Thursday, October 9, 2008

Database List Management

I was referred to Dan Kennedy's website by a client yesterday (thanks Steve!). I checked it out and was very intrigued. He has some really great info in an easy to read format. Definitely one to bookmark. One of his articles: talks about really taking a good look at the list of who you are sending to before just shooting 50,000 pieces of mail out to them. In previous posts we've talked about segmenting saturation lists into carrier routes for extra detail and some demographic information. The ideas in this article can also carry into your database mailers. If you aren't hitting your database with a special event 4 times a year you are missing the boat. Seriously. Yes your sales guys should definitely drop personal notes to their customers on a somewhat regular basis, but the dealership as a whole should also be taking advantage of the very best list at your disposal. After all these people know you, know where you are located, and have bought something from you before--even if it's service related! Dan mentions a list he saw that was filled with duplicates and incorrect information.
With 30% of the population on the move at any one time, and the ways info is typically entered about 25%-35% of your database is complete GARBAGE.
If you are sending a mailer to it, it is essential to have it "scrubbed." Database scrubbing is a process your mail house should be able to perform. We essentially access your ADP, Reynolds & Reynolds, or whatever system you use to make a copy of your database. It is then run through National Change of Address, and scanned for duplicates. You'd be shocked how many times John Smith might show up as J. Smith, Jon Smith, & Jane Smith (John's wife)! You don't need to be paying for 4 mailers to go to the same freaking guy. The other thing to note is, this process is done on a copy of your database. That means if you did a mailer with someone three months ago the database you still have is not clean. Be sure to either use the same company and request that they use the list from last sale, or have it scrubbed again. Ideally have it scrubbed every 3 months (if it's being used as a mailing list). So check out Dan's site, think back to the last time you sent a mailer out to your database, and plan your next one accordingly.

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