one of two duplicate contacts is slightly misspelled and you’re using email de-duping, the duplicate won’t be eliminated.

Data cleansing involves the standardization of all data. Having your entries parsed and updated in accordance with CASS and NCOA is a necessary step in optimizing your database.

If you think it’s time for new sales and higher response rates, data optimization is the foundation you need to build on.

Direct Marketing: Your Guide to Success

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Explore the best practices and processes that result in quality direct marketing data, and maximize campaign ROI.
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eBook | Direct Marketing: Your Guide to Success #ebook-your-guide-to-success#new_tab Wed, 06 Mar 2019 09:52:40 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=70786 Explore the best practices and processes that result in quality direct marketing data, and maximize campaign ROI.

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Direct Marketing Knows The Power Of Segmentation https://d3data.com/direct-marketing-knows-segmentation Fri, 08 Feb 2019 01:27:58 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=67526 Direct marketing data segmentation is the secret to DM ROI, so what are best practices for optimizing it?

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Direct Marketing Knows The Power Of Segmentation

February 28, 2019, Michael Concannon

Direct Marketing Knows The Power Of Segmentation

Consider proper segmentation as if it were a superpower. And any good direct marketing professional knows how to wield that power.

As a recent in-depth study by Mailchimp shows, segmenting your lists results in dramatically increased open and click rates, as well as lower unsubscribe rates. This isn’t news to any marketer today; knowing your audience is no longer an option in the competitive world of marketing.

However, as the number of marketing emails increase week by week, many marketers such as Malinda Wilkinson, CMO of Salesfusion, have turned back to direct mail to stand out.

“We are over-exposed in the digital world, but it is rare these days to get anything interesting in the mail,” she said

Without email spam folders to flag your every mistake, is it still important to segment your lists when you’re using direct mail?

Absolutely.

While turning to direct mail may sound like a return to ‘simpler’ marketing times, it has become far more nuanced as consumers have become less tolerant of spam and generalized marketing.

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Get your data clean

Whether it’s online or in an envelope, successful campaign personalization and 1:1 engagement depends on clean, accurate marketing data.

Just as any decent marketer does with email lists, direct mail customer data can – and should – be segmented to create lists for more personalized campaigns. This allows for tailored messaging to prime audiences and helps target specific pain points, needs, wants, and priorities for groups of leads.

Segmentation can be based on various factors that may require additional steps. Try segmenting your audience in different ways to see what is most effective for your marketing efforts.

Five types of segmentation

The five main audience segmentation methods include:

  1. Geographic segmentation
  2. Demographic segmentation
  3. Firmographic segmentation (B2B)
  4. Psychographic segmentation
  5. Sales stage segmentation

Firmographics can be broken down into general industries, geographic location, size of customer base, status and structure, and profits and sales information. Whether you’re targeting individuals or companies, consumers and B2B buyers in today’s world both want and expect personalization. Don’t let them down.

Raise your response rates

By segmenting your target audience using these characteristics, you can ensure your marketing efforts are reaching the right audience and maximizing your ROI.

Irrelevant content generates an 83% lower response rate in an average marketing campaign, as noted in a Constellation Research study.

Many marketers are overwhelmed by the volume of complex data that needs to be segmented to achieve optimal campaign targeting. Without quality data and proper segmentation, treating each customer as an individual becomes nearly impossible.

Staying ahead of the competition in today’s world can be a challenge, but knowing your direct marketing options can keep you ahead of the game.

Direct Marketing: Your Guide to Success

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Thanks to Direct Marketing Data, Direct Mail is Thriving https://d3data.com/thanks-to-direct-marketing-data-direct-mail-is-thriving Wed, 24 Oct 2018 21:20:00 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=43741 Direct marketing data optimization is helping direct mail not just survive but thrive, especially among younger consumers.

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Thanks to Direct Marketing Data, Direct Mail is Thriving

October 28 2018, Michael Concannon

Department 3 Resouce

With the advent of email, mobile marketing, social media, and any other new marketing channel you care to name over the past 10-20 years, many keep repeating that direct mail marketing is doomed.  That’s far from true, and direct marketing data has a lot to do with it.

