6 Direct Mail Mistakes That Could Cost Thousands
Here are some examples of questions raised in the data processing step:
- Do I want to mail to folks who have moved out of my service area or out of range of my locations (common in retail, nonprofit)?
- Which deliverability indices do I delete? Can I get a listing of those records deemed "undeliverable"?
- How do I handle borderline deliverable records (e.g., records missing apartment numbers)?
- Do I want to dedupe by last name/address, full name/address, address only (different strategies for business files, residential files, etc.)?
- Do I want any extra DP steps taken to update my database (DMA Mail Preference, Deceased Processing, additional address hygiene steps, etc.)?
Wasted money in direct mail can be attributed to poor mail piece design and sloppy data management. And often the dollars are not seen directly (since lots of undeliverable mail pieces are usually discarded). Postage is an ever-increasing cost, so it pays to be vigilant about getting the most bang out of every buck spent.
So those are the Top Six. Any of the first four will be huge budget breakers should the USPS check your mail (which they usually do). The sixth item will be a more invisible cost, as you have fewer pieces delivered and more mailers trashed.
Dan Boyden is a direct mail consultant for Altavista, Va.-based Midatlantic Printers Ltd. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.