Data is an essential part of every direct mailing campaign - without it, even the most experienced marketer would struggle. Doing research and using all the information that you can get your hands on is the best way to maximise your campaign's potential.
If you're interested in finding out more about data and how to get it, keep on reading, if you're interested in email, then visit our email marketing pages; otherwise, fill in the simple form above to start comparing data prices and quotes free of charge.
What is Marketing Data?
Marketing data is essentially the information that marketers use to create advertising materials that are as personal and appealing as they can be. As it is not possible to write personal messages to every one of your clients, using data can help to design marketing strategies that reflect client demographics to a degree that will appeal to them in general terms, based on information known about the group as a collective.
Marketing to large numbers of people requires an approach that is going to draw in as many recipients as possible - marketing data can help marketers to understand what sort of content will most appeal to their general audience. Understanding your business's audience or customer base will allow you to better anticipate what kind of offers, deals or information they will respond to best.
Not only can this data inform how you create the content, but it can also impact upon your approach to sending - seasonality, for example, could vary from sector to sector, and so understanding your audience could allow marketers to better anticipate when is the best time to send their material. Likewise, a better understanding of your market could help businesses to understand new products and services they may want to expand into.
By utilising the understanding that comes with data, marketers and businesses are far better able to sell to their clients - whether new or existing - using methods that will appeal directly to them. Using good data helps marketers to cut budgetary waste, and it can also be a huge benefit for any business trying to preserve a relevant brand identity and customer base.
As well as being a key element in both direct mail and email, data marketing also performs a strong role within telemarketing.
Why Purchase Data?
Direct Mail Marketing is a proven method for generating sales and increasing brand awareness, but for any successful campaign you need the right data, and getting it can be a struggle for those without experience.
Data purchasing is an essential part of your direct mail marketing strategy that involves buying marketing information from a third party data supplier instead of using figures that you have compiled yourself. This data allows a business to send out targeted marketing material to customers they have never encountered before, not only increasing brand awareness but also generating new sales leads.
Buying Data Saves Time
Data buying is especially useful for those in industries where gathering data directly would take a lot of time and resources. This data is not only valuable for marketing purposes, but could also help to identify gaps in your product or service range as well as avenues for expansion.
Using accurate data helps businesses - big or small - to pinpoint their target audience and maximise the chance they have of creating new sales. The more precise you can be in your targeting, the less money you waste and the more profit you make.
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How is Direct Mailing Data compiled?
It will come as little surprise that, in the modern age, every company tracks its customer base to some degree. If you’ve ever filled out an online form then you have probably faced a privacy statement or agreement. Sometimes this statement will tell you that the website does not share its information, and other times it will tell you that it does. The second option indicates that the company will share your details with others that offer data purchasing or rental.
When you give information to companies that share it with others, those details will inevitably end up on a data purchase list. Others can then rent or purchase that list in order to contact potential clients about products or services that they offer.
Data suppliers gather data from the business, consumer and public sectors to compile lists for almost any campaign, which means that, whatever your business, you’ll likely find data to help with your campaigns.
What to look for when buying Data
The best data will have been gathered from previous sales enquiries and will be opt-in. This means that the prospect has enquired about a similar product or service in the past and that they have given their consent to be contacted about related products or services. Ideally, the data you buy will have been collected recently, but if it hasn’t then it should have been checked by the provider frequently to ensure that it is still correct.
Buy Data Relevant To You
Perhaps most importantly, the data that you are buying should be relevant to your industry. A catering company, for example, would be unlikely to gain much use from data targeted at a stationary company and vice versa. The best case scenario for you as a marketer is that you are are able to work with data sellers who have direct experience in your industry.
If you are able to work with professionals with relevant industry experience, make the most of it - you may have been running your business for years, but if you've never marketed it before you could learn a lot. Approved Index only works with reputable data providers who will ensure that the information you are buying will be relevant and useful to your campaign.
Data by Medium
If you are considering purchasing data then you have probably already considered the medium you will be using - if you have not, then it is important that you do now.
Your data requirements will vary depending on whether you are working with email or direct mail, and so it’s important that you consider the following information.
Buying Direct Mail Data
A number of considerations should be considered when marketers buy data for their direct mail campaigns. Your budget is a key indicator and in most cases dictates the data that you are able to purchase; for a first campaign, for example, businesses may set aside a smaller budget to ensure success before heavier investment.
As well as considering the budgetary requirements that actually come with buying the data, it is also important to factor the other costs involved with direct mail marketing. If you spend 90% of your budget on data, for example, you may be unable to use all of that data in the campaign if you have not got the remaining budget for materials and sending.
Buying Email Marketing Data
Dealing with your email marketing database brings different issues than your direct mail data; unlike direct mail, email marketing budgets are not burdened by material costs - although it does cost to send marketing emails - and so it could be that marketers using this platform have more budget to spare on buying data. This is fortunate as, given the nature of direct mail and email response rates, marketing by email generally requires more material sent in the first place.
As above, if you are trying an email marketing campaign for the first time, then you may want to limit the amount of data purchased to match your lower scale marketing operation. Once you have had a successful campaign, and you feel more confident in your ability to market to your audience, you can return to buy more data to expand your contacts.
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Your Direct Mail Marketing Database
Building a marketing database is crucial to any business that wants to succeed in their direct mail advertising. All businesses exist to answer specific customer needs, whether that be in product or services provision, and so it is vital that they maintain the data and research that allows them to understand the needs and identity of their customer base.
The success of your direct mailing campaign relies on whether you are targeting the right customers, which in turn depends on building the right database in the first place. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind when handling your customer information:
- Define your objective. If you do not know why you have a database, then you are unlikely to get much from it. By knowing your objective, you will be able to pinpoint exactly which customers and datasets are going to be most helpful in your business’s strategy.
- Standardise your data. Your database is a tool to help you understand your customers. If the information is mismatched and confusing you will struggle to draw any definitive ideas from it.
- Create measures. Once you have objectives, you should create a list of measures to gauge whether or not your database is helping you to achieve your goals.
- Don’t use outdated research. People move houses and change career all the time, so it’s important to keep your data up to date. Employing a retention or incentive program is a good way to keep people interested in providing you information.
- Don’t assume the same data will work in every campaign. It’s easy to assume that one set of targeted prospects will be suitable for every strategy, but that isn’t the case. Different campaigns, products and services call for different data, and what suits one demographic may not suit another.
When to Buy More Data
You may be wondering how much is enough and if you need to buy more data. The answer depends on a few things. The volume of data that your business requires depends first on how much you’re willing to pay for a prospect; the larger your budget, the more prospects you can get for targeting. However, it’s also important to bear in mind the capacity your business has to target potential customers. There’s no point having a huge number of prospects if you have not got the resources to approach them all.
At the same time, though, if you have found your previous data marketing to be successful, then it can definitely be worth up-scaling the process, especially if your operations have been able to expand as a result of the new clients being brought in by your marketing. Whether or not it is time to buy more data is entirely dependent on your goals, processes and results. If you track your progress and stay aware of the costs involved in your campaigns, then you should be well placed to purchase more data when the time is right.
Compare Data buying options
If you want to know how to buy data and compare providers then you only need to fill out the short questionnaire at the top of this page. Approved Direct Mailing Lists provide a quick and easy method for UK data company comparison so that direct mail marketers can begin their campaigns with as great a chance for success as possible.
Marketing data has proven time and time again to be a real boost for every strategy, so get started now to give your profits a push. Simply complete our form to receive free, no-obligation quotes from up to 4 UK data suppliers today.
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