Steps to Improving the Targeting and Quality of your Data.
Quality data underpins the success of any direct campaign. A killer offer and award-winning creative can’t save a campaign if you can’t connect with the audience.
Here are some steps you can take to optimise the targeting and quality of your data…
- Understand when and how the business last engaged this customer, how they responded and if it’s appropriate to be speaking to them again with this communication.
- Check that the data been deduped to make sure that you are not communicating with the same customer more than once? It may be that you have the same contact in your database twice with one address being home and one being work. Having one single record for each customer helps to keep your costs down and also helps to improve your campaign response rate as you only speak to unique customers.
- Has the data been cleansed to ensure that all relevant fields are completed, and to ensure data is standardised across all cells and is as accurate as possible?
- Has any ‘dead mail’ or ‘email bouncebacks’ been removed?
- Has the data been enhanced if necessary? This involves adding any additional information available from external sources to the customer record. This could involve adding their age and gender so that you can increase the relevance of the communication to them.
- Where you have more than one business channel, you may be able to wash the internal database against another area of the business to establish a single customer view. This may help you to better anticipate their needs at any given time.
- Ensure that you pay attention to both internal and external privacy flags such as customers who only want to be communicated to in a certain way (i.e. email only) and those who don’t wish to receive any communications from you.
If you have an internal I.T department, much of this data cleansing and management could be done internally. If you are mailing data, it’s also highly recommended to use a third party for your final data processing to ensure that bad and duped records are dropped and your DPID (barcoding) rate is maximised so that Australia Post don’t charge you more for distribution. Mailhouses can perform basic cleansing and deduping but there are also specialist data companies available, who can assist you to improve your data to a much greater level. This is likely to increase the response to your campaign along with the overall cost-efficiency.
If your campaign is acquisition-focused and you are relying on external lists there’s a few more considerations that are likely to improve your response rates and reduce your costs. Some of these are as follows:
- A list that matches your customers’ purchase behaviour and style is likely to perform better than a list that matches their demographic profile e.g. online homeware buyers vs. age, geo-location
- When sourcing lists it’s worth identifying and approaching partner companies whose customer bases may be a good fit for your product or service and vice versa. A reciprocal marketing opportunity is likely to be more effective and cost-efficient than marketing to cold prospects.
- If you want to take a punt on a list remember to design your campaign to test these unknown sources in a structured way. This will enable you to control your risk as well as your costs and the knowledge gained will help you to decide on your data strategy for future campaigns.