Direct mail marketing is not only very much alive, it also performs very well across all age demographics. That’s especially surprising when the pervasive image of Millennials, Gen Ys and below are of people immersed in their mobile devices.

As this post by Shana Richardson at Credit Union Times points out, much of the credit for that goes to what she describes as “evolving targeting techniques,” which is why, as she points out:

About 75% of households at least scan direct mail advertisements, per the U.S. Postal Service. Direct mail has the higher response rate compared to digital methods.

Also cited? A figure from the DMA Response Rate Report 2016 about how financial services companies are the highest users of direct mail; it’s employed by 71% of banks and credit unions.

This requires them to be strictly on-message, have the right message for each separate audience, and have the creative and engagement hooks that work for that audience…all while maintaining regulatory compliance. That can be a tightrope walk in such heavily regulated segments, but 46% of the firms in the DMA study were still planning to maintain existing direct mail levels, while another 35% were going to actually increase those programs.

Direct Marketing Data Direct Mail

Younger targets love a direct approach

Direct Mail Response Rates by Demo

What’s proven extraordinary is just how well direct mail marketing succeeds with these purportedly jaded younger segments. Another survey found that 62% of consumers aged 25-34 had responded to a direct mail piece within the last month – the highest share among all age segments.

This may be due to their distaste for digital advertising. HubSpot has reported that 87% of consumers think there are generally more ads than 2-3 years ago; 91% feel they’re more intrusive. Pitney Bowes has found 73% of consumers prefer direct marketing to mobile.

The tactile, hands-on (literally!) nature of direct mail works in its favor with younger consumers who seek “authenticity.”  Digital messages can be fleeting, swiped away or adblocked out of their awareness. But a well-produced direct mail vehicle demands longer interaction, offers more potential opportunities to engage within the same package, and sticks in memory far longer.

For financial services firms, they display their authenticity by putting a direct mailer in people’s hands that supports important brand attributes – it offers physical proof they’re established, substantial, dependable. This makes an unconscious connection with consumers, as the Credit Union Times article points out:

(A) USPS study used eye tracking, biometrics and functional MRI technology, and found physical ads triggered activity in the ventral striatum area of the brain, which is responsible for value and desirability and can signal a greater intent to purchase.

Bangor University’s Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology took it a step further, actually using MRIs to map how physical media experiences were more likely to become part of a consumer’s memory.

It’s what’s called “embodied cognition.”  The more senses we can engage, the more firmly a message is lodged in the consumer’s awareness, driving up response.

So direct mail can help overcome a must-win challenge in marketing to younger audiences, who demand your message be relevant and truthful. Understanding what they consider relevant and truthful, though, means being able to deep-dive into direct marketing data.

Direct marketing data makes direct mail meaningful

Research by the USPS discovered that Millennials spend more than 9 minutes per day sorting through their mail. That’s more than any other generation. They also spend more time scanning, reading, and organizing “snail mail.” Other insights?

  • 50% said they look forward to seeing what’s in their everyday mail, and value the time they spend scanning and sorting it.
  • 83% still use hard copies of bills for bill management, though they prefer making actual payments online. 
  • 54% wish they’d get more direct mail from area businesses so they can stay informed about what’s available in their neighborhoods.
  • 90% of Gen Ys feel direct mail is reliable, another study found, and 87% like getting information and offers from retailers in the mail.

A direct marketer can combine macro insights like these with more precise insights about target segments, mined from highly optimized direct marketing data. The result? The marketer can be far more accurate in delivering relevant and resonant messages and offers. The better-optimized the data, the more accurate the targeting, and the better the ROI you see from a direct marketing campaign.

The better-optimized the data, the more accurate the targeting, and the better the ROI.

One example? Online browsing behavior can be used to drive personalized direct mail via variable printing. Let’s say a young husband or mother browses an insurance company’s site for annuity policies to help fund their child’s college education; they can be targeted with a proper follow-up mailing about the specific instruments they showed interest in.

That’s exactly what’s driving the continued success of direct mail marketing: An understanding on the part of savvy marketers of the real power of quality data to empower engagement. Every audience appreciates relevance and personalization, not just younger ones, and good direct marketing data helps open that conversation.

