Spring has sprung! Tis the season for March Madness, April showers, May flowers, and spring cleaning. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean just cleaning out your closets, mopping your floors, and washing your windows. Spring cleaning can (and should) also take place in your professional life, mostly with your data.
The process of data cleaning (or data cleansing, data hygiene, and the numerous other names it has been given) is important for your business. I’m sure you have an incredibly large list that you are using for your direct mail marketing campaigns. But do you know how many people on this list are relevant contacts? How many of these contacts have moved? How many have passed away? If you purchased the list, how do you know their address was ever correct in the first place? If you’ve purchased multiple lists, do you know how many contacts are repeated across the various lists? Are you targeting them multiple times per campaign with the same marketing materials? If you are, I’m sure they aren’t too happy with the amount of duplicate mail they are receiving from your business. Have you left a bad enough of a taste in their mouths that they wouldn’t even think about giving you a chance?
These are all important questions to ask yourself throughout the year. And they are important problems that can be solved when you take the time to clean up your direct mailing list.
So, how do you go about cleaning up your data lists? If you’re a smaller business, you may be able to take this feat on yourself. Although it could be a daunting task, it is much less expensive than hiring an outside business to help you out. If you’re a bigger business, you should definitely seek some outside help, due to the sheer volume of your data.
Once your data is clean and your lists are polished, you will save immensely on your direct mail marketing campaigns. With the reduction of all the wasteful contacts and addresses, you will have more funds to spend on being creative. Now is the time to go crazy with shapes, colors, images, fonts, and offerings. You could even incorporate Variable Data Printing (VDP) into your next campaign. With VDP you can ensure your customers feel as if each campaign was specifically tailored to them. You can include their name throughout the direct mail piece, feature a link to a personalized landing page on which they can claim their special offer, and illustrate a map detailing directions from their house to your business. The possibilities are endless!