4 Ways Database Marketing Rescues Direct Mail
It's no secret among direct marketers that direct mail has been having its struggles, with production and postage costs going up while response rates sink because of prospects becoming less consumerist than in any time in our recent history as a country.
For those reasons, database marketing is becoming increasingly popular among any company that uses direct mail. "The return on investment can be very easily realized and demonstrated when direct mail is conducted leveraging the key components of database marketing (strategy, strong marketing database, reporting, advanced analytics and campaign management)," explains Devyani Sadh, Ph.D., CEO, founder and head of client relations of Data Square.
Database marketing can solve the direct marketer's costs-rising nightmare, says Pegg Nadler, vice president of database marketing at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. "The latest postal hike only reinforces the need to utilize database marketing effectively to reduce mail quantities while increasing response rates," she says.
Here are four specific points to know about database marketing—including why (and how) it can help change the fate of direct mail, immediately.
1. Why Database Marketing Works for Direct Mail—Now
"Database marketing has become critical to successful direct marketing," states Eric Schmitt, executive vice president at the Allant Group. "Using a database to drive mail improves both efficiency and performance."
Efficiency gains are realized by centralizing data hygiene and processing, and automating list selection and mail execution processes. Performance is improved by optimizing contact frequency and utilizing analytical models to improve response and order rates. "Meanwhile, a database gives the marketer an institutional memory of contact history, and a vehicle for integrating with other outbound and response channels, like e-mail and the Web," illustrates Schmitt.
If that's not enough, the customer-specific information from the database also can be used to tailor the creative, offer and message on the piece itself.
Lisa Freeman, senior vice president of client strategy at Merkle, agrees. "Across many verticals, we are seeing a steady shift toward leveraging data and insights to make smarter, more informed decisions not only about who to mail, but also what offer and message to send, when to mail (timing and frequency), and even how to determine when mail is the most effective media to reach a given group of customers," she describes.
2. Why Database Marketing Becomes Vital in a Squeezed Economic Climate
"The difficult economy means that direct mailers must be even smarter about who, when and how often they mail, and what offer they make," asserts Schmitt. "Investments in database marketing should do exactly that and deliver measurable, ROI-based results that will satisfy even the most skeptical chief finance officer."