How to Save Big Dollars by Mailing Smarter
Here are some golden tips of wisdom to use today for all your compiled, subscriber, donor or buyer mailing data. These rules also apply to rented data.
- Delete all non-buyers and inquiries who haven't purchased or renewed in one year.
- Delete all multi-buyers who aren't recent plus all non-recent single buyers.
- Delete all bad credit risks if a credit bureau will match against your files.
- Delete all records in SCF's or zips that have been unproductive when compared to the entire customer or prospect file. Also delete high unemployment areas.
- Delete bankruptcies (households and businesses)
- Delete all records from any co-op file you are testing if they match any of the suggestions in this report (non-recent buyers, geographical areas, etc.)
- Delete all records that have shown to be a break even or losing proposition.
- Delete all records from any data exchange that don't adhere to these general guidelines.
- Delete all deceased records (3MM+ per year). Use the three year file.
- NCOA your files each quarter. Residential addresses change about 18% per year. NCOA will match half or about nine percent. The deceased file will match another two or three percent. So, you're still wasting from five percent to seven percent of your mailing if you only utilize NCOA on a yearly basis. It's the sad and expensive part of the direct mail industry.
- Delete all households that have or are going through a foreclosure proceeding.
- Commercial firms are now changing addresses or going out of business at an alarming rate. Suggest you utilize mail forwarding or return receipt postal services. Have you data provider guarantee 90-95% deliverability.
- Delete the undesirable records from any files you are testing including the Co-op files. Make sure the demographics and/or psychographics are in line with your model or skip the rental. Delete the non recent buyers also.
- Some mailers are reducing the size of their catalogs much to the chagrin of the printers. Many are printing less and mailing less frequently.
- Product descriptions on the web site are being increased and improved. Online ordering is becoming a simpler process and is more prevalent. This will build the client file less expensively than direct mail.
The suppression of names will certainly save important advertising dollars. Perhaps this practice should become a permanent policy of the direct marketing function regardless of the economic situation.
Mailers can cut the prices of goods or reduce subscription rates, yet the bottom line is still profits. Reducing overhead by qualifying an inquiry file, an expiration or previous buyer file is a great start and sure beats reducing prices. Try it.