Why the Best Direct Mail Campaigns Start with Data

Have you ever wondered why you’ve been receiving the same promotional postcard from a local dental office for years, even though you’ve never acted on any of them? If so, keep reading as we tackle this and a few other must-know details for everyone involved in direct mail marketing.

Big data is not just for digital advertising

The truth is: consumer targeting works the same way whether it is a digital ad seen online or an envelope delivered to a person’s home. Accuracy is equally crucial in both scenarios. However, given the larger costs associated with printing, inaccurate targeting is more costly to direct mail campaigns and can significantly affect the company’s bottom line.

BDEX is widely known as the first and largest data exchange platform (DXP) in the United States. In fact, BDEX’s powerful audience modeling technology is now available across 20 major data activation partners, including LiveRamp, The Trade Desk, Eyeota, Lotame and many others. Companies in multiple industries, including automotive, retail, real estate, and financial services use BDEX’s data and audience tools to connect with existing and potential customers, optimize their marketing strategies, and get a leg up on their competitors.

Marketing executives typically associate BDEX with programmatic advertising. However, print publishers, companies specializing in direct mail services, and businesses that use direct mail campaigns as part of their marketing strategy, can also benefit from BDEX’s tools as much (or even more) as those that connect with their audiences primarily through digital advertising channels.

Why accurate data matters for print publishers

Whether you send magazines, letters, or promotional brochures, developing, printing, and delivering these materials to people’s mailboxes takes up a sizable amount from your marketing budget. And every time an envelope is mailed to the wrong person, your campaign’s ROI goes down. Thus, ensuring that only the most relevant people receive your direct mail offers can save you a lot of money.

Now, let’s return to our initial example of the local dental office. The reason why it has been sending you irrelevant mail is that the firm in charge of that business’ direct mail marketing doesn’t have accurate data to understand when someone is likely to need their services. As a result, they simply continue to pepper local residents with weekly or monthly postcards, hoping that one day their message will work.

How direct mail marketers can level up their data

By using data technology, such as BDEX’s Omnisource IQ Machine Learning with a built in Data Quality Assurance Layer, companies can analyze massive amounts of data to understand when someone is actually ready to use their products and services. This data also enables companies to whittle down irrelevant audiences, thus reducing the overall number of materials that need to be printed and sent out while increasing the ROI of the overall direct mail campaign.

Today, more and more companies are leveraging data to get the most out of their marketing efforts. In fact, according to the 2018 report by Data & Marketing Association, direct mail response rates are now at around 9 percent, which is 43 percent higher compared to the year before.

The reason behind this increase is that modern data platforms and analytics tools allow marketers to gather and process data about consumer behavior on a scale that was simply impossible ten or fifteen years ago. As a result, companies today are better equipped to send direct mail to viable customers and prospects, which, in turn, increases the industry’s average response rates.

So, be it retail, real estate, medical services, or any other industry, if your business relies on direct mail campaigns as part of its marketing strategy, it may be time to take another look at your data to ensure that your letters always end up in the right mailboxes.