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A Deep Clean

Spruce up your database for a significant savings on mail.

Cleaning SuppliesPostal rates got you down? Tempted to cut back on mailing to protect the budget? Don’t compromise this critical customer contact and retention tool. Instead of mailing less, let’s look at five ways you can mail smarter.

Keep your mailing list up to date.

If you’re going to send mail, make sure it will arrive at its destination. While mail is the most predictable way to reach your targets, businesses and individuals still move. You want to use the most up-to-date list.

According to the United States Postal Service:

• 17% of Americans change addresses annually.

• 45 million people move each year.

• Approximately one out of every six families moves each year.

Run your list through CASS or NCOA (National Change of Address database) to keep everything in top shape.

Remove duplicates.

You might be surprised how many mailing lists contain duplicates. John L. Smith might be the same as Jonathan Smith and J. L. Smith. Lists need to be “scrubbed” to ensure that each individual or household only receives one piece of mail. This is particularly important when personalizing. Duplication can quickly undermine your efforts to be relevant and personal.

Ensure deliverability.

Some lists are more accurate than others. When buying a new list (or appending an existing list), try to ensure that every address you purchase is deliverable. This means it has been checked, updated, or certified.” The National Deliverability Index (NDI) rates the percentage of deliverable addresses in a list. Know your number!

Use Customer Profiles.

Customer profiles are a powerful way to mail smarter. One family-owned automotive company, for example, wanted to increase its customer acquisition efforts. It was regularly getting less than 1% response rates to its mailings, so it invested in creating a profile of its best customers. Once it had this profile, it targeted new customers that looked just like them and personalized its mailings to these prospects. The results? Not only did its response rates triple, but it brought in 33% more revenue per customer.

Only send relevant information.

Why send customers and prospects information that is not relevant to them? Instead of sending static brochures containing every product or service you offer, mail information only on products and services of most value to each recipient. Use past purchases or customer profiles to select appropriate matches. Not only will you increase your response rates, but you will lower your postage costs at the same time.

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