Customer Database cleanups may seem like a challenge to keep up with, and can also lower your bottom line with incorrect consumer information being entered. This can easily be made into a controlled highly accurate process. By making customer database updates for direct mail purposes on an ongoing basis, you avoid the monetary hazards that come with incorrect or changed addresses. Such as large amounts of returned mail, that will not change if not fixed correctly, hereby wasting your companies’ rewards and sales promotion efforts. With the right process in place, you are better able to utilize targeted direct mail strategies.
Let’s take a look at a few best practices when doing a consumer database cleanup:
- Remove consumer duplication when it does not pertain. Did you know that almost 30% of all double mailings are the result of duplicate entries due to name change alone? Duplicate consumer entries create double mailings, which can cost your company time and money. It’s less costly to prevent a double mailing to the same address, than it is to try and recover one once it’s been sent. This practice alone will enable you to increase your bottom line by more efficient mailings.
- Not everything is a duplicate entry. There may be multiple addresses listed under one consumer or more than one customer number. Familiarize yourself with home and business mailings. While you would not want to send a piece of direct mail to John Smith at a work address and home address if it is the same coupon, discount or points system, you would if you are a company that sells different items (ex: office supplies mailed to business, and or home items for the home).
- Obtain any missing data. Be sure all database records are complete and accurate.
- Include department representatives. Don’t limit a database cleanup to one department. By including other areas, you can gather insight into what type of information is needed and design your database file to accommodate more than just one department, or one type of consumer.
- Consumer Portals. Some database cleanup activities lend themselves well to the consumer correcting their own information. However not everyone remembers to do this, while they may be on your email database also, some consumers are inundated with so many emails they do not read them all, or they put them into their spam/junk folder. Why would they do this? Almost all companies send some type of sale information, points etc.. Via email. Imagine having 30 something emails about different sales, while trying to find an email about work, your child or any other type of urgent email, it’s easier to put the emails into junk folders than it is to go to the Consumer Portal to unsubscribe.
Cleaning and understanding your Consumer Database, while establishing control can have dramatic effects on how you’re able to conduct business. Your company gets more bang for the buck through direct mail campaigns. This will allow you to analyze and manage better direct mail campaigns, thus reconnecting to your lost customers.
Direct mail can be highly effective, and for those reasons alone, a consumer database cleanup is something you should consider to be a top priority as it can be directly related to the strategic goals of your company. An ongoing process after the initial cleanup is just as important as the cleanup itself. A clean mailing database delivers cost savings and increases time efficiencies by providing accurate information. Although this task can seem impossible at first, once finished, it provides a more profitable marketing campaign and accurate database management.
PC Data Centers of PA, Inc.