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direct mail data

Direct Mail for Continuing Education

Continuing Education is one of the industries with the best success rate for direct mail.  The main reason for this is the accessibility to data, and thus continuing education is an example of how targeted mailings can be highly successful.  Other industries can have the same results as that of continuing education, but more work will need to be placed on determining the ideal demographic and finding data sources associated with that demographic.

With continuing education, the demographic and data are clear and very accessible.  Since most continuing education is to maintain a certification or status, it is very easy to pull data associated with that certification and only target those individuals.  Direct mail is a perfect way to advertise to these individuals.  Direct mail also offers the opportunity to provide valuable information as to the value a course can provide, as there are many different options available.  Many times people will not want to do the research to find the best course to fit their needs, but if they receive a mail piece for an interesting seminar or conference that also meets their continuing education requirements the choice is easy.

 Targeting new prospects as well as marketing to previous clients is essential in growing a continuing education business.  Direct mail is a great way to specifically target individuals who need continuing education credits because the list is already defined and a physical mail piece gives you the time and opportunity to pitch your course or seminar.  Continuing education is a great case study in that it shows how important data is.  Direct mail is a powerful tool if done correctly, and most importantly direct mail will need to be targeted to the correct people.

How to create the best customer database

Big data is the new buzz word, but often time’s small data is much more important and valuable.  Customer and donor information is crucial to understand and re-engage key clientele. Targeting proven customers will dramatically increase your ROI, help develop customer loyalty, and in turn help generate new leads through referrals. Below are a few tips on how to maintain your customer database

1.        Collect as much relevant data as possible.  The more data you have the more flexibility you will have to tailor your marketing to your specific clientele.  Do not just focus on collecting as many contacts as possible, but also concentrate on collecting other relevant data points that could take your marketing to the next level.  Variable data printing allows you to personalize each piece, so be sure you have enough relevant data so you can design your marketing specifically to your target audience. Examples of some of these data points could be gender, purchase types, purchase frequency, etc.  Be careful not to overload either the consumer or yourself and focus on collecting relevant information that you can use in your future campaigns.

2.      Ensure accuracy.  Sending misspelled or inaccurate personalized marketing pieces will most likely negatively affect your relationship with your client.  Ensure data collection and entry are accurate and take the extra time when collecting data to make sure everything is spelled and entered correctly.  One strategy that may help reduce errors is to have your customer directly enter their information into your CRM through an online form, questionnaire, rewards program, etc

3.      Regularly update and clean your database.  Make sure your database is up to date with correct addresses and customer information.  Remove or flag all inaccurate or irrelevant data points and entries.  Regularly updating the database ensures better customer insight and allows you to pivot your marketing plan based on your data.  Cass certifying and running your lists against NCOA National Change of Address, will ensure that your data is relevant and clean.

4.      Organize your data.  Once data is collected it should be stored in an organized manner.  The database should be uniform and data points should be clearly labeled.  Clean, organized data will save you time and money analyzing your data and preparing marketing campaigns. Data should be periodically de-duped (duplicated removed) and irrelevant data should be removed.

Small data is your key to understanding you current clientele and marketing towards them or similar individuals.  Make sure you maintain an accurate and relevant customer database, and put it the test by implementing personalized marketing campaigns to your customer base.

Once you have your in house database you can use the data you collected to find lists of similar individuals or businesses.  Action Mail can even help you append additional data like email address or demographics to you current list and find new lists with similar characteristics.

 One of your most valuable resources is your customer list.  Be sure to create and maintain a list that is accurate, informative, organized and relevant.