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Direct Marketing Data Matching: The Smarter, the Better https://d3data.com/direct-marketing-data-matching-smarter-better Tue, 23 Oct 2018 15:00:43 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=41579 Direct marketing data matching can avoid costly duplicates and other list errors, and maximize campaign ROI.

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Direct Marketing Data Matching: The Smarter, the Better

October 23 2018, Carolyn Hart

Direct Marketing Data Optimization

When it comes to Direct Marketing campaigns, success is demonstrated by one crucial measurement – ROI. However, this can be far more nuanced than it appears at first glance. Especially when direct marketing data is involved.

Before you next sit down to allocate budget to your Direct Marketing campaigns, make sure you’re getting the most out of them by optimizing your database and maximizing ROI. And a precise matching process is part of that.

When combining data from multiple sources, we need to identify records that should be suppressed from a campaign. Duplicate records have to be eliminated. A merge/purge has the goal of producing a single unique record containing all the useful data about a target, without redundancy.

Many times, duplicate records still contain bits of important information, and each record has a unique piece of information that should be saved. For example, duplicate customer records may contain the same name and address, but one record includes the customer’s email address while the other record includes the customer’s phone number.

This can be a pretty complex challenge, but vital to address. Suppressing duplicates or ineligibles from a direct marketing database through matching can cut costs (like printing and postage) and elevate efficiency. If a business or organization is trying to assemble a sizable mailing list, the costs of duplication obviously rise in proportion to the scale of that list.

Direct Marketing Data Optimization

The exact matching logic being applied can differ greatly from one company to another, depending on their respective goals. But in almost all cases, good matching is absolutely imperative to DM success.

Here’s a scenario that demonstrates exactly how this works, and the part matching plays in it.

The danger of duplicate data

If you’ve moved anytime in the last decade or so, chances are you’ve received ‘Sign Up Specials’ from local Internet providers in your mailbox. Internet and cable providers are notably fast when it comes to prospecting, but this haste can result in overlooked errors, particularly in mailing lists.

The following scenario isn’t that uncommon, as Internet provider XYWebServe launches a user acquisition campaign that targets two people at the same address:

Direct Marketing Data Optimization
Direct Marketing Data Optimization

Although the fact both of them are receiving the same offer may not dissuade the Takes from signing up with XYWebServe, it illustrates a larger problem for the company. Filling up the Takes’ recycling bin with redundant mailings is an expensive mistake, and one that could have been easily avoided with household-level matching. By flagging the Takes as a duplicate in their database, XYWebServe could have targeted one prospect in the household – thus increasing their conversion rate and saving wasted resources.

Advanced data-matching techniques, like those we use for our own clients, generate that unique record retaining all the valuable data, while removing the duplicated data. This goes beyond simple household-level matching, though, because the challenges are getting more complex – and direct marketers are under constant pressure to wring the most return from their campaign spend.

The convenience of customer suppression

Fast forward six months…

The Takes are content with their Internet service, but the data optimization department at XYWebServe neglected to refresh their database. They send another prospecting mail to the Takes. So not only is Miss Take wondering why she’s received a second Sign-Up offer, but those printing and processing costs? They’re being dumped in that recycling bin.

Merge/purge processing with sophisticated matching is key to avoiding such accidents. Ongoing data hygiene means clean data, and clean data ensures that you suppress everyone you don’t want to target – whether that be suppressing current clients from prospecting mail, to suppressing deceased individuals from all mail.

Of course, some marketers are happy to send multiple prospect mailings to the same house. For a health club or a magazine subscription service, their aim is to maximize the number of individual accounts they can convert. So the matching logic employed has to be adjusted accordingly.

Cleaning up in other ways

Eliminating duplications with less-sophisticated merge/purge processes can be stymied by simple differences in how a target’s name or address might be entered in different records. State-of-the-art matching, though, lets us clean up lists by being able to actually recognize and reconcile instances where nicknames or different naming conventions have been used, as with this company:

AA Adams & Associates

37 Lincoln St

Anytown, CA, 123

AA Adams and Associates

37 Lincoln St

Anytown, CA, 123

Here’s an example of how such a matchback processing tool can link records and cause a change in historical matching. Let’s start with data from Week One that includes two records that don’t seem to match, though they share an address:

John Smith

123 Main Street

Anytown, CA  12345

June Jones

123 Main Street

Anytown, CA  12345

In Week Two, we’ve obtained a new record that allows us to link all the records at this household together.

