Is Your Data List Ready for the Holidays?

Is Your Data List Ready for the Holidays

Holiday season is quickly approaching. As you create your festive marketing campaigns, don’t forget to prepare your data list. Who you get your message in front of is just as important if not more important than what you offer and how the piece is designed. We’ve listed 5 steps to help you get your data list ready.  

1. Analyze Current Data List

While it’s easiest to send a mailer to everyone on your customer data list, it’s not the most effective method. People’s needs and lifestyles change. They may have been great customers 5 years ago, but if they haven’t made a purchase in the past 3 years, you probably don’t want to target them. Your list will also contain people who made a single purchase and never returned or customers who moved outside of your footprint. You can avoid targeting people who are no longer interested by analyzing your current data list.  

Examine your customer demographics, where do they live, what’s their average household income, transaction history, etc. Look at your overall customer history as well as recent customer history. Has your customer base changed?   

One of our clients had an average customer age of 65-85, but when they looked at their most recent customer history (the last two years), they discovered their average customer age was twenty years younger. The marketing team took this information and adjusted their campaign. They also updated their mailing list in order to reach their best customers.  

Analyzing your current customers and updating your customer profile should be a regular part of your marketing routine. This will help you stay on top of shifts and changes in your audience. It is also a great way to make sure you are creating relevant content.  

2. Clean Up the List

Best practice is to run data hygiene before each mailing to make sure your mail is being delivered to right people. Some steps you can take to get your data list ready include: 

  • NCOA – Run your data list through the National Change of Address system. This will update your customers’ addresses and flag addresses that are undeliverable.  
  • Deceased File Processing – This process will remove anyone who has died from your mailing list. 
  • Data Appends – If you’re missing data such as customers’ names, addresses, or email addresses, you can append the missing information to make sure you have all of the data you need to reach your targets.  
  • Distance Appends – You can add how far away each customer is from your store locations. This information is helpful in making your final data selections. You can also use distance to customize your mail piece, letting customers know which location is closest to them. 

3. Selecting the Best Records 

If you want to mail out 500,000 holiday catalogs and have 350,000 house records, how do you select the best prospects? If you’ve analyzed your customer list and created a customer profile, the right prospects will be easy to identify.  

You can score the prospect list against your model to see how the prospects rank. Records are typically divided into 10 sections called deciles. Each record is given a score from 1-10 with 1 being the best records and 10 being the records least likely to respond. Once you’ve scored your prospect list, you can select the individuals who look most like your current customers. 

4. Create System for Capturing Responses 

A vital part of any marketing campaign is creating a system for capturing responses. This data will let you know who your offer is resonating with, where your customers are coming from, and which marketing channels they are interacting with.  

If a customer receives a direct mail piece and makes an online purchase without using the coupon code included, they still responded to your mailer. If you don’t have a great system in place to capture responses, you won’t be able to identify all the transactions that came from your marketing data list. 

Customers can respond in various ways, so think through all the channels you have available for them to interact with such as social media channels, website visits, online purchases, in-store purchases, etc. Setup a system to record all of those interactions, combine your results, and match them up with your data list.  

This information will give you an accurate look at your campaign ROI. You can also see what aspects worked well and which ones didn’t. Did one demographic of customers respond better than the others? Utilizing good response data will set your next campaign up for success. 

5. Refine Your Customer Analysis

When done correctly, preparing your data list is a cyclical process. After you have captured your response data, take that information and feed it back into your customer analysis. This will help you refine your focus and hone in on the best customers for your products or services. As you continue to learn more about your customers, you are able to create better marketing campaigns for them. 

Preparing your data list requires a little extra work, but it is well worth the investment. You can reduce marketing waste by removing unlikely responders and incorrect records, and you can increase results by targeting the best customers and prospects. All of these steps will help you maximize the impact of your holiday campaigns.

If you need help getting your data list ready, contact our team.