Bill Singleton

There are several best practices you can follow to maximize the data append process by getting the right data, improving the match rate of third party customer data, and having it come out in a format that you will be able to use successfully and immediately.

As a direct marketer, you now that the list, creative, product, offer and mailer all play significant roles in motivating your customers to buy from you. The list-your file of customers-is often cited as the single most important factor in your marketing. We suggest that the delivery process is the second most important factor because the most beautiful package featuring a compelling offer of a marvelous product is wasted if it does not get into the hands of a potential buyer.

You may be surprised to learn that just three key fields in your customer database will contain most of the mistakes in your file. They are the name, address and date fields. This information often is entered by people not trained in data accuracy and is subject to mangling when reformatted. Why do these fields deserve your attention? Because mistakes will cost you in undeliverable, wasted materials, postage and lost sales. Name Field: Names are subject to phonetic misspellings and typos. Even if they’re wrong, they’re still deliverable. However, an incorrect name does little to build a relationship with a customer and can result

Does your marketing execution pursue strategy or tactics? Do you have the tools to help you pursue both to success? First you must know the difference between strategy and tactics. Strategy: the grand design, the plan for obtaining a specific goal, such as learning how to sell trucks. Tactics: a set of actions, devices or methods in service of the strategy, such as each day’s coursework in a sales class about how to sell trucks. The Goal The most effective marketers focus successively on their strategy and their tactics. Accomplishing this ideal approach requires the development and execution of a strategy through the well-organized and efficientperformance

At the eigth annual MeritDirect Business Mailer’s Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference, Bill Singleton, manager of analytical services at Naperville, Ill.-based database marketing and consulting firm The Allant Group, presented, “Nuts and Bolts of B-to-B Mail: 10 Common but Unwritten (and Unmentioned) Mistakes.” Here are three tips he suggests to give your next B-to-B campaign a better chance of success. 1. Check data for gaps and aging. Is information accurate, current and entered in the proper field? Singleton also suggests suppressing nonbuyers who are competitors, miscoded consumers, prisons or business complaint addresses. 2. Use the right address for your customers. Singleton cautions: “Many

How do you know when you need a data warehouse, a data mart or at least an extracted set of files for marketing analysis? If the thought of pulling together any or all of the following analytics projects in the course of one day makes you want to throw up your hands in exasperation, then you’re a prime candidate: Task No. 1: Run a report of how many unique 12-month buyers you have. Try this in a leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and you will arrive at a number. But do you have a way to check if each record is a unique account

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