Jane Smith-Jones

123 Main Street

Anytown, CA, 12345

To do this, though, requires that the data processing engine being used receives not just the newest record, but all historical records, often going back for many years. In looking back over years’ worth of direct marketing data, naturally, the chance a customer has moved over time increases. Here are two records separated by several years: Are they the same person?

Mark Median

456 Central Ave,

Anytown, CA  12345

Mark Median

789 Midway

Everyburgh, OR  54321

By applying National Change Of Address (NCOA) to the customer file and matching it to the most recent campaign history, we’re able to identify customers like Mark Median who were previously mailed at a different address.

Here’s another example. Let’s say that on January 1, we mailed a business at the following address:

ABC Company

123 Main Street, 3rd Floor

Anytown, CA, 12345

Six months later, on July 1, we determined a new DM match as a result of applying NCOA to the customer table:

ABC Company

456 East Main Street

Newtown, CA, 23456

Over those six months, this company had moved to a new location. We were able to map the old address to the new address and update customer lists accordingly. Timely list cleansing like this ensures our clients’ campaigns are reaching their intended audience; running precise matchings means their campaign spend gets maximized. It’s also an example of how our process is customized to the specific business needs of a client.

Counting any response as a match

There are cases where clients may not have as specific a set of matching criteria as others, and are open to seeing matches that are the result of any response to a DM piece – regardless of whether or not the response was from the addressed individual. It was, clearly, the mailer that drove response.

Imagine an apartment complex: Multiple mailers might have gone to the same complex, and were delivered to the tenants’ mailroom. Some might not have gone into mailboxes, or were discarded, but another tenant could have picked one up and responded. Or the new tenant in Suite 3, below, might respond even though Carolyn Doe’s name was on the mailer. For this marketer, they’re all direct mail success points.

John Smith

123 N Main Street, Ste 10

Anytown, CA  12345

Carolyn Doe

123 N Main Street, Ste 3

Anytown, CA  12345

Optimized matching takes specialized expertise

These are just a few examples. To obtain optimal results in any direct marketing data matching scenario, from simple to complex, it takes a resource combining highly specialized data optimization expertise with purpose-built technologies.

In our own case, we optimize merge/purge by combining our long history in data optimization with a data processing architecture employing sophisticated matching techniques, paired with databases that are custom-built for each client.

Together, they empower merge/purge processes that are extremely fast, precise, and reliable.

Direct Marketing Data Optimization

With the right resource to partner with, data optimization can be painless. While sparing you the pain of duplicate data, improper segmentation, and poor matching practices, as these are just some of the many factors that can muddy your DM campaign results and undercut your ROI.  

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Direct Marketing Data and the Square Success Story https://d3data.com/saluting-square-direct-marketing-data Wed, 29 Aug 2018 15:00:54 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=4727 What's the success of Square got to do with direct marketing data optimization? It's one facet of how leaders succeed – find out more!

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Direct Marketing Data and the Square Success Story

August 29 2018, Michael Concannon

Direct Marketing Data and Square

There are companies driving entire sectors forward, due to their focus on innovation and optimizing growth. Direct marketing data is one facet of their success, but they just do everything right. We’ve been lucky to work with one of them over the years: Square.

The Motley Fool took note of Square recently, shining a spotlight on the company’s outstanding increase in share price over the past year:

Up 110% year to date and 192% over the past 12 months, expectations for the company are sky-high. Can Square keep investors happy?

What’s propelling that success? Two products that have had breakout success: Its peer-to-peer payment service, Cash App, has been a huge hit, and has even overtaken the previous 800-pound gorilla in the segment, Paypal’s Venmo. Meanwhile, its restaurant delivery app, Caviar, has more than doubled revenue year over year as of Q2 2018.

In both cases, these products are succeeding because Square has an inspired understanding of how their customers use these apps. In the case of Cash App, they know the value of not just an easy-to-use app, but of making it part of a convenient “ecosystem of consumer services,” as Motley Fool puts it. So far, that includes a debit card, its Cash Boost rewards system, and Instant Deposit.

