The Department 3 Blog

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.

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