Caviar’s success is built on Square’s established success servicing its restaurant customers, and how that performance has opened the doors to other products, too, like Square Payroll, Square Capital, their Square for Restaurants point-of-sale platform, and more.

Seizing opportunities

Square’s success stems from an even deeper ethos, however. Jack Dorsey may get more public press for being a founder and CEO of Twitter, but in that same role at Square, he’s applied nearly identical thinking to a different set of challenges.

As he put it? My goal is to simplify complexity. I just want to build stuff that really simplifies our base human interaction.

Direct Marketing Data and Square

If ever a segment needed simplification and ease of interaction, it was certainly the consumer payments space. The simplicity Square brings to mobile payments is, over course, only the visible skin overlaying a serious amount of sophistication and complexity.

Companies like Square look to extract every advantage, every possible efficiency, from every facet of their business. Whether they’re looking for new growth surfaces within existing products or entering entirely new sectors, aggressive optimization of each detail – of product design and development, marketing, customer support and community-building – is what sets them apart from the rest of the pack. It’s an approach that enables these companies to overcome first movers and industry giants alike.

Hows does direct marketing data figure in?

It’s not so much the data itself, but how these companies extend that focus on optimization we just mentioned. They apply it to how they capture, filter, and apply prospect and customer data to extract maximum results.

Growth-focused companies in SaaS and beyond attach enormous value to quality data and actionable insights. Why? Because data drives not just marketing but the feedback-focused, iterative, testing-driven “design thinking” process that’s a cornerstone of their product development process.

The same obviously translates into the direct marketing efforts of technology companies on a number of fronts that we can observe:

  • Campaign optimization allows them to extract maximum business value and ROI from every direct marketing campaign, which is vital if you’re in a hotly contested segment. It’s also just good business for a lean startup or any company that embraces efficiency.
  • Personalization is crucial with customers, as they expect to be recognized and rewarded as individuals, no matter where they are in the buying process or user lifecycle. Only proper data optimization can allow this to happen.
  • Empathy is a tentpole of the iterative, continuous process of improvement that drives modern organizations in SaaS, and developing it depends on deeper understanding of customers – an understanding that’s aided by quality data.
  • Analytics are central to the test-and-refine methodology underpinning product design, prototyping, and updating, and analytics are only as good as the data that go into them. The same philosophy that applies to SaaS product development applies to direct marketing: The data you mine for insights you base key decisions upon has to be of the highest possible quality.

That approach to direct marketing data gives greater precision, relevance, and impact to every campaign executed by one of these leaders. It’s only one factor, part of an entire mission and business strategy. Yet that devotion to optimizing every opportunity, product, and marketing touchpoint is a key reason why the Squares of the world are ahead of the game.

Direct Marketing Data Dart

For those of us who get the chance to work with companies like that, it’s a lesson we’re privileged to learn.

Learn about Department 3 data optimization

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Optimize Your Direct Marketing Data, Maximize Your Direct Marketing ROI #product-data-sheet-optimize-your-DM-data-maximize-your-DM-ROI#new_tab Mon, 04 Jun 2018 16:39:33 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=1175 Department 3 is your “third department” for optimizing direct marketing campaigns

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Customer Case Study | Omnichannel Marketing: Direct Mail with Confidence #customer-case-study-omnichannel-marketing-direct-mail-with-confidence#new_tab Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:39:32 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=1158 How Department 3 delivered cornerstone direct marketing and a custom database for a home and lifestyle brand.

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Customer Case Study | The Art of Efficient Direct Mail #customer-case-study-the-art-of-efficient-direct-mail#new_tab Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:37:31 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=1156 A worldwide art etailer found affordability, accuracy and personal attention when it called on Department 3 data optimization.

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Customer Case Study | Persistent ID Helps the Provider Optimize Marketing Spend #customer-case-study-persistent-ID-helps-the-provider-optimize-marketing-spend#new_tab Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:35:32 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=1154 A healthcare leader tracks customers across product lines and improves win-back rates, using persistent ID capability developed by Department 3.

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Customer Case Study | Keep Direct Mail Under Control #customer-case-study-keep-direct-mail-under-control#new_tab Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:32:44 +0000 https://d3data.com/?p=1148 Global wellness brand gains closer account service and gets to explore new dimensions in data with Department 3.

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